Blue Plastic Tracks
Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Museum - Printable Version

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Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Museum - Vio - 03-29-2020

Original author did not respond to emails since a month ago, so our team assumed that something grave on his side had happened and we will not question him about it.

Last update of this site was 15/3/2009. A lot of things have happened 11 years after the last update and many Plarail have become even rarer than it was before. So my team and I have decided to update the Phantom Gems of Plarail section ( for it's 11th anniversary of idle activity. (still in progress, I will insert images later)

Phantom Gem 35: C-62 きてきいり(汽笛入り)C-62 Steam Engine

Released in 1978 and suddenly vanished before 1980. It was 2 years of lifespan and it was regrettable that it didn't survive long. This steam engine was comparable to the original Benkei in terms of battery location, but it had a whistling system in the body of the main engine (but Benkei does not) and it uses 2 AA batteries in the tender car. Whistling system was a very fine gimmick during that time. It came in a brown 4th generation box (Densha Box), which is the hardest box to find in auction sites these past 5 years. This box is also produced during 1978-1980 so the C-62 became out of print together with the 4th generation box design. The C-62 was included in the C-62こうかセット (C-62 Bridge Set), which failed to meet production for more than 1 year. Again, the lifespan of this set was regrettable, what is worse is that the set had completely original rail parts: green block piers, brown bridge, C-62 with it's container car.

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Phantom Gem 36: 新国際空港セット New International Airport Set

Similarly with the C-62, it was 2 years of lifespan. From auction statistics, there are only 5 sets that are known to survive today (which includes my set). The airport tower was completely original and it is the first airport tower in Plarail history. It is the only set to have Old Colour Skyliner as a double car set. The set is manufactured to celebrate the grand opening of the first Tokyo International Airport. Commercial flight brands at that time are Pan-am and Japan Airlines, and this is the only TOMY set licensed to use the Pan-am logo. Today, Pan-am is retired and no other TOMY set ever featured Pan-am in their products.

YouTube Demo:

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Phantom Gem 37: リレー号 Relay Shinkansen EC-18

1983-1984 only. It disappeared from the catalogues very early. It's counterpart, Odoriko-Go おどりこ号 looks very similar to it but is much more mass produced. The Relay Shinkansen appeared in an Automatic Double Pass Station Set as a 2 car set, but the set became nearly extinct during it's final appearance in the catalogue. Since Plarail was nearing the winter production period, factories produced less toys than the normal periods. Unfortunately, Relay Shinkansen and Hankyu 6300 was caught during this period and both immediately saw near halt of production.

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Phantom Gem 38: 1st Generation ちんちんでんしゃ ChinChin Toden 8000 VS 2nd Generation ちんちんでんしゃ ChinChin Toden 8000

1970-1973. It produced a bell tone each time it passes half a long straight rail. There is a difference between the 2 versions. The initial print had a hollow front window with black piece slid behind it, and the 2nd generation had a driver printed on front window itself. What we are looking at is the second generation Toden 8000, the driver in front did not survive long himself. It was regrettable that the Toden 8000 seen today have their driver scratched off or faded away into history. There are few Todens with their drivers still in one piece, but it will cost more than 2 first generation Todens. The driver is the main highlight, and collectors sought for the driver's survival. There was a challenge in the past where billionaires took part in a competition to collect all trains with a driver picture in front. Unfortunately, no collector has ever managed to get all those trains. It ended up as an impossible challenge due to the phantom Fukuoka Tenjin Subway and it's counterparts.

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           1st Generation                     2nd Generation

Phantom Gem 39: 電車(青)Electric Train Blue (All generations)

We are looking at the unpainted roof electric trains, whether front switch or not. These trains are sold in select areas in Japan as a limited production item. It immediately vanished from each generation phase before the red, yellow and green versions have disappeared. Blue Electric Train never appeared in every catalogue, and was never mentioned by the old TOMY (Toyama Trading) ever since the first appearance. It makes a true Electric Train collector cry trying to collect all the different colours of the Electric Train.

