Monday, October 10, 2011

Marx Fort Apache Carry-all w-Tin HQ & Stable

When I first started collecting tin-litho toys I had picked up a couple of these Marx Carry-all's. Their concept is really good - take a playset, put it in a sturdy container, add a handle to make it portable like a briefcase so you can take it to your friends house to play, and decorate the exterior to match the theme of the contents. Other companies, like MPC, put handles on cardboard playset boxes but the tin-litho Carry-all's were sturdier and the interior and exterior sides could be decorated to match the sets' theme. The Fort Apache sets were neat in that the case was easily transformed into a 'wooden' stockade. When opened, there were two gates on either side, in the middle where the case hinges were located. When the stockade was opened, two plastic lookout towers - which were a staple of the traditional sets - were added to the corners. Marx made two versions of the Fort Apache carry-all. The first one is shown today. It has a tin-litho HQ and stables along one end of the case. The other version is a dumbed-down, cheap vacuum-formed HQ and stable. I don't have the dimensions for the Carry-all today, but hopefully for my next Carry-all post we'll be able to get that for you.

I sold both of my Fort Apache Carry-all's several years ago as they had condition problems, but before doing so had taken a bunch of photos. Now I'm glad I took those photos, regardless of the condition problems, because it's unlikely I'll be able to get replacement sets any time soon. Enjoy!

My set was missing both the handle and the latch. The exterior was a scratched up and one side was bent out - Yup, just a few condition problems :-)

You'll notice the open space in the stockade walls. There are normally two gates which fill these openings - both were missing on my box.

 The left side was designed to be the soldier's area. The right side was the 'friendly Indian' encampment.

Nicely done, tin-litho HQ and stable wall.

In spite of the stray markings, the beautiful litho detail still shines through.

The lookout towers originally included with the traditional all-plastic stockade.