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Lionel Trains

As with most original & successful ideas, the "Electric Express" gondola wasn't intended to be the iconic toy or model that Lionel trains would go on to be. The simple electric gondola was just designed to be a novel way for merchants to display items in store windows.

It was Lionel's idea that the motion of the train would attract and focus attention on the featured items inside the train. This novel concept succeeded in generating attention but failed as a marketing tool, as the attention and interest from store merchants, customers and passing pedestrians alike was exclusively on the "Electric Express" gondola itself. Many inquired about purchasing the electric train. This unexpected interest caused Lionel Cowen to rethink his original intentions and successfully enter the toy business which Lionel would eventually become king of.

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Today after several cycles of success and decline, Lionel is enjoying somewhat of a renaissance. With new owners who have and express a genuine love of trains and the model railroading hobby, greater attention to detail and realism, improved authentic & non-compromising re-issues of classic trains that have been known and loved by collectors through the years along with the creation of multiple product lines to fulfill the needs of everyone from the child getting his or her first train set to the serious collector looking for true scale and the finest details, Lionel Trains are back in a big way. Also, the competition such as MTH has really stepped up the state of the art and there is no room for complacency.