Hardest Thing to Find

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
347
Warwickshire
I began collecting PM trains back around 2000 and set out to obtain one of each loco, coach and wagon that had been made. As the collection grew the goals changed and I then set about making rakes of carriages and swapping bits around to create never-wazzas.

There has been a Playmobil collectors guide that has run to three editions, and this rated items according to thier alledged rarity. Sadly this book is actually about the boxes, not the contents! For example a solo boxed Steaming Mary loco is said to be very rare, when in fact the loco iteself is everywhere, as they were also in a very popular and long lived train set!

The contents of the two sets containing the Americanised 0-4-0 are quite uncommon, certainly in the UK. These are Set 3958 - UPRR loco, Yellow/Grey/Red Wild West Coach and Plain Caboose and Set 4035 RC Santa Loco, Green Red Low Sided Wagon with Box Present and Xmas Caboose). The loco below was an original UPRR, but has had the cab and boiler fitting parts swapped around with parts from other locos.

IMG_1441.JPG

The white Esso tank wagon is quite hard to find too, particularly as the plastic is sadly mostly 'browning' with age by now.

IMG_1440.JPG

A much more recent item the 4118 Graffiti coach took a lot of finding. This is particulary hard to find undamaged and complete, as the side and ends are decorated with stickers, that were supplied on a sheet for the customer to stick on. These are often damaged or poorly applied by the purchaser and the unique green interior fittings seem to be easily lost and virtually irreplaceable.

I have finally made up my rake of these, but ony two were found 'intact', the other three needed various repairs and replacements. One is wholly fitted out with the 'wrong' colour fittings, whilst another has some items that have seen the application of some paint to blend in!

IMG_1438.JPG

There is one item that I am still seeking to make up my final 5 car rake of carriages - a mustard yellow UPRR coach, which is one of my favourite PM vehicles. They are getting on for 30 years old now and I have not seen a solo one on sale for some time. They often appear with complete 3958 train sets, but sadly these are mostly in America and nearly always at phone number prices!

IMG_1439.JPG

If other PM enthusiasts have collecting experiences to share, please go ahead and share!

James
 
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David Ayre

Registered
25 Jan 2017
9
2
37
Manchester
I began collecting PM trains back around 2000 and set out to obtain one of each loco, coach and wagon that had been made. As the collection grew the goals changed and I then set about making rakes of carriages and swapping bits around to create never-wazzas.

There has been a Playmobil collectors guide that has run to three editions, and this rated items according to thier alledged rarity. Sadly this book is actually about the boxes, not the contents! For example a solo boxed Steaming Mary loco is said to be very rare, when in fact the loco iteself is everywhere, as they were also in a very popular and long lived train set!

The contents of the two sets containing the Americanised 0-4-0 are quite uncommon, certainly in the UK. These are Set 3958 - UPRR loco, Yellow/Grey/Red Wild West Coach and Plain Caboose and Set 4035 RC Santa Loco, Green Red Low Sided Wagon with Box Present and Xmas Caboose). The loco below was an original UPRR, but has had the cab and boiler fitting parts swapped around with parts from other locos.

View attachment 215006

The white Esso tank wagon is quite hard to find too, particularly as the plastic is sadly mostly 'browning' with age by now.

View attachment 215005

A much more recent item the 4118 Graffiti coach took a lot of finding. This is particulary hard to find undamaged and complete, as the side and ends are decorated with stickers, that were supplied on a sheet for the customer to stick on. These are often damaged or poorly applied by the purchaser and the unique green interior fittings seem to be easily lost and virtually irreplaceable.

I have finally made up my rake of these, but ony two were found 'intact', the other three needed various repairs and replacements. One is wholly fitted out with the 'wrong' colour fittings, whilst another has some items that have seen the application of some paint to blend in!

View attachment 215003

There is one item that I am still seeking to make up my final 5 car rake of carriages - a mustard
I began collecting PM trains back around 2000 and set out to obtain one of each loco, coach and wagon that had been made. As the collection grew the goals changed and I then set about making rakes of carriages and swapping bits around to create never-wazzas.

