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

Addendum M-1 - Modern Military Figures
(World War I and later)

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.

    Table of Contents

      (click on name to move to section)
U. S. Army Flats
Training Center Figures
  First Series 45mm GIs
  Second Series 45mm GIs
   45mm Air Force
   35mm Marines and Sailors
60mm GIs
54mm Figures - World War II
   First Series GIs
   Second Series GIs
   Marching GIs
  54mm Gallant Men
Axis Troops - World War II
  German soldiers
  Japanese soldiers
Allied Troops - World War II
  British soldiers
  French soldiers
  Russian soldiers
Military Academy Cadets
Strategic Air Command Figures
Miniature Playsets
Back to Main Table of Contents

Please note:  For the most part, figures on this page are shown in approximately proper proportion when compared to other figures.  The primary exceptions to this are 1) 6-inch figures, which are decreased by about half and 2) some photos which I have obtained from other people. 

I added this page and the related military accessory page to this web site in December 2011 because several people requested a page on Marx military playset items.  My father was a Colonel in the U.S. Army, actually holding the rank of captain and major during my formative years in the 1950s.  Therefore, owning several Marx playsets in the 1950s, I had A) many military playsets, B) some military playsets, or C) no military playsets?

If you guessed C, you are correct.  For whatever reason, the closest I got to a military playset was the Tom Corbett Space Academy Play Set, which will eventually be discussed on this site's Space Exploration Page.  I have no idea why my parents never bought me a military set.  Perhaps my father simply did not look on the military something that should be reduced to a toy.  I know that I had a few military figures, but where I got them or who made them, I have no idea.  It's odd what you remember and don't remember from your childhood!

Anyhow, I have done my best to learn all I can on the Marx military sets over the past many months, and below is what I have to offer you.  Since it is not my primary area of concentration, I do not provide as much narrative as I do on the Wild West pages.  However, I believe that I have the bulk of the figures and accessories cited, the primary playsets noted, and photos of more military figures than I ever thought I would own (though there are still plenty of empty photos).  Since starting to seriously collect toy  soldiers in 2002, I have always been able to tell folks that although I collect toy soldiers, I do not collect toy soldiers.  I collect cowboys and Indians, pioneers, circus performers, cavemen, knights (OK, a kind of soldier), etc.  Now, however, I guess I do collect toy soldiers too.

A great deal of the information on this page has come from the 1994 Special Collector Edition of Plastic Figure and Playset Collector (PFPC) magazine.  That issue has an incredible 58-page article on Marx military sets that includes not only a wealth of information, but dozens of photos and several playset content listings.  
All references to PFPC below relate to that issue of the magazine, unless otherwise stated.  Other primary sources of information include various issues of Playset Magazine that feature Marx military playsets and Kent Sprecher's web site page on Marx military figures and accessories.  In addition, of course, I thank the many collectors who continue to share with me their vast knowledge of Marx playsets.

After Fort Apache, Marx' military playsets were probably the most consistent sellers throughout the company's lifetime.  As with other playset themes, the company began with rather crude 45mm figures, moved to much better sculpted 60mm poses, and in the mid-1950s changed to its standard 54mm scale figures.  A few miniature sets were made in the 1960s with soldiers about an inch tall, as well as larger 6-inch figures.  By far, most of the military figures represent the U.S. military forces: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines.  However, there are also representations of Germans, Japanese, British, French, and Russian playset soldiers.  

Most figures represent World War II soldiers, but there are a few World War I figures, as well as occasional suggestions of the Korean War and even a miniature Vietnam set.  Playset themes included World War II battles in both Europe and Asia, as well as training centers, the Strategic Air Command Base, and West Point.

As with most pages on this site, a good deal of the information I present comes from the former Plastic Figure and Playset Collector magazine (PFPC) and/or the current Playset Magazine (PM).  As is sometimes stated, I have gathered additional information from other publications and from fellow collectors, many who have been in this hobby far longer than I have.

And away we go with the good stuff...

