The PopCult Toybox: Mark’s Eye View of Marx

June 24, 2014 by rudy panucci

0001Last Friday, your PopCulteer embarked on quite the wonderful road trip. In a one day round trip, yours truly, Melanie Larch, Lee Harrah and Mark Wolfe all piled into Mark’s SUV for a sojourn up North, to the land of toys. We didn’t have to go all the way to the North Pole. The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling was playing host to The Marx Toy Convention, and we decided to hit and run the show (where I got to introduce the entourage to Terri Coop, of Circle X Ranch, Marxman Creations and and The Marx Toy Company) before heading twelve miles away to The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville.

Welcome to Kruger Street

Welcome to Kruger Street

This was Mark’s first trip to either place. Since I’ve already treated my readers to my photo essays on both museums (HERE, HERE and HERE), this week the PopCult Toybox will bring you Mark’s photos, with a few captions by me. Mark was like a kid in a candy store. I can’t recall hearing “I want that” and “I need this” so many times. I did help broker a deal where Mark left Wheeling with a Cape Canaveral playset from the Space Era.

Except for the photo at the top of this post of Lee and Mark under the Marx Toy Museum sign, all the photos in this essay are by Mark Wolfe, artist extraordinaire, and the proprietor of Mark Wolfe Design, your source for all your graphics, advertising and web design needs. The captions are still by your PopCulteer, but we’ll try and keep those to a minimum.

On with the photos…

We'll start off with the Johnny Apollo Space Crawler. These are nearly impossible to find with the canopy intact, and Mark took plenty of pictures of it.

We’ll start off with the Johnny Apollo Space Crawler. These are nearly impossible to find with the canopy intact, and Mark took plenty of pictures of it.

Side view

Side view

Johnny Apollo was Marx Toy Company's answer to Mattel's Major Matt Mason

Johnny Apollo was Marx Toy Company’s answer to Mattel’s Major Matt Mason

Mayflower trucks

Mayflower trucks

More cool astronauts

More cool astronauts

What kid didn't want this back in the 1960s

What kid didn’t want this back in the 1960s

MEGO stuff, with Planet of the Apes and Star Trek in evidence

MEGO stuff, with Planet of the Apes and Star Trek in evidence

Big Loo

Big Loo

The Great Garloo

The Great Garloo

The Mystery Space Ship box

The Mystery Space Ship box

...and out of the box

…and out of the box

A parting glance at The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum before we head to...

A parting glance at The Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum before we head to…

...and we head to Moundsville, home of The Marx Toy Museum

…and we head to Moundsville, home of The Marx Toy Museum

Mark's first stop, the prototype room, where he stood gawking at the never-marketed "Haunted Castle" set...

Mark’s first stop, the prototype room, where he stood gawking at the never-marketed “Haunted Castle” set…

This set, which might have ushered in the 1960s monster toy boom several years earlier, was vetoed by the women who worked at the Marx factory

This set, which might have ushered in the 1960s monster toy boom several years earlier, was vetoed by the women who worked at the Marx factory

They thought that it was bad to encourage kids to play in a graveyard, among other damnable concerns

They thought that it was bad to encourage kids to play in a graveyard, among other damnable concerns

Mint, unopened Big Loo, still in the box

Mint, unopened Big Loo, still in the box

Mark didn't realize that Louis Marx had been on the cover of Time Magazine in the 1950s.

Mark didn’t realize that Louis Marx had been on the cover of Time Magazine in the 1950s.

Original art for the Gunsmoke Playset

Original art for the Gunsmoke Playset

Astronauts and space toys are Mark's passion...

Astronauts and space toys are Mark’s passion. These one-of-a-kind two-tone figures were a treat

This space-age set was amazing...

This space-age set was amazing…

...but not as elaborate as the giant Moonbase set.

…but not as elaborate as the giant Moonbase set.

Rare four-inch astronauts

Rare four-inch astronauts

Cape Canavral Playset...very similar to the one Mark took home from Wheeling

Cape Canaveral Playset…very similar to the one Mark took home from Wheeling

Spacemen among the cowboys

Spacemen among the cowboys

Campus Cuties, proving that man does not live on astronauts alone

Campus Cuties, proving that man does not live on astronauts alone

The original Rock Em Sock Em Robots

The original Rock Em Sock Em Robots

...and with this, we bid farewll to The Marx Toy Museum, but a return trip is already being planned.

…and with this, we bid farewll to The Marx Toy Museum, but a return trip is already being planned.

One Response to “The PopCult Toybox: Mark’s Eye View of Marx”

  1. Mark says:

    Still reeling from the sensory overload of toys and collectibles! If you’re a kid or a kid at heart or just toy crazy and live in West Virginia, run don’t walk to these sites! Bonus vista (not mentioned) was to the impressive Moundsville State Pen! Gothic architecture, scary memorabilia and memories of how incarceration was handled up until the late seventies.

    I can’t thank Rudy and Mel enough for hosting a memorable day.

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