Marx Lane  
An Inventory of Marx Playset Figures and Accessories
Manufactured from 1951 to 1979

Appendix F-2 - Farm Accessories
Contents of this web site may not be reproduced or duplicated for use on the Internet or for commercial purposes without permission by Eric Johns.

This web site was created in late 2007, providing information about Marx wild west playset figures on a single web page.  It now consists of about 60 web pages, with information on figures, structures, terrain pieces, and small accessories from playsets in many different themes.  It also has indexes for Playset Magazine and PFPC magazine.  
I will continue to update these pages as I obtain more information and photos.  If you have anything to add to these pages or suggestions to make them better, please e-mail me at  I will be glad to attribute contributions to you.  And if you have questions or comments, I am always glad to hear from you!

Table of Contents

(click on name to move to section)

Farm Accessories
Barns and Other Farm Structures
Gates and Fencing
Tractors and Implements
Other Farm Vehicles
Small Farm Accessories
Terrain Items
Miniature Farms
Back to Main Table of Contents

Farms are one playset theme where accessories -- namely the barns -- are the central focal point of the set.  Farm playsets rival Wild West, military, and space exploration sets for the sheer variety of accessories.  But it's the colorful, imaginative, and -- thankfully -- sturdy Marx barns that get the most attention.  Based on even the few that I show below, I think you will agree that they are much more than the simple toys that were meant to be.  Simply collecting Marx barns could be a great hobby all by itself!

As for other farm accessories, having never owned many Marx farm toys before creating this page -- and not knowing much of anything about farms -- I am amazed at the variety of miniature farm machinery Marx created.  From the manure spreaders to the beehives, it is quite a wonderful look at farm life.  The Marx farms are certainly one playset theme where children can learn how something works in real life.

You will quickly note by perusing the photos below that I am missing pictures of many accessories, including the many variations of barns.  I imagine (and hope) that some of you out there will contribute additional photos, as well as information on the Marx farm accessories that will  both correct and add to my narrative.  

Barns and Other Farm Structures

Marx' early farm sets were sold primarily by Sears and Roebuck and by Montgomery Wards.  Sears sets included barns labeled "Happi Time", and Wards barns were labeled "Lazy Day."  Interestingly, according to Playset Magazine Issue 18, Louis Marx bought a large farm in 1939 which he named Lazy Day.  Other than the names, the sets had similar, but not identical, contents.  One of the most notable differences -- as pointed out by Playset Magazine -- was that Sears sets had no human figures until 1956 and Wards sets had no silo until 1957.  Sets sold by companies other than Sears and Wards had no name on the barn, but again included similar contents.

The lithography on the various Marx barns, which are 13 inches wide and about 9-1/2 inches tall, is again similar on all of them, but there are many small differences from one to another.  For example, in the photos below, the Lazy Day barn shown has much wider planks that the Happy-Time barn.  Also, the doors -- both front and side -- are very different.  Barns were revised over the years and came to include such beauties as a blue dairy farm barn and a huge barn with two silos on a raised platform.

     Early Happi-Time Barns - sold by Sears and Roebuck

Happi-Time barn - ends
Happi-Time barn - front and back
Note two holes
for plastic cow stall in floor of right photo.  Stall is shown in place below in Lazy Day barn.

As far as I have seen, the interior of barns -- shown below from a Happi-Time barn -- was the same for all barns and remained the same throughout Marx production.  It was imaginative and very well done, adding a lot to a child's playtime imagination.  The one difference that I note was the cattle stalls.  In original barns, this was a separate plastic piece that fit into two holes in the barn floor, which can be seen in the right-hand photo above and the bottom right photo below.  At some point, Marx did away with this piece, made the cow stalls a piece of the lithography on the barn floor, and -- at least in some sets -- included a small metal and plastic accessory to enhance the litho somewhat.  This revision(s) can be seen below in the generic barn photo and also in the dairy farm barn photo.  A photo of both types of stalls is shown later on this page in the section on small accessories. 
Inside of Happi-Time barn - upstairs
Inside of Happi-Time barn - downstairs

     Early Lazy Day Barns - sold by Montgomery Wards


Lazy Day barn - front and back
Note the original plastic cow stall accessory in the photo of the right.  It is held in place by two tabs inserted into holes in the floor.

