Monday, February 19, 2018

Marx Miniature Knights and Castle Playset - Pt 1

"Painted by Hand by Artists"

That catch phrase is something I remembered from childhood on.  One could see it on the box tops of hard plastic miniature sets and figures Marx produced during the sixties describing the treats that little Johnny would see upon unboxing his shiny new toy. However, I remember thinking after unboxing my Knights and Castle playsets that those 'artists' must have been beginner's! hahahaha Even as a kid the, not so precise, detailing of the figures had me scratching my head but the set was fun nevertheless and the whole 'artist' thing was ignored mentally.

One of the biggest reason I got into toy collecting was a way to reconnect with the wonderful toys of my childhood. My dad was the only one who had a job in the family and he was just a working-class stiff but there was enough money for good presents on birthdays or under the Christmas tree. Often times the treasures were ordered by my mother through the pages of Sear's wishbooks, or J.C.Penney's, Montgomery Wards, or Spiegel catalogs. Also, either the Roundy's supermarket or Rexall drugstore across the street would have their share of header bag and carded toys to keep the little brat (that would be me BTW) quiet for a second or two. A bonus of having Roundy's across the street was that they also carried large boxed playsets during the holidays (and perhaps off-&-on during the year as well). It's where mom bought my Deluxe Reading Operation X-500 playset and probably my Eldon Fire Chief playset.

Well, just recently I made a major reconnection by being able to pick up this Marx Miniature Knights and Castle playset. These things tend to get stupid pricey but I was able to not have to rob a bank to afford this one. It has only two flaws that I could detect. A chunk is missing out of one of the towers (I chalk it up to damage caused by catapult bombardment) and the drawbridge chain is broken. Otherwise it's in decent shape. On of the things I do remember as well were the ill-fitting wall segements. Most notably the front wall next to the gate. It is just a tad (perhaps only 1/16 or 1mm) too long. That means the wall section doesn't snuggle down in the channel it's meant to fit in and rides on top slightly. With a little finessing the castle does assemble well enough as you can tell by the photos.

The set consists of:
-Castle Base
-Castle (1 gate, 4 walls, 5 towers - only 3 with cupola's)
-3 Cupola flags
-2 Opposing Armies in silver and gold
   --4 mounted knights each (8 total)
   --12 foot knights (24 total)
-2 Oak trees
-6 Pine trees (my photos only show 5 as one of the stumps in my box was broken - I used the branches from it to make one tall tree)
-1 Catapult w/shot ( my setonly had one round ball left)

The knights measure 35mm high from bottom of base to top of head (not top of helmet plume)

We'll feature the photo breakdown in the days to come. Enjoy! Opa Fritz and Oma Bettina



  1. One of my favourite 'Miniature Masterpiece' sets!


  2. It was certainly one of my favorites as a kid Hugh! I don't ever remember having a larger size castle set. I had this and the smaller Giant of Hong Kong castles (which were very affordable back then as you know)