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Marklin Auction at Muenchner Spielzeugauktion

Marklin collectors are sure to know the “Brockmann” name for Marklin – from its long history in the auction business and also the production of spare parts.  With the more recent auctions from Münchner Spielzeugauktion we see that the business has new ownership directing the auction house.  As the tradition continues there are many wonderful lots in the latest auctions for collectors to enjoy.  We are especially pleased with the accuracy of the descriptions and attention to detail in the presentation of the lots.  The auction house’s website can be found here:

As a side note, it is believed that the spare parts business from Brockmann was taken over by the company Ritter years ago.

In their latest auction we are pleased to see many wonderful treasures including a rare E 800 LMS.  The piece’s provenance (history) is incredibly important as it was sold by the auction company in 2001 for 40.000 DM.  While some Marklin pieces have fallen in price recently, top rarities such as the E 800 LMS have not only held their prices firm but also gone considerably higher depending on condition, originality, and the provenance of the piece.

Marklin E 800 LMS locomotive produced for the English market for just one year, 1938

Another lot includes the rare Marklin 416 station which in some versions bears the controversial symbol of the Nazi party leading up to WWII.  The particular lot in this auction does not show the symbol, and the auction house is prudent to point out that the flag is a replica.  Many Marklin sellers on eBay and elsewhere do not always accurately describe their pieces, leaving out that certain parts are reproductions or repainted.  We are pleased to see here that this auction house pays particular attention to accurately describing such details.

Marklin 416 station produced in 1935-36

The auction also features some larger gauge items (O and I Gauge) including a French Mountain steam locomotive ME 70 12920.  The “70” in the model number means the locomotive is equipped with the improved remote reversing system as opposed to the hand-reversing of the “66” series.

Marklin ME 70 12920 with reproduction box

This particular model was sold in several different varieties.  The black version came with wheels that were either the typical red or black as seen in this lot.  It is not known what caused these variations – there is perhaps a correlation with more red-wheeled ME locomotives showing up in the American market.  Here again the auction house is careful to point out that the box is a replica.  Since the box is slightly used and worn this could be particularly difficult for collectors to discern from an original box.  However, with careful examination of the box labels, particularly the colors and stampings, the label is an obvious reproduction.

In O Gauge is a fantastic reproduction by the company HEHR (or similar manufacturer) which is known for producing quality reproductions of many of Marklin’s models from the 1920s and 1930s.  HEHR only reproduced this locomotive in Gauge O, which Marklin never originally produced.  Marklin only produced this locomotive in Gauge 1, which HEHR scaled down.  Twerenbold, however, did product a replika of this locomotive in Gauge 1. The Rheinuferbhan is a famous railway in Germany that connected the cities Bonn and Koln (Cologne).

Rheinuferbahn from the 1930s, Gauge O, replica possibly by HEHR

All in all, the Muenchner Spielzeugauktion presents yet another fantastic auction for collectors.  And this time, the auction is at the Hans-Peter Porsche Traumwerk in Germany near the Austrian border, which we covered in another article.  The museum shall be a wonderful venue for an auction with such incredible pieces.

Marklin O Gauge Collection HR 70 12920 and TW 66 12940

Marklin collection directly after opening 3 original wooden shipping crates. The third crate in the rear is filled entirely with metal track.


Overview of the collection. One wooden crate had a newspaper at the bottom date from the 1950s. The Pre-War set was shipped to the USA following WWII.

German shipping label on one of the wooden crates. Although difficult to read the hand-writing, I believe the German city possibly reads “Dresden.”  The beginning of the street name read “Lü” then becomes illegible and ends with “str” which is the abbreviation for “Strasse” or street in German.

The fencing and crossing gate of the “Bahnwaerterhaus” came off the base, but luckily nearly all parts were present. The parts were found at the bottom of the shipping crate!

A cardboard template is made for the smoke deflector.


Tinplate smoke deflectors are made. The wiring (repurposed paperclips) will be soldered to the smoke deflector to create the ridge around the outline.

