All About Aurora Postage Stamp Trains
Here's a truly fascinating find: a pre-production train set. You can see they were fiddling around with color for the tray overlays (personally, I like these colors better). The box itself was pretty much the way it hit the street, but there were other subtle changes. Note the holes in the corners of the overlays for alignment pegs and detents, which were subsequently dropped. Also note the oddball power pack, and the handmade labels. And finally, note especially the date! If it's correct, Aurora was working on the product for nearly a year before its release.
Based on the box label, this set without power pack may have been a prototype as well, although it's missing the tray overlays. Also note the oddball assortment of rolling stock—a Union Pacific loco and a New Haven caboose in a box marked for Santa Fe.
The box covers on the prototype sets had subtle printing differences, although they're difficult to convey in photographs. The colors were somewhat more vibrant, and the paper was textured instead of smooth. Also, the front and back panels were applied separately from the gold portion that wraps around the sides of the box; normally it's all one piece.
With thanks to Bob Williams. Only a handful were made, and he has three.
Postage Stamp Trains is a Trademark of the Aurora Plastics Corporation.