Well, this is the weekend of the big warehouse sale up at Lionel Trains’ headquarters up in Concord, North Carolina, just on the north side of Charlotte. I believe this is only the second year that Lionel has done this. More importantly, it is the first time I have attended. The sale goes on Saturday and Sunday, the 4th & 5th, but Lionel Collector Club of America (LCCA) members get in early on Friday night. Nice to be able to get in a bit earlier, though it is still quite crowded.
Little did I know that there is also a Lionel retail shop on site. Those pictures above that are all nice and tidy (the last 6) are the shop. The shop isn’t huge and by no means carries the full range of Lionel merchandise, but it is nice, friendly, and well worth the visit.
I won’t tell you how much money I spent, heck I am still trying not to let myself know, but there were some great deals to be had. Sections of curved FasTrack were only a dollar each, and straights were two dollars. There were random un-boxed cars, mint in every way except missing their boxes, for just $10. Suffice it to say that I stocked up on all sorts of stuff. But hey, I needed it all, right?
I must also mention how nice everyone was. From the Lionel folks working the sale to the collectors, kids, and other shoppers, everyone was smiling, pleasant, helpful and just having a good time. These are toys after all!
So, to some up, I think I have a new must-attend event and perhaps a new kickoff to the holiday train season. Now to see if I can make it to York next year …
Yesterday I spent a good part of the day hanging out with what one person described as my “tribe”. The tribe being that group of people who is interested in some of the same things I am. In this case it might have been a fairly eclectic tribe; those folks who are both in to British cars and trains. You see, yesterday members of The British Car Club of Charleston visited the home of member and model train collector Mike West.
Now I have known Mike for about thirty years, but it wasn’t until relatively recently that I discovered that he, like me, has a things for trains. He started on this hobby when he was just a kid back in the forties and still has some of his original model trains from back then.
Stepping a bit outside of my own model train news, I would just like to relate that a great event for train lovers, art lovers, and Christmas train lovers of all ages is happening this Friday evening, December 6.
Coco Vivo at gallery has announced a special holiday art show during the month of December. Angela Trotta Thomas, official artist of Lionel Train Corporation, will exhibit a collection of original oils depicting nostalgic toy train art. An exciting COCO VIVO Christmas window scene will feature the Angela Trotta Thomas Signature Express toy train set traveling through a holiday snowy village. Angela’s powerful images are a mixture of Lionel trains, childhood, and the holiday season. This year’s train layout will be even bigger than last year’s display!
A special invitation is extended to kids of all ages to experience the magic of toy trains this Christmas. Meet Angela Trotta Thomas on Friday, December 6, 5:00 – 8:00 PM, at 25 Broad Street in downtown Charleston during a special artist reception. Join our Jingle & Mingle holiday event and relive the memories of Christmases past. Angela will be handing out and signing the latest Lionel Christmas catalog.
Angela’s latest artworks draw on memories of Lionel trains and a simpler time. She is creating still life paintings that combine Lionel trains with period objects that evocatively freeze time. Many paintings will depict Lionel trains of the era, and children playing with their favorite trains.