Category Archives: Marklin Magazin

Marklin Z: One of the Last Great Collectibles!

Photo: Insider Model 2012: 88010 – BR 001 for DB (no longer available)

Are we collecting or are we acquiring: that is the question. When Marklin Z comes into a collection a bit of railroad history is preserved and a commitment is made by this generation to future generations that hold that Marklin’s history and the greater history of railroading is worth preserving.

Photo: Special Imprint (SMI) 88820: “Swiss Cheese” class Am 4/4 pictured with type Hbis freight car also featuring “Swiss Cheese” paint scheme. (no longer available)

Marklin Z gauge is one of the last great collectibles, it will persevere well into the future, and what has been released thus far since 1972 are limited and rare. Rarity is well liked by collectors of all types, but collecting Marklin mini-club (Z) is truly unique from all other collectibles due to their leadership and innovation in z gauge. There are other companies some small and some large producing z gauge products but Marklin is linked to z gauge by the very fact they invented it in 1972, they continue that history today with innovations including true catenary operation through roof equipped pantographs on their electric locos, realistic working side rods on the steam engines, and numerous diesel loco types including the Russian Ludmillas.

Photo: Export Model for France 2003: 88063 – Reihe 232 TC (no longer available)

Many collected “toys” (only time this word will be used on this blog because railroading is serious business! I’m kidding its loads of fun too!!!) these days are secondary market items from long defunct and beloved companies such as Buddy L from the 20’s. It is exciting to dig around a find some rare item that has not been made for 80-100 years or more, but with Marklin anyone can jump in and start collecting from a company in business since 1859. Buy a mini-club loco today and within a year or two or even a few months it will be out of production and already a collectible. Keeping the condition of your new train pristine is part and parcel to collecting anything, but with Marklin this extends to keeping the box in good condition. Want to run a train on a layout simply select the railroad you want to model and keep the other fine locos and rolling stock on display, displaying is just as much fun as driving those trains.

Photo: Marklin Magazin Edition 88953: BR 74 with lettering and Prussian Blue paint scheme for Marklin Magazin (still in production). Note: 1st locomotive release for the “Marklin Magazin” editions.

For collectors Marklin Z new releases are limited and rare falling into several categories: MHI Releases, Special Imprinted Editions, Export Models, Insider Models, Museum Editions, Marklin Magazine Editions, and general releases. Marklin Handlers Initiative includes releases only available to dealers that subscribe to the MHI program, this subscription includes ordering everything Marklin releases, MHI’s are One Time Series. Export Models are limited to distribution in the given country the release represents thus Swiss Export Models are distributed to Swiss dealers in a One Time Series. Insider Models are available only to Insider Members who maintain year long membership in the insider Club for about $100/ year with many benefits. Museum Editions are car sets inspired by companies with ties to Goppingen, Germany the home of Marklin’s headquarters. Usually housed in a specially printed tin box museum editions include a freight car and sometimes a cast metal truck or van. Marklin Magazin Editions are distributed in the United States by Walthers, these One Time Series freight cars usually depict a new car type, they are always painted Prussian Blue with Marklin Magazin insignia, and sometimes the car designs are inspired by the magazine’s printing production including one car that included a load of reams of printing paper. General Releases are those cars and locos that are announced by Marklin and commonly distributed throughout the world, but aside from the perception of wide distribution these items are still very limited and rare with popular releases selling out fast. Of the categories so described Special Imprints and Export Models are the most difficult to collect with secondary market dealers being the only source for these with the exception of direct purchase from German dealers including those with listings on Ebay.

Photo: Marklin MHI release (2016) 88216: BR 212 (diesel) for DB AG (out of production: still available)

Photo: Marklin regular release (2013) 88998: BR 38 Era III (former Prussian P8) passenger loco with tub style tender (no longer available). Note: BR 38’s have been in the Marklin mini-club program for years including trainsets, but the 88998 was the first generation of this loco type with highly detailed side rods and running equipment. This is one of favorite mini-club locos, it is a real pleasure to watch pulling Prussian coaches its action on the rails is melodic.

Part of the fun of collecting Marklin Z is rarity, this singular aspect of this hobby is underscored by small productions of one time series in multiple categories: Marklin Z the readymade collectible!

 

Quick Notes: BR 74 tank locomotive

88953_2 88954_5

Marklin introduced the German BR 74 tank locomotive for mini-club in 1982 as a Serie 96 painted and lettered for SNCB. Since then there have been 8 individual releases plus 5 trainsets with this locomotive type.  New tooling effectively changed the appearance of the BR 74 with the recent releases of 88953 (Marklin Magazin), 88954 (SNCB) and 88956 (SNCF-not pictured) thereby granting this tank locomotive detailed running gear and side rods. One of the great advancements at Marklin is reworking the mini-club line-up of steam engines with advanced side rod tooling and detailing, it is remarkable that this new generation of mini-club steam locos has so many moving parts successfully moving and rotating in such small scale: lively action and even closer to the prototype than ever before. And LED’s are now installed in the latest 3 offerings. The LED’s are bright and non directional necessitating some masking to prevent light spillage outside the loco shell, this is achieved with heavy duct style black tape. Routine maintenance on this loco type is achieved by carefully removing shell by gently holding front end and lifting up, the headlamp lens also functions as a clip for the shell. A little gentle pressure is all that is needed to lift front end first. To reinstall simply slide tender side of shell over motor and pivot front end onto chassis. To secure shell use a very small screwdriver and gently wriggle the headlamp clip until shell engages. *Applying enough pressure to reattach shell without wriggling the clip a bit could result in it breaking or coming unglued. As of this writing you may start to find it difficult to locate the three new releases, they were produced in a limited number and collectors seem to be going head over heals for these and their respective car sets. The Marklin Magazin release is stunning in “Prussian Blue” paint scheme.

Blue? Prussian Blue rolling on the rails

Marklin Magazin has been published by Marklin for a number of years, it is a glossy well produced magazine with contents covering Marklin trains and train history. And it is included with your ‘Insider’ membership! So what’s with the title of this post Prussian Blue? Prussian Blue is the traditional blue used in blueprints and since 2001 the characteristic color used for Marklin Magazin’s special edition cars. Marklin Magazin’s “Car of the Year” is often Marklin’s car with new tooling for that year, pigmented in Prussian Blue and lettered for Marklin Magazin. Sometimes a theme is introduced such as the 2002 release 80812: type Lgjs 598 flat car loaded with tanks corresponding to printer’s ink used in the production of the magazine. Or the 2006 release 80816: type low side car with brakeman’s platform loaded with real rolls of paper, Marklin notes 20 metric tons of paper are used for each issue of Marklin Magazin. New releases of Magazin special edition cars are available from your dealer through Walthers, but they sell out quickly.