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Offline donwonnc  
#1 Posted : 15 January 2013 09:43:20(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 27/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 40
Location: NC
I am trying to learn about a small collection of Marklin trains. I have several different colors of boxes with NOS items and that is how I sorted them out. I was just looking at an Aral car, but it was in a blue box and I have one that is the same but in a red/orange box. I have boxes, that I call the checker board style, which has the Marklin Logos all over the box, in red which is a TM800 and blue checkerboard style, which is mostly special track sections, like turnouts and power sections of track. I have RED, Lite BLUE, Dark Blue, Yellow, Lime Green and each color represents certain items, for example the Red boxes are rolling stock and track side switches, lite Blue are local coaches, yellow is mostly Wire & electrical parts, the lime green is track in the 5100 range. The moral of this story is the 4500 Aral tank car hat I have in a red box and just saw one in a blue box.
I also wanted to ask if and how should I delete a topic, after I have gotten my answer. Thank You and let me remind everyone that I am new to this forum. Sorry for the large photos, I will figure out.

Edited by moderator 11 January 2021 12:44:11(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

Offline BrandonVA  
#2 Posted : 15 January 2013 15:27:20(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 09/12/2011(UTC)
Posts: 2,533
Location: VA

They do indicate age. Someone (I think Stephen) gave me a link a while ago that showed the eras of boxes, it was very good. I can't find it at the moment, I hope they will chip in. If you open the boxes, on one of the folding tabs you will generally find a date code, that indicates when it was printed. The last two numbers in the code are the last two numbers in the year, (69 == 1969 for example). You can probably use this to build your own dating scheme, as you have quiet a few different eras of box. Some of the older boxes may have a different date code stamp, but for many this technique will work.

Something like your Aral wagon was produced for many years, and thus would have seen several different box iterations. It was not uncommon for a long time (probably 50s through early 90s, and even a few models survive today), to have some models last 30+ years in production, abate with slightly different versions (so you may see it refereed to on the forum as 3003.1, 3003.2, etc to denote the version).

In the very bottom of the first photo there are some boxes with blue/white and have a picture of a bicycle on one of them (Marklin's old logo). Do you have any more shots of these? I have seen these before in red, and they would be the oldest...but I have not seen blue, but I'm sure someone here will know.

Offline amartinezv  
#3 Posted : 15 January 2013 16:45:42(UTC)

Joined: 25/08/2004(UTC)
Posts: 284
Location: Madrid,

Usually the color says how old are the boxes, red and orange the older, blue medium, and white younger, here you are a explanation

** LINK DEAD Jan 2021 - 'www.miol.it/stagniweb/maerk01.htm'

** LINK DEAD Jan 2021 - 'www.terra.es/personal2/davidruso/marklyn.htm'

The most recent Internet Archives of the above sites can be found here and may still provide usual information


https://web.archive.org/...l2/davidruso/marklyn.htm (Spanish - use browser translation)

But I have read other theories, for instance, in the beginning Märklin makes their boxes of different colors to give "color and joy" to the displays, also to help to locate a specific item.

Best regards

Edited by moderator 11 January 2021 10:08:00(UTC)  | Reason: Links no longer active - added Wayback links to preserve

Antonio Martínez
marklin, IB, era 3, Train controller
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Offline CCS800KrokHunter3  
#4 Posted : 15 January 2013 17:36:24(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 03/04/2007(UTC)
Posts: 1,600
Hello, and welcome to the forum.

You've figured out the boxes from the 50s and later exactly. What you call the "checker boxes" are sometimes more commonly referred to as the "bicycle box" (Marklin's logo looked like a bicycle during that time) or the "red diamond box" which was produced first in 1938/39 and continued all the way up until the late 50s (maybe 60s?). I have put a lot of time into researching Marklin boxes over the years, and although I mainly focus on items before the 50s and 60s, some of the same principles can be applied like the print codes mentioned above. This is very useful for dating and discerning the quantity produced.

Here is a series on my website about Marklin boxes, you'll need an account if you would like to read it. There are multiple parts to the series and soon there must be one on boxes from the 50s - 70s:


and here one on catalog codes / printing codes:


Best regards,


PS. Feel free to keep this post alive (don't delete it) after you receive your answer....it will be available for others to see as well.

Edited by moderator 11 January 2021 08:02:12(UTC)  | Reason: Corrected issue with dead links

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Offline cookee_nz  
#5 Posted : 15 January 2013 20:13:18(UTC)

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,572
Location: Paremata, Wellington
Hi donwonnc,

I can't add much to this that others havn't already covered, do read the article that Paul has referred you to on his site re box dating, it's very informative.

One box did catch my eye, one of the red ones where a new number code has been placed below the original one. See snipped image.

Interesting to me anyway because that item 313/2H (4608) started production in 1956, but in 1957 they changed the entire numbering system from the former alpha-numeric coding, to a simple 4-digit numeric code. I guess they thought their production could never exceed 9,999 items !!

So that particular item was only called "313/2H" for just one year before becoming referred to as 4608. I'd be interested out of curiosity to know what the printing code on the box end-flap is if you could check and advise.

Nice items by the way, it's a pity you can't start building a layout, you have pretty much everything you need. On the other hand, as you say, most or all of the items are NOS, and we have to assume are in mint or near-mint condition (otherwise LN / Like New), original paper wrapping etc. The minute you start running them they are no longer in that state and you can certainly ask (and should get), a premium on your price.

