Sunday, May 9, 2021

Marx Wells Fargo Stagecoach

Hmmm, now where was I before I so rudely interrupted myself?? Oh yeah, Western toys. Okay, today's photo essay is one of the nicest vintage Western playset pieces ever offered: the Marx Wells Fargo Stagecoach for their Western playsets. I don't have an original driver to go with this but I did order some repops after I took the photos. Made of hard plastic with soft plastic horses and hitch, it doesn't have opening doors but the classic lines hit all the nostalgia buttons for those of us who grew up in the '50s and watched shows like old Roy Rogers and Gene Autry serials, or TV shows like "The Tales of Wells Fargo", "Bonanza", "Gunsmoke", and the host of other Westerns that flooded the airwaves back then. It would be great if someone like Classic Toy Soldiers (CTS) could do a re-make of this with a 4-horse hitch. They've already done covered wagons, and ACW cannons with limbers and caissons, so this would make an excellent addition to their line-up. Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Comparison shots of the Marx buckboard and stagecoach

Thursday, May 6, 2021

May the 6th Be With You - No Wait, I Mean The 4th! Oh heck, Here's Some Star Wars Toys - Ferrero Kinder Egg Happy Hippo Star Wars Series

Yeah, I know, I'm late! I totally forgot about posting these delightful little figures from Ferrero's Kinder Egg line in Germany. As much of a fan I was of the movies, I never got into the toys. This small batch of toys is nearly the only things I have that are Star Wars related. During the '80s, Ferrero - maker of those great Kinder Egg toys - released a series of Happy Hippo figures that was quite popular. Then they released this series of Happy Hippo caricature's of all our favorite Star Wars characters. The smaller figures were in the normal sized eggs while the land speeder was a special release in their large eggs. Unfortunately I haven't gotten around to doing my usual 12-pic photo essay of each character. Hopefully I can get that done by the next May the 4th! :-)  Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Well Darn, What's Next? Howz About Some Western Toys. Marx 54mm Buckboard

Yeah, I'm at a loss lately. I had planned on continuing the vintage dinosaur theme with MPC's line of toys but I'm just not ready to get into that at the moment, but lately I've been taking photos of Western/Old West/Old School Cowboy-&-Indian toys so why not post them? Let's start with the venerable Marx Buckboard. 

I've only got a couple of Old West themed Marx playsets, neither of which had wagons in them.  Generally speaking, I'm not a Marx wagon collector because they're just too pricey to try and track down all their variations so I'm by no means an expert in this area but I believe the buckboard came in a couple of colors. It's a nicely done piece in hard plastic with metal axles and a soft plastic horse and driver. My driver shown here may be a repo which is fine by me. The overall length with horse is 8" (20.32cm) and it's 2 1/4" (5.71cm) H (w/o driver).

Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Sunday, May 2, 2021

Hasbro Twin Navy Blinker Code Lite No. 5180x300

Here's an interesting set I picked up quite a while ago but haven't yet featured on the blog: Hasbro's  Twin Navy Blinker Code Lite No. 5180 x 300. The set doesn't appear to have been used - or at least used very much. The leather straps hanging from the grips are still intact as are the tiny compasses. The lights - which are 7.5" (19.05cm) tall - require a single 'D' cell battery and they both still work! Judging by the artwork I'm guessing this may be from the '50s but could also be an early '60 toy.  Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Tuesday, April 27, 2021

TRAIN TIME: I've Joined The 21st Century - New Lionel Lionchief Engine

With the start of a new layout with larger diameter curves which can accomodate bigger engines than the diminutive Edge of Town, I can now play a bit with some new technology. Lionel's Lionchief command and control system has been out for awhile but I saw no need to buy any of their sets or separate-sale engines until the bug hit me quite recently. Fortunately they offer a series of small 'starter' engines - 2-4-2 Columbia's - in several roadnames that are affordable and reliable. Each engine comes with a Lionchief controller and operation is simple. I bought an engine in Southern RR livery because I didn't yet have a Southern engine (or any rolling stock either) and I've always liked that green and gold scheme. The silver smoke box sets it off quite nicely.

There aren't that many controls on the hand-held controller so it's not option intensive and the instructions included with the engine are clear and concise. With these command-&-control set-ups one turns the transformer on all the way so the track is receiving max power. The instructions on how fast to move, direction, etc, are all controlled by the on-board circuitry. I like all the features but for my money the best one is the crew talk. By pressing the "announcements" button (bottom middle button with microphone icon) you get three short announcements. 'Short' is the key word here - you don't wait a half hour for 'crew yammer' to stop before you move on out! The engine smokes but I've noticed this is not a real strong smoker. You should only put four drops of smoke oil in the smoke stack and it'll go strong for a bit then peter off. But overall I'm still happy with the engine. I reall have enjoyed playing with this thing! Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Monday, April 26, 2021

TRAIN TIME: The Edge of Town (EoT) Dept. of Public Works Makes a New Grade Crossing

I think for the most part we all do it. Do what? Well, we build a train board, lay track, plop down buildings in the middle and call it a day. Somewhere along the way we may add a bit of scenery and a single grade crossing with a road going off the board to the fantasy world beyond. Seldom do I see a layout wherein there is more than one way onto or off the board. This bothered me a little bit as I would sit at the EoT and allow my mind to wander down those rural paths in mid-central Wisconsin. Somehow it didn't seem right that the whole look of my little enclave was a dead-end. I wanted a way for travelers to come into the area and head on out again without having to doo a U-turn. The solution turned out to be simple. Right next to the newly graveled-in parking lot the flagstop station rests on was a space perfectly suited for one of Lionel's single-lane plastic grade crossings. All I had to do was cut down the crossing so that it would fit the space, and slice out a section of the Marx roadbed track to accomodate the crossing. Now motorists can enter and leave the area relatively unimpeded (unless of course traffic at the farmer's market ties things up some). Enjoy! Opa Fritz

Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Safari Ltd Brachiosaurus (2008)

Having done the 1998 version of Safari's Brachiousaurus, let's look at their 2008 version. The pose is quite different on this one, being more elongated with the neck stretching out and the tail further back to help balance that long neck. This one measures 14" (35.56cm) L x 7 1/2" (19.05cm) H. Enjoy! Opa Fritz


The two Safari Brachiosaurus'