Lou and Sol Kramer established Life-like in the mid-1970s. After WWII, they purchased the products of Varney Scale Models and applied the German manufacturing process to start their own brand. They specialized in model trains and accessories.
In 1973, Sol found an industrial engineer named Wai Shing Ting to produce an electric motor for their models. With Wai Shing Ting added to the team, Life-Like expanded its range of products into manufacturing model trains and accessories.
The Kramer family sold the business in 2000. Their parent company, Lifoam Industries, used Life-Like trademark for its low-cost starter train sets.