Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Choo! Choo! Here Comes a Lionel Train Review

When I was a child, my grandfather became disabled and rarely left his house. To pass the time, he took up model train collecting. My sisters and I loved to visit. He built a train track which took up space in an entire room. We loved to watch the trains go around the track. Every time he would get a new piece, he would call us and we would bug Mom until she drove us in to see it. Grandpa's favorite trains were made by Lionel. He always told use they were the best. Back then, we just cared how they looked and if the engines blew real smoke or not. Now I understand how important it is to have a well made train. Nothing is worse than buying a flimsy train set only to have the plastic track pieces break the first time you use them. With Lionel, we never had to worry about that.

Unfortunately, Lionel eventually outsourced their trains to Asia. After a series of supply chain interruptions and lower standards, Lionel brought back production to the United States. In 2012, for the first time in over a decade, Lionel began production of a line of Made in the U.S.A model trains. The Made in the U.S.A. line features limited edition boxcars made in Chesterfield, Michigan. My grandfather was a big proponent of Made in America. He would have been thrilled to see Lionel bring production back to the states.

I'm happy I had a chance to review one of the Presidential Series boxcars, Made in the U.S.A. 

It was truly exciting to see the Made in U.S.A. label on the Abraham Lincoln Boxcar. After all, a U.S. president deserves a U.S.A. made title after him. What I really liked about the boxcar is that the wheels are made of metal, not cheap plastic. This gives them a little weight, helping them stay on a track better. Plus I don't have to worry about them breaking as easily. The doors open and close without forcing them. The moving parts were my favorite thing about my grandpa's trains so it was a bonus to find moving parts on the boxcar. I bought a cheap plastic train to go around my Christmas tree a few years ago and now I wish I had the Lionel boxcars instead. The quality is definitely better than what I have. The informational tidbit about Abraham Lincoln on the boxcar was a bonus for me. It's a beautiful tribute to a great president. 

When I saw the list of U.S.A. made boxcars, I was thrilled to see the Peanuts Gang on the Thanksgiving box car. I grew up on Charlie Brown and Linus. I watched all of their holiday specials every year.

To make it easy to find all of Lionel's Made in America items, I have included the list of  the boxcars.

*       Peanuts Christmas Boxcar
*       Peanuts Halloween Boxcar
*       George Washington Boxcar
*       Theodore Roosevelt Boxcar
*       Thomas Jefferson Boxcar
*       Abraham Lincoln Boxcar
*       Thomas Kinkade All Aboard for Christmas Boxcar

        O-Gauge 2012 Christmas Boxcar

Thank you Lionel for bringing production back to the United States on a great set of boxcars. I look forward to the day when the entire Lionel line is produced once again in America.

**I received the product at no charge for review purposes only. No other compensation was received. My opinions are based on my honest experience with the product.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. My husband is going to be thrilled about this!!! Thanks for the review and the heads up about Lionel bringing some production back to the USA

  3. double check where it is made........ someone is NOT HAPPY!

  4. To Anonymous: Indeed with Lionel you have to double check where the product is made. Right now, they have a select number of boxcars which were just recently brought back for USA manufacturing. If you purchased a full train set, it most likely is not American made. The boxcar in the review as well as the others listed are made in the U.S.A. If you are not happy, please express to Lionel how much you would like to see them bring back their full line for USA production. We need voices like yours to made a difference.