The new smoke deflectors are fitted before soldering.


Parts are reattached to the base and signs are added to the top of the original sign posts.

A house is constructed out of tinplate for the train crossing guard.


The final work, still missing the faux tree where the base is. This tree will later be reconstructed or an original tree will be added.

The smoke deflector after initial painting. The linkage and buffers still need to be reattached. The smoke deflectors need final sanding and another coat of paint.

The crossing guard house has initial coats of paint. The original door was pressed with indentations, but this process is very difficult to replicate without heavy machinery. Instead painted shadows are used to simulate the same effect. The paint still needs sanding, a final coat, and lacquer.

Marklin Bahnwarterhaus with TW (Flying Hamburger), switching tower, and signal.

Taking Flight with Marklin: A History of Toys with Wings

The era of aviation introduced adventure-seekers to the world of the sky.  Previously only  enjoyed by birds, the sky was now part of man’s domain – with a little help by some fantastic machines.  The first vehicles to hit the skies were powered by hot air, gas, and balloons.  One famous example is the Marklin Zeppelin airship.  The concept was simple: the air trapped inside the balloon heats up by way of a burner, making the air in the balloon less dense than the air outside.  Just as heat rises, so does the balloon!  Up until this point, Marklin toys traditionally traveled land and sea with trains, vehicles, boats, and submarines.  Aviation introduced a new playing field for youngsters – air!

Marklin Zeppelin: first toys take to the skies

The first Marklin toys to hit the skies not surprisingly didn’t have wings.  The hot air balloon concept was mechanically much easier to accomplish.  While hot gases, burners, and thin fabric balloons were potentially dangerous, the concept was much more simple than the power and precision required to get a winged vehicle off the ground.  Marklin produced a various Zeppelin-Airships and hot air blimps.  Some imitated realistic operation with propellers driven by a clockwork mechanism and could run along a string zip-line.  Two rollers affixed to the top of the zeppelin would allow the zeppelin to glide along the string.  The first Zeppelins from Marklin were produced in the early 1900s.

Märklin, 5430/4 Ballonhalle für Zeppelin Luftschiffe von 1909. Source

Märklin, 5430/4 Hanger for Zeppelin hanger boat from 1909. Source

A very rare 1909 Airship Hangar for Zeppelins. It floats with pontoons, gangway and anchors.  This is the very long version and can take all the Märklin Zeppelins up to 18″ in length.  We can see the original floating hangar from 1900 this model was based on in the slideshow below.

Starting circa 1909 we have identified three different variations of the Marklin Zeppelin airship. A table shows the different versions and descriptions:

5401 Features “ZEPPELIN” and Marklin crest logo stamped in tin on both sides of Zeppelin underside. Length approximately 9.5 inches.
5403 Same as prior version, but approximately 11.5 inches in length.
5403 The largest version approximately 18 inches in length. The underside of the Zeppelin features a cabin with two windows on each side. The Marklin crest logo and “ZEPPELIN” are stamped into the tin and flank this cabin. Some variations (perhaps early versions) feature a Marklin logo that is rubber-stamped instead of embossed into the tin.

Later in the 1930s Marklin introduced the “Graf Zeppelin” airships.  While airplanes were certainly well into commercial existence, the prospect of luxury airships for civilian air travel seemed promising.  Zeppelin Airships were massive and featured smoking rooms, lavatories, dining rooms, sleeping cabins, fully functioning kitchens, and much more.  Airplanes of the day did not feature such luxuries and certainly were smaller and much more noisy than a giant balloon drifting through the air.  Unfortunately the crash of the LZ 129 Hindenburg in New Jersey in 1937 changed public opinion on the safety of such airships.  Newsreel coverage, photographs, and the recorded radio broadcast of the horrific crash shattered public confidence in airships.

Graf Zeppelin Airship DLZ 127, clockwork or electric, Märklin 5406 and 13806 ( D13 1936/37 ).

