Märklin Toys - The Company:
Märklin, Inc. of New Berlin, Wisconsin is the American division of Märklin GmbH. Märklin Trains is the "World leader in model railroading," according to their Web site. The original German company manufactured other types of toys in addition to trains and train accessories. The company began in 1859, when tin smith Theodor Friedrich Wilhelm Märklin began producing doll house accessories made of lacquered tinplate.
Märklin's Trains Throughout the Years:
Märklin's original toy business in Germany manufactured the O, HO, and Z scale trains. The O scale was introduced around 1900, HO in 1935, and Z scale in 1972, according to About.com's Model Trains Guide. Märklin trains are known for their longevity and diversity in the industry.
The High Value of Märklin's Antique Toys:
In November, 2012, a Märklin toy boat broke an auction record
selling for $264,500 at Bertoia Auctions in Vineland, N.J. The tin paddle wheeler "Chicago", circa 1900-1902, belonged to collector and author Richard T. Claus.
Other examples of high prices paid at auction to own original Märklin toys:
- Märklin hand-painted tin gazebo with original doll - $12,650, Bertoia Auctions, 4/09.
- Märklin 2-gauge F&E live steam train - 22-inch locomotive and tender with 15-inch-long selection of cars, $32,200, Morphy Auctions, 3/09.
- Märklin painted-tin clockwork battleship Wilmington - $26,450, Morphy Auctions, 3/09.
- Märklin 0-gauge PLM passenger train set made in Germany for the American market - $13,800, Morphy Auctions, 9/08.
Are All Märklin Toys and Trains That Valuable?:
Not all Märklin examples bring such high prices, especially when it comes to the trains and accessories. The most expensive examples were made in the early 1900s in limited quantities. They generally must be in excellent condition to garner such high values at auction. However, even more common versions of Märklin's trian accessories are often worth several hundred dollars apiece if they are in very good to excellent condition.