   Early Generic Barn - sold by smaller retailers

Generic barn - ends
Generic barn - front and back
Note cattle stalls lithographed onto the barn floor, instead of the plastic stalls that fit into two holes on the other side of the barn.

Other than the cattle stall revision(s), the inside of the barn is the same as all Marx barns, as can be seen below.  
Inside of generic barn

     Barn with Machine Shed and Silo
Marx revised many barns in its 1956 sets to include a machine shed and a silo room.  The machine shed connected to the left side of the barn with a large open doorway.  The silo room was at the back of the barn's right side, forming a connection from the barn to the revised silos.  Playset Magazine Issue 18 notes that farm sets with silo rooms came with metal farm implements made by Marx' subsidiary Linemar in Japan (see photos later on this page).
Barn with machine shed and silo room -- front and back
Photos courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell

     Platform Barn

Surely the most spectacular Marx barn was the platform barn.  According to Playset Magazine Issue 47, only Sears and Roebuck deluxe sets included the 21-inch platform.  The first one was issued in 1959.  Along with the platform and ramp, the original version included the machine shed, a new milk house, and two silos with a silo elevator.  The platform barn shown below is a later version that is also a mechanized barn, as explained later in this section.

Playset Magazine warns that Marx made numerous platform barns and just about every platform is different.  Some had a milk house, and some did not.  Some had two silos and some had one.  So it is difficult to assemble a platform barn by buying pieces!

Platform barn - front and back
Note the weather vanes on top of the green roof, visible in the right-hand photo!  This barn is also a mechanized barn, described below.
Photos courtesy of collector Butch Parker
Platform barn with shed, silos, and conveyer
Photo is of items at Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia

     Dairy Farm Barn

Marx released its first Dairy Farm set in 1960.  The barn and silo with blue roofs are highly valued by collectors today.  According to Playset Magazine Issue 46, that first version came with two rare friction trucks, a milk transport tanker and a stake truck.  The second version in 1961 had a mechanized conveyor, and scissor-like grapple to lift hay to the loft, a red metal friction tractor and cart, as well as a milking cow that could actually give milk when her tail was moved up and down!  The cow seems a little hokey to me, but kids probably thought it was pretty cool at the time.  In any case, it was one heck of a playset, and all of these items are very hard to find today...and costly.

The second version of the Dairy Farm set is featured in Playset Magazine Issue 21 with an article written by Rick Eber and Bill Berghorn.  Color photos included with the article are downright stunning!  A contents list is also included.

Dairy farm barn with side shed
Note the silo roof opening in the righthand photo for conveyor loading.  Photos courtesy of collector Butch Parker

     Mechanized Barn

Although I have do not have photos to fully show the mechanized barn  of 1962, the platform barn shown above is a mechanized version.  There are two mechanized pieces to the Marx barn, one being grapple fork clamps (which operate similar to scissors) that can pick up a hay bale and deliver in into the barn, either to the loft or through a hole in the hay loft floor to the lower floor.  The other mechanized piece is the litter carrier.  Both of these pieces are shown in the photo above, the litter carrier near the lower right corner and the grapple fork above the second floor hole (but turned sideways to the viewer, so it is difficult to identify if you do not know what you are looking at).  The small contraption at the bottom center of the barn is what operates both of these pieces.

According to Playset Magazine Issue 46, the litter carrier can be set up to operate either in the barn (first floor) or through the platform section (as it is shown in the photo above).  The magazine also states that while the mechanisms operate manually with a crank, Marx also sold a "generator" powered with a D-cell battery that would operate the pieces automatically.  Hopefully, I can obtain better photos and perhaps a better description as to how it all works soon!

Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Mechanized Barn

     Curved Roof Barn

Marx introduced a curved-roof barn in its 1965 sets.  Introduced so late, it did not appear in a huge number of sets, so is difficult to find today.

Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Barn with curved roof

     Single Story Barn

While most Marx barns were 2-story, in both a few early and a few late 1960s sets came with 1-story barns that had a "hip" roof.  These were the same size as the larger barns, but simply did not have an upper floor piece, with the back of the roof extended downward beyond where the second story floor could normally be seen.  As shown in the photos below, Marx did not change the inside lithography on the late 1960s barns, so the ladder leading up to the hay loft and the hay bales lithographed to sit on the second floor are still present.

One story barn - front and back

Ends of barn

Inside views of barn from back side
Note the still-present ladder leading up to the absent hay loft and the cow stalls now lithographed onto the floor, as well as the right side windows no longer cut out.
Upper view of barn inside
Feed box and hay bales sitting on non-existent floor!

Cupolas for barn roofs were added in 1954, and barns before that year do not have the roof top slots for them.  Early cupolas were simple, as shown in the photo at the left.  Later Marx added weather vanes to them, as shown in the photo of the platform barn above.


Silos, which store food for the winter when animals are indoors, were another structure in most Marx farm sets.  The silos measured 10 inches high and about 3-3/4 inches in diameter at the base.  They had tin litho bodies with hard plastic tops and bases.

Early silos had 12-sided tops, but Playset Magazine reports that they fit too tightly onto the tin silo and were easily broken when attached.  As a result, Marx changed to a circular top in 1956.
Silo with 12-sided top - both sides and example of cracked top

The round-topped, gray silo shown below is the version found in most farm sets sold in Canada.   With the opening in the dome, it is the "loadable silo" as explained below.  U.S. silos were generally more colorful, such as the red-orange silo shown above and the red ones shown below.  Note the round top was not indestructable either, as the one in the photo is also cracked!  However, you can find undamaged tops in the collector market today.
"Loadable" silo with circular top - both sides
Photos provided by collector Jerry Woloshyn

According to PFPC Issues 46 and 67, large farm playsets in the early 1960s introduced a "loadable silo" with a hand-cranked conveyer that filled the silo with small plastic ears of corn.  A different metal converyer was produced for barns that had the silo shed, as shown later on this page.  A metal chute on the side of the silo opens to load the corn into farm wagons.  With the addition of a shed on one side of the barn, the entire structure measures about 30 inches wide, nine inches deep, and a foot high.

Sets came with sprues of 28 tiny ears of corn to convey into the silo.  I thought I had some to show you, until veteran seller/collector Kent Sprecher informed me that the miniature corn I had won on Ebay was not Marx!  Kent has let me borrow his photo of the Marx corn so that I can show you both versions and alert you to the problem.  The Marx version is smaller and has fewer rows of kernels on it than the non-Marx.  In taking a look at Ebay, I see that more than one seller has recently sold this non-Marx corn as Marx corn!  It's not hard to mistake the two, and the seller I had purchased it from had been told it was Marx and assumed it was.  As always, buyer beware!
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
"Loadable" silos and conveyor on platform barn
Photo is of items at Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia
Conveyor for silo
Photo courtesy of Rick Koch, Ebay ID toy-hood
These are the tiny Marx corn cobs for the conveyor and silo
Photo courtesy of Kent Sprecher
Note the flat ends where the cobs are broken off from the sprue.
Very similar non-Marx corn cobs
These are about 50% larger, have more rows of kernels, and have a rounded end where they break off from the sprue.

     Chicken Coops and Pig Stys

A 2-story chicken shed was first added to sets in 1956.  It is a nice-looking, 4-sided tin litho structure, and I know of no other Marx building that used this stamping.  It measures seven inches across, 3-1/4 inches deep, and about 3-1/2 inches tall.
2-story chicken coop

Marx later made a smaller structure that was used both as a chicken shed and pig shed.  The tin litho structure -- made of a single piece of metal plus a roof -- is about 3-1/4 inches wide, 2-1/4 inches deep, and 1-3/4 inches high at its front.  

According to Playset Magazine Issues 18 and 46, the shed originally came with a tin litho fence that provided an enclosure in the front of the shed.  The fence was discontinued by 1960.  
Without the tin litho fence, the "chicken coop fence" shown later on this page fits perfectly with the shed.