U. S. Army Flats
PL unknown

What?  Marx made figures resembling those cheap plastic comic book premium soldiers that were flat as a pancake?  Well, yes.  Marx' first military playset, labeled U.S. Army Mobile Set, 
contained 22 flat GI figures.  Articles on the set can be found in both the the PFPC Special Collector Edition of 1994 and PM Issue 90 of 2016.  It's a very hard set to find today.

The PFPC article states that there are 22 different figure poses, but this may be incorrect.  That article includes photos of only two figures.  The PM article cites a "22 piece set", but shows only 21 figures.  Moreover, it appears that 1) two of the figures among the 21 are duplicated and 2) the saluting pose shown below is not included.  That would bring the total number of poses to 20.  Interestingly, the box cover accurately depicts the vehicles included in the set, but the one GI on the cover -- standing at parade rest with rifle butt on the ground -- is a pose that does not seem to be in the set.  Ah, the mysteries of Marx!
The set was sold in the early 1950s; the PM article suggests first in 1951.  The figures came in olive drab hard plastic and, as can be seen in the photos below, are well detailed, especially for flat figures.  PM states that the standing figures are about 2-1/2 inches tall.
The set also included four vehicles -- two flatbed trucks, a half-track, and an armored scout car -- which are shown on this site's Military Accessories page.  
The half-track has a hole to place a 48-star paper American flag that is attached to a wooden dowel.  The flatbed trucks have three changeable loads of a searchlight, a radar unit, and an anti-aircraft gun.  The flatbeds and their loads are among the popular of Marx military vehicles among collectors today.  
According to PFPC, a second version of the same set was sold with a double set of the GIs, but no armored scout car and no searchlight.  Instead, the set has a stake-side truck with seats to hold troops and an amphibious landing vehicle with a separate machine gun to mount on the rear.  Photos of these also are on the Military Accessories page.  In addition, both sets included a 48-star tin litho U. S. flag with a log flag pole and rock base -- both made of plastic -- which would appear in numerous later playsets of all types.
Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
1.  Walking, rifle slung on right shoulder 2.  Walking, carrying pack with rifle slung on right shoulder
Both sides of figure are shown.
3.  Walking, carrying parachute with machine gun slung on shoulder

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
4.  Walking with rifle held at waist 5.  Officer with pistol 6.  Walking with mine sweeper

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
7.  Standing, shooting machine gun 8.  Standing, shooting rifle 9.  Kneeling, shooting bazooka

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
10.  Kneeling, carrying flame thrower 11.  Squatting, holding artillery shell 12.  Kneeling, throwing grenade

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
13.  Kneeling with walkie-talkie 14.  Marching with flag 15.  Marching in dress hat with rifle on shoulder

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
16.  Marching in helmet with rifle on right shoulder 17.  Drummer, marching 18.  Bugler, marching

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
19.  Saluting 20.

Photo not available at this time.


The Training Center Sets

If I had ever owned a Marx military playset, these are the figures that I most likely would have owned.  I have no recollection of them at all and am sure I never owned them.  They appeared in the first Marx Military Training Center sets around 1951.  Perhaps the company was hesitant to produce an all-out war playset so soon after the huge number of casulaties in World War II.  Because the set represented a training facility, it did not even have an enemy for the soldiers to fight.  In my opinion, the variety of poses and sturdiness of the small figures makes them a good military toy for kids, but they are perhaps a little too "cute" for war toys.

The Army Training Center sets were sold for more than 10 years, but figures and accessories that came in the sets changed dramatically over this period.  The first sets included what is now called the First Series of 45mm GIs, a group of 17 poses.  These were made in olive drab vinyl, with the company changing them to soft plastic sometime in the mid-1950s.  There are a lot of nice poses to like here, but in my opinion, the tiny "kneeling, shooting rifle" takes the cake!

Besides the same vehicles that came with the earlier flat figures -- mainly the scout car and halftrack -- training center accessories included tin litho headquarters and barracks buildings, office furniture, field accessories, rocks and trees, a 60mm scale jeep, a short-barreled shell-shooting howitzer, and a shell-shooting machine gun.  Some collectors believe that some sets included a mobile gun carriage and trucks from the Marx freight station playset, but it is uncertain whether these came with a training center set or were sold separately.  The vehicles and accessories are shown on the "Military Accessories" page of this web site.

