Archive for the 'Marx Toys/Playsets' Category

Marx Toys: Giant Martian Landing Play Set (1977)

Martian Landing

Martian Landing-3

Martian Landing-2

Martian Landing-4

According to the article (probably from Playset Magazine) in this Hake’s listing, the Martian Landing set was originally released in 1972. Marx was in decline throughout the ’70s, and the traditional toy soldier format was displaced by Kenner in 1977. (What’s an action figure but a cross between a toy soldier and a doll?)

The idea of the set and the box art are way cooler than the finished product. It’s just a repackaging of the far superior Operation Moon Base. Pieces/molds used in Martian Landing were used in Marx’s later space-themed sets, including Star Station Seven and Galaxy Command.

(Images via eBay)

Marx Toys: Wagon Train Play Set

marx wagon train

marx wagon train-2

marx wagon train-3

marx wagon train-4

marx wagon train-5

I’m not sure how I lassoed myself into posting as many of these Marx sets as I can find, but it’s too late to turn back now. Git along, little dogies.

Marx Toys: Captain Blood and the Buccaneers Play Set

That alligator has a working jaw, mateys. And thar be a treasure chest as big as a pirate ship!

Marx Toys: Rex Mars Planet Patrol Play Set

Marx Rex Mars Playset

Marx Rex Mars Playset-5

Marx Rex Mars Playset-2

Marx Rex Mars Playset-3

Marx Rex Mars Playset-4

This one is circa 1953, which explains the quaint phrase on the side of the box—“Have you all of them?”

Why, no, Marx Toys, I do not have quite all of you at the moment. But I shall do my best to rectify that oversight. In fact, as soon as I finish my tea, I’ll ask grandmama to drive me to the toy emporium…

Marx Toys: Galaxy Command Play Set (1979)

Galaxy Command 1979-1

Galaxy Command 1979-2

galaxy command mego

Galaxy Command was an expanded version of the previous year’s Star Station Seven. Both sets share the same mats, and both reuse parts and figures from Marx’s popular space sets from the ’50s and ’60s—Tom Corbett Space Academy, Operation Moon Base, Cape Canaveral, etc. It took Star Wars to reignite kids’ interest in rockets and stars after the Apollo program ended.

Marx went bankrupt in ’79, but some of their trademarks and molds were picked up by other toy companies, including Mego. The last image above shows the Marx name covered by a Mego sticker (bottom right corner). The date on the sticker reads 1980.

Marx Toys: Johnny Ringo Western Frontier Play Set (1960)

marx johnny ringo

marx johnny ringo-3

marx johnny ringo-2

This son of a bitch just sold for $7,900 on eBay.


Wrapping Christmas Gifts, Circa 1973: Marx Battleground Play Set

The carpet, the sofa, the wood, the lamp, the clock next to the lamp, the clothes, the army men—ladies and gentleman, you’ve reached the 1970s. Please leave a message of appreciation after the beep.

(Via grickily/Flickr)

Christmas Morning, Circa 1962: Marx Operation Moon Base Play Set

I think he’s holding a coonskin hat! And you know he’s just dying to get the pictures over with so he can try out that sweet sled.

Marx Toys’ Operation Moon Base was released in 1962, the year John F. Kennedy gave his now legendary moon speech:

There is no strife, no prejudice, no national conflict in outer space as yet. Its hazards are hostile to us all. Its conquest deserves the best of all mankind, and its opportunity for peaceful cooperation many never come again. But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? […]

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

It is for these reasons that I regard the decision last year to shift our efforts in space from low to high gear as among the most important decisions that will be made during my incumbency in the office of the Presidency […]

Marx Operation Moon Base

Marx Operation Moon Base-2

(Image sources: Darrin’s Photoclique and Time Warp Toys)

Marx Toys: Mountain House Play Set

Compare this set to a couple of real life plywood vacation home designs I wrote about in a previous post.

The designs are from 1960, and the play set is from the early to mid-’70s.

Is the identification of home ownership with the American Dream a natural impulse or a national neurosis?

Marx Toys: Star Station Seven Play Set (1978)

star station seven instructions

These moon rocks don’t stand a chance.

UPDATE (3/6/13): I’m adding an instruction sheet I just found. It’s dated 1978.




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