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Phantom Gem 40: 近郊型でんしゃふみきりえきセット(関西色)&(横須賀色)Suburban Train Railroad Crossing Set (Kansai Colour) and (Yokosuka Colour)

There are 2 variants of this set. These set have 2 different colours of the Suburban Train and the Railroad Crossing. The trains have the longest front switch length in history of Plarail, and what makes the Kansai colour more rare is that the box cover only shows Yokosuka Colour. Both boxes have the same cover, so a gamble is to be taken to win Kansai colour. It is said that Kansai colour is nearly 150 times harder to get than the already Phantom Gem Yokosuka Colour. There is 1 Kansai Colour among 150 produced Yokosuka Colour. Both versions became out of print in 1976, the same year that they are produced. It is truly a Phantom Gem of Plarail since the beginning of production until end of life. It should have been in the Phantom Section a long time ago, but it not found)

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                                         Yokosuka (Left), Kansai (Right)

Phantom Gem 41: パノラマ特急基本No.3ディーゼル特急セット Panorama Limited Express Basic Set No. 3

Panorama Limited Express ended production at 1977, but Basic Set No. 3 is released in 1977. So a very small number of the remaining manufactured Panorama are packed in the set. The set's box only states L Limited Express as the default train. Some sets have a Diesel Yakumo included, but is very short lived (box cover is the same for L Limited Express). The set in general costed 3800 yen during it's time and only children from a rich family are able to get one. It was a known luxury set during 1977-1980. This is also the final moment where the Panorama Limited Express was sold.

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Phantom Gem 42: First Y Rail

Late 1959? This rail came from a set manufactured by old TOMY, Toyama Trading. It has a non uniform shape compared with today's Y rail. It curves inward at the top, and curves outward at the bottom. It is the king of all Y rails and the hardest Y rail to use in all types of layouts.

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RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Super - 03-29-2020

Wow, that C-62 used 2 AA batteries in its Tender, I never new of that set up. Do you know if its the omly Plarail that used this double battery Tender ever?

I also wasn't aware of the Toden 8000 have 2 variations. I had only seen the one with the driver pictured in the front window. I am recalling seeing a video where they had replicated the drivers picture as a scan or something. I remember it being very good.

Thanks for the info Vio Smile

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-29-2020

Phantom Gem 43: 1979 Catalogue and Booklet

Credits to my team leader for this one.
He won an auction for an unconfirmed 1979 catalogue, it remained unconfirmed for nearly 41 years.

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Phantom Gem 44: Light Blue Overhead Pillars and Orange Piers

Plarail, which had been a single track for a long time since its birth in 1959, was introduced in 1968 with a double track system. Looking at the package at that time, there are light blue overhead pillars and orange piers, but their existence has not been confirmed, so they may be prototypes.
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RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-29-2020

(03-29-2020, 10:10 AM)Super Wrote: Wow, that C-62 used 2 AA batteries in its Tender, I never new of that set up. Do you know if its the omly Plarail that used this double battery Tender ever?

I also wasn't aware of the Toden 8000 have 2 variations. I had only seen the one with the driver pictured in the front window. I am recalling seeing a video where they had replicated the drivers picture as a scan or something. I remember it being very good.

Thanks for the info Vio Smile

Speaking in terms of vintage, this is the only one.

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-29-2020

Phantom Gem 45: Electric Plastic Train Red

Credits to other team's member.
This only came in a 1961 set, there is also a black version of the train. The last and only auction ended 219000 yen and it is said to never come back again in the future.

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Phantom Gem 46: ひかり号こうかセット (Blue Nose Hikari Bridge Set)

This is one of the rare moments where the white bridge and a blue nose Hikari has paired up together. It was released for a very short time in 1975. And talking about orange piers, the prototype made it's first appearance here but in a different form.

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Phantom Gem 47: コンテナ積みおろしセット Container Unloading Set

The most advanced gimmicks in Plarail history. Where a forklift goes back and forth, turns left and right to lift up crates just by the friction drive of the lighted gray EF-15. There are way too many signature items in this set, and production halted nearly a year later after production in 1980 due to high production costs. A set in terrible condition now would cost more than 180000 yen.

