Friday, March 23, 2018

TRAIN TIME: 'Mother's Nightmare' Marx No. 400 Wind-Up Engine with Baking Soda 'Smoke' and Bell

We're gonna switch gears here again. I at first wanted to re-engage with The Flintstones toys but then totally forgot I had done a couple of train videos back in January. 

This engine has been referred to as 'Mother's Nightmare' because it throws up baking soda (or talcum powder, or whatever) by design as a substitute for smoke!! Under the smokestack there is a soft vinyl bulb in which powder is poured. A striker bar is attached to the drive rods and every time they move forward the bar presses against the bulb pushing it in and causing the powder to puff out.  The engine is the venerable Marx No. 400 and this powder puffer was made in electric and wind-up versions and included in at least several sets. 

Ya know, Marx did a pretty good job designing toy trains but this idea was an absolute boner! Who at Marx really thought that throwing powder all over the place was a good idea? Really? REALLY??? That being said, it actually works quite well hahahaha Here's the scoop for today's post: I dragged this out of the box because I was gonna sell it. Soooo I thought I would clean it up a little, run it, and film it. Not realising at first that this was the powder throwing engine, I tipped it over and that crap spilled every where. Yeah, I was miffed and I emptied the rest in the garbage canIt is for that reason you will not see any powder puffing out of this thing on the video. I WAS NOT going to get the Edge of Town layout full of powder. :-) So anywho, Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Pressman Toys 54mm Counterweight Trebuchet

A Counterweight Trebuchet is another form of catapult using a long swinging arm to hurl its shot. Its kinetic energy is derived from the massive counterweight on the front end which, when released, force the arm carrying the shot to swing upwards and throw the projectile quite a long distance. First appearing in the 12th century they, like other catapults and ballistas, were made obsolete by gunpowder based weapons. The toy measures 8" (20.32cm) L x 2 1/2" (6.35cm) W x 5" (12.7cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Wednesday, March 21, 2018

Pressman Toys 54mm Catapult

Here's Pressman Toys Catapult which measures 3 1/2" (8.89cm) L x 3" (7.62cm) W x 3 5/8" (9.20cm) H. I recently got some bagged knights and siege equipment that do include catapult shot which would be perfect for these little gems. While the ballist uses a rubber band to hurl ammo, this catapult has one small spring to provide the kinetic energy needed to fling the arm upwards.  Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

Tuesday, March 20, 2018

Pressman Toys 54mm Ballista

Yesterday I posted the hand-painted Viking from Russia so for the next few days I thought we'd look at some siege equipment before moving back to The Flintstones. Pressman Toys produces a 54mm Ballista, Catapult, and Trebuchet all of which hurl shot or arrows. Unfortunately none of the ammo is included with the toys so you're on your own when coming up with something to shoot. I haven't started lookig for arrows for this but am thinking about just taking some kabob skewers and cutting them down to size. We'll see. I believe these were all part of an earlier game called "Castle Attack" which included some castle walls, figures, and the siege equipment we'll show. I don't have that set but remember seeing photos of it, unfortunately I never saved copies of those pics for reference - my bad. All of the equipment is very well detailed and thought out, striking a nice balance between a toy that's meant to be played with and an accurate representation of a historical piece. The Ballista measures 4" (10.16cm) L x 3 1/2" (8.89cm) W x 1 1/4" (3.17cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina