Well, after a week of posting photos of our short trip to Sparks, NV it's time to get back into the toy groove. As we enter the fifth year of the blog perhaps we'll look at Western toys a little more. We've already posted a ton of Marx tin-litho buildings that went with their various Western themed playsets but that's about it so maybe it's time to feature other stuff as well and it would be very appropriate for a collector like me who's mostly into the '50s and '60s era. It would be difficult for anyone, say 40 years old or younger, to understand but there was a time when Western's were the king of the airwaves. At one time during the early sixties there was over 40 Western TV shows being aired - this at a time when there were only the three major broadcast networks: ABC, NBC, and CBS. As kids we were inundated with Western shows, western toy commercials, and Western toys and I enjoyed many hours in front of the tube watching reruns of Gene Autry, Roy Rogers (with Bob Nolan and the Sons of The Pioneers). 'New' shows like Wild Bill Hickock, The Lone Ranger, The Cisco Kid, Rin Tin Tin, and updated westerns like Sky King were a major part of my childhood. Those were just the Saturday morning/afternoon offerings. The evenings brought Wagon Train, Bonanza, The Big Valley, The Rebel, Half Gun Will Travel, Daniel Boone, and The Wild Wild West just to name a few, and Disney had its own special offerings with Davy Crockett, The Swamp Fox, Johnny Shiloh, Zorro, all of which had a 'Western' feel to them.
It's safe to say I grew up on Westerns and had a nice variety of Western toys as a kid, or had neighbor friends who had them as well and although I had a bunch of MPC Cowboys & Indians, today's featured toy, the Prairie Schooner, wasn't a part of my toy chest. It's a nice covered wagon with three posts sticking up to accommodate three of MPC's ringhand figures. My wagon is a one-horse hitch but more hitches can be added and the top can be removed for added variety. Shown with the wagon is MPC's ubiquitous 'driver' figure. He's quite versatile and can be found on either side of the War Between the States conflict, as part of Gen Custer's last stand, heading out west, or even driving a Jeep during WWII! Yup, he gets around! The wagon measures 9 3/4" (24.8cm) L x 3 1/8" (7.9cm) W x 3 3/8" (8.6cm) H (w/driver) / 4 1/8" (10.5cm) H (w/top on). Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina