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Lionel New York Toy Fair Boxcars — 1971 to 2006(updated April 2006)
article and photos by Robert I. Mintz and Frank Samaritano

Lionel, at the 1973 New York City Toy Fair, first issued their Toy Fair cars. However, not all of the cars were boxcars. For several years, a refrigerator reefer was produced instead.

For the years 1973 and 1974, a slow selling regular production model was used with the only difference being an overstamp to mention the New York Toy Fair of that particular year.

Starting in 1975, a special issue car was made for dealers. Inevitably, the dealers sold these to collectors, sometimes for exorbitant prices.

The early years may, or may not have had boxes included. The 1976 box was consistent with that year's Bicentennial celebration; a red, white and blue box. In other years, a label was used on the end flaps, rather than having a box specifically printed for this car.

Most notably, the 1996 box was all blue, a rare variation considering the usual orange, or orange and white boxes. Only the dwarf signal, and possibly one other item came in a similar all blue packaging.

The 2000 boxcar was similar to a car produced that year, sans the electronics and illumination.

Not all toy fair cars commemorated the NYC Toy Fair, traditionally starting on the second Sunday in February. Two items that are to be included in this category include the 1976 Canadian Toy and Decoration Fair held before NYC Toy Fair and a Preview for Toy Fair 2000 actually held on October 4-6, 1999.

All in all, the Toy Fair cars are an interesting group to collect.

Click on any thumbnail image below to enlarge.
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1973 - #9708 (REGULAR PRODUCTION) UNITED STATES RAILWAY MAILCAR, RED, WHITE AND BLUE DOORS/BODY, RED ROOF/ENDS W/"NEW YORK TOY FAIR" OVERSTAMP

1974 - #9723 (REGULAR PRODUCTION) WESTERN PACIFIC BOXCAR ORANGE W/"WELCOME NEW YORK TOY FAIR" OVERSTAMP

1975 - #9762 "WELCOME TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, 75TH ANNIVERSARY, RED W/SILVER ROOF

1976 - #7704 "WELCOME TOY FAIR" BOXCAR "LIONEL SALUTES AMERICA" BOXCAR BICENTENNIAL COLORS, RED ROOF/DOOR/ENDS

1976 - #7705 "WELCOME TO THE 1976 CANADIAN TOY & DECORATION FAIR" BOXCAR WHITE W/RED ROOF/DOOR/ENDS

1977 - #7807 "WELCOME TOY FAIR" BOXCAR "TRAINS N TRUCKIN", GREEN WITH GOLD ROOF/DOOR/ENDS

1978 - #7815 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "BIG TRAINS FOR SMALL HANDS", SILVER W/RED ROOF/ENDS

1979 - #7816 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, WHITE W/GOLD ROOF/ENDS

1980 - #7817 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR "COMMEMORATING THE 100TH BIRTHDAY OF JOSHUA L. COWEN", WHITE W/RED DOORS/ROOF/ENDS

1981 - #0512 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" REGRIGERATOR REEFER, WHITE W/BLUE ROOF/ENDS

1982 - #7519 TOY FAIR REGRIGERATOR REEFER, WHITE W/RED DOOR/ROOF/ENDS

1983 - #7521 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" REGRIGERATOR REEFER, WHITE W/ RED DOOR AND BLUE ROOF/SIDES

1984 - #7523 TOY FAIR REGRIGERATOR REEFER, WHITE W/BLUE DOORS AND RED ROOF/SIDES

1985 - #7524 TOYFAIR REGRIGERATOR REEFER, WHITE W/BLUE ROOF/SIDES

1986 - #7525 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, WHITE W/BLUE DOORS/ROOF/SIDES

1987 - #19900 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, RED W/SILVER ROOF/SIDES

1988 - #19902 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, SILVER W/BLACK DOORS/ROOF/SIDES

1989 - #19907 "NEW YORK TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "SOUNDS GREAT", WHITE W/GREEN DOORS

1990 - #19911 "CELEBRATE WITH LIONEL AT TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, WHITE W/RED DOORS, BLUE ROOFS/SIDES

1991 - #19914 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, WHITE W/BROWN DOORS, ROOF/SIDES

1992 - #19917 "TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "PULLING TOGETHER TO BRING BACK THE MAGIC", WHITE W/BLACK ROOF/SIDES

1993 - #19923 "WELCOME TO TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "THE KEY TO YOUR SUCCESS", WHITE W/BLUE DOORS/ROOF/SIDES

1994 - #19931 "TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "YOUR TICKET TO MODEL RAILROADING EXCITEMENT", WHITE W/RED DOORS/ROOF/ENDS

1995 - #19937 "DEALER PREVIEW" BOXCAR, "THE CONTROL IS IN YOUR HANDS", WHITE W/BROWN DOORS/ROOF/SIDES

1996 - #19947 "TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "THE LIONEL CORPORATION", BLUE W/ORANGE DOORS

1997 - #29217 "DEALER PREVIEW" BOXCAR, "AIREX-A DIVISION OF THE LIONEL CORPORATION", SILVER W/BLACK DOORS/ROOFS/SIDES

1998 - #19956 "TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "LAS VEGAS, NEVADA", WHITE W/BLUE DOORS/ROOF/SIDES

1999 - #19977 "TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "ENGINEER SOME FUN", WHITE W/ORANGE DOORS AND BLUE ROOF/SIDES

2000 - #26284 "NEW YORK TOY PREVIEW" BOXCAR, "OCTOBER 4-6 1999", YELLOW W/ORANGE DOORS/ROOF/SIDES

2000 - #19989 "NEW YORK TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "1900-2000", BLUE

2001 - #19996 "NEW YORK TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "A LIFETIME INVESTMENT IN HAPPINESS", TWO TONE BLUE, LIGHT BLUE W/DARK BLUE DOORS/ROOF SIDES

2002 - #29904 "NEW YORK TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "LIONEL 2002", CREAM W/BLUE DOORS/ROOF/SIDES
2003 - #29918 "NEW YORK TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "TOY FAIR 2003", “GET ON THE FASTRACK WITH LIONEL IN 2003” SILVER W/BLUE DOORS, RED ROOF/SIDES 2004 - #29919 "NEW YORK TOY FAIR" BOXCAR, "TOY FAIR 2004", “LIONELVILLE—WHERE THE TRAINS ALWAYS RUN ON TIME!” BLUE W/CHARCOAL DOORS/ROOF/SIDES
2005 - #29925 “NEW YORK TOY FAIR 2005” BOXCAR, “TOY FAIR 2005”, “THE POLAR EXPRESS” SKY BLUE W/RED DOORS AND BLACK ROOF/SIDES
2006 - #29937 “2006 TOY FAIR BOXCAR” “LIONEL at TOY FAIR for over 90 years”, “DREAMS THAT ENDURE FOR GENERATIONS AND FUN THAT LASTS A LIFETIME”; WHITE W/GRAY DOORS AND DARK BLUE ROOF/SIDES
 
 
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