Graf Zeppelin Airship DLZ 127, clockwork or electric, Märklin 5406 and 13806 ( D13 1936/37 ).

To commemorate Marklin’s 140th anniversary, the company produced a special limited edition of the Graf Zeppelin.  The airship replica carried model number 11400. The model is silver metal with the following markings:  “D-LZ 130” in black, “Graf Zeppelin” in red on the body and “Marklin 1859-1999” and the company crest in black on the tail.  It is built to 1:600 scale and nearly 2 feet long.

Marklin biplanes



Marklin No. 5418 from catalog 1909

Marklin No. 5418 from catalog 1909


Marklin Biplane 5418, largest plane dates from 1909. Source Christie's

Marklin Biplane 5418, largest plane dates from 1909. Source Christie’s

Marklin JU aircraft

In 1930, Ernst Zindel and his team designed the JU 52 at the Junkers factory in Dessau, Germany. The aircraft’s corrugated duralumin metal skin strengthened the whole structure while keeping a low weight profile for the plane to carry additional cargo and passengers.  The airplane saw both military and civilian service during the 1930s and 1940s.

Marklin’s first prototype of this aircraft Junkers JU 52/53 was likely built before 1933 for an exhibition.  Photos of the prototype show the German national colors on the tail of the airplane along with “LUFTHANSA” lettering along the sides of the aircraft.  Later special prototypes and exhibition pieces featured the Nazi swastika insignia on the airplane tails.  These examples were thus likely produced post-1933 when the German parties transitioned power.  The below airplanes have a fantastic provenance coming from the Marklin family and were sold by Auktionshaus Hohenstaufen in Goppingen in a February 2017 auction fetching extraordinary prices.

Marklin Prototype Planes from Marklin Family Ownership. Sold in February Auction

Marklin Prototype Planes from Marklin Family Ownership. Sold in February Auction



Three Engined Air Liner built with set No.1152, Märklin Aeroplane Construction Sets (edited from Märklin catalogue D13 1936/37)

Air Liner built with construction set No. 1152 (catalog D13 1936/37)



Marklin Carousels, Stations, and More at Live Auction

It has been an exciting time for live auctions containing Marklin lots.  Here we present some of the top highlights.  The first is a fantastic (original!) Marklin carousel with a built-in musical instrument that functions as the carousel turns.  A piece like this embodies Marklin’s incredible charm as a toymaker and also their engineering skill and attention to detail.  Marklin employees were both artists and skilled engineers!  Marklin has since produced a reproduction of this carousel and also the steam engine that could power the turning of the carousel.  These items were released as Marklin 16121 and Marklin 16051 for the carousel and compound steam engine respectively.

Marklin, Karussell 8847 mit Musikwerk

A Marklin carousel sold for 130,000 EUR in Germany by antico mondo.

A Marklin carousel sold for 130,000 EUR in Germany by antico mondo. (view lot)

Marklin Pullman coach 60cm

Marklin Pullman coach "Ithaca" sold for $5,500 by Pook & Pook with Noel Barrett

Marklin Pullman coach “Ithaca” sold for $5,500 by Pook & Pook with Noel Barrett (view lot)

Marklin produced the long 60cm Pullman coaches in O Gauge during the 1930s.  Other similar coaches (although much shorter) were produced earlier in both Gauge I and O Gauge.  Rarest of all the cars is the Pullman observation coach which has a veranda at the very end.  In the United States, these Pullman coaches were popular as presidential trains.  Presidents would tour the country on their lavish coaches to give speeches from the end of the train on the small veranda.  The Commodore Vanderbilt locomotive AK 66 / 12920 is commonly seen hauling these long 60cm cars from Marklin.

