Hybrids even before the word was in vogue
I’m not blogging about one of the cars that all the manufactures make, I’m blogging about a promo model made by Marx Toy Company where metal and plastic combine to make an exceptionally detailed collector piece like this tin and plastic 1953 4 door “paper” woody station wagon.
The “Toy King” of the United States
That’s what Time magazine called Louis Marx in an 1955 article. Marx was said to have business savvy with the mind of a child because he could see into the eyes of kids and create models that they wanted. Beyond this car, Marx Toy Company, made tons of other toys such as a Alabama minstrel dancer and the Zippo climbing monkey. In 1922, these two toys accounted for 16 million in sales. A few years later he came back with whistling yo-yos, and they climbed in sales faster than Zippo and sales were not up to 100 million of these whistling and non-whistling toys. But the company is perhaps best know by people in my era when in 1964 they produced and distributed Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots and in the 70’s a large plastic tricycle called Big Wheel which is in the National Toy Hall of Fame. Marx didn’t make the jump with the new electronic toys hitting the market and was purchased by Quaker Oats who shut down the factory. Could you imagine how much fun it was working for this company? The only thing cooler would be working for Mattel at Hot Wheels.
Kids like to take stuff apart and put it back together, right?
With the Marx “Fix All” series the main attraction was larger plastic vehicles (about 14 inches long) that could be taken apart and put back together with included tools and equipment like the ’53 Merc made in the 50’s. According to the eBay seller tootoy the car is part of the Fix-All series, and it is definitely the most rare and sought after version. In good condition and very clean, the car does show play wear but it’s void of any cracks, breaks or chips. A few scuffs and off color can be seen in the light blue finish. Plated trim has some wear. Woody side paneling is intact but does exhibit some chipping. The car very nicely detailed and I believe it still retains all of it’s original parts.
The car features an opening hood with spring tensioner which exposes a Mercury flathead V8 engine with see through motor that has moveable pistons and crankshaft. A detailed chassis shows working driveline with very realistic differential that turns the driveshaft and ultimately turns the engine. Knock off style hubcaps and white tires mounted on wire wheels are all in good shape with minor wear. Colorful tin litho interior is pristine and with separate plastic steering wheel it looks just awesome. Fragile rear window and tailgate are both without fault and still open and close as they should. Included is a spare tire and original socket wrench to remove wheels. This is a very hard to find piece to find in any condition. The complete car shown here, although not perfect is still a very desirable piece. Bidders agreed with that and it hammered at $260 bucks with 39 bidders jumping in on the auction.
A museum piece
For sure and there was even a museum showing are the fun stuff he created located in Eire, PA but it closed in June. Too bad. But hey, you can start your own but picking up creations like this on the auction sites. Good luck and happy bidding.