Are Thomas the Train Sets Worth Anything?
Thomas the Train is a popular train set for children, and they are one of the most popular train toys worldwide. What’s surprising is that there are an increasing number of collectors for these types of models, and some train sets can even reach ridiculously high prices. However, generally speaking, how much do Thomas the train models worth?
Generally speaking, Thomas the Train models can be worth around $19 to $500 depending on their rarity, condition, material, and age. These factors can greatly affect the value of these models, and you can use these factors to maintain or increase the value of your model trains.
This post will discuss the factors that affect the price of Thomas the train models. I will also give examples of Thomas the train models that were sold for hundreds of dollars in real auctions.
Do Thomas trains have value?
Thomas the train models have value in them, especially more and more people are collecting these models. However, their value isn’t as high as actual train models that can reach thousands of dollars.
As a general rule, Thomas the train models can be worth around $19 to $500 depending on multiple factors such as their rarity, age, and materials.
So, Thomas the train models can reach a good price, especially in limited editions.
However, Thomas the train models won’t fetch a very high price like other types of train models.
In fact, as of now, I didn’t find any Thomas the train models that have been sold for thousands of dollars.
However, model trains that can be sold for thousands of dollars are normal for other train sets, such as the ones from Lionel.
An example is the Lionel 1929 Lionel Blue Comet model train that was sold for $9,000 in an auction.
Model trains being sold for thousands of dollars is common for other model trains other than Thomas the train models.
Another example is the 1937 Hornby Princess Elizabeth model train that was sold for $4,200.
Sadly, as of the moment, Thomas the train models didn’t reach values such as those. The most expensive one I found is a Thomas the train set worth £500 or about $545.
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The most expensive one I can find is the rare and vintage 1983 Hornby Thomas the train sold for £500 or about $545.
This model was sold for a huge price because it is rare and vintage, but it was also sold in mint condition.
Thus, if you have a rare Hornby Thomas the Train set, it can be sold for hundreds of dollars.
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Here is another vintage Hornby Thomas the train that was sold for a lot of money.
There is another Hornby Thomas the train that was sold in an auction last January 2022. They have the same features as the one that was sold for £500. However, their difference is that the product isn’t kept in mint condition.
While the box is still included in the sale, the product isn’t sealed anymore.
This means its value has been reduced.
Despite that, the model train was still sold for $339.
Thomas the train models that are rare can usually be sold for hundreds of dollars compared to their common varieties that can only be sold for $15 – $75.
Another example of a rare Thomas the train model sold for a lot of money is the 2003 Thomas the train deluxe aquarium set. This is a rare model that is in its original packaging.
This is a very rare Thomas the train set, and even if the model isn’t considered vintage, it was still sold for $125.
Another rare Thomas the train model is a pre-run factory set. This train model is a prototype that isn’t usually for sale. However, it suddenly came out of the factory and is regarded as a very rare piece.
Due to its rarity, the train model was sold for $249 in an auction.
However, rarity is only a piece of the puzzle. Vintage or old Thomas the train models can also be sold for lots of money.
The perfect is example is the 1983 Thomas the train Hornby model earlier, which is a 39-year-old model.
But how would you know if the model train is considered vintage?
The general rule is that Thomas the train models that are 25 years and older are already considered vintage.
Thus, models that aren’t 25 years old aren’t considered as old.
Material is also a big factor in the price of Thomas the train models.
However, they are pretty different from other train model brands.
For example, most model train brands that are made with iron instead of diecast metals tend to be very valuable.
However, Thomas the train models are different because their wooden train models are very valuable.
That’s right. Wooden Thomas the train models are valuable.
One example is a wooden railway Thomas the train set, which was sold in excellent condition with working accessories.
The train set was sold for $199.
Another example is a whole Thomas the train set that includes 140 wooden tracks, houses, two bridges, and accessories. This entire set was sold for $179.
But why are these wooden train sets expensive? Simply because they are harder to maintain and are more costly than their diecast counterparts.
Wooden models take precision and expertise compared to diecast metals that can be produced on a large scale.
Thus, for Thomas the train sets, the most expensive ones are the wooden models, followed by the diecasts, then the plastic models.
As you can see, Thomas the train models aren’t worth as much as high-end model trains.
There are many factors behind this, but the most relevant factor is that the models are meant to be played instead of being collected.
That’s why most Thomas the train models are made with plastics, especially the ones from Fisher-Price.
However, for every rule, there are exceptions, and we have seen this with some Thomas the train models that were sold for hundreds of dollars.
But if you’re getting into model train collecting with the value in mind, I recommend sticking to high eng model trains such as Hornby or Lionel.
Recommended Read: If you are interested in expensive model trains, you may check this post where I shared numerous model trains that were sold for thousands of dollars. Here is the post: What are model trains worth?