Chapel Hill, North Carolina based MDK Incorporated originally owned these products and eventually sold them to K-Line Trains which is in actuality a brand name for ‘S’ and ‘O’ gauge models of locomotives. At the early age of four, Maury Klein started manifesting utmost interest in toy trains watching intently battery powered trains make those endless loops on those toy train tracks. The most famous train sets during those days was the brand Lionel and he got one as a present at the age of six. Ho took it apart and tried to discern the ins and outs of a train and in1975, Maury Klein founded MDK Inc. which bore his initials.
Little did Maury realized that millions of people are fascinated with trains just like him and in 1974, while in school at the University of North Carolina, he was already earning through a small business selling train models via mail order. As his sales grew, he began to believe that there was enough opportunity for him to set up his own train company in the tinplate marketplace.
Claims for more shipments with the ever growing increase in orders of his model trains, Maury Klein built a building on a piece of land near Chapel Hill, North Carolina and this is where his mail order business started growing by leaps and bounds. His father entered the scene in 1979 to help Maury out in the making of new train models – the O27 and the ‘O’ gauge track now under the MDK K-Line, a brand and model of his own.
MDK sold many Lionel train brands and its closest competitor, MTH Electric Trains was likewise a huge dealer of these Lionel trains. While Maury’s mail order business grew, his ads appeared on well-known train magazines such as Model Railroader which was very famous towards the end of the decade 70’s.
Another competitor, Louis Marx and Company’s closed down finally in 1978 and this marked the ascent of Maury’s MDK K-Line of trains. Maury even bought the tooling and accessories formerly owned Marx and used it in his own production lines and he was able to buy all these heavy machineries and manufacturing paraphernalia at bankruptcy prices. He had a lot of the other tools Marx left behind by scavenging through the old warehouses and factories and eventually found the molds for the Marx 1947 model #333 pacific and #1829 4-6-2 Hudson locomotives in a run-down Fisher-Price warehouse a few meters away from Buffalo, New York. Part of the story was the warehouse was so dilapidated snow was falling off its roofing and the warehouse had no lights and no heating whatsoever and there they found the molds.
Maury again had some very fine acquisitions in the form of the Kusan rolling stock dies. These dies are design for building Auburn Model Trains which were American Model Trains as was earlier known. Williams Reproductions sold these dies to MDK K-Line in 1986 and in the same year, MDK was producingO27 locomotives, cars, and other figures.