Friday, November 26, 2010

K-Line #K-4091 Firehouse

For the past couple of months I've been posting photos and articles of K-Line plastic buildings on the 'MarxTrains' Yahoo Group.  In particular, those buildings using the old Marx tooling that Maury D. Klein purchased from the bankruptcy court after Marx folded.  As a result of his far-sightedness, the old Marx buildings can still be enjoyed.   I'm posting it here because:

A) It is a toy &
B) Not everyone wants to join a Yahoo Group just to get their information.

As today is Fire Truck and Emergency Vehicle Friday I thought I would present an entire set, not just a single, stand-alone toy.  As with many of my toys, this one was meant to be compatible with a 3-rail O-gauge toy train layout.

Marx, and by extension, K-Line was no stranger to anomalies. After all, their entire line was small sized and mostly more suitable for S-gauge than O-gauge. The Marxville plastic Army Barracks was HO scale and the chicken coop was 54mm (approx 1/32 scale). K-Line did in fact begin to change this around first by designing new facades for the stores and later by offering brand new buildings with all new tooling, but by-and-large their Marx reissues were all smallish But the anomaly in question for today's Kronicle has to do with this one particular building which I acquired some years back. It is complete and mint but there are several things which bother me somewhat.

1. First, the finish has a bright glossy luster to it. Generally speaking, the K-Line reissues had a duller finish, perhaps as the result of the tooling beginning to wear and might be hard to detect unless one has a similar Marx building to place side-by-side. The difference can be likened to a glossy paint finish vs. an egg shell finish. But not this building; it is every bit as bright and shiny as an original Marx building.

2. Second, some of the color is `wrong'. The gray roof/doors/windows are an-off color. I know by experience that the grays' discolor to a funny tannish hue, but there is usually evidence somewhere on the model where one can see the discoloration process.

3. Third, the fire truck has the exact same `discoloration' – if in fact that's what it is. That is highly unusual. The color appears to be saturated through and through and not just on the surface.

4. Last, the fire truck's molding is every bit as clear and distinct as the original Marx versions. Again, generally speaking, the K-Line fire trucks have rather indistinct details. They simply don't `pop' as on the originals.

The accessories included with this kit differ from the original Marx offering by the inclusion of the Police and Fire Station Accessories Mold Group (old Marx Mold Group PL 543) which includes:
1. Lamp post
2. Street sign
3. Parking meter
4. Police call box
5. Mail box
6. `FIRE ZONE' sign
7. `STOP' sign
8. Trash can
9. Bench
10. Fire hydrant

NOTE: Although Marx labeled these as the `Police and Fire Station Accessories' Mold Group and pictured them on their Fire House box, no known mint examples of the Marx Fire House included these and the Marx catalogs also do not show the accessories as coming with the building.

Additional Accessory: Fire Truck; one piece hard plastic.

1. Fire Chief
2. Fireman w/hose
3. Fireman running
4. Little boy walking, wearing fireman's helmet, holding boots (often listed inaccurately as a man with boots)
5. Dog (Dalmatian)

K-Line Logo Location: No logo is present.