The chicken shed had a horizontal strip of windows (or ventilation?) above the door, as shown in the first photo below.  On the other hand, the pig shed version, which always had the tin litho fence, did not have the strip above the door.  Can someone out there tell us whether the fence for the chicken coop was identical to the fence for the pig pen shown below?
Chicken shed - front
Chicken shed - back

Pig shed with attached fence (three views)
Pig pen photos above are courtesy of collector Arrilia Kief.  

     Farm House

And finally, the Marx farm house was an accessory with the company's farm play sets advertised in the 1951 Sears Christmas catalog, but apparently this was the only time it appeared in farm sets.  
The farm house was made with the same metal stamping as cabins in the early Wild West play sets, with only the lighography changed.  It has white clapboard siding, green trim, a red shingle roof, and an more modern interior than the Wild West versions.  The farm sets included a small amount of standard Marx dollhouse furniture for the house, slightly oversized for the playsets.

According to articles in PFPC Issues 35 and 56, the building was later in one or two smaller Marx sets.  According to veteran collector Rick Koch in PFPC Issue 35, it was also sold in 1952 as part of a small House 'n Garden set.  Rick states that it came with "two rooms of standard dollhouse furniture", 60mm farm figures, a few farm animals, and crop rows (as described later on this page).  

In PFPC 56, collector Chuck Rastelli reports that the house was in a small Happi-Time Cottage set sold by Sears.  The photo of the box accompanying the article does not state "House 'n Garden", but it could be the same set mentioned by Rick.  Chuck's article has several photos of the set's contents and notes that the box included a group of the 60mm farmers, crop rows, and about a dozen small animals with a feed trough.  Although the "cottage" has only a single room, the set had Marx dollhouse bedroom, bathroom, and patio furniture.

As a result of its limited production, the house is hard to find today and a bit expensive, normally at least $100. 

Photo not available - we would welcome yours.
Farm House

Though barely qualifying as what I would call a playset, Marx' Portable Barn was put on the market in 1968 to compete with Fisher Price's similar offerring.  The set was contained in a cartoon-like, vinyl carry-all designed and colorfully painted to look like a barn.  According to Playset Magazine Issue 47, it included 73 pieces: a set of six farmers, animals from the Series III and baby animals, white split-log fence, and standard barn accessories.

Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Portable Farm

Tractors and implements

     First Tractor and Farm Implements Group

Playset Magazine Issue 18 reports that this first implement group was the most common group in early sets, from 1951 to 1957.  As shown below it was a colorful group, and individual sets could have the implements in several different colors.  According to the article, playset tractors most often came in red with yellow wheels.  They measure about two inches high and three inches wide.  The faceless farmer figure is down-sized from figures provided with the farm sets, and I believe the dime-store-looking tractor and seated figure is one of the poorest accessories that Marx made.  It'll still set you back about $20 or more in today's market.

Veteran collector Rick Koch reports that this first version tractor was initially made in a hard plastic that was easy to break.  Marx switched to a soft plastic in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and these are more commonly found today.  Marx used this same tractor in some of its train sets (loaded on a flat car, driver and all), and I am wondering if the red example with black wheels below might have actually come from a train set.  I've seen some of the tractors made in blue.  In addition, Rick say that Sears, Montgomery Ward, and Penny's sold sets with tractors in green, yellow, and silver, and tractors in those colors will cost you a little more in today's market.

The tractor has a small peg in the rear to pull the wagon, plow, and corn planter.  A small ring came with the group to attach the stone boat and harrow to the tractor.  The loader and snow plow have tabs that fit into the holes in the tractor's sides.

1.  Tractor
2.  Wagon

3.  Bottom plow
4.  Loader or scoop
5.  Snow plow
6.  Corn planter

7.  Stone boat
6.  Harrow

     Second Farm Implement Group (Specialty Implement Group)

Produced for sets sold by Montgomery Wards starting in 1952, the second group of implements included six "speciality" tractor attachments that came in only a few deluxe sets.  Playset Magazine notes that "because of their design" these items were more fragile than the original group of implements shown above and were discontinued by 1958.  
1.  Hay mower
Photo courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell.
2.  2-wheel cart
3.  Gravity wagon/manure spreader
Item shown is incomplete, re-issue
4.  Lime spreader
Photo courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell

5.  Dump rake
6.  Disk roller
Photo courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell

     Third Series Tractor and Implements

The third group of farm implements was introduced in 1959; pieces were significantly larger that previous implements.  They included a tractor almost identical to prior tractors, but this one is four inches long and three inches tall. 

