In the past few months we've covered a pretty wide array of '50s era small plastic Army vehicles having looked at Dillon-Beck Wannatoy, Pyro, Gilmark, and Banner. There's a bunch more from this era out there but I don't have them all - and probably never will - but that's okay. I do believe it's time we looked at Marx's entry into the pantheon of small plastic Army vehicles.
Starting in 1957 Marx started producing a set of six different small plastic Army vehicles in a variety of colors as flat car loads for their 3-rail O-gauge trains. The vehicles were:
This set of six vehicles is rather the odd-man-out in regards to others of the era in that it doesn't appear as if they were ever offered by Marx as anything other than flat car loads. Marx issued cars, trucks, and tractors that came with flatcars and were also included in their playsets and plastic train buildings but not these Army loads! They're not even mentioned in Bill Hanlon's excellent book "PLASTIC TOYS Dimestore Dreams of the '40s & '50s".
Right now I only have five of the six vehicles in the collection which are originals, but I do have a complete set of latter day reproductions. The reproductions differ from the originals in several ways;
1) the colors were slightly different
2) there is no Marx logo on them
3) casting quality was poor in many cases
We'll start with the armored car which measures 3 1/2" (8.89cm) L x 1 1/2" (3.81cm) W x 1 1/4" (3.17cm) H. It's not hard to figure out that the thing has been painted. I could strip it of the paint but actually I like it when these old toys have been modified by some youngster in the past - or? maybe some old guy like me wanting it to look more 'realistic' :-) Anywho, I like it and hope you do too. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina
The original color revealed! In the turret portion of the casting you can just make out the Marx logo