All Blog

Collection Blog



TroveStar Blog

TroveStar Micro-Trains Collectors' Guide

Author:

Initially Published:

Updated: 2016-11-01

Introduction

This article details many of the features of an N Scale Micro-Trains product from a collector's perspective. Designed to provide the pertinent information needed to identify significant production variations spanning 1972 to the present day, this readily accessible reference guide is an invaluable resource for increasing one's knowledge of the most common Micro-Trains® product and packaging deviations.

Compiled specifically for TroveStar LLC, relevant data is regularly added to this data compilation.

Part 1: History

Eventually used to market their patented and revolutionary Magne-Matic® HO-Scale knuckle coupler system, the firm that would later be called Kadee® Quality Products initially sold the model train turnouts manufactured by twin brothers Clarence "Keith" Edwards (February 10, 1921 - July 26, 2012) and Lawrence "Dale" Edwards Sr. (February 10, 1921 - September 19, 2014).



Both functional and realistic looking, the brothers' Magne-Matic® HO-Scale couplers soon became the gold standard for model railroad coupling operations.

The Kadee® moniker was derived from the first letters of the brothers middle names.

Having successfully developed and begun manufacturing an N-Scale (which was a relatively new scale in the 1960s) version of their now legendary Magne-Matic® knuckle coupler system by the early 1960s, the gradual addition of trucks, underframes, and wheels culminated in the brothers introduction of their first Micro-Trains® freight car in 1972.

In 1990, following thirty-five years of steady growth in Medford, Oregon, Kadee® Quality Products was physically divided into two separate business entities.

Kadee® (Dale's portion of the enterprise) continues to produce HO-Scale freight cars and HO through G Scale accessories from its White City, Oregon location.

Until shortly before his passing, Dale remained involved with Kadee® business operations.



Newly incorporated in October 1990 as Micro-Trains® Line Co. (Keith's portion of the business), Z, Nn3, and N Scale products continued to be produced at the Medford plant until the firm was subsequently relocated in 1993 to its present location, a purpose-built 33,000 square foot plant in Talent, Oregon.

After retiring in 2000, Keith and his wife Coral sold their interest in Micro-Trains® Line to their immediate family in 2001.



Given how much offshoring has occurred in recent decades, it is worthy to note that to the present day, the majority of the Micro-Trains® Line products continue to be manufactured in the United States.

Part 2: Trivia

Part 3: The Jewel Boxes

Part 4: The Insert Labels



Note: Magne-Matic® knuckle coupler equipped models were packaged with a white paper insert label, while Rapido coupler equipped models (circa 1971 - 1977) were packed with yellow paper inserts.

Part 5: Factory Pricing

Price Tags


Note: While the majority of the barcoded models have MSRPs, a few instances of barcoded insert labels without retail pricing have been observed.

Part 6: Factory Shrink-Wrap

While plastic jewel-boxed models packaged in sets that were originally released by Kadee® Micro-Trains® and Micro-Trains® Line had factory applied plastic shrink-wrapping, for various reasons, only dealers and end-users shrink-wrapped individually boxed products.

Part 7: Stock Numbers

Part 8: Chassis and Step Information

Part 9: Door Variations



Part 10: Truck Variations

Part 11: Wheel Variations

Note: Although deep-flanged wheel sets were never officially named, model train operators have unofficially bestowed the moniker "pizza cutter" upon these first (second. if rib-backed wheel sets are taken into account) generation products.

The copyright for this article is held by: TroveStar LLC
All of the text on this page is ©2016 ToveStar LLC. The images on this page are being used with specific permission granted by their copyright holders.