THE A-TEAM ELECTRIC TRAIN SET
I pity the fool who don't collect TYCO! The 1980s ushered in a new level
of "toy" trains from the company. "The A-Team" set comes from the NBC TV-series starring George Peppard and Mr. T. The RF-16
shark nose powered this set and included a tank car, flat car, and box car, plus the streamlined caboose. All items were painted
in a fatigue dark green with a red stripe. A stick sheet is included in the set that offers various sized "A-Team" logos to
decorate the loco and cars. The set also offers a helicopter and van, plus various other small items to be placed on the heavy-stock
cardboard play mat that was also included.
Collectors should be aware that this set was produced in larged quantity,
but still commands a fairly good price today. One assumes that the majority of these sets have seen some heavy action and
are in much less than mint condition. There are great ones still out there though, I picked up this set new-in-the-box with
all stickers unused for only $15 at a swap meet in Topeka, Kansas.
G.I. JOE ELECTRIC TRAIN AND BATTLE SET
Enjoying the longest catalog life of any of this series of sets, the G.I.
Joe set shares many of the same base pieces that are found in other similar offerings. The set is powered by the Diesel Switcher.
The cars in the set are standard TYCO items: the 50' Flat Car; 40' Tank Car; 40' Gondola; and Streamlined Caboose. The set
includes the 'G.I. Joe Strike Force' which is made up of green army men, a helicopter, two tanks, a jeep, a boat, and two
paratroopers. The 'Cobra Command Enemy Army' are blue army men, a bridge, two tanks, a jeep, and two paratroopers. The set
also included a play mat for its oval of track.
MASK ELECTRIC TRAIN AND ACTION PLAY SET
Based on a children's animated TV-series, the MASK Electric Train and Action Play Set, No.7410, was seen in the mid-'80s.
Notice that this set and the one done for "Transformers" are essentially the same train parts.
Switcher is toughened up with a few laser cannons or a satellite dish receiver and you've got a modern piece of machinery!
TYCO did do some new tool-and-die work on the gondola, which is used in this set and the one for "Transformers."
The Car Launcher is also found in the set for "A-Team." The building is cardboard and folds together.
RAMBO ELECTRIC TRAIN AND BATTLE SET
The RAMBO Electronic Train and Battle Set, No.7415, is sometimes confused
today as simply an Army train. I see the cars labeled "Special Forces" on eBay, with no mention of "Rambo." The set included
a 36"x45" layout mat with plastic army men and a small plastic bridge.
The train set was the Diesel Switcher, which
certainly got a new lease on life in the '80s thanks to sets like this one, pulling the 40' tank car, 50' flat car, 40' gondola
with with load, and caboose.
TRANSFORMERS ELECTRIC TRAIN AND BATTLE SET
(1985 and 1986)
Another tie-in to a children's TV-show was The TRANSFORMERS Electric Train
and Battle Set, No.7430. Like other similar Movie and TV tie-in offerings, this set offers a play mat, cardboard buildings,
and plastic figures.
The train itself, called the "Autobot Train" in the catalog description, does offer some fairly
interesting work from TYCO. The loco is the poor little Diesel Switcher with a receiver on its hood and panels that fold up
on its side. A box car that vaguely resembles the 50' plug-door box car is new tool-and-die work. It features a very European
style single truck mounted to the body of the car. The box car 'transforms' into the set's weapon center. The gondola, same
as the one it the MASK set, offers a laser cannon. The caboose looks much like the streamlined caboose from the regular line.
It is however all new work, as it folds into a battleship ship.
I find this set interesting as the cars ride on these
odd single truck sets and the couplers are non-standard too. They give the appearance of "knuckle" couplers, but are rather
large in scale. The switcher carries the typical X2F coupler on its nose, while the cars in the set use this large and unique
Collectors should note that this set often seems confused on eBay in listings. Frequently, I find it mentioned
as 'futuristic train' or some such attempt by those who don't know it to be the "Transformers" train. This set also is plagued
with the sticker problem that most all this line suffers from. Trying to find a mint version with good or unused stickers
is a challenge.