The name Tyco is a brand name that many of us are familiar with because they are also known for manufacturing various types of toys including Tyco model trains and slot cars. The initial train scale that this company pursued is the Ho scale during the early and mid fifties, and is a time that is known as the “blue box” period.
This is in part the result of kit versions of steam and diesel model trains which were packaged in a light blue color format that the company offered to hobbyist as part of their model train line. Initially Tyco only offered the model train kits, and in the 1960’s the company made a decision to begin producing what are now known as ready to run trains.
The change for the company came in the early 70’s when Consolidated Foods purchased and acquired their Ho model train and slot car departments. Up until this time Tyco had a reputation for producing reasonable accuracy with their models, but the new owners had ideas of their own which involved the production of models that vary from the typical type of model train that one would expect to purchase.
These ideas included railcars that sported names like the “Popsicle and the Starkist Tuna box car.” None the less, these particular models are still sought after and present cherished memories of another time for many modelers who have been around for awhile.
Not only did Tyco Industries begin producing other products like remote controlled toys, and telephones they also began the manufacture of unique models like the “Rambo” and “A Team” train sets. Additionally, the company began to produce train sets such as the “super block’ that were similar in appearance to LEGO blocks. Surprisingly, and much to the surprise of many serious collectors these products sold reasonably well during this era.
If you are a collector, you are aware that the end of the Tyco model train line occurred in the early 1990’s and their last catalogue was produced around this time as well. This doesn’t mean however, that these special model trains are not pursued by collectors today. Rather, the opposite is quite true, because what would make your model train layout look more unique and different than having one of these Tyco trains to display?
If your interested in purchasing any of the trains that were offered in the past, you’ll be pleased to know that a company whose name is International Hobby Corporation bought some portions of this model line and are offering them to hobbyist at reasonable prices. One other alternative for pursuing products from this line would also include visiting model train shows where hobbyist offer parts of their collections for sale or may be willing to exchange some of their trains for something that you have in your collection that you may be willing to part with in your effort to add some of these unique trains to your own collection.