Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Jaymar #255 39 PC Railroad and Village Construction Set - Pt1

From Jan 2011 to Sep 2012 Toys and Stuff featured the Marx #151 34 pc Piece Rairlroad and Village Construction  Set. The blog was still new when the series started and in an attempt to spread the posts out and have some blog content the whole series kind of got spread thin so we'll try to rectify that with this next series, the Jaymar #255 39 PC Railroad and Village Construction Set. 

While there are quite a few guide books and references regarding Marx, information on the cardboard villages is rather scarce. They get a brief mention in Greenberg's Guide to Marx Trains Volume III Sets by Robert C. Whitacre (copy 1991 out of print) but only as part of a photo caption. Here's what I've been able to piece together. The sets were packaged exclusively in Marx O-gauge train sets and were not for separate sale. The earliest visual reference I'm aware of is a 34 piece set shown in the 1955 Montgomery Wards Christmas catalog. The sets first came out as Jaymar (a Marx specialty company) offerings in 34 piece and 39 piece variations, see below:

The 39 piece villages like the one featured here may have been included in more deluxe train sets

Sets are packaged in large envelopes. The Jaymar 39pce set was in vivid colors

Later villages dropped the word 'Jaymar' and were simply offered as Marx

The later Marx 34pc set envelope was printed in glorious black-&-white :-)

There are distinct difference in the 34pc sets vs. the 39pc sets in content, building variations, and size of some of the components. For example:

-the 34pc set included trees while the 39pc set did not
-the crossing gate in the 39pc set is almost twice the size as the one included in the 34pc set
-the Railroad Station in the 39pc set sits on a platform
-the 2-Story house in the 39pc set has an add-on room
-the 39pc set has a Church and School both of which are omitted in the 34pc set
-the 39pc set has an auto and baggage cart, also not included in the 34pc set

39 piece Set Contents Based on Envelope Art

Contents Note: The set is billed at 39 pieces yet 40 pieces are shown on the artwork (see color photo above). A one-piece vehicle is included in the set but does not appear on the artwork HOWEVER the artwork shows two different baggage carts which means the auto was substituted for a baggage cart. Marx was known for substituting items in  train sets and playsets as long as the piece count was correct and as I believe the set contents in my set to be original, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that this is exactly what happened.  
1    2-Story House w/add-on
2    Garage
3    Ranch House
4    Fire Station
5    Church
6    School
7    Flagpole
8    Shopping Center
9    Railroad Station on ‘Stone’ base
10  Bus Shelter
11  Shanty w/attached tool box
12  Signs, Signals, Accessories
    a. Billboard x 3:
             i. ‘WHAM’ candy bar
             ii. Pan Am Clipper
             iii.Nash Washington
         b. Filling Station pumps
         c. Vehicle (possible substitute for one baggage cart)
         d. Crossing gate – large
         e. Baggage cart x 2 (my set missing one baggage cart)
         f.  Barricade ‘MEN WORKING’
         g. Boxcar on siding
         h. Sign ‘Do Not Trespass’
         i.  Sign ‘Resume Speed’ x 2
         j.  Sign ‘School Slow’
         k. Sign ‘STOP’ x 2
         l.  Sign ‘Yard Limit’
         m.Semaphore x 2
         n. Grade Crossing Signal x 2
         o. Switch Stand x 2
13  People x 6 as pictured on artwork
   a. Track worker holding ’STOP’ sign
   b. 2 girls w/luggage
   c. Man reading newspaper (missing from my set)
   d. Man carrying luggage
   e. Woman carrying luggage
   f. Porter carrying luggage
           While my set was missing the 'Man Reading Newspaper' it did have the station platform 'Group of 4'

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