1948 Technofix, No.246 Halloween Ghost Train in Original Box

1948 Technofix, No.246 Halloween Ghost Train in Original Box

The Halloween Ghost Train manufactured by Technofix was one their earliest post-war tin litho toys. Possibly that accounts for its blatantly descriptive attention to detail. Most everything related to Halloween, and more, was included on this double car tin litho clockwork toy. The manufacturer's name and catalog number are completely absent on the toy or box. In strong excellent+ to near mint it's also the highest grade of the three examples I've seen which were complete. And it's the single, only, complete box I've seen for the toy. I'm not sure why the toy is so scarce, but it definitely is!

The toy consists of six track sections and two cars. The cars are identical in size, lithography and shape. Only their colors, green and red are different. The lithography as you can see is unlike any other toy I know of. Rather than describe them....just take a look. It speaks for itself. Oh, and each car is marked "Made in U.S. Zone, Germany". It comes with an unusually shaped steel key which is probably original to the toy.

The track includes four curved and one straight straight. They're embossed and tin litho with interconnecting end tabs. Each is lithoed in a mosaic stone pattern and has evenly space brown rails and parallel tracks. Each is approximately 15" long. The total length is about 7½ feet.

The sixth section however, is different from the other five. It's also the centerpiece of the toy. It's nearly twice as wide as the other five and has two halves of an ultra-high embossed tunnel connected to it; one on each side of the track. The halves are hinged and interlock at the top with four metal tabs. The interior of the tunnel sides are black (as they should be). The exterior has a raised, nearly three dimensional scene of an viaduct style bridge shown in perspective. That is, it's drawn larger on one end to give it the illusion of depth. Two speeding auto's, also drawn in perspective, speed over, and onto the bridge. Several tracks pass underneath the bridge. A small cottage complete with smoking chimney and greenery, plus a huge snow covered mountain range and forest can be seen in the background. The same scene is repeated on both sides of the tunnel.

Inside the tunnel, built into the bottom of the track and connected to each other, are two mechanically sliding train stops. When a car passes into the tunnel a cog underneath the car catches against the stop. It can no longer move forward, but the motor is still running. Then the second car enters the tunnel from the opposite end. It's routed to hit the second stop tab, which it does, but the connection between the sliders releases the first train allowing it to complete its passing through the tunnel. When the tunnel halves are shut and both cars running, this action gives it the illusion of one color car entering, but a different color car exiting. That's the "scary" theme behind the toy. Long running clockwork motors were used to make sure that the toy works properly.

The box is an early style pressed heavy card stock held together with 90º angle staples in each corner. It features a wide, full color, hand drawn cover print. It depicts an accurate view of the red car complete with all the bogey men lithoed on the actual toy. Even the sleeping engineer is shown. It speeds through the night over a stone viaduct bridge with bats and an owl hovering about. A decrepit stone castle and crescent moon can be seen in the background. In my humble opinion the box is just as fabulous as the toy!

Size: Track see above, Tunnel approx. 9" long x 3" tall x 4" wide. Cars 4". 

Sold: Oct. 2008

Price Sold: $ 566


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Subject: 1948 Technofix, No.246 Halloween Ghost Train in Original Box

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