Marx Toy Museum Online


The Dump


A man named Ron wrote us and asked for information about the  MARX-A-CART toy shown in the picture on the left. Ron also sent along a picture of his bigger racer that he now drives which is below!!! Ron said the MARX racer was his inspiration to go on further into the racing world and he sure did !!!!!!!!!!!!! This is a good example of how the MARX TOY COMPANY'S toys made a lasting impression !!!!!!!
The MARX-A-CART was made in the late 1950s --1960 and ran on a 12 volt d.c. hot-shot battery. It had a forward and reverse drive. The motor and subframe were used in other MARX ride-on toys.
If you would like your story told, on our site, write us:

To plagerize Perry Como's famous phrase ---  LETTERS-- WE GET LETTERS  !!!
Gary Wright wrote us and sent the picture shown. He received the MARX car as a gift (1960?) and has wanted to find one in mint condition to relive the toy he loved the most !!! YES-- you can go back to your child-hood, although, it's best if you never leave. Gary's car has a place for installing batteries. Our research has found the only MARX cars , of this style, that used batteries were the Dick Tracy car and the Army car. We believe, since all the 20 inch cars had the same base, (with the exception of the battery base) a battery base was picked up at the time of assembly. Perhaps a reader has more information.
In any case, Gary is looking for a mint car to go for a ride down memory lane and we hope he finds it soon !!!
A TOY --- A BOY --- OH JOY !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

We received a letter, and picture, from a fellow collector that he had in his archives. The picture was taken in 1961. The float was the last time the MARX factory entered in the Moundsville, West Virginia Christmas Parade. Look at the toys on the truck and especially the ride on truck on top of the display. We wonder if the truck is in a junk yard somewhere in the area ??????
Note: Click on the pictures for a larger image!!!
R.B.  asked us the following question;
Dear Bud,Kobie&Dan, Can you tell me about the MARX --PULL LEVER AND LEARN  toy??
Please look at the pictures--- picture #1 shows the MARX toy beside Wolverine toys of the same style --picture #2 shows the back of the MARX and the Wolverine toy.-- picture #3 shows the front of the MARX and Wolverine toys. In picture #1 the FUN QUIZ was made in the 70s after Wolverine moved to Booneville, Arkansas, the Wolverine TIME to was made in the early 60s in Pittsburgh, Pa. where they started in 1903. The MARX toy was made in 1968. The old story was that Louis Marx never had an idea of his own but would encourage his employees to buy toys from other manufacturers and if they showed promise, Marx would change them slightly and mass produce them!!!! Here appears to be an example. The Wolverine toys are much larger than Marx's product and yet they functioned much in the same manner. Wolverine produced 8 different types that we know of and MARX produced only this one that we know of ?? While Wolverine models are quite common, the MARX toy is not seen often and when it does show up--It's not in very good condition. The operation is as follows. You pull down on the handle and let go -- a spring pulls the handle back up and a cylinder spins that has various figures on it. As you let go of the handle, the cylinder is stopped and a set of animals(MARX TOY) show up in open windows. You name the animals and lift a plastic bar and the correct answers are shown. MARX made the toy in Japan and it was probably made by IWAYA. as most Japanese toys were. Please write us with your questions and additions.
IAWAYA  credit---Antique Toy World Magazine Jan. 2003 issue

Click on the pictures above for a larger view!

BM asked......What year was the BigWheel introduced into the market place?

Hello from the VIRTUAL MUSEUM:
The Marx BIG WHEEL was introduced in the fall of 1969. The source we took the information from stated---The BIG WHEEL is being made by the tens of thousands and will make Johhny very happy for Christmas-------
HOW DID IT BEGIN????????????????
The BIG WHEEL was designed in Erie, Pa. by Ray Lohr. Mr Lohr was the the number one man in the design department and was Louis Marx's right hand when it came to development of new items. In Mr. Lohr's basement one evening he took parts from a tricycle and turned them around and  VIOLA!!!! the BIG WHEEL was born. Look at a picture of the toy and you will see a tricycle UPSIDE-DOWN!!!
Quaker Oats dropped the ball when they sold the molds to Empire Plastics in the Carolinas!! Empire went bankrupt but you can still find the toy with their name on it!!
 -------         date of production source--------collector news 1969   ----------
MAC wrote to us....
Hi again!  Is this what your lookin' for? It's for an auction on e-bay.
Its going for $31 ,,,,  I know this sounds real strange ,,,,but as a
child I was obsessed with big wheels. I had a series of them in different
sizes!! This picture is of the last model MARX BIG WHEEL offered
before EMPIRE took over the production and ruined them!  The pics you sent are of the
MARX MINI WHEEL.  The MARX LITTLE WHEEL is the next size up,,,and I
don't have a picture of that ,,, it had a blue body red handlebars , and
yellow fork ,,,,,,,,, I just happened to stumble onto the e-bay auction
which sparked alot of memories ,,,,, hope you like the pic
Thanks for the photos and info MAC!!  If anyone else has any other questions or comments, please feel free to contact us!

Here is another interesting photo from one of our viewers in West Virginia.  This picture was taken just after the auction of the molds for BIG WHEEL in Wheeling WV.  What is interesting is the trailer arrived at the auction with the BIG WHEEL painted on it BEFORE the auction took place.  This raises a few questions....Was EMPIRE ready to pay almost anything at the auction for the molds of the Big Wheel, or was there a deal already made before the auction?

Click on the pictures for a BIGGER VIEW!!

