Guide to Marklin Boxes (1935 – 1941)

The range of Scale 00 Marklin boxes has changed drastically over the years.   Boxes can be very helpful in dating trains and adds considerably to the overall value of a train set or individual train.  Collectors are willing to pay higher prices if the original box is included.  Already in previous articles we discussed the important stamps and other symbols that help determine an item’s production date.  In this article we’ll review some of the common box styles, what periods they were produced in, and the different characteristics of each.

1935 – 1936

The earliest 00 Scale box was similar in design to previous Marklin boxes for larger scales:  it had a black and orange label on a plain brown box.  This box was used from 1935 to 1936, but sometimes we even see it in early 1937.  Charachteristics that differ with this early box is that the perforation on the top and bottom of the label extends all the way across the label edge in a uniform line.  Later boxes have different perforation patterns including some labels that only have a few perforation holes in the center of the label.  Postage stamp collectors will easily notice that this perforation is called the “pin hole” technique and actually punches a whole for the paper.  It’s not clear why Marklin used this technique on it’s labels as the labels certainly were not torn but rather cut along the perforation line.

 Marklin Box Style from 1935-36

Set boxes for Marklin train sets from 1935-36 were commonly found in a purple colored carton with an illustrated picture of a railway scene on the box top.  The sets also had orange/white labels indicating the set number (example: R 727, or others listed here) and also the voltage label (20 VOLT).

Marklin Set Box Cover from 1935-36


The next type of box had a orange and white label and a similar brown box that was lighter in color.   This type of box was used from 1937 to 1938 but there was another kind of box also introduced in 1938 that will be discussed next.


The year 1938 brought many changes to Marklin.  The “Perfect Reverse” system was introduced as well as a change in design of boxes for the entire range of 00 Scale production.  Marklin introduced their famous red-diamond or bicycle box (named because of the pattern of the red Marklin logo which looked like a bicycle).  This type of box was used for the remained of our focus of discussion (up to 1956) but in many different variations.  The type of box pictured below was used from 1938 to 1943.  Locomotive boxes had an orange and white label and coaches and wagons had a plain white label.

Marklin Red-Diamond Box for R 800 with Orange/White Label

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