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1957 TRIANG (HO GAUGE) 1961 ATHEARN AND RIVAROSSI


lights off. Life-Like made an appear- ance in 1978 and in 1980 became a main supplier. Tyco returned briefly 1985 with TV-based “Mask” and “Transformer” electric train play sets. Any pretense to scale was gone. HO had become toys for boys who watched after-school action cartoons and want- ed to incorporate those fantasies with their trains. Such was the state of a very small segment in our hobby. Unsure what HO meant in the long


run, Simpson-Sears tried one brand af- ter another, with several years having only cheap Japanese imports. When Tyco entered the catalogs, children and parents wanting something better than toy trains could at last find something Canadian. It’s easy today to dismiss Tyco for tinplate-like models with fanciful names and liveries, but in Canada it made a genuine attempt to meet na- tional expectations. They were decent scale models for the era. Sears Roebuck and Montgomery


Ward carried far fewer brands before opting for Tyco and new smaller N scale in the late 1960’s which Simpson- Sears did not in the time frame dis- cussed here. Tyco and Life-Like made it possible for many to move on to more serious model railroading than a Christmas set. Who can argue with that? It’s interesting to see in the years


American roads. Two unusual freights from 1975 to 1976 were what I call Canadian Heritage sets for want of a better term. One came with a white Alco C-430 with red stripes and red maple leafs and a matching white and red ca- boose. It was a time approaching our


RAILROAD MODEL CRAFTSMAN


own bi-centennial. Other sets varied in consist and layout sizes and were priced between $19.95 and $89.99 with some having operating cars and accessories. In 1978 a Silver Streak “Night Glow”


plated diesel with glow-in-the-dark trim was seen most effectively with the


selling them, a small note on page bot- toms said HO trains were precision toys and well suited for children over eight. Here it was thought HO was best for young teens, but it appears that age had been lowered to further advance HO sales across the border.


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