Toy Fair 2002

by Joseph Stachler

In February 2002, the annual American International Toy Fair was held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York. 

Toy Fair is always a lot of fun because this is the place where the newest playthings from around the world are unveiled by companies both big and small. This convention has been going on for almost 100 years. It stands to reason that model railroading has had a major presence at the Toy Fair during this time. The event is open only to buyers and sellers, but I happened to bring a digital camera along to give you a taste of what it's all about.

K-line Pictures

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Lionel Pictures

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MTH Pictures

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On the left is O Gauge Railroading's booth, on the right is TM Books & Video.

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The following two pictures I took because I enjoy James Bond films. The car on the left is an Aston Martin DB5. A DB5 was used in several of the Bond films including Goldfinger. The car on the right is an Aston Martin V12 Vanquish which appears in the new film Die Another Day.

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New York City Pictures

One of the best things about going to conventions in cities like New York is that the show ends at about 6:00 pm. That's like waking up to a day off in Manhattan. February 2002 was five months since the terrorist attacks on the United States. A visitor like me couldn't help but look towards lower Manhattan to see the changed skyline in person.

Departing Chicago. Though this looks a bit hazy, it was a very clear day.

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The Empire State Building as the sun begins to set.

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Radio City Music Hall. There's nothing like the magic of New York City at night.

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One of many inspirational billboards throughout Manhattan. This is in Times Square.

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One of many memorials for firefighters. This is outside one of the fire stations.

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One of many memorials for police officers. This is located at a police station.

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Where it all began: 24 Murray Street. Legend has it that Joshua Cowen put together his first electric train display somewhere in this building. This is located a few blocks from Ground Zero. Much of the "ground level" video taken throughout the day on September 11 was at this intersection of Church and Murray Streets. The Famous Pizza restaurant was seen in many shots. The main door to enter the building is located to the left of the pizzeria awning.

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This satellite picture shows just how close 24 Murray Street is to where the World Trade Center once stood.
Image courtesy of

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15 East 26th Street is an address many Lionel enthusiasts know very well from seeing it on boxes, instruction sheets, and catalogs. This was The Lionel Corporation's headquarters for decades. Along with the many offices, the famous 1949 showroom layout was inside this building.

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Another view of the old headquarters.

On the way to the airport, a quick (albeit obscured) picture of the Hell Gate Bridge.