Somewhat oddly, the final training center sets were populated not by 60mm figures, but by new and much improved 54mm scale figures introduced in 1958.  These figures became the soldiers that manned the Battleground and later playsets sold by the company until its bankruptcy in 1980.  These figures are described below in The Battleground Play Sets section.

U. S. Army - First Series 45mm GIs

1.  Standing, with binoculars

2.  Marching, with flag 3.  Throwing grenade 4.  Kneeling, shooting rifle
5.  Saluting 6.  Standing, shooting rifle 7.  Kneeling, shooting bazooka

8.  Marching, rifle on right shoulder
9.  Sitting, hands on knees
10.  Walking with two gas cans 11.  Standing, rifle held across chest 12.  Walking, rifle slung on right shoulder
13.  Holding walkie-talkie 14.  Blowing bugle 15.  Standing, pistol in right hand 16.  Holding artillery shell at waist
17.  Lying, shooting rifle with bi-pod

U. S. Army - Second Series 45mm GIs (or Camp Pose GIs)

In 1952, Marx 15 aded an additional GI poses to its Training Center playsets.  These are now called the Second Series of 45mm GIs.  They were included in fewer playsets and, therefore, are more difficult to find today.

The style of this group is identical to the First Series, adding several wounded and camp poses.  It also includes the only female of the group, the "nurse, kneeling with canteen."  The stretcher carriers came in only one pose, and the stretcher is supported by small metal rods that thread through the hands of the "ringhand" carriers.

1.  Sitting, shooting rifle with scope 2.  Advancing wearing gas mask, with bayonetted rifle
3.  Sitting, wrist on knee 4.  Kneeling with shovel

5.  Sitting, drinking from cup 6.  Walking, rifle slung on right shoulder
7.  Standing with mine sweeper 8.  Guard standing at ease, rifle butt resting on ground

9.  Crouching, rifle in right hand 10.  Stretcher carrier 11.  Nurse, kneeling with canteen 12.  Crawling, rifle in right hand

13.  Standing with mess kit and cup
14.  Lying, wounded (on separate stretcher) 15.  Stretcher
Stretcher is made of vinyl or soft plastic; handles are made of metal (well rusted in this photo).
Photos courtesy of Mike Germain of  Ziggy's Toy Soldiers on Ebay.

U. S. Air Force - 45mm Airmen

Marx expanded its training center playsets in 1954, creating an Army and Air Force Training Center Play Set.  The Air Force was represented by a group of 11 airmen and ground crew in about 45mm scale.  The figures were generally molded in a metallic blue and were much better sculpted than their counterpart GIs.  Figures were initially made with flat bases, but later a ridge was added along the bottom of the bases to make the figures slightly taller so that they were more compatable with the company's later 54mm figures.  Most of the poses were also used as a ground crew for Cape Canaveral playsets.

The Army and Air Force Training Center was sold in several different versions, with accessories varying from one to another.  In general, accessories for the Air Force included the Army field accessories molded in metallic blue and three modern military aircraft in a downsized scale.
 The vehicles and accessories are shown on the Military Accessories page of this web site.  

1.  Pilot walking in high altitude suit 2.  Pilot reading map 3.  Pilot walking, left hand at chest 4.  Pilot walking, swinging arms

5.  Pilot squatting, holding paper 6.  Holding air hose in right hand 7.  Holding wrench

10.  Squatting , holding rocket overhead 9.  Holding fuel hose at waist level

10.  Holding signal light 11.  Holding ammo belt

U. S. Marine Corps and Navy - 35mm Marines and Sailors                          

Finally in 1955, Marx brought in the entire U.S. military forces into its playsets, creating a series of Armed Forces Training Center Playsets that included Navy and Marine personnel for the first time.  According to Kent Sprecher, the mold for these figures held 22 figures, 11 sailors and 11 Marines.  Each group included six identical marching poses and one each of five other poses.  These were about 35mm scale, slightly smaller than the Army and Air Force figures, and generally came in a soft plastic light blue or gray; Kent notes that a set would usually have the Navy in one of these two colors and the Marines in the other color.

