Friday, February 14, 2020

Louis Marx...Santa's best helper

I’m a baby-boomer who is running breathlessly trying to catch up with my childhood. Over the last few years I’ve been selectively acquiring some of the favored toys from my childhood including the wonderful toys of Louis Marx.

"Toy King" Louis Marx made the watershed of product with his wonderful playsets - Civil War, Fort Apache, Roy Rogers Melody Ranch, Zorro, Rin-Tin-Tin, Sunnytime Farm, Alamo, Space Patrol, Allstate service station, etc.  These playsets set the standard for two generations of kids and are still spoken of with awe by toy soldier enthusiasts. 

In 1964 or ’65 my parents got me the Marx Battleground set (the Giant Blue and Gray set was for my tenth birthday in 1962 which coincided with a trip to Gettysburg). As WWII was still relatively fresh in the minds of everyone at that time, Battleground had a fertile audience among kids as well as their doting parents, and Marx sets were flying off the shelves.
Over the winter I’ve been buying Battleground components as well as an original (though somewhat tattered) box. The plan is not to recreate the set that I had, but a set with a lot of extras and redundancies...the fantasy set. Right now I’m deciding whether to keep the accessories (blockhouses, dragon’s teeth, etc) in their original marbled plastic color or to paint them.  I invite your opinions on that.

Soldier on!


Jason Glasser said...

I love your posts, have followed for quite some time. I would vote against painting original Marx. There are enough cheap recast items I paint up, but there is something about an original Marx piece that really connects one to the glory days of those sets. I say let it stay original.

Mannie Gentile said...

Jason Glasser,
Thanks for your vote, and for tuning into the blog.