Unique Arts tinplate trains

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Re: Unique Arts tinplate trains

Postby Aa3rt » Mon Dec 31, 2012 2:17 pm

bamabelle wrote:I have located in my parents' attic a toy train. It is in a box with the Unique Art Manufacturer name on it. The train set appears to be complete. Is there any value here? I have a brother who is 65 and it was probably bought for him.


bamabelle-Without any further details (i.e. Type of locomotive, cars, etc.) it's hard to give much feedback. Yes, the train is "collectable" but it's hard to put a value on it without additional information. This thread has been dormant for 7 years now and I note that all of the links are no longer working.

Unique Arts produced a short lived line of trains that were produced from about 1949 through 1952 if I remember correctly. The most common set produced was a freight train with locomotive, tender, boxcar, hopper car and caboose. Unique also produced a less common passenger train and a circus train that seems to be the most desirable. The fact that your train is still in its original box should add to the value but this will vary, depending on the condition of the box as well as that of the train.

Bottom line-Unique Art was a minority manufacturer of tin toys and trains which may limit the interest of some train collectors. If you're looking to sell the train and get "top dollar" you best bet is either to try eBay yourself or find an auction house that specializes in toys and trains. (The eBay market can be fickle-as I noted in a post on Aug. 28, 2005, my Unique Art freight train, although complete and in running order [Minus the box & track] did not fare too well when I sold it on eBay.) If you are fortunate enough to have the passenger or circus train the desirability quotient goes up but I wouldn't plan on purchasing a new car or paying off the mortgage on the proceeds.

Edit #1 Here's a link that includes views of a number of Unique Art trains, with a conglomeration of others tossed in for good measure: (PS-I'd forgotten about the cattle car)

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=unique+arts+train&qpvt=unique+arts+train&FORM=IGRE

Edit #2 The passenger train with a "wind up" (AKA clockwork) locomotive:

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=unique+arts+train&qpvt=unique+arts+train&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=1D48D1C710F37A8DC7F54EF813228E576894DE0A&selectedIndex=129

Edit #3 The circus train with the darker colored electrically powered locomotive, missing the tender:

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=unique+arts+train&qpvt=unique+arts+train&FORM=IGRE#view=detail&id=09391342A70658B67AEA38FE416839A2C93EF32B&selectedIndex=130

Edit #4 A writeup on Unique Arts trains from the TCA:

http://www.tcawestern.org/unique.htm
Art Audley, AA3RT
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Re: Unique Arts tinplate trains

Postby chris6064 » Mon May 23, 2016 5:49 pm

Hi I think you forgot about the very late black 1952 and tender
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