Need a little help... is there much value in old MODEL RAILROADER magazines? A lady I work with asked me about them. Her deceased husbad had a bunch of them that dated back into the late 1950s & 1960s. According to her, she didn't have any complete years though.
I told her that I didn't think that they had much value but I wanted to check here to see if that is a general consensus. I've been getting MR since 1970 but don't keep them. I would like to see some of the older ones, but not for collecting purposes. I told her that I didn't think they would be worth much more than about a quarter each. I based this strictly on old National Geographic magazines which our local library sells for less than that.
Anyone have any expereince with old MR magazines?
------------------------------------------- Dan L. Merkel
Just for a data point, a couple weeks ago I was pawing through boxes of old MRs (along with RMC and other magazines) in a train store here. They were just trying to get rid of them. I think they were selling for about a buck apiece. So no, they're not worth much.
They might be worth a little more if they're complete sets. This same store also had binders of magazines they were selling, I think in 2-year batches. Still not worth all that much.
Value? Completely subjective. At the swap meets I attend, MR's of this period usually go for fifty cents or so. That said, I find that I frequently enjoy reading them more than I do current issues. For example, many more articles on construction, kitbashing, etc. Obviously not too useful for DCC types unless they're interested in the history of the hobby. Thank you.
Actually, I'm looking for December 1976. It has an article on the Genesee & Wyoming in it. I recently discovered an interest in that railroad. So ask her if she'll take $1 plus postage. E-mail me at email@example.com. Leave out the 1940 for the correct address.
Yep - I keep mine because I enjoy model building more than model buying :-). I finally quit subscribing to MR about 5 years ago because there were almost no scratchbuilding articles in it. And the "almost" in the prior sentence was just in case my memory was faulty :-).
Larry Blanchard wrote in news: firstname.lastname@example.org:
One hobby shop owner I talked to told me that most of his customers weren't doing much scratch building or kit building. They want something to purchase and place on the railroad. I bought some old (say '60's or '70's vintage) wood and paper kits from him, but haven't quite gotten to assembling them yet.
There's just something about doing your own that gives it a personal touch.
He's right, unfortunately. Sure, to you and me, and a few others, they're worth more than their pulp value, but to most folks--even those who currently spend money on model train stuff--they really are worthless.
It depends a bit on the issue. There are some issues that were very popular because of certain articles that were in them.
October of 1986 or so I think it was set a record for sales, because it featured an article on how to modify a camera lens to take better model photos. This was popular with both the photography hobbyists and the model railroad hobbyists.
Prototype information such as the drawings of rolling stock, etc. never goes out of date. If you want a drawing of a Southern Pacific 4-6-2, you will only find it in one issue. Even if you want to buy a model off the shelf that article and drawing will tell you what to do with it to make it a better looking model.
Certain modeling projects never go out of date either. If you want an HO model of Burlington's Pioneer Zephyr, it means cutting up a bunch of model streamliner passenger cars. You might find a brass model for sale somewhere for hundreds of dollars, but it is very rare. How to build one yourself was covered in several issues in the spring of 1984 or so. Otherwise, to get that particular model, you will be waiting a very long time if you wait for it to appear on e-bay.
Model railroader isn't quite as bas as, say, Newsweek or one of the other publications that is only good for that particular period of time. This is because many people model periods of time other than the present day. Believe it or not there are people who model periods as early as the
1830s. An article about a railroad in the 1950s that was written in the
1950s may be an even better source than an article written in 1990 about the same railraod as it existed in the 1950s.
On the other hand, some items do go out of date. Reviews of 1950s models would be quite useless today because few of those are in production now. Scenery modeling techniques have changed quite a bit because the materials available have changed.
So, the value unfortunately depends a great deal on the interest of the person doing the buying. The right issue sold to the right person could demand a fairly high price because they need a particular article for a particular project. Some generic issue just sold off at a hobby shop will be much less interesting because that is just random contact.