This new training center version introduced three new accessories:  a 7-piece helicopter, a command tent with cot, and a Nike missile launcher with three missiles.  The set also had a revised Army barracks building and office building that were both marked Armed Forces Training Center, and in later sets a different down-sized office building.
 The vehicles and accessories are shown on the Military Accessories page of this web site.    


1.  Marine carrying flag
2.  Marine guard at present arms, rifle across chest 3.  Marine NCO walking

4.  Marine standing at attention
5.  Marine standing at ease, rifle resting on ground 6.  Marine marching with rifle on shoulder

7.  Naval officer holding binoculars 8.    Seaman with signal flags 9.  Seaman marching with rifle on shoulder

10.  Seaman with duffle bag 11. Seaman pulling on rope 12. Navy guard standing with arms crossed 

The 60mm Troops

Surprisingly, Marx did not create any military playsets with 60mm scale figures.  Unlike the long-running Wild West playsets, military sets moved directly from the 45mm figures in the Training Center playsets to 54mm in the Battleground and later playsets.

However, Marx produced a wide variety of 60mm military figures in the early 1950s, initially in vinyl and later in plastic.  They can be found in a various shades of Army olive drab green, with lighter shades often due to fading over their 50-plus years of existence.  Looking at the figures, it's clear that many are based on the company's 45mm poses, or perhaps vice versa.  These larger figures were sold individually as "bin toys" (i.e., tossed into large containers and sold for 10 or 15 cents apiece) or in small boxed or bagged sets including a few figures and sometimes accessories.  

Several of the 60mm figure molds were later used to make the company's hard plastic, painted Warriors of the World (see section near end of this page), and many later 54mm scale figures were similar to the 60mm poses.  Personally, these 60mm figures are my favorite Marx military figures.  The sculpting was much better than the earlier 45mm figures, and the figures were much better filled out than the thinner 54mm versions, many which carried weapons that were clearly underscaled.  They are also solidly manufactured and more difficult to break or warp than the smaller figures.

Figures in good condition will generally cost $10 to $25, but those more difficult to find or in higher demand -- such as the marching with flag pose -- are more expensive and might go for $50 or more.

U. S. Army - 60mm GIs 

Figures from this mold are especially hard to find and costly.  The seated GI may or may not have been included in this mold.  Veteran seller and collector Kent Sprecher surmises this would have been a logical place for it, but no one is certain.

Photo not available at this time.
1.  Kneeling with flame thrower
2.  Pilot carrying parachute on back
Photos courtesy of Mike Germain of  Ziggy's Toy Soldiers on Ebay
Photo not available at this time.
3.  Walking with parachute
Front and back views
Photos courtesy of Roger Garfield,
4.  Seated GI
Two views of the same figure.
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Seated GI $53 October 2011 Ebay excellent condition
Seated GI $153 November 2011 Ebay wow!
Seated GI $51 December 2011 Ebay
Seated GI $100 December 2011 Ebay
Seated GI $48 May 2013 Ebay
Seated GI $40 November 2016 Ebay figure shown above

U. S. Army - Marching 60mm GIs

1.  Marching with flag (flag made of paper)
Photo courtesy of Roger Garfield,
2.  Marching with rifle on right shoulder 3.  Marching with rifle slung on right shoulder 4.  Saluting

U. S. Army - Early 60mm Combat GIs

1.  Walking with rifle held at waist

2.  Carrying artillery shell
3.  Sitting, shooting scoped rifle
4.  Throwing grenade
5.  Shooting bazooka

U. S. Army - Later 60mm Combat GIs

I think this is a great group of figures, and it just may be my favorite among the 60mm GIs.  The guy wearing the gas mask (Pose 3) is one scary looking dude (and I do not use that term often), and Pose 10 is a great action pose with his left hand lifted up off the ground to indicate that he is pushing himself forward with his elbow, not just lying there.
1.  Advancing with bayonetted rifle 2.  Crouching with tommy gun at waist

3.  Walking with gas mask, rifle slug on right shoulder 4.  Holding pistol, waving with left hand

5.  Carrying ammo can

6.  Lying, shooting scoped rifle
7.  Standing, shooting rifle

8.  Sitting, shooting scoped rifle
9.  Throwing grenade 10.  Crawling with rifle

U. S. Army - Medical 60mm GIs

These are among the most difficult of Marx military figures to find.  Several were based on the 45mm figures from training center playsets.  They sell in the $10 to $25 range, sometimes higher.
1.  Chaplain with Bible 2.  Nurse with IV bottle

Photo not available at this time.

