PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The Marx Toy Convention Was A Hit!

The man of the hour, Johnny West
The man of the hour, Johnny West

The PopCult Toybox

One week ago your PopCulteer was enjoying one of the best toy convention experiences of his life. Today we bring you photo and video to show you the highlights of The Marx Toy Convention (including “JohnnyCon”) from Wheeling and Moundsville.

First, Scott Stewart walks us through the “50 Years of Johnny West” exhibit at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia. Learn about fifty years of one of the country’s most memorable action figures, Johnny West, and The Best of the West toy line. Recorded June 20, 2015

Scott has a special page devoted to Johnny West’s 50th Anniversary up at his site, and it’s well worth checking out. His exhibit will be on display at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum until the end of the year.

photo by Mykol Blackwell

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Marx Toy Company’s famous action figure, Johnny West, a new, Limted Edition Johnny West figure was made. This 2015 version of America’s Moveable Cowboy sported brand-new colors and was sanctioned by the current rights holders, making it an official celebratory figure, created from the original molds. Distribution was handled by James Wozniak of Classic Recasts.

Las Vegas artist, Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, came up with the idea of revisiting a previous collaborative project of hers, a photographic journey that followed a vintage Johnny West around the country, which he travelled via the Post Office. “Johnny Hits The Road” has been on exhibit at The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville since 2004.

For “Vacation Time,” rather than mailing one Johnny West figure around the country, Suzanne had collectors take their new 50th Anniversary Johnny West figures to their local landmarks, and compiled their photos into the slideshow you see here. The pictures are amusing, touching and most of all, fun. We invite you to join in on Johnny West’s 50th birthday celebration.

“Vacation Time” made its debut at The Marx Toy Museum on June 20, 2015.

Now it’s time for more photos of the wonders of the 2015 Marx Toy Convention. A special note: I have to apologize to James Wozniak, who had a fantastic display of great Marx repro toys for sale. Every time I walked by his table I started buying stuff and forgot to take pictures. However, I did get some good photos of everything else…

The starting point, the first cabinet of the "Johnny West at 50" exhibit at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum
The starting point: the first part of the “Johnny West at 50” exhibit at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

Newer iterations of Johnny West
Newer iterations of Johnny West
Rainbow Johnnies
Rainbow Johnnies
Gotta show Thunderbolt some love
Gotta show Thunderbolt some love
Dealers had tons of stuff all over Kruger Street
Dealers had tons of stuff all over Kruger Street
Tom Heaton, of Vintage Toy Room and Johnny West book fame, brought in plenty of other classic toys
Tom Heaton, of Vintage Toy Room and Johnny West book fame, brought in plenty of other classic toys
Scott Stewart's display...in part
Scott Stewart’s display…in part
Some of Scott Stewart's offerings
Some more of Scott Stewart’s offerings
The Dollar Bins from CXR Ranch/Terri Coop
Some of the Dollar Bins from CXR /Terri Coop
Supercollector, Dave Roth (right) gettng ready to cut a deal
Supercollector, Dave Roth (right) gettng ready to cut a deal
Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, Terri Coop and Scott Stewart, holding court in the Johnny West room
Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, Terri Coop and Scott Stewart, holding court in the Johnny West room
The original "Johnny Hits The Road" project from 2004, at The Marx Toy Museum
The original “Johnny Hits The Road” project from 2004, at The Marx Toy Museum
Saturday evening, the action moved to The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville. Seen here: Jason Turner, Francis Turner, Dave Roth, Suzanne Hackett-Morgan
Saturday evening, the action moved to The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville. Seen here: Jason Turner, Francis Turner, Dave Roth, Suzanne Hackett-Morgan
More of the crowd in the diner at The Marx Toy Museum
More of the crowd in the diner at The Marx Toy Museum
Grayson and Lee Bolling show off their custom Johnny West playset, based on a never-produced Marx set
Grayson and Lee Bolling show off their custom Johnny West playset, based on a never-produced Marx set
The custom box graphics
The custom box graphics
Chief Cherokee, Johnny West, Jane West and Flick and Flack, their dogs, in playset form
Chief Cherokee, Johnny West, Jane West and Flick and Flack, their dogs, in playset form
Tom Heaton, with Jason Turner
Tom Heaton, with Jason Turner
Part of the top-secret video of the saga of the April Dancer mold
Part of the top-secret video of the saga of the April Dancer mold
We leave you with a panoramic photo of many of us Marx Toy Convention attendees having dinner at TJ's Sports Bar in Wheeling.
We leave you with a panoramic photo of many of us Marx Toy Convention attendees having dinner at TJ’s Sports Bar in Wheeling. Swiped from Scott Stewart’s site

That’s not quite it for our coverage. We have tons of photos from Kruger Street and The Marx Toy Museum that you will see in the coming weeks. Next Saturday I’ll post photos of my haul from the convention. Needless to say, we had a blast, and can’t wait until next year.