Monday, September 24, 2012

What it's Worth - evaluating an Original LGB loco

Klaus had a clinic at the St. Charles NGRC 2012 about evaluating your LGB loco. Unfortunately, not a lot of LGB'lers could come or did know about it. So- for all of you who are  interested in this subject, please find a "rerun" of the clinic contents below starting with a little historical review:
LGB started as Lehmann Patentwerk in Berlin Germany in 1881.They manufactured tin toys. If you click on the link below, you can see some of the toys they made
The original price of a toy was around 1.00 REM, which equals US$ 20.00 in present spending power. Today's auction prices range from EUR 900 to 1,200 (US $ 1,200 to US $ 1,500).
After WWII, the Lehmann family was dispossessed in the Russian sector of Berlin, fled and found a new home in Nuremberg. In 1950 a cousin of the Lehmann family opened a tin toy factory in Nuremberg. His sons, Eberhard and Wolfgang Richter, took over  in 1958. Then in 1968 the first LGB train was presented at the Nuremberg Toy Fair: loco #2 of the Austrian STLB railroad nicknamed “Stainz” (2010). Click on the link below for a nice look at the Original Loco

After the Stainz loco proved to be a huge success these locos were, in historical order for LGB manufactured next: the  "2060" Schoema Diesel, in 1971 the "2030" series, in 1974 the "2080" Harz, in 1977 the "2090" Diesel Köf and in 1983 work started on the "2018/ 2019" Mogul. That same year, your "Famous Klaus" joined the LGB team. Starting in 1968 all locomotives were numbered under the basic system:   2 0 x x
“2” for engines
“0” for series 0 – 9
“xx” last two digits define the loco type.---A "2019" equals a “Mogul” coal fired
4-digit numbers were used until 1992 being extended by a letter in the 1980s. 5-digit numbers were introduced 1993. Unfortunately, LGB left their own numbering system quite often.
Klaus and Yours Truly have spent the last years - thanks to the wonderful and time consuming work and help by Klaus Baumann - to complete year-by-year listings for LGB American locos. Now we can actually tell by the loco number (best from the original LGB box) when she was made, where she was made, how many were manufactured and when and taking into account the condition of the loco, what is the loco's worth and value. To evaluate the condition we look at these characteristics:
Year of manufacturing: Before 1999; manufactured in Germany. 2000 until 2006: manufactured in China and 2009 until today; New Märklin/LGB. Next we look at these conditions:
Marks of wear: dirt, smear, color fading
Marks of tear: scratches, aged surface, broken decorative parts, missing decorative parts,
Worn operational parts: power shoes + carbon brushes, wheels, axles, motor block housing (bearings), gear wheels, motors, cables, couplers, sound boards
Broken operational parts: motors, body parts, smokers, sound board
Original packaging and additional parts: condition --
To summarize we evaluate the loco according to
Year manufactured
Country of Origin
Volume manufactured
Demand and popularity today --- see example below
Willingness to respect the value --- see also example below
eBay… --- should not be used to evaluate the true value of your loco
Insurance and Certification --- may be needed in places were natural disasters happen more often
Following are two examples of evaluating a Forney. One is an old German made type, quite valuable actually but you would not see that mirrored on eBay. The other Forney is a beloved Wild West type with values asked for on eBay that range way above its actual value for insurance and replacement.
Example: mint condition 20252 Forney LG&B (Lake George & Boulder) #25
Manufactured 1995
In Germany
Assembled in Germany
Volume produced 1,991, very low volume (!)
Sales price in 1995: DM 765.00 to 850.00  (approx
.$ 950)

Value today: (adjusted for inflation and cost of living)
Insurance value: US$1,200.00
Achievable market value : US$ 650.00 to 800.00
Consolidated (future) collector’s market: US$ 1,400.00+ incr.
2nd Example: mint condition 24251 Forney Wild West
Manufactured 2005
In China
Assembled in China
Volume produced 650, extreme low volume (!)
Sales price in 2005: US$ 475.00 – 525.00

Value today: (adjusted for inflation and cost of living)
Insurance value: US$ 500.00
Achievable market value : US$ 475.00 
Consolidated (future) collector’s market: US$ 475.00 + incr.
(note: asking price on eBay in mid August was 650.00 for a little less than mint condition with 2 days to go and 8 bids already posted.)
Contact us for any further information you would like to see here or valuations you'd like to receive on your LGB train collection.