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Märklin may well be the oldest remaining manufacturers of toys, and most certainly of toy trains and model railways. Established back in 1859 by Theodore Märklin this family firm started making tinplate dolls houses. Continued by his wife his sons turned the firm in to a limited liability company in 1988. A clockwork train was shown at the 1891 toy fair starting the move to model railways. The firm prospered and in 1911 moved in to an impressive new 6 storey factory in Goppingen. At the time many firms used their own track systems and Marklin did much to help establish some standardization in gauges, perhaps by the sheer influence of market share, O gauge and gauge 1 being the most popular. Electric powered models arrived in 1925, Ho models in 1936 and the catenary system, which has remained a feature of the Ho range in 1938. In the 1950s the firm moved towards more modern production methods and greater realism. 1950 the production of their O gauge tinplate models ceased and in 1953 Märklin changed over to perhaps their best known, and justly famous feature, the track sleepers now had a stud contact point rather than a central rail (as continued to be used by Hornby and any number of american manufacturers). This immediately gave a vast improvement in appearance whilst still allowing their (or other firms) uninsulated 3-rail rolling stock to operate ,which would not have been possible if they had changed to 2-rail. The design was implemented very well, the studs only protruding slightly from the sleeper tops and nowhere near as unrealistic as a continuous third rail. Some care had to be taken with the design of the central pick-up skates, which had to lift over rails (which themselves had to be insulated) at diamond crossings and points. I find it interesting that Märklin is so happy with their stud design that they even mould fake studs in to their "My World" plastic track, an attempt to insert the design in to young minds perhaps? The continual production of Ho 3-rail with ac power may have been a saving grace for Märklin, for if you started out with their system relatively few manufacturers would compete. It is perfectly possible to use 2-rail rolling stock and modellers have added central pick-ups to 2-rail locomotives which leaves the aspect of the motors. Simple enough to use a bridge rectifier to convert ac to dc but what if you want to reverse direction? Traditional (non-digital) 3-rail locomotives have normally used a timed pulse of power to toggle a relay between forwards and reverse but these were never needed in dc designs. Despite having near to half their domestic Ho market Märklin did produce a limited number of 2-rail variants under the Hamo sub-brand to compete against Fleischmann, Trix, Roco, Liliput, Rivarossi and others. Not having started on N gauge but interested in selling a compact "table top" system Märklin decided that it would go even smaller with Mini-Club, a 6.5mm "Z" gauge 1:220 scale sytem, with their first products in this range appearing in 1972. For those interested in railway modelling or the history of railways you may like to know that Märklin has maintained a museum since 1900.

Since the 1980's railway modelling has become more of an adult pasttime, youngsters having many other electronic items competing for their time and money. Märklin has however introduced two Ho sub-ranges that may better appeal to young children.
"My World" has battery powered locomotives with infra-red hand contollers capable of running on plastic track. A range of supporting buildings for use with these trains and the child's other toys are available. In concept it is similar to the range of Geo-Trax toys that Fisher-Price used to offer but with far better regard to proportion.
"Start Up" might be considered as something that bridges between toy and model railways. The locomotives and rolling stock are simpler in design that the normal models and will better withstand handling yet can be used with them. A particular feature with some of the models is studded surfaces allowing the ubiquitous "plastic bricks" to be incorporated and extend and customise the models.

I sell most Märklin group products, this section of the website being their Mini-Club z gauge 2-rail model railway items. As I have only been accredited as a dealer in 2020 I would not expect to hold large stocks in comparison to other shops but would hope to provide a simple order and delivery service at an attractive price.

I order on a roughly monthly basis. If the items are in stock at the warehouse it will probably take a week to reach me and another week in the post before it is due to be delivered to you. It must therefore be understood that there could be a four week delay before delivery. In some instance it might be quicker but you should not rely on that. If this delay is not acceptable then please do not place an order.

I am trading under the Micro Entrepreneur regime, I pay the equivalent of TVA/VAT sales tax up-front when I buy goods and I can not exempt this for any purchasers who might be TVA/VAT registered.

Due to my location in the countryside of France's Massif Centrale I am not expecting passing trade but that is not to say that I do not like meeting other model railway enthusiasts or possible potential customers. If you would like to meet up then please do not set off in blind hope, contact me to arrange a rendez-vous first. I do sometimes post on the AFRM website (a group of english speaking railway modellers in France).

French is not my natural language, and for the limited range of words that I do understand my speed of translation is slow. If you are able to speak english I will be able to answer your queries more quickly. If you want to contact me please use email. If you speak french (or another language) then please either use a translation facility (such as or at least understand that I will be trying to use such a system on your text so please avoid abbreviations, slang or idioms that are likely to provide problems for a silicon based translation.

I am happy to post within metropolitan France and also the "western" EC countries (United Kingdom, Germany, Holland, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway, Austria, Spain, Portugal, Italy, Luxembourg, Monaco, Republic of Ireland) plus the Channel Isles. When using the site please select between the "France" or "other country" shipping option (if you should make a mistake on this then you can zero out the shopping basket and start again).This is not to say that I may not consider posting to other countries such as Switzerland, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore or Japan who generally have a reliable delivery system and if you happen to live in one of those and would like to buy anything then please contact me and I will see what can be arranged for shipping.

A further comment on postage costs: I am initially having to guess at the likely cost of posting single items. I would agree that adding in a duplicate item ought not to double the cost however I am having to make a choice within the options of the Paypal shopping cart and have defaulted to the method where there is no postage discount for multiple items (which worked for my previous web shops where multiple item purchases were not that common). If you are buying lots of compact and lightweight items then I can either offer to refund the excess postage or, if you prefer to pay the correct amount in the first instance, send me an email with your items and I can then make a specific invoice for that bundle.

You should also understand that some of the older items in the catalogues will be out of production whilst newer ones may not yet have been produced.

My individual product line pages are intended to show the items that are available in the warehouse now or slated for production and open for pre-order. Please understand that I use the predicted production dates as provided by the factory or importer and these may be subject to delay.

Unlike most other model firms the Maerklin group does not maintain an easy to access image bank for their dealers. I have managed to obtain their images for perhaps 95% of their current stock. If I have not provided an image of an item that interests you then I would in the first instance suggest using the usual search engines and if that fails then by all means email me and I will make a direct request.

If you happen to like Gauge 1 or O gauge items in live steam or electrically powered models in Gauge 1, O, S or Ho (or Standard or O gauge in tinplate) then I also sell MTH and Accucraft products.
The Hornby Hobbies group covers OO gauge for Hornby, Ho for Rivarossi, Jouef, Lima and Electroten together with Electroten TT and Arnold N.

When you have read and understood the text above please select for delivery to either

metropolitan France or for the other western european (EEC 12) countries.

Doing so should take you to the product pages.