4, 5.  Stretcher carriers, feet apart and feet together
Photos are of figures mounted on store display, courtesy of Mark Hegeman
6.  Stretcher (top and bottom) 7.  Lying wounded on stretcher

7.  Carrying wounded GI 8.  Wounded GI, being carried by Pose 7
GI carrying wounded soldier
(Poses 7 and 8)
9.  Kneeling, digging with shovel

Photo not available at this time.
10.  Kneeling, peeling a potato
Photo is of figure mounted on store display, courtesy of Mark Hegeman
11.  Sitting, holding canteen cup 12.  Nurse, kneeling

U. S. Army - Final Combat 60mm GIs

1.  Guard at ease, rifle resting on ground 2.  Sweeping for mines 3.  Officer with right hand raised
4.  NCO holding papers in left hand 5.  At attention, rifle held across chest 6.  Kneeling with radio  

Photo not available at this time.
7.  Military policeman with hands held behind back 8.  Kneeling, looking through binoculars
Lens of binoculars has been painted silver.
9.  Squatting, right elbow on knee  His right hand seems to be posed to hold something, and the general consensus is that he is firing a machine gun.

U. S. Army - Marching 60mm GIs (wearing helmets)

According to Kent Sprecher's web site, these were the last 60mm GIs to be released, in 1954.
1.  Marching with arms at sides
2.  Marching with rifle on shoulder

The Battleground Sets

Starting in 1956, Marx playsets began to gradually move from 60mm to slightly smaller 54mm scale figures.  The change was intended to reduce costs, while increasing the number of pieces in each playset by using less plastic for each figure.  Piece count was a big advertising point in playsets during the 1950s and 1960s.

For the most part, the company completed this change by the end of 1957, but it did not sell its first 54mm military playset figures until 1958.  In that year, as noted in the section above on 45mm figures, figures in this new scale were included in the final few training center play sets.  However, the 54mm figures were the backbone of new Battleground playsets, sold first in 1958.  These figures were much better sculpted and more finely detailed that the 45mm GIs.  

The final training center sets were sold in 1958 and introduced three groups of the 54mm figures:  12 Marine poses (PL-929 below), 7 Sailor poses (PL number unknown), and 3 marching GI poses (PL-927).  They also included new accessories -- with vehicles significantly down-sized -- and a Post Exchange store front that were included only in two hard-to-find Armed Forces Training Center sets.

More importantly, the first of many Marx Battleground playsets came out in 1958, with the same Marine, Sailor, and marching GI groups in the final training center sets.  In addition, the Battleground sets included a 13th Marine (the sitting pose shown below), a group of 16 Army combat poses (PL-926 below), and in larger sets a pair of GIs to paddle an upscaled raft (PL-938).

Based on the combat-action poses in these groups, Marx figures had completed their training years and moved on into real battle action, eventually finding enemy figures to face and suffering combat casulaties.These new 54mm figures were used in Marx military sets for the remainder of the company's existence, produced in many shades of soft plastic green.

Additional 54mm figures were released in 1963 and 1964.  These included a group of five Gallant Men character figures in a special set of the same name (based on the television show), a second group of GIs with several medical poses (PL-1195),  a pair of parachuters (PL-1193), a group of German soldiers as well as a sitting pose and motorcycle rider, and a group of Japanese soldiers.  Accessories for the Axis troops were also included.

With all of these new items, Marx was able to vary its playset titles to more accurately describe specific set themes in such sets as D-Day Landing, Iwo Jima, American Patrol, and Tank Battle.  Finally, in 1965, the company released figures representing World War II Allied troops -- British, French, and Russian -- in large and small versions of a Battleground Europe playset.  Each group include six poses, a small number of vehicles and artillery, and a tin litho flag.  Again,
the vehicles and accessories are shown on the "Military Accessories" page of this web site.

