Shrink wraps and Runner Packs

Calzephyr Aug 23, 2019

  1. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    While many if us ol'timers remember the days of MicroTrains shrink wrapped sets... today we get Runner Packs instead. Many other manufacturers of N Scale jumped on that shrink wrap bandwagon back in the 1990s... just as MicroTrains was backing off of that concept. Since the early 2000s Micro Trains began their Runner Pack concept which seems to give the modeler the option to 'run' or 'collect'... something that shrink wrap did not address well. I generally do NOT open the Shrink Wraps... as I deem them more as collectable. What is your opinion on these multi-pack options from all of the manufacturers doing this now and then?

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  2. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I am not a collector, my view is run them!
     
  3. gatrhumpy

    gatrhumpy TrainBoard Member

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    I echo what bremner said above. I buy them to run them.
     
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  4. BNSF FAN

    BNSF FAN TrainBoard Supporter

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    I guess if you are a collector, it means more to have them still in the shrink wrap.

    For me, I'm going to let the factory air out of the box and run them.
     
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  5. Barbo

    Barbo New Member

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    I run everything but shrink wrap takes longer to open the packaging!
     
  6. SP-Wolf

    SP-Wolf TrainBoard Supporter

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    I opened and run the shrink wrapped sets.

    Collectors should love that --

    Wolf
     
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  7. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    I buy 'em to run 'em. Not sure, but isn't that why they're called "Runner Packs" ??? :unsure:
     
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  8. Inkaneer

    Inkaneer TrainBoard Member

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    When I first saw the MT runner packs I thought no way were these going to be bought primarily by runners; these will be snatched up by collectors. The packaging was tooo fancy for runners. So I purchased two of the first runner packs which were, I believe, the PRR boxcars. I figured these had to increase in value in the coming years much like the first state car that MT put out. Still got them packed away waiting for the day I can sell them.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2019
  9. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    I feel the shrink wraps were intended to attract collectors... whereas the Runner Packs are moreso for 'runners' and less likely to be collectable. Of course... the more people who 'run' those Runner Pack sets... the fewer MINT condition sets will be available.

    This is like the old baseball card collectable craze. Before 1980 there were boxes without shrink wrap... and kids (mostly) bought the cards (and gum) to use right away. So complete boxes of unopened baseball cards was a rare find. Eventually complete sets were offered to for purchase which were shrink wrapped. These sets are much less valuable than the unopened boxes of card packs.

    So the correlation would be that the Runner Packs could end up more valuable as a collectable than the shrink wraps.

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  10. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    I suppose the challenge in collectable cars is in knowing what will be prized and knowing when to sell. I have a poor eye for that sort of thing, so buy what I like and run what I buy. Like bremner, I'm not much of a collector.
     
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  11. bremner

    bremner Staff Member

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    I buy almost every Southern Pacific car in the pre 1958 era.....and use them.
     
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  12. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Funny thing about collectors (of anything) is that often they never get to realize the value increase of their collection because it may never happen in their lifetime. Their heirs, if uninformed, may dump stuff very cheap without realizing it... specially if they need quick cash. Many eBay sellers buy entire collections for pennies on the dollar...and end up being the beneficiary of original collectors 'investment'.

    Moral to the story:
    Like many have already posted... buy and enjoy your trains. You never know what the future of the 'value' may be in what you collect.

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  13. Hardcoaler

    Hardcoaler TrainBoard Member

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    Perfectly written Calzephyr. I had the very same thought on my mind, but couldn't put it into words.
     
  14. Run8Racing

    Run8Racing TrainBoard Member

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    I guess I do collect some things, but I run them, too. Bicentennial stuff, USNavy cars, snow plows, MOW stuff, and weird things that catch my eye. Still need to pick up MT "Area 51" set. I don't live in NM, I don't model NM. It's just... COOL !!! And I have the perfect explanation why that train would run through the Midwest sometimes. Because I said so, THAT'S why !!! :p
     
  15. Maletrain

    Maletrain TrainBoard Member

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    Hopefully, both collectors and runners will think about putting a local model railroad club in their wills if they don't have a younger generation in their family that will use their "collection" (or just inventory) of railroad models. Clubs can use what they want and sell the rest at open houses and local train shows. That gives the clubs some needed income, and sometimes new members, plus it provides some good models to "good homes" at reasonable costs.
     
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  16. NtheBasement

    NtheBasement TrainBoard Member

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    All I know is, if it says "collectable" anywhere on the packaging, you won't get half the sticker price when you try to sell it.
     
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  17. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    Yep... that was part of the point I was making about the shrink wrapped baseball card sets... if no one is inclined to use them and keep them in pristine condition... then they will never be a true collectable.

    The original shrink wrapped Micro-Trains 5 an 6 packs were never really marketed as collectable... most modelers bought and ran them. Then someone began to taut the shrink wraps as being rare and started auctions to perpetuate illusion of value. This was encouraged by Micro-trains since it added value to their monthly releases which would occasionally have 'short run' models. All of this added to to 1980 craze of upwardly trending auction prices and regular model pricing too.

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  18. umtrr-author

    umtrr-author TrainBoard Member

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    Well, boxes are easier to store than shrink-wrapped packs... at least around here...
     
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  19. Calzephyr

    Calzephyr TrainBoard Supporter

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    And... shrink wrapped sets don't do as well if accidentally dropped. If the boxed sets are rubber banded to keep the lid on... the rolling stock can survive a fall.

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  20. pmpexpress

    pmpexpress TrainBoard Member

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    And... unlike the plastic shrink-wrapped variety, clear plastic jewel-boxes that are packed in cardboard boxes are not as likely to develop spider cracks due to the combined weight of any sets that are stored on top of one another.

    Neville

    Trains N Scaleā„¢

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