There has been a Playmobil collectors guide that has run to three editions, and this rated items according to thier alledged rarity. Sadly this book is actually about the boxes, not the contents! For example a solo boxed Steaming Mary loco is said to be very rare, when in fact the loco iteself is everywhere, as they were also in a very popular and long lived train set!

The contents of the two sets containing the Americanised 0-4-0 are quite uncommon, certainly in the UK. These are Set 3958 - UPRR loco, Yellow/Grey/Red Wild West Coach and Plain Caboose and Set 4035 RC Santa Loco, Green Red Low Sided Wagon with Box Present and Xmas Caboose). The loco below was an original UPRR, but has had the cab and boiler fitting parts swapped around with parts from other locos.

View attachment 215006

The white Esso tank wagon is quite hard to find too, particularly as the plastic is sadly mostly 'browning' with age by now.

View attachment 215005

A much more recent item the 4118 Graffiti coach took a lot of finding. This is particulary hard to find undamaged and complete, as the side and ends are decorated with stickers, that were supplied on a sheet for the customer to stick on. These are often damaged or poorly applied by the purchaser and the unique green interior fittings seem to be easily lost and virtually irreplaceable.

I have finally made up my rake of these, but ony two were found 'intact', the other three needed various repairs and replacements. One is wholly fitted out with the 'wrong' colour fittings, whilst another has some items that have seen the application of some paint to blend in!

View attachment 215003

There is one item that I am still seeking to make up my final 5 car rake of carriages - a mustard yellow UPRR coach, which is one of my favourite PM vehicles. They are getting on for 30 years old now and I have not seen a solo one on sale for some time. They often appear with complete 3958 train sets, but sadly these are mostly in America and nearly always at phone number prices!

View attachment 215004

If other PM enthusiasts have collecting experiences to share, please go ahead and share!

James


Ha just started in the same journey. Must be mad with the prices on eBay! It's a pretty daunting task but loved them as a kid and I'm now enjoying sharing the joy with my 3 year old.
 

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
347
Warwickshire

David,

That is great! Good luck and enjoy it!

James
 
It's shame some collectors rack up the prices and then just store them. At least yours get out and entertain people too.
I've collected various things and it can take years to find certain items at sensible prices. I've now had three Hornby Rockets, way beyond me as a kid, and the coaches all for sensible prices. Two I had to restore including stripping and repainting parts but if you save £100 doing it that's good by me :)
 
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David Ayre

Registered
25 Jan 2017
9
2
37
Manchester
4122 seems obscenely priced. I know my parents have one they won't get out of the loft. But trying to find one without spending the earth is going to take time. 3 are on the evil bay at over £150!
 

James Day

Guano Corner Rly - Runs weekly - Guano permitting
6 May 2012
1,727
347
Warwickshire
4122 seems obscenely priced. I know my parents have one they won't get out of the loft. But trying to find one without spending the earth is going to take time. 3 are on the evil bay at over £150!

David,

Wow! That much? As you say - Shocking!

I guess it is relatively uncommon item which could explain the premium?

It is certainly a unique item in the series, in that it was only ever sold in one version and has no large parts shared with any other model, except the chassis!

Although there was only one version of the US Cattle Truck (4121), this was really just the European Cattle Truck with a different roof!

James
 
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littletone

Land Rover 101, Golf
I started out with just 6 pieces for the little people to play with when they came around. Then moved on to trying to collect just the Locos and found myself buying other rolling stock. Now I am only missing a few items. The ones which elude me are, all the items from Set 4035, the xmas one and 3958 the western set and the red cattle car from set 4029. As you said prices are very high for some of the rare stuff. I’ve only ever seen the Loco from set 3958 on ebay once and it went for a high price. It’s amazing how many items there are, someone will know the correct number, it’s over 50.

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I am trying to compile a list of all the locos, coaches and wagons Playmobil have made and the dates there were made.
This is due to my next exhibition display will be a Playmobil Train Museum. Now up to 63 and still counting.
 
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