These implements can be easily identified by the circular hitch that attaches to the tractor.

Third Series Implements
Photo courtesy of Rich Delbert, Ebay ID 44starstuff

1.  Tractor
2.  Dump rake
With separate implement operator in seat.

3.  Disc
4.  Bottom plow
5.  Hay mower
Note seat for separate implement operator.
6.  4-wheel wagon
Photo courtesy of newbie collector Elijah Roberson

     Fourth and Final Farm Implement Group

Playset Magazine Issue 47 reports that a final "economy" group of farm implements was issued in sets starting in 1964.  This group was a combination of items similar to the farm implements shown above and small farm accessories shown later on this page, but had a total of only seven items.  These were made in either red or yellow plastic.  The wagon was a 2-piece item with rotating axle/wheels.  However, wheels on the hay mower and plow were molded on and did not rotate.

The wagon is about 3-1/4 inches long, the shovel and pitchfork 2-5/8 inches, and the the feed bag just over one inch.  The feedbag is noticeably smaller than the original one shown later on this page and does not have "Feed Bag" imprinted onto it.

Two-wheel wagon (2-piece) Hay mower
Wheels do not turn.

Wheels do not turn.
Pitchfork and shovel Feed bag Bucket

Other Farm Vehicles

     Farm Truck Accessory Set

Marx sold a Farm Truck Accessory Set separately, but its  pieces were included in a some large playsets in the 1960s, according to PFPC Issues 20 and 67.  The group included a 7-inch milk tanker truck with a removable tank.  Once removed, the tank could be set on stanchions, also part of the group.  These same items appeared as a gas truck in Marx construction sets.  Playset Magazine Issue 46 notes that the accessory set actually included two El Camino pickup trucks and two jeeps, as well as a milk platform and six milk cans (shown later on this page).

The milk tanker also had a 4-inch long, 1/4-inch rubber tube that could be attached to the tanker value for milk delivery.  I have seen a photo of a nozzle that apparently went onto the opposite end of the tube, but have never actually seen the obviously tiny nozzle.

Milk tanker truck Milk dispenser on back of truck tank

Milk truck without tank Hose for milk tank dispenser

Tank on stanchions Stanchions

Farm pickup truck Jeep

   Metal Farm Vehicles

Marx' Linermar subsidiary in Japan made numerous metal vehicles of brightly lithographed metal.  The metal vehicles were not included in many playsets, but an article in Playset Magazine Issue 18 reports that a group of eight metal farm implements from Linemar came in sets which had the silo room connecting the barn and silo.  The article includes a photo of a metal tractor and six metal farm implements, and notes that the set also included a metal silo elevator with a crank-operated belt.

Collector Carolyn Burrell has provided the following photos of these eight items, though the "hay rake" shown is different than the "side delivery rake for hay" shown in the Playset Magazine photo.  It would not be unusual if Marx was not entirely consistent in which farm implements it included in these sets.

Four photos below courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell
4-wheeling wagon and friction tractor Disk and mower
Hay rake, 2-blade plow, and manure spreader Silo elevator
Four photos above courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell

According to Playset Magazine Issue 46, two other sets with metal implements were the company's 1960 Dairy Farm set (#3954) that included a milk tanker truck and a flatbed stake truck, and a 1961 Sears and Roebuck farm set with a harvester combine.  I expect there may have been other such vehicles that I am unaware of.
Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Milk tanker truck Flatbed stake truck Harvester combine

   Crop Duster and Hangar

PFPC Issue 67 reports that the Marx crop duster airplane was available as early as 1952 as an item sold separately to add to farm sets.  However, it was included in a small numbers of farm playsets sold by Sears and Roebuck in the 1960s, though without the hangar.  The airplane can actually spray water when the plunger on top is depressed.  I am uncertain whether it ever appeared in any other playset.  The hangar was used in many Marx airport sets.
Views of farm crop duster and hanger
Photos courtesy of collector Butch Parker

Small Accesssory Groups

     Barn Accessory Group  (PL-177)

The is the most common group of farm accessories, found in virtually all Marx farm playsets.  This group initially was made most often in yellow hard plastic, but the it was also made in tan and changed to soft plastic about 1958.

