Marklin Catalog Codes & Pricelists
Marklin pricelists were sent along with catalogs for consumers to purchase and browse the new and current Marklin train items offered. Pricelists can be found written in many languages including German, English, French, Spanish, and more. To give an idea of the Marklin prices in such pricelists, we can use the 1951 pricelist from F.A.O. Schwarz located at 745 5th Ave. COR. 58th Street, New York.
|No||USA $||No||USA $||No||USA $|
|RM 800||23||DT 800||43.50||311||2.95|
|TM 800||17.50||RE 848/4||88||311 H||3.65|
|HR 800||39||ST 800||75||311 K||3.65|
|SK 800||39||ST 800 MT||9||311 S||3.65|
|TT 800||37||362||1.65||314 BP||4.60|
|G 800||47.50||366||2.70||314 E||4.60|
|RSM 800||19.50||367||2.95||314 G||4.60|
|SE 800||27||371||1.80||314 S||4.60|
|RE 800||45||372 G||2.15||316 N||4.25|
|MS 800||42||374 ESSO||2.70||321||3.95|
|CCS 800||60||374 SHELL||2.70||321 G||4.25|
|HR 846/4||110||393||4.25||320 S||6.65|
To give some perspective to these prices, we can look at the costs of household items in America during the year 1951.
Average income: $3,515
Ford car: $1424-$2253
8.3 cu. ft. General Electric refrigerator: $330
Postage stamp: $.03
Source: Fifties Web
Many Marklin catalog collectors today are constantly searching for pricelists to accompany their catalogs. The pricelist is almost like an original box to a locomotive to complete the entire “package.” Much like catalogs, we can obtain a great deal of information about a pricelist simply by looking at the small print code in the lower left hand corner. Read the article below to learn about how to find the print number, date of printing, and the printing house.
Printing Codes and Catalogs
Almost every year, Märklin produced printed catalogs that would often be included in starter sets or laid out in hobby stores. Catalogs showed off the new products that Märklin produced for that year. The earliest catalog known in existence today consists of hand drawn pictures of the Märklin production line from 1890. The first strictly HO/00 scale catalog was printed in 1935, following Märklin’s introduction of the new HO/00 scale. This catalog was printed in English, German, Dutch, French, and Spanish. From 1935 – 1939, catalogs were printed for Great Britain and included LMS and LNER variants. The famous E 800 locomotive is featured in this catalog and now has an auction estimate of over $35,000 if one becomes available.
Märklin used special printing codes for their catalogs which are commonly printed in the lower left-hand or right-hand corner of the catalog’s cover or on the inside of the cover page. These codes can be used to determine the number printed, month of printing, year of printing, and where the catalog was printed (Märklin used outsourced printers).
Codes – Number of Catalogs Printed:
O – 2
Y – 3
M – 4
A – 5
R – 6
K – 7
L – 8
I – 9
N – 0
If using the “TOYMARKLIN” pattern, each letter represents a multiple of 1,000 editions, we can use this number as a base number for deciphering our codes. Thus, the print code “A 751” would give us the information: 5,000 printed (A=5 –> 5 (A)*1,000(base) = 5,000), printed in the month of July, and printed in the year 1951. However, the pattern “toymarklin” with lowercase letters can also be used, but this pattern represents multiples of 100 printed. A lowercase “t” would be 100 printed and a lowercase “m” would be 400 printed.
Comparison of Export Models for USA and Great Britain in the 1930s
|R 700 LMS
R 700 LNER
R 700 S LMS
R 700 S LNER
SLR 700 LMS
SLR 700 LNER
HR 700 LMS
HR 700 LNER
R 800 LMS
R 800 LNE
SLR 800 LMS
SLR 800 LNE
HR 800 LMS
HR 800 LNE
E 800 LMS
|HR 700 A
R 700 A
As the table above shows, the market for Great Britain was given much more attention in terms of special variants produced. Considering the above table only shows locomotives and not the many starter sets and passenger cars also produced for Great Britain, the American market was much smaller. That is why few Märklin dealers existed in the 1930s. New York had Richard Maerklin Trains, and Illinois and Oklahoma had a few hobby shops offering Märklin in the 1930s.
Codes – Common Examples
A 0845 r – 5,000 printed in August of 1945
In addition to catalogs, the same printing codes can be applied to pricelists that were included with the catalogs. These pricelists are printed commonly on pink paper, but were also printed on white and blue paper as well. Similarly, Märklin printed New Item “Neuheiten” catalogs that would show new products throughout the year that were sent to dealers. Instruction sheets follow a similar pattern.
To gain even more information about catalogs, pricelists, and sometimes instruction sheets, one can look at dealers stamps. When Märklin sent printed materials to dealers, they would often stamp the paper with information containing the hobby shop name, location, and sometimes the owner of the store. In the USA during the 1930s and 1940s, Richard Märklin Trains was the main importer of Märklin for the United States, located in New York (Picture below).