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Marx Toy Corporation
Toylines (alphabetical order)
= playsets = (1960)
= toys from 50s = (1955)
All American Fighters (1967)
Animal Kingdom (1968)
Archies (1975)
Buddy Charlie (1967)
Johnny Apollo (1968)
Noble Knights (1968)
Presidents (1967)
Safari Adventure (1975)
Secret Agent (1967)
Stony (1965)
Vikings (1968)
Toylines (chronological order)
1955 = toys from 50s =
1960 = playsets =
1965 Stony
1967 All American Fighters
1967 Buddy Charlie
1967 Presidents
1967 Secret Agent
1968 Animal Kingdom
1968 Johnny Apollo
1968 Noble Knights
1968 Vikings
1975 Archies
1975 Safari Adventure
Company history
About Marx Toy Corporation    
In 1919, Louis and David Marx, men of vision and business savy, established the Marx brand name.

During the "Golden Era" of the fifties, Marx made over 20% of the toys sold in the USA and had factories in ten countries.

In 1972, after careful negotiation, Louis Marx sold his U.S. empire to Quaker Oats for $52 million. Just 3 years later, Quaker sold it to the British firm of Dunbee-Combex, which folded in 1980.

In 1982, American Plastic Equipment of Florida purchased the company's assets from the Chemical Bank of New York. Later, in 1988, they acquired the intellectual rights.

In 1995, a new entity, Marx Toy Corporation, was formed in Sebring Ohio. Although Louis Marx & Co no longer exists, their legacy of producing quality toy products continues.

Marx Toy Corporation is a separate company - not a successor to Louis Marx & Co.

Today, Marx makes Limited Edition Collector toys as well as mass market products in tune with contemporary trends.

Marx Toy Corp holds the inventory of thousands of First Quality US Molds built by Marx, as well as other prominent toy companies of the past such as Remco, Ideal, Aurora, Irwin, Kenner, Gabriel, Wonder, and Mego.
Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling    
Allan Raymond Miller took his obsession with toys and turned it into a museum.

Much of the collection is comprised of toys produced by Louis Marx, such as the ``Rock 'Em, Sock 'Em Robots.'' Between the 1940s and 1960s, Marx Toys Co. was the largest toy maker in the United States.

``He was so innovative and he made a little bit of everything,'' Miller said.

The largest of Marx's three factories was in Glen Dale, about 12 miles from Miller's museum. The plant closed in 1982. Another toy museum dedicated to Marx Toys is in Glen Dale.

Miller's collection includes a room full of Marx prototype toys. Many items came from Marx employees.

The prototype room ``shows
official website
    Marx Toy Corporation  Marx Toy Corporation
official website for Marx Toy Corporation
From the News Archive
Marx 1050s Military Playsets

Before the start of World War II, action figures were already some of the most popular toys among little boys. During those days, military action figures and their complementary accessories were usually in the wish lists of kids for Christmas and birthdays.
Marx toy soldiers made during 1930s and the 1940s were some of the most popular to play with, particularly the playsets that were themed around different battles. During those decades, the military playsets were made up of metals that were assembled and manufactured at the toy making facility of Louis Marx and Company. The toys made a big impact and inspired a variety of other toy manufacturers to design and make similar toy soldiers.
At the onset of the World War, metal toys were scrapped because almost all toy plants were asked to spare the metal for military purposes. Thus, other materials were sought and used. Tin and aluminum provide better alternative to the usual metals used to manufacture the items (such as lead).
In the 1950s, such action toys started being manufactured using plastic resources. The toys were not popular initially, but the flexibility and endurance associated with plastic won both children and parents over. So the material started gaining popularity as a toy making material.
The Marx military playsets included different types of figures like trees and rocks, animals and accessories, cannons and wagons and, of course, toy soldiers. Thus, kids were able to run a story plot and construct dioramas whenever they played.
Usually, the action sets included different figures in an environment such as a battleground, or with centerpieces like barns in a farm set, metal forts in a medieval castle and plastic forts in Fort Apache sets. The toy soldiers stood on a flattened base that enabled them to stand on their own without manual assistance.
Most of the Marx playsets are very colorful. The environment looks like miniature versions of actual environments while the accessories like cars were so beautifully crafted that they look just like actual but miniaturized objects. The soldier figures were not colorful, but they readily and appropriately serve their purpose and could be painted by hand as well.
Nowadays, the vintage Marx playsets are still very much sought after by collectors, though they can be difficult to find intact.
You can find all kinds of Marx figures available at Toy Soldiers. Have fun adding to your collection!
Posted 12/15/2007
Marx 1950s Roy Rogers ranch set