The litter carrier and hay pulley are attachments for the barn, as described earlier on this page.

1.  Feed Box
(box and lid are separate pieces)
2 and 3.  Litter carrier and hay pulley
(litter is 2-piece)

The litter carrier (item 2) operates on a metal cross-bar that is placed into holes of both barn sides.  The carrier is then able to slide the width of the barn and out the side door.  Barn litter is shoveled into the carrier, which is pushed outside the door so that the litter can be dumped into a receptacle and discarded elsewhere.  

The pulley (item 3) is used to pull hay bales (item 4) up into the barn loft for storage.  As shown below, metal hooks (not pictured individually here) and string (representing rope) are used to hang the pulley from a small hole in the barn roof and attach it to the top of a hay bale, allowing young farmers to pull the hay up into the loft or lower it for the animals to feed on in the winter.  If desired, the hay bale can be hauled half way up and the string tied off on a tab that is punched into the side of the barn, as shown below.

Metal cross-bar for litter carrier
Bar is 13-2/4 inches long.
Photo courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell
Pulley attached to barn  roof, holding hay bale
Photo courtesy of Carolyn Burrell

4.  Bale of hay 5.  Feed sack 6 and 7.  Garbage can with lid and pail
8 and 9.  Pitch fork and shovel 10.  Milking stool

     Cow stalls and milk platform

Early Marx barns came with a silver/gray cow stall that had tabs to be inserted into slots in the barn floor.  These generally came in a gray hard plastic.  The stall changed to the hoop style in 1957, but for some reason I have never seen one of these second versions.

Cow stall Hoop style cow stall
Photo courtesy of Kent Sprecher, Toy Soldier HQ

     Milk platform and milk cans

Another common Marx farm accessory is the milk loading platform, which usually came with three milk cans.  These were found in several sets, as well as in the Farm Truck Accessory Group described earlier on this page.  The platform and cans were made in a gray/silver hard plastic.  The platform measures five inches long, two inches wide, and 1-3/8 inches high.  Milk cans -- which are hollow -- are about an inch tall.

The platform is readily available in other colors as a re-issue.

Milk loading platform Milk cans
     Platform Barn or Harvest Accessory Group  (PL-1002)

Marx introduced a new farm accessory group with its Platform Farm Set in 1959, and the accessory group has therefore come to be known by some collectors as the Platform Accessory Group.  Other than being first included in the platform barn set, the group has no relation to a platform.  Its alternate name of Harvest Accessory Group is more appropriate.

I have seen different numbers as to what was included in this group, but if I count correctly, the mold had 18 pieces that went to make up 14 different items.  The difference, which occurs in most Marx molds, is that some pieces in a mold combined to make one item and that duplicate items were made in some molds.  

Note that the wheels in this group are for the dump hay rake, which was made in another mold.  Likewise, the hay wagon top in this mold used wheels made in another mold.  I'm still not sure that I understand that, so it is not surprising that there is some confusion about what was in this mold!  I am not certain that the items shown below are correct for this mold, and I would welcome anyone to enlighten me!

Sets came in yellow, dark gray, and light gray.  Re-issues of the mold exist, but the pieces vary slightly from the original mold, adding to all the confusion!

Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time.
1.  Hay wagon
(mold included top part only)
2.  Wagon hitch for horses

Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time.
3.  Wagon tow for tractor 4.  Wheels for dump hay rake

5.  Pile of hay bales
6.  Pile of pumpkins

Photo is not available at this time.
7.  Hog feeder 8.  Scarecrow 9.  Single pumpkin

10.  Corn shock
11.  Wheat shock
12,  Stump

13.  Stile 14.  Gas pump on stand

     Dairy Farm Accessory Group  (PL-1069)

With its Dairy Farm set in 1960, Marx naturally included a new dairy farm accessory group, a very interesting bunch of machinery for us non-farm people.  Its a neat group and is not easy to find, I guess because it was only included with Dairy Farm sets.  I believe the items in the photos below are original.  I particularly like the bee hive.