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Phantom Gem 48: プラハイウェイ Plastic Highway

Team leader headed out to Osaka for a party. A nearby used toy shop was near. This is what we found.
The bus was the same bus in the Highway Terminal Set. This is the initial Plaroad set, the set that started all motorised Tomica and Plaroad. Later sets like "Plaroad 301" came up and the Plastic Highway immediately was out of sight for a long time. It almost looks like a Giant Double-O-Eight set if you ask me...

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Phantom Gem 49: メロディーD-51 Melody D-51 (All Melodies)

This is the strongest rarity among all gimmick Plarail. With a feared reputation to endangering the Melody Tohoku Joetsu and the Hankyu 6300 in terms of production, it became the new wonder of Plarail. This made the production of Tohoku Joetsu and Hankyu 6300 suffer. Even during Melody D-51's production, it was only short lived by less than 1 year and immediately became out of print due to high manufacturing costs and electronics during the 1980s are extremely expensive, causing Tohoku Joetsu and Hankyu 6300 to disappear within the same period. Unfortunately its survival is at stake today and only an estimate of 4 surviving Melody D-51 have a flawless functioning music passenger car. Cuckoo Waltz and Railroad Song are the 2 known melodies currently. It is estimated to sell for around 130000 yen if a good condition masterpiece is up for sale.

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RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-29-2020

Honourable Mentions:

ファミリーりょこう サロンカー Family Travel Salon Car

JNR (Japan National Railways) began to disappear, and new train development was stagnating in the 1980s. Plarail development also stagnated. 2 years of the 1983-84 began to sink, also the winter era of Plarail. This train is produced in 1983. Since 1983, newly predicted dangerous Phantom Gems such as Melody D51 and Tohoku Joetsu, Relay Shinkansen, Hankyu 6300, R/C series are all produced at that same period. The Family Travel Salon Car is feared to be a stagnating product and is feared to cease production. Although it is quite a spirited product, the number of production is extremely small, it seems that it appeared on the lineup until around 1987, but it is currently unknown whether production was continued or whether it became out of print. This train comes with dolls, to be placed inside the passenger cars.

Under honourable mentions due to cost. The current market price is around 14000 yen, which is not on par with the average phantom gem price.

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RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Super - 03-29-2020

Are those clear roofs on the Salon cars?

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-29-2020

(03-29-2020, 11:03 AM)Super Wrote: Are those clear roofs on the Salon cars?

Translucent, they can be removed to fit in the dolls.

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-29-2020

Phantom Gem 50: All Farm Related Plarail

牧場セット 1970 Ranch Set, D-51牧場セット 1976 D51 Ranch/Farm Set, ファームハウス Farmhouse 44 are farm Plarail.
Farm theme was discontinued in 1976, Farmhouse 44 marks the last product to be released.
1970 Ranch Set immediately disappeared 5 months after initial release, it is so rare that the original packaging is unknown until today. It has surfaced the internet just a few weeks ago (I started a thread on this). D-51 Ranch set appeared in a commercial in 1975, and released in 1976. The interest wasn't really there, due to that awkward spinning cow whenever the train passes the ranch. So it became a stagnant product and became short lived. That is the only set with yellow wagons mind you... And last but not least the farmhouse itself that is sold as a single product, it came straight out of the D-51 Ranch Set. Beware of the lorry, it tends to get missing from the farmhouse. It decreases the overall value by nearly half if that happens.

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Phantom Gem 51: フェリーボートセット Ferry Boat Set

Nice boat! (if you know what I mean). That is the first generation boat in Plarail history, 1976. It is a very famous and wanted set. Again like all other gimmick sets, it became too expensive to manufacture and immediately became out of print in a year after initial sales. It was a shame that the production was way too small, but there is a Thomas reprint. Cranky crane replaces the light tower, and Thomas replaced the D-51 (shame on TOMY for that poor choice of using fictitious characters to reprint the set, entirely my opinion). It is rumoured that this set was out of print 6 months after sales, and actual buyout price would be 70000 yen for an OK condition set.

