Monday, June 20, 2011

Marx Toys, Inc Cape Canaveral ARDC 'Orange Top' Building

In 1960 Marx introduced the first of three 'Red Top' Cape Canaveral buildings in its new 'Atomic Cape Canaveral' series of playsets. The building gets its name because of the red plastic roof platform having a central flagpole and several antenna's. After Marx folded, the new company founded by Jay Horowitz, Marx Toys, Inc., started re-issuing the old classics. One of these re-issues was a Cape Canaveral playset complete with a new and revised tin-litho centerpiece building. Above the door on the front of the building is the Air Research and Development Command (ARDC) shield just above the words 'U.S. Air Force Missile Test Center'. Just above the rear door is written 'Air Research and Development Command'. The building is topped by the same platform but this time in an orange hard plastic. My set was missing the U.S. flag which normally would have graced the central flagpole. The original Marx sets would have included a tin-litho flag, but other New Marx sets which had flags, used paper instead.

This building has one major design change from the original Marx in that the edges of all three building sections are rounded, not having the sharp, squared-off edges of the originals. This is typical of New Marx buildings and I call it their 'breadbox' design versus the 'shoebox' design of the originals. Another very interesting feature is the way in which the three building sections are joined together. They've simply taken the pegs normally used for the 'Alamo' playset building and walls, and used them as fasteners to join the Cape Canaveral building sections!

The fence sections are totally re-designed in this set as well. The graphics are every bit as good, but the sections are shorter and higher. I personally like the taller fences better than the originals.

Overall the set is quite nice and pretty faithful to the original and the tin is quite nice as well. Hope you enjoyed this overview!

The building components are nested in a small box

The same type pegs used for the Alamo walls are used to hold the building components together

Looking in

Looking out

At top is an original Marx fence. Compare in size to the Marx Toys, Inc. fence on the bottom.