ERTL Diecast Cars

by funwithtrains

ERTL is a name known by most people who are into collecting diecast toy cars. ERTL is an American toy company that produces plastic and diecast toys, and also some radio controlled vehicles.

Johnny Lightning Diecast Cars

by funwithtrains

Johnny Lightning Shelby Mustang

The Johnny Lightning brand of diecast cars got its start in 1969 as a brand of Topper Toys with a focus on being faster than competing diecast cars on miniature racetracks. One edge that many Johnny Lightning diecast cars had over the competition was that the cars were designed to accommodate a catapult device that could speed them along racetracks much faster than other brands.

Jada Diecast Cars

by funwithtrains

Jada Toys Camaro

Jada Toys was founded in 1999 in California, and produces electronics, radio controlled vehicles, and Jada diecast cars.   And when it comes to Jada Toys diecast cars, there are many different types to choose from, including:

  • BigTime Muscle -- classic American muscle cars
  • D-Rods -- hot rods based on American cars from the 1920's through 50's
  • Dub City -- low-riding cars with custom rims
  • For Sale -- old vehicles in aged, weathered condition
  • High Profile -- jacked up trucks, SUVs and dune buggies
  • NEXGEN Muscle -- based on recent retro muscle cars like the Charger, Mustang and Camaro
  • Option D -- based on the import tuner craze of suped-up Japanese cars
  • Speed Racer -- based on the cartoon series and movie
  • VDub$ -- classic and custom Volkswagen cars
  • And many more!

One neat group of diecast cars in the Jada diecast cars product line is the "For Sale" product line.  One nice example here is the 1965 Shelby Cobra that has rust spots covered with primer, missing seat back and a marred paint job.  Another example is the Jada For Sale VW Beetle diecast car shown below.

Lionel Trains

by funwithtrains

Lionel electric trains are what most people first think of when they think about American electric trains. Most Lionel Trains are produced in O scale (about 1/48th of real-life size), which is about twice as large as HO scale but yet a good bit smaller than G scale trains.  Lionel does make some train sets in G scale, however those are mostly Christmas train sets.  Years ago, Lionel also produced some trains in HO scale, but no longer.


If you are new to the model train hobby, Lionel starter sets are an easy way to get up and running with Lionel trains.  In a starter set, you generally have everything that is needed to start running a train: an engine, some train cars, a loop of track, a power source and a controller (sometimes the power source and controller are combined).  Because starter sets are often "loss leaders" to get customers into the model train hobby, Lionel starter train sets can be an excellent value -- usually with a price much less than you would have to spend if you purchased each item separately.

Trix Trains

by funwithtrains

Trix Steam LocomotiveThe Trix company began making model trains in 1935.  In 1997, Trix was acquired by another German model train company (Marklin trains).

Trix model trains are made in HO scale (which is 1/87th of real-world size) and N scale (about 1/148th of the real-world size), the two most popular sizes of model trains in the U.S.  Trix produces models of trains based on trains from the United States and many European countries.



Bachmann Trains

by funwithtrains

Bachmann trains are produced by Bachmann Industries, a company founded in the United States.  Bachmann electric trains are one of the most popular brands of trains in the world, and are produced in four scales:

  • Bachmann HO scale
  • Bachmann G scale
  • Bachmann N scale; and
  • Bachmann On30 scale.

Bachman trains are often priced more affordably than European electric trains, although many Bachmann trains (but not all) are not quite as detailed as European model trains either. Bachmann trains range in quality from inexpensive "toy trains" (which are not based upon an actual real-world train) to more detailed "model trains".