Wednesday, April 13, 2022

LGB STAINZ, The Train Sets - Years 1997/98

In previous decades LGB had published a main catalog every two years. Under the leadership of Rolf Richter that was about to change. So 1997 saw a new main catalog being published/offered amidst the just released new MTS system. This new 'digital' system needed  some thorough promotion after all. And so the front page of the promotional brochure  "INFO 1997" sold the main catalog first followed by two tried and true Stainz sets:


LGB 72302/70302
LGB 72302 - Courtesy of Only
The Stainz loco 2020 featured sound in this set and the transformer was upped to 1Amp. At the time of writing this set was still available on ebay (US$ 215.00) and ($406), condition on both unknown.

LGB 72403/70402
LGB 72402 - Courtesy of Only
This set also featured sound and an 1Amp transformer. At the time of writing a brand new set was offered on for US$ 500.00 with some parts still in original LGB plastic bags.

1998 saw another two Stainz train sets. The 

LGB 70321
LGB 70321 - Courtesy of

This set is so rare that YT chose this rather blurted image than no image at all. The set was ONLY sold in Austria, called the "Zillertalbahn" and contained  an LGB 20201 engine and two passenger cars LGB 31070. Only 250 of these were offered. LGB itself never advertised the set.

The second set for 1968 was the 30 Years of LGB Anniversary set
LGB 71968
LGB 71968 set in box - Courtesy of

LGB 71968 - Courtesy of
The set was heavily advertised in Germany but not in the USA. The German flyer 'New Items 1998' displayed it front and center with the announcement "Limited Edition" but did not advertise the actual limit. It is safe to assume it was somewhere in the neighborhood of 10,000. Price in German DM was 199.00 which roughly translated to US$ 100.00 in 1998. The swiveling flat wagon LGB # 40500 had an anniversary load of 3 30cm/ 11.8 in-tracks LGB# 10000. At the time of writing YT saw two offers on the internet, one for EU 189.00( or US$ 200.00 and one for EU 235.00(BigTrainWorld) or US$ 260.00.

LGB also published a brochure in honor of the 30-Year-Anniversary telling the story of LGB. Here is a link for our dearest reader/follower

In today's world this would work perfectly well as an example of horrible marketing...maybe back then it did as well...

++++++++++++++++++++++++to be continued...

Saturday, February 19, 2022

LGB STAINZ - The Train Sets, Year 1996

The year 1996 was a year of train sets in general for LGB. The LGB main catalog even advertised a Stainz train set:

LGB catalog front cover 1996 -
Courtesy of

However, most of the offered train-sets did NOT sport Stainz engines but  LGB 2017 derivations  with cars from the standard LGB stock. In 1996 LGB, meanwhile under leadership of Rolf Richter, focused intensely on sales increase. That led to another round of specialty series in small edition volumes. The undisputed leader here was the 

LGB 29210
LGB 29210 - Courtesy LGB Kompendium pg 1254

With only 50 (!) sets of this specialty it was made for the 10 year anniversary for the "LGB Club - Friends of the Lower Rhine River" and was solely sold to the members of that LGB club. YT could not find one single lead/link on the internet for this item. And yet, back then the club was powerful enough that LGB gave this Stainz Train set its very own item number.

The next specialty set was (again) made for the toy-retailer association "Idee + Spiel" (Idea + Play) with an edition of 1,000:

LGB 70417

The set consisted of a LGB 2020D, a  LGB 4011 covered flat car in brown (usually offered in orange) and a LGB 45352 Coca-Coal box car with no sound (usually w/sound)
LGB 2020D - Courtesy of

LGB 4011 in brown - Courtesy of

LGB 45352 - Courtesy of
This set also included a set of rails, transformer and figurines. Why the association chose a set like this or was given it remains a puzzle. The association served toy retailers whose main target group were parents of smaller children ( 6-10) and it was common belief among parents back then that Coca Cola was not a beverage that should be served to young children on a regular base. It was quite expensive, too with a price of about DM 395.00 or about US$ 250.00, which translates to about US$ 500.00 today.

The main competition to that association was the "VEDES" group who received their own Stainz set with the

LGB 70418

LGB 70418 (VEDES) - Courtesy of
A set similar to this was offered on ebay in January 2022 for US$ 160.00 and did not get any offers! Obviously nobody knew about the rarity of this set. The edition volume for this set was 2,500 and was sold solely in stores that were a member of this Vedes Group.

The next set was made for an Austrian company and one of those sets did survive until today and is even currently available:

LGB 70515

This rarity was called the "Jaegerndorfer Sammel-Set" (Huntersvillage Collector Set), the edition volume is unknown. It is currently ( Feb 22, 2022) for sale by for EU 250.00 or US$ 289.00 (shipping costs unknown). It can be safely assumed that the edition was not bigger than 2,000 sets.

