Variety is the Spice of Collecting! Schuco and Their Classic Toy Train: The Boxes
By Doug Burwell TCA #81-16885 Summer-Fall 2014
I have been collecting Postwar Lionel for approximately 50 years, but have only been collecting Schuco Disneyland monorails for around 18 years. There are a lot of similarities in collecting both of them, but one big difference for me in collecting the Schuco Disneyland monorails is that I have a chance of purchasing at least one of each of the four sets and the over 45 accessories Schuco made for their toy train line. In fact, I already have, and it only took me about five years to do so. On top of that, I could afford it with a lower middle class income!
This is the price list from Schuco that listed
most of accessories and also the cost of each
With the first Schuco Disneyland monorail set we purchased came a sheet that listed practically everything Schuco made for the monorails. I simply copied it and checked off the items as I found them. One item not listed on the paper was the 6333/21 manual switches which turned out to be one of the most difficult items to find.
After reaching my goal of having one of everything, I wanted to “spice” things up by collecting the boxes for all these items. Soon I discovered a variety of different boxes for the same items.
Gift set boxes, from beautiful to boring...
here are five different styles of box lids for the 6333/G set
Starting with the small 6333/G set, the first boxes, especially the first generation sets, all contained the beautiful graphic that Schuco was known for. Later, as Schuco tried to cut costs, the boxes became more plain. First, they were wrapped with red paper and the label from the individual monorail boxes were glued on the lid along with a cover of the Schuco Disneyland monorail manual. Later, Schuco did not even bother adding the red paper and used a boring brown box. Eventually, even the labels disappeared! An oddball small set box is one that has part of the 6333/S set label glued on it.
Various S set box lids:
Common S set box
Plain red box
Plain graphic, no picture to the right
Black S set box
The majority of the large 6333/S set boxes were wrapped in red paper and had a large drawing similar to the 6333/G set lid. Immediately to the right side of the colorful drawing were pictures of some the accessories contained inside and examples of layouts that could be built. I have seen a couple of S set boxes with only red paper and no label, and one with just the graphic and no additional picture to the right. A super rare version is a box wrapped in black paper instead of red.
Accessory with graphic
Accessory set plain
With the 6333/99 accessory set box, I have seen two versions. One has part of the familiar 6333/G set graphic, and the other is a plain brown box.
Rare example of a cardboard insert inside the
American Set box instead of the usual yellow plastic insert
I have not seen any variations of the American Set box on the outside, though I have seen a set with a cardboard insert inside instead of the usual yellow plastic insert.