Despite Joshua Lion Cowen’s belief in the value of his Lionel toy trains and the success that it will eventually enjoy, he most certainly would not have imagined that the popularity of his products continue to be strong today, especially given the revival in model train collecting in recent years. Lionel model trains were a pioneer in the model train and railroad business, and gained a strong foothold in the industry due to its impeccable attention to detail and quality, partly because of the large group of skilled toy train craftsmen that Cowen employed for his business. This attention to detail spawned countless Lionel trains set which were incredibly realistic and provided fans with endless hours of fun and pure joy. The popularity at its height resulted in a high percentage of Americans that owned at least one set of these toys. They were also a top choice for gifts for every occasion, from Christmas to the New Year.
An amazing fact that is not commonly known about the creator of Lionel trains is that Joshua Lionel Cowen was not originally an American. He moved to the country and settled down with his family, before falling in love with trains as well. These large locomotives were growing in popularity as a mode of transport at that time, and Cowen decided to translate his love for them into model toys which could be enjoyed by people all over the world. He also wanted Lionel trains to be a source of inspiration and learning for locomotive fans worldwide, and knew that they would become popular and sell like hot cakes due to their importance in many countries as a source of transport and a strong economic factor. Within a few years of starting his toy train business, Lionel trains quickly became successful, evidently through his move to bigger offices and the growing number of employees to cope with rising demand and popularity.
The durability of toy trains and model railways has proven itself over the last few decades. When Lionel trains first came out, they were a huge hit and many were fascinated by the detail and quality afforded to each train set. Building and setting up a railroad set with live trains were also a sight to behold, and they still are today. Despite the advent of cars and subsequently, planes, trains were also a necessary mode of transport in many countries, especially in those where financially it was more affordable to use these to transport various products within the country or across neighboring countries. Till today, trains can sometimes be more cost effective than using airborne transport, even if the cost of fuel for locomotives has risen considerably due to its increasing scarcity. With trains having an enduring presence even in the modern world, it is hard to imagine a dwindling interest in model Lionel trains.
While it is more difficult to get hold of a Lionel train model set nowadays due to decreasing production and the fact that other toy train producers are coming out with cheaper alternatives, there are still plenty of options for model train set collectors and aficionados. The Internet is definitely an option, with many fans and collectors going online to trade in their favorite sets and models, especially with Lionel prewar trains. If you look hard enough, there are bound to be bargains and a few gems to be found, with collectors all over the world. In fact, with a more specialized production of the train sets, Lionel trains have increased in value, especially for older vintage models which have become increasingly difficult to locate. There are many individuals who have grown rich as a result of their hobby and love for collecting toy trains, and Lionel trains are often a major factor in their success.