Q: I have a Roy Rogers Ranch Set, Marx No. 3979-3980. Everything is new.?What is its value?
A: Louis Marx and Co., founded by brothers Louis and David Marx, manufactured toys from 1919 through 1978. The company had a sales office in New York City and manufacturing plants in Erie and Girard, Pa., and Glen Dale, W. Va.

Initially Marx marketed toys by other makers. In 1922 Marx purchased the old dies from Ferdinand Strauss for the Alabama Minstrel Dancer and Zippo the Climbing Monkey. After making subtle changes, Marx sold 8 million units in two years. Louis and David Marx were millionaires by 1922.

The Marx line expanded through the 1920s and 1930s. Marx lithograph tin trains became a hit as did its vehicles. In 1928 Marx quickly joined the yo-yo bandwagon, selling over 100 million yo-yos. In 1937, Marx's assets were $3.2 million.

Marx converted its factories to war production from 1941 through 1945. It emerged from World War II as one of America's leading toy manufacturers producing cars, dollhouses, guns, mechanical toys, model trains, playsets, riding toys, service stations, vehicles and yo-yos. In 1955 Time magazine proclaimed Louis Marx ''the Toy King.'' By this time, Marx made more than 20 percent of all the toys sold in America and had factories operating in 10 foreign countries, including Japan and Hong Kong.

It produced thousands of Western items, some generic and some licensed, throughout the 1950s and 1960s. In 1951, Marx introduced its Fort Apache stockade. During the next 20 years, a variety of Western fort playsets would be introduced, e.g., Alamo, Fort Dearborn and Rin Tin Tin Fort Apache. Not all Western playsets were forts. Western toy sets included a Dodge City Western toy.

In 1952 Marx issued its first two licensed Western sets -- a Roy Rogers Ranch and the Roy Rogers Mineral City. During the balance of the 1950s, Marx issued more than a dozen different variations of Roy Rogers Western towns and playsets. Initially the figurines were a rubbery, flexible vinyl-like plastic. In the late 1950s the plastic formula was improved to allow finer details and more precise design.

Few Western town/playset units survived intact. Pieces were lost or damaged and discarded. Most eBay listings are for parts. The lithograph town units can be purchased for as little as $30, shipping included. In the extremely good news department, I did find that a 1957 Roy Rogers Marx Western Town, Series 5000 playset sold in April 2004 on eBay for $2,350. The set included all the original parts and paperwork plus the period box.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, in this case your Roy Rogers Ranch set, what is your set's realistic value? Assuming that it is complete, meaning no parts, paperwork, or packaging is missing, and it is in fine or better condition, its value is between $750 and $900.

Following Louis Marx's retirement in 1972, Quaker Oats purchased the company and then sold it in 1976 to Dunbee-Combex-Marx, an English company. Dunbee-Combex-Marx filed for bankruptcy in 1978. The Marx assets were liquidated in 1980 with Mego Corp. buying many of the Marx patents and molds. Since then, individual assets have been sold to a variety of companies, e.g., Mattel owns the rights to Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Robots.

In 1982 American Plastic Equipment of Florida purchased some of the Marx toy and playset assets from the Chemical Bank of New York. Intellectual rights were acquired in 1988. American Plastic Equipment has since reissued many of the playsets under the Marx brand name of the Marx Toy Co.

For more information, visit the Marx Toy Museum online at marxmuseum.com and The Official Marx Toy Museum of Glen Dale, W. Va., Web site, marxtoymuseum.com.
Posted 5/12/2007
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