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  • Mini Marx Blazers VW Beetle

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    Marx doesn't get mentioned very often anymore, which is sad because for so long they were a dominant player in the toy industry.

    From Wiki:

    Louis Marx and Company was an American toy manufacturer in business from 1919 to 1980.

    Although the Marx name is now largely forgotten except by toy collectors, several of the products that the company developed remain strong icons in popular culture, including Rock'em Sock'em Robots, introduced in 1964, and its best-selling sporty Big Wheel tricycle, one of the most popular toys of the 1970s. In fact, the Big Wheel, which was introduced in 1969, is enshrined in the National Toy Hall of Fame.

    Initially, after working for Ferdinand Strauss, Marx, born in 1894, was a distributor with no manufacturing capacity. All product production would have to be contracted out for the first few years.[3] Marx raised money as a middle man, studying available products, finding ways to make them cheaper, and then closing sales. Enough funding was raised to purchase tooling from previous employer Strauss for two obsolete tin toys – the Alabama Coon Jigger and Zippo the Climbing Monkey.[4][5] With subtle changes, Marx was able to turn these toys into hits, selling more than eight million of each within two years.

    "Lumar Lines" was another name used for a line of floor operated tin toys, trucks, vehicles, trains beginning in the early 1930s, in the United States and England.

    Linemar toys was the trade name under which Marx toys were manufactured in Japan, then sold in the United States and other countries. The reason to make Linemar toys in Japan was to keep costs down. (there is a desirable line of late 1950s autos under the Linemar name, -jt3)

    During the 1960s Marx offered its Elegant Models, a collection of Matchbox-like 1930s to 1950s style race cars in red and yellow boxes. Also offered were airplanes, trucks, and, in the same series, metal animals boxed in a similar style. Some of the vehicles from this era were marketed under the Linemar or Collectoy names.

    In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Marx tried to compete not only with Matchbox, but with Mattel Hot Wheels, making small cars with thin axle, low-friction wheels. These were marketed, not too successfully, under a few different names. One of the most common was "Mini Marx Blazers" with "Super Speed Wheels". The cars were made in a slightly smaller scale than Hot Wheels, often 1:66 to about 1:70. Proportions of these cars were simple, but accurate, though details were somewhat lacking.[31] Some cars, however, included such niceties as a driver behind the wheel. While some of the earlier toys had a simpler Tootsietoy style single casting, newer cars were colored in bright chrome paints with decals and fast axle wheels. Tires were plain black with thin whitewalls.

    ref: Louis Marx and Company - Wikipedia

    Marx Toys had factories around the world at one point. Louis Marx sold his company to Quaker Oats in the early 1970s and retired at age 76. Quaker sold to another company, and by 1980 the Marx name disappeared from retail toy shelves, a rather sad ending to a company with a long history. But that seems to be the way of business all too often, as we also could see with Hubley and others. Even the names that linger often become a pale shadow of their former selves.

    To the model, a feature found on this line of Marx toys is the driver behind the wheel. A bit hard to see in my pics here, but he is there, happily motoring along!
    The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

    Thank you for your understanding.

  • #2
    Thank you for the neat background information on Marx - much of it I was not aware of. As a kid I had some of the Marx pressed steel trucks - suspect some of them might still be in one of those unexplored corners of the far basement room. I know at one time I had this VW Beetle in my collection. I was not aware of the connection with Linemar Toys - have a few of those little cars in my collection. And yes, I do recall having Zippo the Climbing Monkey - think though he got left in Idaho when we moved in 1960.

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    • #3
      I have the VW and Camaro. Hefty, and well made. I really like drivers in these. I don't actively collect them, however.

      The only Marx I have that ain't diecast is a crawler tractor--tinplate and plastic. Originally, it had a flint in it that sparked.

      Marx did some really nice stuff all along-trains, pressed steel, slot cars, toy soldiers, diecast, you name it. I was recently looking at some of the old Western figures they did in the '60s. They were designed very similar to the current Mattel True Moves figures, but better painted, and came with several accessories. Most tend to have survived well, so they were solidly made.

      Comment


      • #4
        Im also a fan of the drivers in these. Thinking they were only found in green ...

        Had a nice example a while back, unable to locate my pics.
        Here is a side view pic borrowed from jt3 showing the driver...

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        Eric

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        • #5
          Thanks for starting this thread jt3! I'll be looking for a Marx VW now.

          I wish I visited the Marx Museum when it was still open.

          The only Marx toys that I have left are two pressed steel tow trunks (very crude) and some Marx miniature cap guns. Sadly I sold many of the Marx cap guns and these are the only ones that I still have.

          If the pictures I posted are off topic, please delete them.







          I love the Marx cap guns!



















          The leather holster still amazes me.












          Comment


          • #6
            Originally posted by 69ch View Post
            Im also a fan of the drivers in these. Thinking they were only found in green ...

            Had a nice example a while back, unable to locate my pics.
            Here is a side view pic borrowed from jt3 showing the driver...

            Click image for larger version

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            Eric
            Boy, that's an old image, pre-hack attack
            The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

            Thank you for your understanding.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by The Old Timer View Post
              Thanks for starting this thread jt3! I'll be looking for a Marx VW now.

              I wish I visited the Marx Museum when it was still open.

              The only Marx toys that I have left are two pressed steel tow trunks (very crude) and some Marx miniature cap guns. Sadly I sold many of the Marx cap guns and these are the only ones that I still have.

              I love the Marx cap guns!
              The leather holster still amazes me.
              You might appreciate Lone Star, they too made a series of cap guns in addition to their model cars.

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              A gift from Random some time back, a Lone Star Sheriff badge
              The image file limits have been reset. Upper limits now are 100,000 when we have some images that exceed 5,000,000. I've set the pixels for no more than 1000 across the longest side, so if you resize to that all should be well. (The limits are larger than what I typically use, and my images turn out just fine, so I know it shouldn't be a problem)

              Thank you for your understanding.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by The Old Timer View Post
                Thanks for starting this thread jt3! I'll be looking for a Marx VW now.

                I wish I visited the Marx Museum when it was still open.

                The only Marx toys that I have left are two pressed steel tow trunks (very crude) and some Marx miniature cap guns. Sadly I sold many of the Marx cap guns and these are the only ones that I still have.

                If the pictures I posted are off topic, please delete them.







                I love the Marx cap guns!



















                The leather holster still amazes me.











                Nice!

                I was trying to find a Berloque pistol (legally a cap gun, but fires a very small 2mm pinfire cartridge, usually a blank, but ball cartridges exist); and stumbled upon those Marx cap guns a few years ago. While typically rather expensive, I've seen less knowledgable sellers sell them for cheap as "Miniature Cap Gun". Been meaning to get at least the 1911, but still haven't yet.

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