Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Keystone Bus Terminal

Under the heading, "What was I thinking?" comes this Keystone Bus Terminal. Bought out of the sheer desire to just have something made by Keystone, I purchased this for relatively little money. I'd seen pictures of comlete bus terminals and knew it was missing all of it's external accessories like stop light, penny meters, signs, etc but I had never owned a Keystone building and just wanted to see what they were like. You know what it's like? BIG  Yup, this is the kind of toy you need to make room for if you're planning to put it on a train layout because it'll take up a serious chunk of real estate much like their service stations. Marx and T. Cohn were also known for making large service stations, warehouses, etc. To be fair, these toys probably weren't going to end up on a train layout but rather on the floor as junior pulled out his cars and trucks. This is the only bus terminal that I'm really aware of and it makes a terrific addition to any miniature cityscape. The building comes with a plastic bus which is about 1/43 - 1/50 scale and so is perfect for use on 3-rail O-gauge layouts.

Okay, on to the toy. I believe this was a mid-to-late 1950s offering from Keystone. It is made of lithographed paper on heavy cardboard, and has a garage with opening door on one end of the building to accomodate a couple of buses. On the other end there is a waiting room with newstand with a curved picture window made of thin clear acetate looking out towards the roadway. The roadway wraps around the building and is marked with arrows to show the flow of traffic and splits off into "Interstate" and "Local" lanes. The base measures 24" (60.96cm) W x 17 3/4" (45.08cm) D  (compare that to the typical base of a Marx service station which measures 26"/66.04cm x 15"/38.1cm). The terminal building measures 14 3/4" (37.46cm) W x 6 1/8" (15.55cm) D x 5 3/4" (14.60cm) H. As stated previously, my sample is missing all the external accessories and it has other issues as well. The carboard is delaminating from a few places, the garage door will open but won't close without taking the roof off because the cardboard is delaminating and splayed out preventing it from riding smoothly in the  channel. The window acetate is broken and cracked and the bus is a hot mess. STILL, like the old saying goes - it displays well :-)  With a little but of work this toy can be made to look really spiffy again. Unfortunately I'm not the one to do it. I don't have the time, the patience, or the ability to mess with this stuff and because it's taking up shelf space it's next up on the chopping block. As soon as I can find a suitable box for it it's going up for sale on fleaBay. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

The bus is a wreck. The doors are missing, the body cracked, the window frames tore up, and the window inserts with sihouettes of passengers are all torn out. I don't know how many buses originally came with the terminal.

It measures 7 1/4" (18.41cm)  L x 1 5/8" (4.12cm) W x 2" (5.08cm) H

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