The purpose of this page is to cover collecting and displaying your S-scale items. Even if you don't flag yourself as a "collector", per-se, if you model in S-scale you are highly likely to be a collector. Since S-scale manufacturing is usually done in small batches, this generally means that if you want something that is being produced, even if you have no need for it "today", you have to buy it then, because it is likely not to be available again in the future.
Most of us have a stash of unbuilt kits (engines, cars, structures, vehicles) sitting in a closet or a drawer somewhere. However, this page is not about that kind of collecting, but rather about those whom have items in their collection that are either too valuable to operate on a layout, don't have a layout, or simply enjoy having the items out to view at any time.
Below are a few examples of creative displays of collections. Click on the photo to view more or a larger photo. Contact the webmaster to add photos of your display or collection.
This is a common question we get. Like with any collecting, the price of an item is based on what the owner is willing to sell it for and what the potential buyer is willing to pay for it. For American Flyer products, the recommended guide is the Greenberg's American Flyer Pocket Price Guide. A new, updated guide comes out around September or October of each year and usually sells for around $16. The guide does not have any photos, but does have detailed explanations regarding condition, grading, etc. It is published by Kalmbach Publications (of Model Railroader magazine fame), and it should be available at nearly any model railroad hobby shop or on the Web.
Another common question we see. Prices are determined by supply & demand. Brass used to be very popular in the 1980s and 1990s. As people are leaving the hobby for one reason or another, these models are becoming available on the market. If you are simply displaying brass models, then you are not too worried about how well they perform on a layout. But if you are wanting to operate the models on your layout, then running quality matters. Some of the older brass models do not run well, unless someone has worked on the model. So, depending on what the potential purchaser's objective is with the model, the price he/she is willing to pay for the model may be dependent on that.
All in all, brass prices seem to be going down, as the market is being flooded with available models, better quality non-brass models have been produced over the years, and/or the work required to get the model to operate on the purchaser's layout is sizeable.
Of course, brand new brass engines, such as those made today by River Raisin Models and P-B-L are stunning models, that come factory-painted and decorated, usually with full DCC and sound factory-installed, and those are top-of-the-line models, worthy of their asking price.