Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (2024)

Today’s blog is a fun one where validation and anger are going to go hand in hand. We’re looking at my favorite 10 boxcars of all time, and I’m certain this one will stir up some fierce debate. From vintage Lionel boxcars to modern boxcars, our list spans over half a century of rolling stock. From Disney to the legendary 6464 series, we’re going to see it all today!

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (1)

Coming in the 10th spot on my list is my hometown bias on full display. I couldn’t resist including my home state of Georgia in this list, and boy did I get lucky when I found this beauty. This ‘I love Georgia’ car saw its first release in 1999, and hasn’t been reproduced since.

Boasting a beautiful turquoise base with red accents, this is one of the more vibrant Lionel boxcars you’ll find on this list. The bubble lettering with the shadowing creates a nice little pop to go along with the top-notch base design. It’s one of the cheaper cars on this list with a market price currently set at right around $20, so you won’t have to break the bank to add this little hidden gem to your collection.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6-19985

Years Manufactured: 1999 - 2000

Scale/Era: O Modern

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (2)

Rolling into the ninth spot is this royal purple eye-catcher from none other than Lionel. The Broadway Minnie car was originally released in 1999, and featured in a long line of Disney/Lionel collaborations. If you weren’t caught up stockpiling your doomsday shelter in preparation for Y2K, then chances are you were busy ordering this Lionel boxcar instead. Buying trains with the end of the world at stake? I don’t blame you.

Showcasing a stunning purple base with green accents throughout the body makes this a must have for anybody looking to collect unique Lionel boxcars. We’re still at the bottom end of the list too, meaning this boxcar is relatively cheap with a market price around $20 and isn’t terribly hard to get your hands on either.

Disney and Lionel have a long standing relationship spanning back all the way to the 70s, so it was nice to see this collectible feature as a symbolic transition into the new millennium. Without a re-release planned for the foreseeable future, I’d recommend getting your hands on this purple beauty before it gets harder to find.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6-19271

Years Manufactured: 1995 - 1995

Road Name: Disney

Scale/Era: O Modern

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (3)

Lionel is no stranger when it comes to obtaining a license to make something cool, and that’s just what we have in the number eight spot. Released in 2015, the Halloween Peanuts boxcar is one for the nostalgia nerds. Few Lionel boxcars have such a feel good effect at first glance, but Charlie Brown and Woodstock will do that to you.

Created by Charles M. Schulz and deputing in print on October 2, 1950, the Charlie Brown franchise has become a huge part of American culture and holiday traditions. I can honestly say we still sit down to watch the Thanksgiving special every year even decades after the original airing of the episode. So why not keep that a little bit of that feeling with you year round?

The black base goes from flat to fun in a flash with some wonderfully detailed orange doors and a cartoon panel that runs the length of the car featuring Charlie Brown and the gang. Fetching a market price of right around $180 makes it one of the pricier modern Lionel boxcars on the market. If you’ve been looking to cash in on some of your piggy bank savings, this is definitely one I’d put up for consideration.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6-39363

Road Name: Lionel

Scale/Era: O Modern

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (4)

With the number seven spot of my favorite Lionel boxcars, I’ve decided to go back to some hometown bias, but can you blame me? Lionel once again flexes their licensing muscle with this awesome Coca-Cola boxcar. Being an Atlanta native, I couldn’t ignore our greatest export, Coca-Cola! For those of you who may be unaware, we’re the birthplace of America’s favorite drink, and it’s something we’re pretty proud of in the South.

Combining some hometown love with nostalgia, Lionel worked their way into my heart with the Coca-Cola polar bear design that was so prevalent in most of their 90s marketing campaigns. Red and white always make for a great paint scheme and this car is no exception. Released during the holidays back in 2018, I’m a little upset I missed the initial release but luckily Trainz.com has a few handy.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6-39361

Road Name: Coca-Cola

Scale/Era: O Modern

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (5)

Stopping off at the number six spot on my list is the Tab Boxcar from the 1975 Lionel Coca-Cola diesel freight set (model # 6-1463). I’m not ashamed to say that pink is my favorite color, and Lionel produced a stunner with this one. Personally, it’s my favorite of all the Lionel boxcars, but there are some gems I just can’t put behind this car on the list, so sixth is a fitting spot. Some younger enthusiasts might not remember Coca-Cola’s diet drink from the 80s and 90s, but those of who lived through parachute pants and neon colored windbreakers certainly do.

The pink design instantly stands out from your traditional rolling stock, and is an immediate conversation starter for those unfamiliar with the car. Actually the whole set features unique soda cars, each with their own fun design. Funny enough, it’s becoming increasingly hard to find a complete and original set nowadays with lots of collectors completing the set piece by piece over time. With a market price of just $20 it’s definitely worth adding to your collection!

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6-9744

Years Manufactured: 1974 - 1975

Road Name: Coca-Cola

Scale/Era: O MPC

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (6)

Now that we’re at the halfway point of my list, you can expect things to get pricier and much harder to find. Disney gets a second feature on this list with this Snow White Hi-Cube boxcar from the MPC era. Of all of the Lionel boxcars from that era, this piece featuring one of Disney’s most famous princesses is the hardest to find.

