In the late 1920's the Ives Corporation declared bankruptcy and found itself taken over by its two major competitors. By the early 1930's, only one of the takeover firms remained in control of the Ives tooling and had begun incorporating Ives products into their own product lineup. These were known as the "transistion" years and lasted until 1934 when the Ives named ceased to appear on tinplate cars and locomotives.
One of the most famous and collectible of the transition era trains was the 1694 Electric locomotive of 1932. This 4-4-4 locomotive headed up a 3-car 1616 passenger consist from original Ives molds. Sporting a beige cab and red roof and chassis, the locomotive and cars were never produced again. In fact, the original matching production run of cars, which included the 1695, 1696 and 1697 cars was limited to just 2,600 sets. Released during the height of the Great Depression, the cars and engines didn't sell well and according to Greenberg's Peter Riddle were eventually sold as close-out sets in Canada, Great Britain and other foreign markets.
Now for the first time since a non-powered reproduction was released in the early 1970s, tinplate O Gauge fans have a chance to obtain one of the most rare trains ever produced in our all-new Tinplate Traditions Ives 1694 Set. Fully outfitted with Proto-Sound 2.0, these locomotives and their matching cars will quickly become the pride of any tinplate collection thanks to their flawless fit and finish and unique operating features.
Available in the classic beige and maroon scheme or two optional schemes designed to match earlier 1616 original passenger car releses, the Tinplate Traditions 1694 is sure to become one of our most popular reproduction releases.