Another Stainz set in limited edition, this time of 1,000 was the 

LGB 70516/ LGB 71418

LGB 70516 - Courtesy of
The Unimog car and the construction trailer were not made by LGB. This set was made for an Austrian importer, edition was 1,000. LGB listed this set under two different item numbers, reasons are unknown.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++ to be continued...

Tuesday, January 25, 2022

LGB STAINZ -- The Train Sets, year 1995

1995 marked the year that LGB went 'digital'. The MTS system was introduced; the Multi Train System. Reason enough to offer as many 'new' items as LGB-possible. And that they did. Not only to their actual end-user customer base but also to any and everyone who could possibly sell LGB trains and train sets.

And since the main channel to sell LGB train (sets) in Germany was the toy-retailer LGB continued the series of  Stainz sets "exclusively" for toy and similar retailers. Or any retailer willing to offer a train set by LGB. From bone-china stores to grocery wholesalers, from shoe stores to breweries LGB train sets were added to the product line. Usually in 'limited' editions. In 1995 this line was continued by the

LGB 70415

LGB 70415 - Courtesy of
The edition volume was 7,800. It was only sold in Germany. The set was grouped out of existing rolling stock from standard LGB ware with the red gravel car displaying the number "415" on its side as a reference to the "specialty" set. Pricing was up to the individual retailer. These sets are currently showing on the German market for about Euro 120.00 to 175.00 or US$ 135.00 to $200.00.

LGB 70416

LGB 70416 - Courtesy of
This set was offered to another group of German retailers, yet with another limit. This limited edition was 2,000 and the green truck was NOT an LGB item and made by another company, Bruder. The set price was about US$ 125.00. 

A Siding

In the year before LGB had offered a circus set # 22988/70988 with an edition of 10,000 (see last blog). And why stop with such a well working money maker? OK - they couldn't offer the same thing twice - or could they?? Huh! This is the solution

LGB 70910/72910

LGB 72910 - Courtesy of
LGB changed the engine from a Stainz to a 2017 (Western style "Stainz"), left out the tender from the original setup and added two circus cars. There you have it. Close enough. And they sold it in two power versions, 220V (European) and 110V for the US market.

And this was just the beginning. LGB got into gear for real in 1996 when - in addition to their regular cataloged stock - they offered a whole slew of train sets featuring the STAINZ engine prominently...

++++++++++++++++++++++ to be continued..............................

Friday, December 17, 2021



Merry Christmas to all our readers and fans! Thank you all for your support and your love for LGB trains. Our blog will continue in January 2022.

Friday, November 19, 2021

LGB STAINZ - The Train Sets, Years 1992-1994

After a smaller edition of the Christmas train set was selling well in 1990 LGB went down that road again in 1992:

LGB 22540

LGB 22540 - Courtesy of

The difference to LGB 20540: the number "4" on the engine (was "2"). The big difference was the edition volume. This time 10,000 were made. And sold 'worldwide'.

That same year the LGB New Item flyer also presented the Circus Train set No
LGB 22988
LGB 70988 (1993)
LGB 22988 - Courtesy of

LGB 70988 - Courtesy of

10,000 were made and sold 'worldwide'. The set included 3 figurines and a little box on the truck bed. These Circus train sets are still offered on the internet at the time of writing.

1994 saw these Stainz train sets being offered:
LGB 70545
LGB 70545 - Courtesy of

After two red Christmas train sets in 2 years, not differing much, LGB saw the great trick in offering a blue version. Edition is not known but an educated guess points to another 10,000 edition volume. And the price was raised to a plump US$ 500.00. These blue Stainz train sets today are offered for US$ 650.00 to $ 750.00 or more.

And since LGB was already in the copying mood they continued the  series for the German Toy-Dealer-Marketing-Associations. 
LGB 70994
LGB 70994 Vedes - Courtesy of
VEDES  hat to take 10,000 of these sets while the competing association of "Toy-Ring" (German: Spielzeug-Ring) also received 10,000 as a marketing 'special', same time, same train set, the only difference  was a logo printed on the yellow boxcar: Grafitti-Express
LGB 70996
LGB 70996 Spielzeug-Ring - Courtesy of
Both had to be sold in the very same toy dealer stores since both associations supplied the same toy dealers. You can imagine how happy those toy dealers were...Yep, LGB made great friends back then in the retail business....

And to make matters funnier they made a 3rd edition with a blank yellow boxcar as a special for the MC stores only- also a group of toy retailers. This time the edition was 500

LGB 70995

LGB 70995  - Courtesy of

And all three sets were standard LGB 'fare' which were produced for the annual catalog-offer anyway. That at least kept the costs low which LGB had to learn as a new virtue.

+++++++++++++++ to be continued...

Friday, November 5, 2021

LGB STAINZ Train Sets - years 1990/91

The 1990's. A time of economic thrive in Germany. LGB made money. Or so they thought. Wolfgang Richter had borrowed money, lots of it. And he was forced to change banks at a time where he didn't need more trouble. And he had decided to take his son on, Rolf Richter. Made him 2nd in command. Rolf had no knowledge of the business at hand. and no love of it either. But LGB still had their crowd pullers. One of them the Stainz engine family. And a thriving US market.