D.S. wrote in....Could you please give me any information on a marx windup toy called the roaring gorilla.  He appears made of tin with fur in spots.  His arm are chained and when you wind him up, he beats his chest, his mouth moves and he walks.  I found him while cleaning out a friends house.  It is still in the box and in good condition but the box is a little beat.  Thank you for any help you can give us. 

THANKS !! for writing D.S.
To be a MARX gorilla, your toy should have a tag on it's upper back that says---Marx Toys   made in Japan and it should be 7 1/2" tall. It also should have fur all over except his chest, face, ears, hands and feet.They made two colors of fur--one brown(common) and grey (not common). The gorrilla is supposed to be the MIGHTY KONG from the movie. As you stated, he walks, beats his chest and roars as his jaw opens. He should have a metal collar on his neck and wrist cuffs connected by a chain. He was made in Japan in the mid 1960s. The wind-up key is permanent. Marx made a larger MIGHTY KONG that was battery operated by remote control. Your box should say mechanical GORILLA and be mostly red and black. The windup KONG with the box is valued at $400.00 to $500.00. The battery KONG is $600.00 to $700.00. CARE should be taken when winding and if you are satisfied that it does work, don't wind it if you plan to sell it! KONG'S motor may be lubricated with dry graphite but it should be done by a professional.
We hope this info helps and if you have more questions PLEASE WRITE!!!!

Another Marx Toy Museum visitor asks...
I have an old tin wind up tractor or perhaps a bulldozer. It looks like some of the older Marx tin tractors but has some differences to those seen on the net. It is about 8 inches long and 5 inches high. The color is a copper or gold, no paint. The steering wheel is formed from the tin hood. The front rad has vertical bars and the side engine cover has slanted bars suggesting louvers. The wheels are about 2.5 inches in diameter.There was originally a driver and there is a hook for a wagon or cart.
The wind-up motor is strong, the key is on the right side near the front wheel.
There are no visible name or numbers. My guess its late 30's to 50's.
Can you help?
Hello and thanks for writing!!!
Your TRACTOR was made in 1939 and was part of a set and sold seperately. The entire set had 40 pieces and was Marx's largest set sold at that time. The slanted pipes on the sides are called exhaust pipes and at the bottom of them you should see where they collect into a single pipe. The stamped metal is copper plated as should be the wheels. If you look in the front, under the grill there is a slot that an attachment could be placed. It had items such as ---vee plow---snow plow ---road roller and others. The back has the hook you mentioned and it was used to pull trailers -- wagons and other attachments. The driver had a blue shirt, wide brimmed hat and red pants. Other drivers could have used that had various color patterns. Marx made many many styles of this toy and besides tractor, they were called  CATERPLLAR ----- BULLDOZERS ---- TRUCK . The value of your tractor in working condition with good finish at an antique store should sell for $45.00 to $75.00 or more on a good day.
If you have other questions, please write again.
We have a picture of  a red 1940's MARX tractor and a late 1940's early 50's copper plated MARX tractor. Look at the differances in the front grille?? The two tractors are the same size. Good ole LOUIS  would change one or two parts and give the toy a new color so it would appear to be a NEW toy!!  JUST FOR FUN!!! buy a parts tractor that has a good windup and take it apart. The motor is really neat! The gear system to give it power to CLIMB-- displays great engineering. The dozer blade is one of the accessories that came with the toy or could be bought in the aftermarket venue.
The four tin litho drivers all fit various tractors / bulldozers / caterpillers. These are almost always missing from the toy because they simply snap into the slots and fall out easy. One method we use to fix the rubber tracks is to turn it inside out. Find a black cloth that matches the color. Apply DURO super GEL to the track and place a patch that overlaps the break by about 3/4". Let it cure over-night and reverse the track and install. For the VEE track we use four pieces and do the same procedure.

CW asks,



Hello from the VIRTUAL MUSEUM:
Thanks for writing. We will send you a couple pictures of the climbing monkey after it has been taken apart to restring. It takes TIME & PATIENCE to do the job but it is a lot of fun! The secret is that the string is wound left & right on the barrel. You will find a hole in the bottom groove to feed the string through. looking at the picture the top groove is wound COUNTER clockwise and the bottom groove clockwise. When taking the toy apart---straighten the two tabs on the tail of the monkey's jacket and remove it. Bend the stroke rods so that they may be removed from the leg axles. Straighten the tabs at barrell on each side and spread and remove the barrel. Straighten the tabs on each side of the barrel and take side plates off. Open the retainer slightly and remove. If there is string left on the barrel, study it carefully and make notes. When disassembling, Note long bar and short in picture. Remove side plate of barrel--one at a time-- winding one barrel and the the other. place all parts in position as they are removed. Find a good strong string-- nylon is O.K. but it does not look original. Original was about 1/32" in diameter. The string is strung as follows--- using about 4 feet of string for both sides
1. Push string through hole and tie a large knot.
       top groove is wound counterclockwise bottom opposite
2. Wind not real tight and leave about 16" out.
3. Top string goes out top hole and through legs.
4. Bottom string goes through belly hole, legs and tail.
        Pull rings are 3/32" diameter steel and 15/16" outside diameter
5. Reassemble parts as they were removed
NOTE the top string goes through the top slot in barrel retainer !!!!!!!
For further upkeep, check out our restoring page on this site!!!
REMEMBER---it does not work now so you can always put it back together with strings displayed even if it doesn't work. Again, it takes time but it is fun!

Click on the link below for a story about Kermit Hawkins.  Mr. Hawkins' daughter Carol, wrote the story and submitted the pictures!!!

 E-Mail us your questions!!! Click