Monday, May 23, 2011

Marx Cape Canaveral 'T' Building

Back on 9 Oct 2010, I wrote a small review for the 'toy_tin_litho_bldgs' Yahoo Group on today's featured Marx tin. So I decided to reprint the write-up here to save time - and because I'm too pooped to to put a lot into today's post :-)  Anyway - Enjoy!

"Info courtesy of:

The postwar era saw a need to develop tactics and techniques for America's expanding missile program. The area selected had to be remote and far from populated areas and it had to be large enough to accommodate downrange tracking stations and a headquarters and maintenance facilities. Although there was already a missile range at White Sands, NM, it was only 135 miles long and far too close to populated areas. In 1946 the search was on for a suitable site and three candidates were chosen; one in Washington, one in California, and one in Florida.

"On May 11, 1949 President Harry S. Truman signed legislation entitled Public Law 60 establishing the Joint Long Range Proving Ground at Cape Canaveral. The Banana River Naval Air Station, which had been transferred from the Navy to the Air Force on September 1, 1948 was renamed the Joint Long Range Proving Ground Base on June 10, 1949"

It's interesting that the headquarters for what would become the world famous Cape Canaveral started as the 'Banana River Naval Air Station'.

Well, the rest is history. Fast forward to 1958 where our part of the story begins. Marx introduced the 'Cape Canaveral Missile Base' series in 1958 and the photos downloaded here are of the first building included in these sets. It is referred to as the Cape Canaveral 'T' building. It utilizes the same shoebox building and tower as was found on the Tom Corbett/Rex Mars series, however the tower was laid down horizontally and held up by a plastic support borrowed from the tin-litho service stations. Topping the horizontal piece is the tall gray plastic radio antenna from the Marx Skyscraper. The buildings' footprint measures 12" x 12" and is 14" to the top of the antenna mast. The interior details are unchanged from the earlier Tom Corbett/Rex Mars versions. The set also came with 4 nicely detailed tin-litho fence pieces depicting the Florida beaches as viewed through a barbed-wire topped chain link fence.

The sets themselves contained a wonderfully wide array of missiles and launchers, accessories borrowed from earlier Tom Corbett/Rex Mars sets, technicians and myriad other pieces. Within the past couple of weeks, a Cape Canaveral demonstrator display sold for nearly $1500 on eBay. There would be many variations on the Cape Canaveral theme as well as a nicely done repo by the later Marx Toys, Inc firm of Jay Horowitz, a testament to the collectibility and desirability of this set. This was a wonderful toy from the Golden Era of The Race for Space."

                                                                                                   - 9 October 2010, Ed "ICE" Berg

Interior left wall

Interior main wall

Interior right wall

Ceiling detail

Fence section 'looking in'

Fence section 'looking out'