The original set was released in 1978 and featured a Mickey Mouse diesel locomotive with a massive 13-car convoy in tow. Of the rolling stock, none are worth more than the Snow White car fetching a cheeky $200 on the market. The set itself is worth a pretty penny, and is exceptionally hard to complete without some diligent market research.

The white base is brought to life with a very cool ‘easy on the eyes’ green to complement the rest of the car. I’m a big fan of colors, and whoever was in charge of designing the set must’ve somehow known since each car features some great colorways.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6-9667

Years Manufactured: 1978 - 1978

Road Name: Disney

Scale/Era: O MPC

Model Type: Freight Cars

Before we head into my top four Lionel boxcars, I think it’s important to make some notes about the upcoming cars. Each entry is from the legendary 6464 boxcar series, and have become some of the hardest original boxcars to find on the market. Tandem Associates came in handy when I put this list together, so be sure to check out their page for tons of informative material. With countless fakes and Frankenstein pieces out there courtesy of some shady individuals, these cars are hard to find and harder to authenticate. So despite the Tab car being my personal favorite, it would be crazy to rate such a common car ahead of these legends.

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (7)

Coming in with a bang at the number four spot is the 250 Western Pacific Boxcar with the Type IV body mold. Originally released in 1966, this was the last 6464 boxcar released during the Postwar era, and comes in a whopping four different variations with one harder to find Type III body, and the rest coming in the Type IV body.

Being one of the more reproduced cars on the market, collectors should beware of fakes when looking to add to their collection. Features like the white rubber stamp lettering and blue feather are especially important when trying to verify authenticity, and are easily overlooked by many. There’s also a ‘D’ variation model that features a purple feather, oftentimes being mistaken for a fake.

Commanding a market price of $300, this is actually one of the “cheaper” 6464 cars in the series. When it comes to top of the line vintage boxcars, you won’t find one much better. I have yet to add one of these to my collection, and it might be a while considering we have just a handful in our inventory.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6464-250

Years Manufactured: 1966 - 1966

Road Name: Western Pacific (WP)

Scale/Era: O Postwar

Model Type: Freight Cars

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Dropping into the third spot on my list is . Starting at a cool $500 on the market, this is arguably the hardest car to find on this list, and that’s for good reason. This car was only released in 1956 and never featured in any set beyond that release.

They’re faked to no end, and Lionel themselves have released reproductions of this car in the later iterations. On top of that, one of the biggest issues with the original release was getting a car off of the factory line with the silver paint unblemished, according to the folks at Tandem Associates.

With just a single release, I’d recommend jumping on this car first thing if you’re able to get your hands on an authentic piece. The silver and blue design still looks great even by modern standards, and is a bragging piece for anybody that’s lucky to have one. It doesn’t get much better than this when we’re talking about Lionel boxcars.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6464-325

Years Manufactured: 1956 - 1956

Road Name: Baltimore & Ohio (B&O)

Original MSRP: $70.00

Scale/Era: O Postwar

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (9)

Making a return is a familiar face in the “feather” Western Pacific boxcar. This time, I’m featuring the Type IIA variation – the rarest amongst seven different variations offered for this car. Rather than make you scour through old Lionel Postwar catalogs, I’ve decided to go ahead and make things easier for you. The Type IIA is the one you want.

Coming in at a whopping $600 market price as of writing, the 6464-100 boxcar is not going to come cheap. As is a common element with these cars, there’s tons of fakes on the market. The larger “Western Pacific” lettering accompanied by the smaller “built by Lionel” lettering are some signs to look for when verifying authenticity.

Being one of the earlier cars in the 6464 series (released in 1954-1955) this car is increasingly harder to find, with just one in our inventory at the moment. It’s the type of piece that elevates a collection boasting historical precedence and rarity. If you’re lucky enough to get your hands on a real one in collectible shape, never let it go!

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6464-100

Years Manufactured: 1955

Road Name: Western Pacific (WP)

Scale/Era: O Postwar

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (10)

We’ve finally made it to the top of the list, and I’ve got something special for my top spot! We’ve seen lots of different Lionel boxcars in this list, but none are more scarce than the top car on the list. The 6464-700 Santa Fe boxcar released in 1967 for the TCA convention is a home-run find, and in three years at Trainz.com and having seen well over 20,000 different items – I have yet to get my hands on this one.

According to the folks at Tandem Associates, Lionel didn’t have time to create a special edition TCA car in 1967 and offered this version of the original 1961 release instead. The kicker? The 1967 6464 TCA Santa Fe car featured a brass door instead of the usual plastic offered on the original model. If only the people at the Baltimore Convention knew then that this vintage boxcar would become one of a kind.

Fetching a sizable $700 on the market at time of writing, this might be your priciest boxcar purchase to date. Rarity isn’t excluded either, with only one available in our inventory at the time of this blog being written. For those of you that are lucky to have one, the value is only expected to climb as plans for a commemorative re-release are highly unlikely. Who would’ve thought a convention blunder would wind up in the creation of one of, if not the rarest Lionel boxcars ever made.

Product Info:

Manufacturer: Lionel

Model Number: 6464-700

Years Manufactured: 1961 - 1966

Road Name: Atchison Topeka Santa Fe (ATSF)

Scale/Era: O Postwar

Model Type: Freight Cars

Denis' Top 10 Favorite Lionel Boxcars (2024)

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