Saturday, March 31, 2012

Louis Marx & Company Cars Of The Future - Gray Car #1

The 1950s was a great time for space toys and every toy company jumped on the space band wagon. The Marx Company was no exception and had everything from large space themed playsets featuring a terrific tin-litho  building and lots of Astronauts and Aliens. They also had ray guns, space ships, and futuristic space cars like the ones shown here. Space Cars or Futuristic Cars were a popular sub-category of space toys and were offered by many toy companies. Marx's plastic versions measure approx 5" (12.7cm) L and came in nice metallic colors like copper. Fast forward to 1992; the original Loius Marx & Company, Inc. is now defunct, the tooling has been spread to the four corners of the earth, and one of the companies which was formed in the late 1980s using some of the old Marx tooling goes by the name Louis Marx & Company.

This new incarnation of Marx made a grand attempt at producing toys in the same vein as the original, putting out playsets which also featured tin-litho centerpieces, and a variety of other toys. One of those re-releases was a set of plastic Cars Of The Future. This 4-pack included two different 'convertibles' and two different hardtops. The sets came in four different colors and each set of four was packaged in a header bag. All four sets could be purchased in a cardboard box pictured below. We'll start with the gray set and feature one car a week - that way it gives me time to work on other things  Enjoy!I Like it auch Deine Frau Bettina :)

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Train Time - Milwaukee Road Ad July 1945 Hiawatha

Many of you guys and gals already know that my primary interest for many years has been trains, both real and miniature and for decades I was into HO scale model railroading. In the late 1980s my interests began to change from scale model railroading to tinplate and toy trains. It was a direct result of this change that I became interested in toys, and of course you will have noticed the healthy amount of train related toys featured here on Toys & Stuff. Later the interest morphed into a general love of toys and not just those that were train related. Ad to the mix a healthy (or unhealthy depending on who you talk to) dose of 'collectoritis' - the uncontollable drive to collect whatever it is that appeals to me  - and you have the makings of a blog with the potential to go on for years!! - Hopefully :-)

Okay, that being said, I do have a couple of diorama projects I'd like to get started on shortly. The diorama stuff is what I had been featuring on Wednesday's but I got to thinkin' - dangerous I know - there are so many other things that could be featured here like photos of my old layouts, photos from train related vacations, or scans from my poster/post card/ephemera collection, etc. so to start off Train Time here at Toys & Stuff, we'll begin by posting a wonderful classic poster from the Milwaukee Road from July of 1947. I really hope you Enjoy!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Marx 1975 Catalog - pgs 26 - 29

Here's the next installment for the marx 1975 catalgo - Enjoy!

Notice the really cool Super Hero and Marines!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Marx #1320 Trestle Bridge

Marx's venerable trestle bridge has been around a long time and has been the staple of many toy train layouts through the years. Measuring 18" (45.7cm)  L x 6 1/4" (15.9cm) H x 5" (12.7cm) W it's usually pretty easy to integrate on a layout but I found I couldn't use it on mine due to an unusual condition caused by Marx itself. Marx also made many engines and cars as part of its toy train line and one of those - a large crane car with a spotlight attached to the top -  is so tall it won't fit through the bridge (remember the available height through the tunnel changes when you put the 3-rail track in it!). So I ended up not using it.  Oh well.  These bridges were made of stamped steel and painted a variety of colors, silver being the most common. The bridges came with and without lights and the later versions came with a beacon light platform which was nothing more than the top platform taken from one of Marx's light searchlight towers. The beacon light version is cataloged as #1324. The lights were powered by the track through the expedient of a track connector as shown in the photos. At the end of each bridge, on top, is a nameplate stamped integral to the framing, on which a decal was applied, the two most common being 'Wabash' and 'Illinois Central'.  These were also sold, I believe, without any decals. I started to collect these and actually had blue, silver , and red versions, but by the time I got around to taking pictures, the few examples shown here were all that was left. I'm now down to just one bridge. I mean really, do you know how much room a collection of bridges takes up?? Good grief. Okay, anyway - Enjoy!

Illinois Central

No Name


Sunday, March 25, 2012

2010 Hasbro Marvel Universe Series 2 #029 Mystique

Mystique the villainous Blue Shape-Changing Babe :-)  It seems that all comic book super hero/villain females are good looking and, how shall I say it? - Busty. Mystique is no different. Aside from the obvious assets, as a toy figurine it has hits and misses. The downside is that there is significant bleed through of the blue into the white. It looks good on her top but her boots and gloves are supposed to be white - not bluish white. Also, on my figure the left eye is smaller than the right and the right eye appears as if it has a pupil when in fact both eyes are drawn as solid white! In some photos it gives the appearance that she looks cross-eyed. She comes with an automatic rifle which, because of the toys' articulation is a tad bit tricky to pose her with. And those hands - lordy they're big! Also, I've noticed a problem with all these figures with bases - at least one of the pegs on the display base is too long (or the hole in the corresponding sole of the foot too small) to  allow the feet to stand perfectly flat on the stand. One has to either nip off a chunk of the peg, or drill out the hole a little more.

The figure comes with 'secret file' and a nice card. I kinda like the cards that come with these things - they have neat artwork and, if you don't collecct bubble gum cards, they're a good stand in. Now as a toy, not a display piece, she does well. She stands upright with little problem and can hold multiple poses just fine. I remember as a kid playing with little green army men, and it used to frustrate me when I couldn't do something simple like have the figures stand up. Think about it, if you're a kid playing with these figures, wouldn't you want them to just stay put? Right? Some of the articulated action figures seem to be so awkwardly made that it's very difficult to find their center of gravity and have them stand decently. Fortunately our villanoius little figure today isn't one of those! Enjoy!