The demand for military playsets fell off in the mid-1960s -- perhaps due to negative reaction to the Vietnam War -- and Marx produced no new military figures and few playsets after 1965.  Those that came out included Desert Patrol in 1967, a Carry-All Boot Camp set in 1968, and History in the Pacific and Rhine River Battle in 1972.  After Louis Marx sold the company in 1972, Quaker Oats released two more notable sets, Navarone and Giant Iwo Jima.  Both sets included large hard plastic mountains with defensive positions.  Similar mountain pieces were included in Wild West and Pre-historic playsets, and I would imagine these expensive accessories (invariably avoided by Louis Marx) contributed to the company's eventual demise.  According to Plastic Figure and Playset Collector magazine, Marx lost an estimated $100-million during the four years Quaker Oats owned the toy company.

U. S. Army - First Series 54mm GIs
  PL-926 (and 926A)

1.  Walking in helmet, rifle slung on right shoulder Reverse side of Pose 1, with and without canteen.  Note tilt of helmet on figure without canteen. 2.  Standing with pistol, urging troops onward 3.  Radio operator, kneeling

4.  Advancing with rifle, grenade carried on chest 5.  Advancing with rifle, no grenade 6.  Advancing with rifle, both feet on ground

7.  Butting with rifle 8.  Throwing grenade   9.  Standing, shooting rifle

10.  Kneeling with mortar shell 11.  Standing, tommy gun held at waist 12.  Kneeling, firing machine gun on tri-pod

13.  Kneeling, firing bazooka 14.  Sweeping for mines 15.  Kneeling, shooting rifle

16.  Lying, firing rifle on bipod

U. S. Army - Marching 54mm GIs

As with all its military sets, the new Battleground sets had a nice complement of marching soldiers: officer in dress uniform, an NCO in a helmet, and a common soldier with rifle on his shoulder.  The mold group included six of the GI carrying the rifle.  If you look closely at an NCO figure, you can see his staff sergeant insignia on each arm.
1.  Marching officer in dress hat 2.  Marching NCO in helmet 3.  Marching GI with rifle on right shoulder

U. S. Army - 54mm Paddlers

Two additional figures released with the new Battleground sets were paddlers for a new, larger inflatable raft made in soft plastic.  The paddlers and raft generally were found only in larger sets.  Both figures and the raft were well-detailed and fit together perfectly.

According to Plastic Figure and Playset Collector magazine, medium-sized sets often had only the "oar to the right" figure to be used with the smaller raft in the 6-piece vehicle group (see Military Accessories page).  Smaller sets had no paddlers.

Paddler, oar to right Paddler, oar to left

Paddler in small raft

Left and right paddlers in large raft
Photo courtesy of Bob Jones

U. S. Marine Corps - 54mm Marines

1.  Lying with rifle at right side 2.  With flame thrower

Photo not available at this time.
3.  Kneeling with rifle and ammo clip

4.  Wearing life jacket, holding pistol 5.  Throwing grenade, holding tommy gun

6.  Advancing with rifle held at waist

7.  Kneeling with rifle 8.  Running with ammo can

9.  Holding rifle, waving with right hand 10.  Kneeling with pistol and radio

11.  Running with machine gun on shoulder

12.  Running with pistol, waving

U. S. 54mm Marine - sitting

U. S. Marine sitting

U. S. Navy - 54mm Sailors

The Navy was represented with seven 54mm poses, but unfortunately these were only found in playset from 1958 to 1960.  As a result, they are more difficult to find and more expensive than the other 54mm groups.  
1.  Officer with pistol, left hand to helmet
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis
2.  Running with tommy gun
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis
3.  With signal light
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis
4.  Shore patrolman with night stick
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis
5.  Marching with rifle on shoulder
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis
6.  Walking with duffle bag
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis
7.  With mop and bucket
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
using signal light $19 April 2013 Ebay
short patrol - two $34 May 2013 Ebay
with duffle bag - two $22 May 2013 Ebay
with mop - two $18 May 2013 Ebay
marching - three $41 May 2013 Ebay
with tommy gun and with left hand to helmet $48 May 2013 Ebay

U. S. Army - Second Series 54mm GIs

Marx issued what is called its Second Series of 54mm GIs in 1963 in an Army Combat Playset, but the group appeared much more often in 1964 with Marx' American Patrol, Iwo Jima, and Desert Fox sets, all released for the first time that year.  This group included 11 new poses and a stretcher, plus the standing GI firing a rifle from the First Series and two poses from the Marine group (see below).  Two identical stretcher carriers were in the mold, making up a group of poses and a stretcher.

