Guide to Plasticville, USA Boxes

by Joe Kutza

Through the years, Bachmann has periodically updated their Plasticville boxes. Joe Kutza has developed a guide so that we can more easily identify the various box styles. This guide is only for individual pieces and does not include dealer boxes, boxed sets, or display units. Please provide us with any comments or additions that you may have.


Type 1 (Pre-Plasticville)

  • Type 1 is the pre-Plasticville box. It doesn't say Plasticville on it. It does boldly state Bachmann Bros., a theme that won't return for decades.


Type 2A


Type 2B

Type 2 — A & B (Early Box)

  • This is your basic early 1950's Plasticville box.
  • Limited to 2 colors.
  • The sides of the box have a line of Plasticville buildings, simulating a village.
  • This box clearly states Plasticville, U.S.A. and "Made to Scale for Popular Size Trains."
  • These boxes also feature the phrase "Patent Applied For" and therefore are presumably from before 1952, the patent date of Plasticville.
  • Type 2A has the pop-up lid while Type 2B does not.


Type 3

  • Still limited to 2 colors, this box is very similar to the Type 2 box. However, here we see for the first time the statement "Plasticville, U.S.A., the Original Plastic Village."
  • On some variations of this box we see all number catalog numbers such as the 1401 Frosty Bar or a combination of letters and numbers such as the SW-2 Switch Tower.
  • The statement "Made to Scale for Popular Size Trains" is still present. We still see the buildings along the edges of this box. This box no longer states "Patent Applied For" and instead shows the patent date of 1952.


Type 4

  • This box features more detailed color and a scenic view of the piece.
  • Additions to this box include the word "Regular" before Plasticville, U.S.A. "Scaled to O and S Gauge" now replaces the "Made to Scale for Popular Size Trains."
  • The phrase "The Original Plastic Village" seems to have stuck and will be seen in the future.
  • This box is quite similar to Type 5 but is clearly a forerunner. Another example of the type 4 box is the 1901 Union Station. The main difference between type 4 and type 5 is the color, pattern, and fonts found on the sides.


Type 5A


Type 5B

Type 5 — A & B

  • The side of this box is yellow, white, and red.
  • The top has a colorful scenic litho with a red border.
  • No significant wording changes have taken place and the line of buildings are still along the edges of this box.
  • There are 2 variations of the Type 5 box. Type 5B features no borders at all and the drawing is replaced by a painted scenic picture of the item.


Type 6

  • The sides of this box are blue, white, and red. The top has a colorful, scenic litho.
  • The U.S.A. in Plasticville, U.S.A. now appears in a shield.
  • Another change includes "O&S Gauge" appearing in an oval on the sides and top of the box.
  • There is also a new statement in the lower right corner of the top of the box: "Exclusive Snap Fit Assembly, No Glue Needed for Assembly."
  • Finally, the row of houses is no longer seen on the sides of the box although examples of other pieces available may be seen.


Type 7

  • This box features a color picture (not a drawing or painting) of the item.
  • The picture is surrounded by a wooden frame.
  • The "O&S Gauge" remains in an oval and the phrase "the Original Plastic Village" is still present.

Type 8A — Currently No Picture


Type 8B


Type 8C

Type 8 — A & B & C

  • This box features a scenic litho surrounded by a white border.
  • It features the wording "The Original Plastic Village, Just Snap Together, No Glue".
  • For the first time since the late 1940's the "Bachmann" name appears in large type rather than as an aside.
  • "Bachmann O-S Scale" (Type 8A).
  • Type 8B states "Bachmann O-27".
  • Type 8C features a color picture of the item rather than a litho drawing, and has the O-S designation.


Type 9A


Type 9B

Type 9 — A & B

  • This box features the words "Plasticville, U.S.A." in a tricolor red, white, and blue.
  • There is a scenic litho on the top with a view of a typical village.
  • For the first time a picture of the piece inside the box is not specifically shown on the top. The name of the item is found on the top and the ends of the box.
  • Wording includes "Bachmann O-S Scale" "The Original Plastic Village", Just Snap Together, No Glue".
  • Type A has the name and the catalog number of the item in the upper right corner of the top of the box.
  • Type B does not.


Type 10 (King Box)

  • This is the box made for the King Distributing Series.
  • It's very generic, made of corrugated cardboard, and has a label stuck on it rather than the typical litho.
  • It states "O&S Gauge", "Limited Edition", "King Distributing, Old Forge PA 18518"


Type 11 — A & B (Red & White Box)

  • Manufactured in the early 1980's, this box is red and white and features a picture of the item (not a litho drawing).
  • "Bachmann" and "Plasticville" are arched around a "B".
  • The wording is somewhat awkward and includes the phrases "for use with all Lionel and other O scale layouts", "O scale building and landscaping kit" and "Snap Fit Building Kits".
  • Type A boxes have 4 digit catalog numbers and
  • Type B boxes have catalog numbers in the 45000 series.
  • Also notice the use of the term "Item no." These appear to have been produced when Bachmann was changing from the old 4 digit system to the new 45000 series. You may find boxes with stickers indicating the 45000 series number while the old 4 digit number is found underneath the sticker.


Type 12A


Type 12B

Type 12 — A & B

  • For the second time in the history of Plasticville boxes, these boxes do not specifically show a picture or litho of the piece contained in the box. One has to look at the end of the box and read the description to determine what is inside.
  • Again the Bachmann "B" is featured but now the phrase "Bachmann Quality Since 1833" is arched around it.
  • We also see the phrase "Easy To Assemble O Scale Building Kit".
  • These boxes are mostly blue and were introduced in 1997, the 50th Anniversary of Plasticville.
  • Type 12A are mostly blue and
  • Type 12B are mostly green. There are also size variations in these boxes, some are larger and some are smaller.

Type 13 — Currently No Picture

Type 13 — (PCA Box)

  • Sturdier box than Type 12.
  • Contains a reference on the label to the PCA.
  • (more info and picture coming soon)


Type M — (Miscellaneous)

  • This is a generic category for items which did not have an actual box. This includes poly bags as shown, blister packs, and cards.