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Variety is the Spice of Collecting!  Schuco and Their Classic Toy Train:  The Boxes

                                           ... Conclusion                Back to Start of Article

By Doug Burwell TCA #81-16885                     Summer-Fall 2014

An example of some of first red boxes
for Schuco Disneyland monorail accessories

As far as the boxes for the accessories, Schuco first started making them using the same red paper that surrounds the S sets and American sets.  These boxes are harder to collect for specific accessories because many of them are not marked as to what was contained inside.  Therefore, anyone could put just about anything inside these boxes.  However, several of the red boxes do have either paper labels or an ink stamp on them.  The red boxes were of a design that had both a bottom and top creating two individual sections.

I am guessing that the red boxes were only made during the first year of production, from the Fall of 1961 to the Fall of 1962.  Then they were replaced by a blue and white checkered box.  These boxes were constructed of one piece of cardboard and all have flaps and tabs that are susceptible to tearing.  Most of them bear a label stating what is inside.  The label usually includes a picture of the item.

Mark I boxes--Always a red monorail pictured, but the dot
on the end of the box indicated what color of monorail was really inside

Schuco did sell the Mark I monorail by itself, and it did come in a box.  The Mark I consisted of three units, the front engine unit, the middle car, and the rear car.  There is a checkered box for each unit, and each of these boxes fits into another box which organizes everything nicely.  The individual boxes seldom have labels, and the one large box always has a red monorail pictured on the outside.  If a buyer wished to know what color of monorail was inside, one would have to look for the colored dot (red, blue, or silver) that was placed on the end of the box.  There was also a red box for the Mark I monorail.  I have never seen it with a printed labeled, and there are no individual boxes inside.  A note here is that each unit could be purchased individually.  There was probably a red box for these and for sure checkered boxes as mentioned above.  When the checkered individual boxes were displayed for sale, they did have labels on them.  These labeled boxes are extremely hard to find.  Schuco never boxed a complete Mark II or four unit monorail.

Straight track boxes

One accessory that has a variety of styles of boxes is the 6333/1 straight track box.  The most common is the box containing 10 tracks, but Schuco also made a box that fits only 5 straight tracks.  Instead of making another label stating that there were only 5 tracks, Schuco simply stamped a “5” over the “10.”  I have also seen a 6333/1 label on a curved track box which is bigger than the standard straight track box.  It holds 14 straights.  In this case, someone physically marked a “14” over the “10.”

Insulated boxes

The next accessory that has two styles of boxes is the 6333/16 insulated straight track.  The common one is the one that holds 5 tracks, but I do have a box that contains 10 insulated tracks and is marked from the factory with the “10” ink stamp.

All boxes listed below

The 6333/19 pins have two different sizes of boxes.  Other accessories in this category are the 6333/26 automatic switch controller, the 6333/26/2 special pylon, the 6333/61 15mm pylon, and the 6333/72/3 extension cord for the 6333/27 block signal.  The extension cord box can come with a plain ink stamp label or the more common one with a picture.

Manual switch boxes

The 6333/21L and 6333/21R manual switches can come in the classic blue and white checkered box or a plain brown box.

80mm boxes

The 6333/66 80mm pylon box usually holds 10 pylons, but there is a large box that holds 14.  According to a Canadian collector, there is another small box that holds 6.

One note about the accessory boxes is that Schuco did not waste space.  Many of the accessories barely fit inside, and the ones that contain instruction sheets are really tight.

In my opinion and experience, Schuco collectors value the boxes, but not as heavily as Lionel collectors.  Therefore, it usually does not cost much more to obtain the box for the Schuco accessories.  In general, Schuco Disneyland monorail collectors are willing to pay more for complete set boxes.  Over the years, I have found it enjoyable and challenging to find all the boxes and variations.  It did take me 17 years to find every checkered box for every accessory with the 6333/44 top rail terminal board box being the last one I obtained to complete my collection.  To me, collecting the variety of boxes really adds to my model railroading experience.  Variety IS the spice of collecting, and with Schuco Disneyland monorails, there is not only a variety in the boxes, but in the pieces themselves and in the mechanics of the monorails, but that is another article for the future!

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