I would suggest that if you find yourself starting to get tempted, you would be able to replace it all with identical items in tidy used condition suitable for running, for noticeably less than you will get for selling what you have. There may even be some enthusiasts who would be willing to give you a fair price for certain items, but also offering you the same thing to 'play' with as a trade-in, but that might only be of interest if you wanted to get into the hobby deeper. If you are simply wanting to make money from your very fortunate find (yep, we're all green with envy) then just take your time and they will sell, on Ebay, (or here) BigGrin There are no crooks here.

Finally, you can't delete topics, nor would we want to. One of the advantages of this forum is that it is also an archive. Who knows what some future member/s will find absolutely invaluable to them simply because it has been preserved here. From some of the recent topics, and new members coming on board I see this forum going through something of a resurgence and while there are other sites and forums which I also participate in, here is where I feel most 'at home' despite being a relative newcomer Blushing

The webmaster of course can delete topics or messages, should someone post something inappropriate or that they regret but in most cases a follow-up posting of explanation or clarification is preferred over outright deletion.

Good luck with your sorting and selling.

PS; I presume you have more than is shown in your pictures?, keep 'em coming, we LOVE pictures. You also mentioned a number of FALLER kits, some of us would love to see those also.


cookee_nz attached the following image(s):
NZ image
Offline donwonnc  
#6 Posted : 19 January 2013 17:34:27(UTC)

United States   
Joined: 27/09/2012(UTC)
Posts: 40
Location: NC
Thanks everyone, there is allot of useful information here. Cookee, that box which caught your eye is one of 2 exceptions as to what is in the box, the box shows a stake car with a wood log load, however it is a gondola with a log load and the code inside the flap is 64 8. The other exception is one of the 4503 boxes which should be an open hauler that is empty, but it has a coal load. Yes, it was a good find, I do have everything needed to set up a nice layout, even a new transformer, which is nice to have as I tested lighted coaches and engines. I have sold a few items on here and ebay. I sold 4 sets of figures, MIB from here, and a Dummy Loco 4061 UP on ebay for $182.00 to my surprise. I bought this collection almost sight unseen for the simple reason that I had never heard of Marklin or Faller. I have 60 well built Faller structures, with a few of them having the original boxes, like the gas pump islands for the two Shell stations I have. I can't afford to keep these items or use them in a layout, this is strictly a good pick that I intend to sell. I am just trying to understand what I have so I can set a good price, but not get taken for by my lack of knowledge. I wont give his name, but when I first got this lot, I was talking with a member about possibly flipping the entire collection, but after I realized that he was offering me pennies on a dollar, I decided to slow down. For example he offered me $60 for all 4 sets of figures 0202, 0203 and one simply marked Horses, plus 2 Leyla sets of Deer. I sold all these sets for a fee free $300.00, so his offer was .20 cents on the dollar, less if you factor in the wild deer sets. On the funny side of this, I thought I had 3 working locos, a 3098, a TM800 red bycycle box marked 3004, and a 3060 UP diesel electric. The 3060 as I thought, turned out to be the Dummy engine, I saw the slider under the loco and figured it was a powered engine in the wrong box, but when I went to test it and only the lights worked, I removed the top to find that it had no engine. But it still brought a premium on ebay. The P8 3098 is near mint, lightly used and tested fine and the 3004 (TM800) was used but has tune up parts in the box with it, a set of motor brushes, pack of tires and a new shoe or slider. Since the 3004 worked well, after a little lube, I decided to sell it with all these tune up parts although I feel confident that I could replace all the parts, I thought I would let the buyer do it if they wished. I want to Thank everyone who replied with plenty of helpful information, and the links were very helpful also. I intend to list everything I have Marklin on this forum, but I am just trying to figure out in what lots I will list them.
Offline Iamnotthecrazyone  
#7 Posted : 19 January 2013 19:06:58(UTC)

Joined: 22/01/2012(UTC)
Posts: 1,041
There is little to add to what has been said but I would be cautious assuming the age of the contents based on the age of the box for two reasons. One, Marklin may have had a large quantity of boxes made up for a particular model and those boxes could have lasted for much longer than the time frame printed on the box. When it comes to second hand stuff often owners or other people may have put the wrong item in the wrong box, that could have also happened at the dealership when new. Even when the model might be the same it could be a different version from different years, you can also get a completely wrong item in the wrong box.
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Offline biswasg  
#8 Posted : 11 January 2021 06:34:22(UTC)

Joined: 31/12/2005(UTC)
Posts: 213
Location: Geneva, Switzerland
This is an old thread, but the question is still relevant for me. The links in the thread no longer work. Is there a way to revive these links?
Also, I would like to know any difference in the current packaging. Some items come packed in a white box with a strip and some come in a gray box.
Offline cookee_nz  
#9 Posted : 11 January 2021 09:58:58(UTC)

New Zealand   
Joined: 31/12/2010(UTC)
Posts: 3,572
Location: Paremata, Wellington
The links in Post #4 for marklinstop have been repaired and are worth checking.

The other two links in post #3 are sites that have not been maintained by their owners and no longer active but I have found archived sites in the Wayback machine and posted the links in the message.

You may still find useful info there.

NZ image
Offline JohnjeanB  
#10 Posted : 11 January 2021 15:51:50(UTC)

Joined: 04/02/2011(UTC)
Posts: 1,258
Location: Paris, France
Hi Don & everybody

On most Märklin boxes, the date is printed somewhere (sometimes in a folded zone) and gives you the month / year
I also advise to consult this excellent site on Märklin boxes (alas in German)
Also remember that many Märklin items are not in their own box and I have a loco in a box with a sticker above the original number. A Märklin practice when they ran out of boxes.
My layout videos
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