The toy collecting world lost one of the good guys over the weekend. Noah Coop, known as Marxman to fans of Johnny West and the Marx action figures, succumbed to injuries suffered almost five years ago in a freak accident.
I never got to meet Noah in person. He and his wife Terri were mainstays at JohnnyCon, part of the Marx Toy Convention held each year in Wheeling, but the first year I attended in 2009, Noah stayed home to work on new projects. So I just met his wife, Terri.
Those new projects were new head sculpts and reissues of older Marx products, giving us new Marx style action figures for the first time in over thirty years. Terri and I hit it right off and Noah and I became fast friends via e-mail after the convention. We continued trading emails after his accident, and his spirit never wavered.
His enthusiasm for the twelve inch tall Marx action figures was boundless. He had sculpted new heads and he and Terri found ways to use new, more durable plastics with the original body molds. Noah’s custom figures were legendary and I really regret that I didn’t purchase more of his custom heads before the accident.
Noah and Terri revived the Marx Toy Company and secured trademarks on Johnny West and many of the other key characters from the line. In fact, they had pretty grand plans for the company, but sadly, Noah was working on remodeling the building they had purchased to be their home/factory when he fell two stories.
Noah was left a quadraplegic and he and Terri had to endure a lot of physical, legal, and emotional trauma in the ensuing years. This has been an ongoing tragedy since the accident.
Now Noah is at peace and his suffering is over. Melanie and I send our deepest condolences to Terri and to Noah’s family and we take this week’s PopCult Toybox to celebrate Noah’s life, the positive influence he had on the hobby, and the wonderful artistry that he brought to his craft.
I knew him as an e-mail buddy and an enthusiastic toy collector. But he was also a loving husband, son, brother, uncle, artist, and just an all around great guy. The world needs more people like him and it’s always a shame when we lose one.
On what would have been your fifty-third birthday, I wish you a peaceful journey, my friend.