MPC Collector. Variation Explanation or Possible Creation?
By Mike Stella
I enjoy collecting Lionel MPC. Huge amounts of available product
and small numbers of interested collectors make for relative
easy finds and very reasonable prices.
I notice some prominent TCA sellers always claim every item
they offer is a "variation" in an effort to boost
the selling price.
Some variations seem pretty obscure to me while others tend
to create entirely different items to collect. I always have
tried to teach my son about variations and often hold two items
side by side and have him point out the differences. For me
a variation is worth collecting "IF" you can spot
an obvious difference in looks from at least a few feet away.
I'd like to share with you a very early MPC variation from
about 1972 that shows up in the first Stock Car offered, the
Most of the #9707s that you find will have 3 lines of data
left of the doors where the 3rd line is the BUILT DATE.
But a very few of these cars only have 2 lines of data and
the Built Date is missing.
The BUILT DATE on these cars shows up on the far RIGHT SIDE
of the car.
Not a very big difference but for me a true VARIATION and
Finally, the #9707 was a remake of the sought after postwar
#6556 MKT car produced in 1958 but MPC used YELLOW DOORS instead
of White Doors. I recently added a #9707 to my MPC collection
that has WHITE DOORS and it really is an eye catcher.
Over 30 years have passed since Lionel manufactured these
cars in Michigan and I wonder if this was a Monday morning
creation that made it into a set box and out the door?
These "created" variations or Factory Errors can
still be a lot of fun to collect and certainly add another
dimension to collecting MPC.