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What A 90-Year-Old Train Set Sold For On Pawn Stars

Over the course of its 12 years and 18 seasons on air, History's "Pawn Stars" has showcased hundreds of amazing trinkets from the past, including one 1923 Lionel-brand electric train set that, as the owner, Jim, tells Corey "Big Hoss" Harrison, still runs after 90 years.

With the great American Christmas tradition of setting up a miniature train around the Christmas tree, what better time could there be to have this Lionel barrel through the doors of the World Famous Gold & Silver Pawn Shop than during the Season 8 holiday episode, "Another Christmas Story"? Corey even reports that the Lionel company was responsible for the tradition!

Jim wants $1,100 for the four-car train set, but Corey isn't sure about that number, as he's found that each individual car often sells for its own price — which could range from $20 to $500 — making the deal pretty risky. Chumlee suggests that he and Jim assemble the set and that once Corey sees everything running smoothly, he'll feel more secure about buying it for the shop. Surprisingly, although he is obviously uninterested in seeing the train run, Corey greenlights the idea, but rather predictably says he won't help. Fans of "Pawn Stars" know that Corey is more of a motorcycle enthusiast, so he leaves Chum and Jim to set up the miniature railroad on their own.

A Christmas miracle: Corey really settles for the train set

Although Chumlee said he would help the Lionel train set's owner set it up, he ends up singing Christmas carols instead. But Jim is committed to getting his $1,100 asking price for his family heirloom, so he spends the time needed to make it all look perfect. Corey Harrison calls in vintage toy expert Johnny Jimenez to witness the train in action, and an impressed Johnny values the set between $1,200 and $1,400 — a bit on the low side for a functioning Lionel set of its age because of its well-loved condition.

After Johnny leaves, Corey recommences the negotiation, asking Jim, "You came in here asking for $1,100 ... what are you willing to take for it?" Jim replies emphatically — and to Corey's frustration — "$1,100!" Corey counters with $800, as he needs to make some profit on the train set, but Jim is determined to get what he came for, so he offers $1,099. Corey chuckles and asks for a serious offer — a challenge that Jim meets by coming down to $1,050. Because of Jim's winning combination of stubbornness and genuine attachment to the collectible, the two eventually settle on $1,000 for the 1923 Lionel train set.

Usually, it's the pawnbrokers who play hardball, but maybe Corey was feeling a bit of Christmas spirit during the negotiations. Regardless, with an estimated net worth of $5 million, Corey can afford to be a bit generous from time to time, and although this was before he threatened to leave "Pawn Stars" unless he got some equity in the company (and ultimately got his way), the occasional kind gesture on the show keeps things interesting.