Milking hose Cream seperator Milk cooler Pasteurizer

Wash tank Trough

Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time.
Cart Milk cans Spray tank Bee hive

     Accessory Sprue

Similar to other playset themes, marx made an accessory sprue for farm sets that included small items that are used on farms.  First included in sets during the 1960s, these were such items as carpentry tools, a post hole digger, a weed sprayer, a vehicle jack, and a chain saw.  According to PFPC Issue 67, the sprue had 37 items on it, and Kent Sprecher's web site reports that -- unlike other Marx accessory sprues -- every item on it was different.  The farm sprue is difficult to find today.

Collector Carolyn Burrell reports that her photo below includes all but four of the sprue pieces

Accessory Sprue
Photo courtesy of collector Carolyn Burrell

Terrain Items

     Farm Fences

Several types of fencing came in Marx farm playsets over the three decades that such sets were produced.  All of the styles used could be found in non-farm playsets as well.  Oddly, while fencing was a standard item in every farm set, they did not include gates.

According to Playset Magazine Issue 18, early farm sets included either straight board fence (generally Wards' Lazy Day sets) or criss-cross board fence (Sears' Happi-Time sets).  The fence sections were white hard plastic.

Straight board fence is about five inches long and about 1-3/4 inches high.
Board fence - front and back

Criss-cross fence is  six inches long and two inches high.
Criss-cross board fence - front and back

Starting in about 1956, a few sets included split log Wild West style fencing.  This fencing was a standard in almost all Wild West playsets.  The log fence is about 6-1/4 inches wide and about 2 inches tall.  The back side of the fence is flat and not detailed.
Split log fence

Also beginning in 1956, some farm sets had what is often called "chicken coop fence", also known as small plank fence.  It is very small, only 3/4 inches high and 3 inches wide.  It came in a few non-farm sets also, most notably several space exploration sets and the Wild West Gunsmoke Playset.

Small chicken coop fence - front and back
Starting in 1958, some farm sets included barbed wire fencing.  The fence does not accurately portray barbed-wire farm fencing, as it was made for and used in Marx' military sets as defensive barricades.  It is a nice 5 inches wide, but only 1-1/4 inches high, far too diminutive to hold Marx' 54mm and 60mm scale farm animals.
Barbed wire fence

     Crop Rows

Soft plastic crop rows, according to Playset Magazine Issue 18, were available from Marx as early as 1951 with crops in olive green, but only as a separate purchase, not in a playset.  They were also included in light green with the add-on set that included the farm house (see buildings above).  However, they did not appear in playsets until 1956, made in dark green.  

The full 28-piece crop set included six each of corn, cabbage, bean, and tomato plants, and four plastic bases.  Crop pieces are inserted into six small holes in each base.  The tab on the bottom of each crop is identical, so you can mix up the crop pieces on each base if you wish.  The crop bases are seven inches long, and veteran collector/dealer Kent Sprecher states that the bases were made of hard plastic.

Crops strips - corn, beans, tomatoes, and cabbage
Each photo includes one crop strip and six identical crop pieces.  If desired, one strip can contain various types of crop pieces.

     Irrigated Garden

The 1962 Marx Irrigated Farm set included a
 crop base and water reservoir -- both made of fragile vacuum form -- 48 crop pieces (as shown above),
and various irrigation pipes and pump parts, according to Playset Magazine Issue 46.  The irrigated garden was also sold as a separate accessory set.  I have no photos of these items, but you can see them in Playset Magazine Issues 46 and 47.


Farm playsets sometimes had a tree in them and sometimes did not.  These were the usual three types of trees that appeared in numerous non-farm Marx playsets, most notably in Wild West sets.  The most common tree in farm set appears to have been the A-tree shown below, but the full or scraggly tree often showed up.  
Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
A-Tree Full Scraggly

     Telephone pole

At least one farm set included telephone poles, the small #3954-R Lazy-Day Farm Set.  It included five of them, along with thread to use as wire.  I believe these same poles were used in Marx train sets.
Telephone Pole




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