Thursday, February 4, 2016

Marx (or Wyandotte?) Seversky P-35

Introduced in 1937 for the Army Air Corps, the Seversky P-35 was the first U.S. all metal single seat fighter with an enclosed cockpit and retractable landing gear. The P-35s first saw action during the opening of the Japanese offensive in the Pacific but were hopelessly outclassed by the opposing fighters and ultimately only one the the aircraft sent there survived.

"Seversky P-35A USAF". Licensed under Public Domain via Commons -

Prewar toy airplanes were a rather odd lot in that nearly all of them were caricatures of airplanes, very few of them actually looked like an existing real aircraft. This P-35 is one of the exceptions. To be fair, as planes evolved from boxy bi-planes with sharp angles to more streamlined designs, the toy making capabilities of the day simply couldn't replicate the curvy outlines of the latest in aeronautical design. It was only with the introduction of injection molded plastic that toys really started looking like the real thing.  Of course, Tootsietoy put out accurate looking cars, truck, and planes because of it metal molding process, but stamped steel and tin-litho techniques - very popular at the time - didn't fare as well.

There's been some debate on one of the forums I belong to as to whether or not this is Marx or Wyandotte. It does look like Wyandotte, but I have nearly always seen it as Marx when it comes up for sale and it matches exactly the description given in Greenberg's "Guide To Marx Toys Volume II" by Maxine A. Pinsky. The plane measures 10 1/2" (26.67cm) L x 13 1/4" (33.65cm) wingspan x 5 1/4" (13.33cm) H but there is no manufacturer's mark and if there were decals on it originally with the maker's name, they've long since come off. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina

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