The Pullman Company factory in Richmond, CA

The Pullman Company factory in Richmond, CA

Marklin Central Station Nr. 2651

Marklin Central Station fetched $15,000

Marklin Central Station fetched $15,000 (view lot)

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Marklin Crocodiles: Genealogy of the Swiss CCS 800 Locomotive

The Swiss crocodile is perhaps one of the most beautiful and exotic-looking locomotives of the time.  Its articulated design makes it an engineering marvel.  Seeing it traverse the mountainous regions of Switzerland must have been an incredible sight!  Without question, the scale models produced by Marklin of this Swiss legend for almost a century paid close attention to detail and design.  Collectors around the world cherish Marklin crocodiles for their incredible design and aesthetic appearance.  Whether in green, brown, or white livery, each locomotive is an absolute treasure to behold!  Don’t yet have a Swiss beauty in your Marklin collection?  There are always many rare Marklin crocodile locos available for sale on eBay at any given time.

Swiss crocodile prototype designs

The SBB (Swiss Federal Railways) first ordered a prototype locomotive, named SBB-CFF-FFS Ce 6/8 I number 14201, in early June 1917. These first production “Krokodil” locomotives were built between 1919 and 1927. The original full-production run produced 33 class Ce 6/8 II and 18 class Ce 6/8 III locomotives, making a total of 51 locomotives. These locomotives, with their articulated “noses” and many axles, had incredible pulling power and hauled heavy goods trains, commonly including coal cars, on the steep tracks of the Gotthardbahn originating in Lucerne.  This route also went through the famous Gotthard Tunnel in the middle of the Swiss Alps.


As early as 1923-1924 an Austrian firm began producing an Austrian crocodile from the Swiss designs

As early as 1923-1924 an Austrian firm began producing an Austrian crocodile from the Swiss designs

Early beginnings of the Marklin crocodile design

Some of the earliest models with semblance to the Marklin crocodiles were actually so-called “alligator” locomotives.  These locomotives were first produced in the early 1920s.  In HO scale this kind of design would be shown in the SE 800 or SET 800 locomotives.  The SE 800 or SET 800 locomotives are not meant to be a “mini” crocodile.  Instead, these are made after the German “E44”-class locomotive. They are also called “Eisenschwein” – “metal-pig”, or “rail-pig” depending on the translation.

In the 1934 catalog we can see the Gauge 1 crocodile numbered CCS 66 12921.  This locomotive is highly sought after and fetches incredible prices at auction.  Since such toys were relatively expensive and only within reach for wealthy families, some collectors surmise that less than a few hundred examples were original sold around the world.

CCS 66 12921 in D11 (1934) Catalog

CCS 66 12921 in D11 (1934) Catalog

What makes this locomotive easily recognizable from its smaller cousin the O Gauge CCS 66 12920 locomotive is the dual-motor design.  Each articulated leg of the locomotive has its own motor that powers the two main drive axles.  Since there are two motors in this locomotive, each opposite side of the locomotive has visible brush covers.  This makes servicing of the motor and brushes very easy as they are accessible without having to remove the articulated section bodies.

Marklin CCS 800 in HO Scale

Although Marklin survived the War, its plans for a CCS model in HO scale were significantly delayed.  Its pre-war plans for an HO crocodile were not realized until its release of the CCS 800 in 1947.  The first prototype of this model carried the number CCS 700 from the pre-war years.  Only one example is known which remains today in the Marklin museum in Goppingen.  Based on the black claw couplers this locomotive likely dates from 1936 or 1937.  Although the pantographs pose a slight discrepancy as they are not the version from the RS 700, but rather appear to be from the RS 800 model which was first conceived in 1938.

The first HO Scale CCS prototype which wasn't realized until post-WWII

The first HO Scale CCS 700 prototype later realized as the CCS 800 in 1947.

Marklin produced Version 1 of the CCS 800 in 1947.  This first version is distinct from later variants .2 and .3 because of its Schlitz Schrauben or slotted screws that secure the side linkages to the wheels.  Later versions .2 and .3 produced in the following years had hexagonal screws.  There is also a slight color difference between the first version and the next few subsequent versions.


Marklin CCS 800 from 1948/49 is either a Version .2 or .3 with hexagonal screws, square-framed lamps, and small journal boxes

In the year 1949 the model CCS 800 was reinvented in a new design with engineering elements more similar to the other “Super Model” introduced in the late 1940s.  In the first few years the only change to the new model was the addition of the sandboxes with grooves and a different lamp holder design. The earliest version of the 3015/CCS 800 even feature some of the same parts as the earlier CCS 800.  Such parts include the trailer trucks which were often badly affected by zincpest.  Variations on the design were often so subtle that some collectors revert to weighing the locomotive to determine the exact version!  The CCS 800 and later 3015 (re-numbered in 1957) locomotives underwent subtle changes over the years up to 1958.

“Snow White” crocodiles for New York Central Lines

Special versions of the Swiss crocodile were produced in a snow-white color scheme for the American market of the railway New York Central Lines.  Only one or two examples still exist of the CCS 66 12920 in white.  One is in a museum in Belgium of a famous collector who has the locomotive displayed in a private museum display.  American distributor Richard Marklin ordered this locomotive specially for the American market.  Several manufacturers including Emil Valker of Santhion in Hungary produce a replica of this locomotive in O Gauge.  There are no known Gauge 1 variants of this white-painted crocodile but manufacturers have produced this locomotive as a dream-creation as well.


Marklin 31860 150th Anniversary Swiss Crocodile of “New York Central Lines”

For its 50th anniversary of producing the legendary crocodile, Marklin made the models 30159 and 36159 in 1996.  These locomotives were in brown livery and the other in the same construction as the original 3015. Later in 2009, to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the founding of the Marklin firm, they produced two models faithful to the original one.  These locomotives came as part of the boxed set 31859.  One locomotive in this set was in white livery for the New York Central Lines.  This locomotive carries semblance to the special-order locomotive in O Gauge mentioned earlier.  Marklin formed its business in 1859 and as a tribute to this, they made the set in a limited edition of just 1859 units. In the summer of 2009, Marklin presented the same set with different numbers, under set number 31860.  Marklin limited the production of this set to just 500 units.

Crocodiles in the smallest Z scale

With the introduction of Z scale in the 1980s, Marklin of course had to produce a mini-sized crocodile.  Despite the challenges of building a difficult and intricate articulated design on such a small platform, Marklin achieved its goal.  The Swiss Era II 91mm number 88563 of prototype Ce 6/8 III became the pinnacle of Marklin’s engineering effort in Z scale.

Marklin 885663 locomotive in Z scale

Marklin 885663 locomotive in Z scale

Replica Marklin crocodiles

The Italian manufacturer Biaggi run by Francesco Biaggi produced a wonderful Gauge I crocodile with semblance to the original Marklin crocodile.   Its design and styling are exquisite, just like the original.  The best produced models from Biaggi have a wonderful shine from the hand-lacquering as did the Marklin locos from the time.  Jim Kelly-Evans from has done a wonderful video showing his Biaggi crocodile in operation on his layout:

Well-known producers Selzer and HEHR also produce Marklin crocodiles in O Gauge.  The manufacturers Thul, Twerenbold, Langefeld, and Santhion of Hungary are also known to produce high-quality reproduction crocodiles.  A controversial topic with regard to Marklin crocodile reproductions is the use of the Marklin bicycle insignia on hood of the articulated “legs” of the crocodiles.  Most manufacturers leave out this insignia to avoid any potential confusion or copyright infringement.  However, some manufacturers include the insignia or add the insignia after normal production.

Another such notable manufacturer with roots in Switzerland where these locomotives were original produced is Elektro Keiser (Alois Keiser).  The A3/5 Nr. 700-811 Crocodile was produced in O Gauge possibly in the 1940s or 1950s. The massive, highly-detailed engine measures approx. 18-inches in length.

Keiser crocodile. Source: AmbroseBauer Trains

While many collectors like their replicas exactly like the original, this presents potential problems with fakes and forgeries.  When collectors cannot easily differentiate a reproduction from an original there is potential for disappointment.

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