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Everyone's Got A Favorite!-The complete Entenmann's® Series, or is it…?

By Al Schwartz, Stu Rankin & Bob Mintz                        Winter 2021


The Three Amigos
(left to right) Stu, Bob & Al

Having moved from downtown Manhattan after 911 and settling on the east end of "Longuyland", Bob became involved with fellow toy train afficionados, retired FDNY "Fireman" Al Schwartz and retired VP for Grumman Aerospace George Faeth. They decided to pool their combined talents into a not for profit called LITTLE (Long Island Toy Train Locomotive Engineers).

Al had the experience of being assistant secretary and club car agent for several other toy train clubs and had a terrific working relationship with various members of the Lionel staff.

George was VP supervising over 2000 employees for Grumman out on Long Island and had a hand in developing the original NASA Lunar Module, having worked directly with Neil Armstrong.

Bob has a degree in accounting and worked on Wall Street, was an author and Editor for LOTS and later was the original editor and contributor for TCA's e*Train at its inception in March 2002.

It was decided that Al would be the Public Relations Department, working directly with the Lionel staff and be the shipping department, mailing out the products to our customers. George would do the mass advertising and mail the flyers and be the accounts receivable and collect the receipts from our patrons and accounts payable, also paying our bills. Bob would offer various ideas and designs, produce graphics and images for approval and revision (he never utilized version 1 of a concept, ever), and calculate the budget and pricing for the products.

In 1898, William Entenmann opened a bakery in Brooklyn, New York. Traveling by horse-drawn buggy, he delivered bread, cakes and other baked goods door to door. In the early 1900's the family moved to Bay Shore, Long Island, not far from where we all lived.

Enter Al, who had a contact with someone at the Entenmann's bakery's main office on Long Island. We approached the Entenmann's officials with some drawings of an Entenmann's TOFC (Trailer On Flat Car); similar trucks were a common sight in his neighborhood, entering and leaving the bakery. A year went by and we were a tad disappointed, but we finally got the green light and approval from the Entenmann's higher ups.


#52497 Entenmann's Lionel Artwork-trailer


#52497 Entenmann's Lionel Artwork-truck

For those of you who wonder what the process is in making a Club Car, we submitted sketches and Lionel produced the artwork for our, and in this specific case, Entenmann's, approval. The results were extremely favorable and became a multi-car arrangement.


#52497 RMLI Entenmann's Flat Car w/Trailer

There was a 500 minimum quantity to order with Lionel at that time, and a two-tiered cost system, one below and another above 1000 units ordered. Fortunately, it turned out to be the latter and we were off to the races.

The result was the 2008 issue #52497 RMLI Entenmann's® Flat Car w/Trailer.

The process from design to production to delivery can take up to a year, especially with the factory overseas.


#52557 RMLI 2010 Entenmann's Operating Boxcar

We came up with the idea of another transportation method, (albeit a fantasy), that being the #52557 Entenmann's Operating Boxcar.

Shopping one day at a local King Kullen, the "original supermarket" (see a later product # 52577 RMLI {Railroad Museum of Long Island} King Kullen Box Car), Bob noticed upon checkout, a box of Entenmann's doughnuts (Mmmmm…donuts) in their usual windowed white with blue lettered box. He had been reminded of the Lionel 1996 Toy Fair Boxcar with the blue rather than the more usual orange box. (See: http://www.tcaetrain.org/articles/collecting/blueboy/index.html.)


#58243 LITTLE/METCA Entenmann's Gondola special packing

Why couldn't we do something similar, he thought. One of his axioms is, "if you don't ask, you don't get." Both Lionel and Entenmann's agreed that it was how the idea behind the special packaging came to fruition.

#58520 LITTLE Entenmann's Vat Car

Having been to the Entenmann's® bakery on multiple occasions, the scent and smells danced within our heads and caused us to become desirous of something sweet. So far, we had produced two items exporting the final product to the public at large. What about importing the various ingredients for the actual production? We wondered what the major ingredients were. The answer turned into our next issue, the 2012 #58520 Entenmann's® Vat Car.

#58562 LITTLE Entenmann's Covered Quad Hopper

Another factor for Lionel in making Club Cars and other special production, is that they were producing similar regular issue items in their current catalog. That is how the 2014 #58562 Entenmann's ® Covered Quad Hopper come to realization.

#58598 LITTLE/METCA Entenmann's Tank Car

During this time, amongst the many hats that Bob was wearing, he also became TCA National Treasurer. The 2015 National Convention was to occur in METCA territory, their home Division. George had wanted to retire from our projects, which also included the move and reassembly and completion of the Lionel Visitor's Center (LVC) layout from Michigan to Long Island. (to be shown in a future e*Train article). We decided to devote our next product in order to help METCA with the costs of the convention and donated our remaining assets to them and produced a tank car that Stu Rankin had thought up and designed.

#58243 LITTLE/METCA Entenmann's Gondola

As Al was the point man with Entenmann's, which was now sold and resold and was in the process of permanently moving off of Long Island, our final offering was another Stu Rankin idea, the 2016 #58243 Entenmann's gondola, which featured the names of popular Entenmann's products on the crates.

Or so we thought…

Continued on Next Page

Second Decade.
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