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Marklin is responsible for the creation of virtually every popular model railroad gauge or scale, with only noteworthy exceptions being N scale and Wide gauge.
In 1891, Marklin defined gauges 1-5 as standards for toy trains and presented them at the Leipzig Toy Fair. Marklin followed with O gauge (by some accounts as early as 1895 or as late as 1901), H0 scale in 1935, and the diminutive Z scale in 1972 ?
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In some parts of Germany, the company's name is almost synonymous with model railroads.
Recently, the third game in the Ticket to Ride board game series was named in their honor.
The Marklin toy company systematically included a print run number on almost all their printed material, including the boxes in which their products shipped.
These print run numbers indicate the printer and also the month and year of printing.
Marklin's older trains are considered highly collectible today, and Marklin's current offerings enjoy premium status among hobbyists.
Although Marklin is best known for its trains, from 1914 to 1999, the company produced mechanical construction sets similar to Meccano and Erector.
Marklin released its first wind-up train with cars that ran on expandable track in 1891, noting that railroad toys had the potential to follow the common practice of doll houses, in which the initial purchase would be enhanced and expanded with more accessories for years after the initial purchase.
To this end, Marklin offered additional rolling stock and track with which to expand its boxed sets.
Because the two outer rails are not electrically isolated from each other, however, some do not consider Marklin's system to be a true three-rail system.
The Marklin system has some incompatibility with other manufacturers' H0 trains.
Marklin was among the first model railway companies to introduce a digital train control system.