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Phantom Gem 52a: Spanish Plarail

Tu Primer Tren Electrico and Tu Primer Tren Minero are 2 things to look out for. These trains inherit the background artwork and the body styles of the Japanese trains.
Could be around 1965-1977, depends on which product you are looking at. Only sold in Spain, by GEYPER (Spanish TOMY). The log loader is a big surprise and is highly wanted in Japanese Round Trip Sumioroshi Sets.

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Phantom Gem 52b: Spanish Yuuenchi

Yuuenchi is different from Plarail in the sense that Japanese Yuuenchi did not have the Plarail logo. Probably 1965?
Yuuenchi is a widely known Phantom Gem in the Japanese world.

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RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Super - 03-29-2020

Do you have any info on the vintage, rare, Plarail ship/boat that ran on blue tracks? Not the one in the set above that is a ferry, I believe the one I am talking about is just a big ship with a character captain.

I think its this...

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RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-29-2020

The boat is not the exact concept with the metal rod and goes halfway across the curve, so it will not be counted as a phantom gem. However these kind of things are rare to some extent that you can't find videos of it running. As you can see the boat is battery powered.

モンコレAG ムービーバッグ 劇場版 蒼海の皇子マナフィ
"Moncolle AG Movie Bag Theatrical Version Prince Manaphy of the Blue Sea"
A luxurious set with a lot of rails, image maps, backgrounds, script, etc., a ship called Blue Lagoon is the Plarail boat, and it runs on the rail with a figure on it. Since there is no Plarail logo in the product name, it is often removed from the Plarail category.

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-30-2020

Phantom Gem 53: SL-nn Series of 5th Generation EC Box Genealogy

The real value lies in the box, around 80% of the value remains. These boxes never appeared in any marketplace for the past 5 years (except for SL-03 C-12, just last month). These are very short lived boxes, most of the trains are in a set. Unfortunately the trains are not as valuable as the box.

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Phantom Gem 54: All Groove-less Tokai Express Trains Until 5th Generation EC Box

The grooves on the Tokai is the way to tell whether a Tokai is older or newer. The Original Tokai had no deep grooves in between the windows and doors. This Tokai is very valuable in today's collection, it is quite hard to spot the differences from far away. If you look at the sides, you will find that the beautiful mold is used before reprinting.

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       Not Phantom Gem                    Phantom Gem            Phantom Gem, Look at the axle holders. (That is the first generation axle holders)

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Super - 03-30-2020

Wow, I am so surprised that the Boat set went for only 1980yen, I always thought this set to be one of those very hard to find. I sure wish I knew about that auction as I sure would have been a part of it as the set looks to be in great shape. Shipping a box that size might have been a lot but I still would have been interested, not so much for the other parts of the set but just for the boat.

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 03-30-2020

Sure it is hard to find but the problem is its popularity, its not popular without the Plarail logo and that is why it is forgotten. Not many people know about its existence, but that boat is battery powered and it is not guided by a metal rod and not powered by the train that climbs on the ship.

RE: Continuation of BigLobe Plarail Musuem - Vio - 04-01-2020

Phantom Gem 54: D-51きしゃ(青) Blue D-51 Kisha

There are 2 types of D-51 Kisha: Black and Blue. It seems that the blue version was very limited in production, sold in different prefectures in Japan during 1973 and discontinued in the same year according to a myth, but some books that I read said they were released in 1970 or released in 1971, and noticed that different rumours are present. Blue D-51 is listed in the catalog of 1970, so it seems that it will be confirmed as of 1970.

However the number of surviving blue D-51 are extremely small today, an estimate of 55 survives today. This box does not have the ST mark printed on it so it was launched before it met toy safety standards. A blue D-51 would be one of the most unhistorical Plarail to date due to the colour and the wagons.

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