LGB 20540US

LGB 20540US - Courtesy of
This Christmas train set was advertised  in the US only and had an edition volume of 2,000. It sold for roughly $ 350.00

The year 1991 brought a number of LGB Stainz specialties. The most outstanding was the 
LGB 20100NB
LGB 20100NB 24 karat gold plated - Courtesy of Only Trains

Initially it was planned to have 1,000 manufactured. Then that number was lowered. The plan also called for the train set being sold exclusively at German high-end porcelain retailers. Go figure. Well, in the end less were made, the numbers swing between 200 and a little over 50. And 30 years later, the 'Golden Train' had found its way into the USA where as of the time of this article you can find an offer of one single gold-plated gondola for US$ 500.00 on eBay. Also at this time on eBay the complete train set in original black box for US$ 4,000.00

You think that was weird. Wait - there is more:
LGB 2020EM

LGB 2020EM - Kompendium LGB 2012, pg 1204
This "Aqua-Florian-Zug" was made for the event of the founding of the LGB Club "Friends of LGB Niederrhein (Lower Rhine)".  The edition volume was 10!! YT could find not one single photo of the set on the internet but could find an offer of the boxcar in for Euro 430.00 for the car alone.
The company who served as the train set donor seems to be still in business in Germany at the time of writing.

The Christmas set for 1991 for the USA was the
LGB 21540US
LGB 21540US- Courtesy of
Dear reader, have a little fun and do a pic-comparison with the two Christmas sets. Your "Spot the difference"- game will find a pretty limited number of  differences...
Edition volume had sprung up from 2,000 to 5,000 this time and sales price was again around US$ 350.00. It was an USA- exclusive also.

LGB 23301 
LGB 23301 - Courtesy of eBay

This set was an LGB mainstay as was the 
LGB 23401 
LGB 23401 - Courtesy of
This set came with a smoke generator. Another change in construction was the motor block,. Until 1990 LGB used 2-shell motor blocks (left and right shell) and changed that to a three-part motor block (top lid, main body, bottom lid) in 1991. The price was around US 200.00.

++++++++++++++++++++++ to be continued................

Thursday, October 14, 2021

LGB STAINZ - The Train Sets, year 1988

The year 1988 marked the 10th anniversary of the LGB Club in Pittsburgh /Pennsylvania. From August 01 to Aug. 04 1988. Al Lentz and Howard Gombert were among those organizing the show. LGB honored the club's loyalty and their ongoing impact on the sales volume for USA by issuing the 

LGB 1988 BTO 1

LGB 1988 BTO 1- Courtesy of
The edition was 500 which did not leave much stock to be sold to interested non-club LGB fans.

But wait - there is more....

LGB also issued 20 (!!) train sets in all black for the same occasion
LGB 1988 BTO 2
LGB 1988 BTO 2 - Courtesy of
This is the only image we could find. Don't expect these to come on the market often. YT is taken a wild guess by assuming this set was made for the "upper ten" of the LGB Club Pittsburgh/PA...

Well, LGB was on a roll concerning the 'tiny-series' edition volume train sets. On they went. After the city of Dortmund and their LGB club got a special edition train set (LGB 20536, see previous blog) , the home-based Nuremberg club didn't want to be left in the outfield... and got the 
LGB 20539-1
LGB 20539 1- Courtesy of Only Trains

Volume was 950 and the set was sold exclusively by Schweiger (LGB dealer) again. This time, Schweiger got another identical train set, too. With an edition volume of 50(!) the same set was made with the loco displaying a gold (colored) steam chest. 
LGB 20539 2
LGB 20539-2 - Courtesy of a now defunct business

 All 1,000 sets were numbered starting 1 through 1,000.

Maybe LGB finally figured  that after all there was actually no "method in this madness" since they stopped manufacturing these tiny volumes. If a business needs to make roughly $80 mill in sales a year just to make ends meet you're wasting your energy on dwarf series like that. So back to business as usual and 
LGB 21401
LGB 21401 - Courtesy of Only Trains

This set could be assembled from stock on shelf at LGB Nuremberg. The engine was the regular # 2020 and the cars were on regular catalog offer as well (# 4010, # 4042). The set was featured in the 1988/89 main catalog and the set came complete with a transformer, tracks and figurines. Price was DM 315.00 or about US$ 150.00 (relating to $ 350.00 today).

With all the LGB club hype going on that year in the USA LGBoA wanted some piece of the pie and got the 
LGB 21988
LGB 21988 - Courtesy of Only Trains
LGBoA got this Circus train set as an USA exclusive with an edition volume of 12,500. But as always, it didn't take long for the set to make its way back to Europe. With 12,500 produced - no wonder. They are still on the market and currently (mid October 2021) for sale  on eBay for roughly US$ 200.00.

++++++++++++++++++ to be continued...