With these new poses, Marx also issued slightly revised versions of the First Series GIs, with the mold designation changed to PL-926A.  Both series continued to appear in Marx military sets until its demise, made in a variety of green soft plastic.

1.  Standing, shooting rifle 2.  Shot, helmet flying off
3.  Attacking with knife

4. Advancing, rifle at waist  5.  Running with ammo can 6.  Clubbing with rifle

7.  Carrying wounded soldier 8.  Wounded soldier being carried Poses 7 and 8 combined

9.  Stretcher carrier Poses 9, 10, 11.  Stretcher team

10.  Lying wounded
11.  Stretcher

12.  Crawling, wounded 13.  Crawling with tommy gun

14.  With flame thrower (from Marine mold below) 15.  Throwing grenade (from Marine mold below)

U. S. Army - 54mm Paratroopers
  PL-1193 (paratroopers) and PL-1192 (parachutes)

U.S. paratroopers also made their debut in the 1963 sets.  Parachutes are white soft plastic with very thin wires connecting to tiny holes in the parachutes and rings on the figures.  The parachutes are rather flexible, but the one that is open is about 3-3/4 inches in diameter and 1-1/2 inches high.  The one for the landing paratrooper is the same size, but with one side flat.  The wires -- one for each chute -- are about 12 inches long.

The paratroopers were included only in larger sets, so are not easy to find today.

1.  On ground, gathering up parachute
Photo courtesy of Mike Germain of Ziggy's Toy Soldiers on Ebay
2.  Hanging in parachute
Photo courtesy of Mike Germain of Ziggy's Toy Soldiers on Ebay

Chute for paratrooper in air
Chute for paratrooper just landing -- first photo in proper position with flat side on the groud and second photo showing flat side.
Thin wires for parachutes
These have obviously been well used.  

U. S. Army - 54mm Gallant Men Character Figures

The Gallant Men character figures were an effort by Marx to market a playset with its existing 54mm military troops tied to an ABC television show, The Gallant Men.  Unfortunately, the show lasted for only one season, and the set was barely on the market before the show's last broadcast in June 1963.  As a result, sales were limited, and these hard-to-find figures can set you back $20 and up today.

According to Playset Magazine Issue 68, The Gallant Men playset was sold in two versions, both debuting in 1963, though both are virtually identical.  The boxes are referred to as the green box (#4632) and red box (#4634), and the set title on the box is backed by a stripe of the appropriate color.  Other than the five character figures, contents were the usual Battleground Marines and GIs along with accessories found in Battleground playsets.  Sets included some nice accessories, such as the exploding machine gun nest, a firing jet plane, and a 35-piece small weapons sprue.

The 54mm figures were made in a soft plastic olive drab and a darker green (forest green) with the character name on the bottom of the base.  

Photo not available at this time.
1.  Captain Benedict
Photo courtesy of Mike Germain of  Ziggy's Toy Soldiers on Ebay
2.  Private D'Angelo
Photo courtesy of Mike Germain of  Ziggy's Toy Soldiers on Ebay
3.  Conley Wright
Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
4.  Sgt. McKenna 5.  Lieutenant Kimbro
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Complete set $100 March 2012 Ebay

Axis and Allied Soldiers

Even with the company's move from Training Center playsets to Battleground playsets in 1958, Marx still did not manufacture an enemy for the U.S. soldiers to fight.  Instead, sets included U.S. soldiers in various colors, allowing kids to pretend the different colors represented opposing military forces.

Finally, in 1963, Marx created more realistic enemies for the U.S. troops, adding German and Japanese figures. Two years later in a Battleground Europe Set, they also added small figure groups of Allied Forces to support the U.S.: the British, the French, and the Russians.

These were the final military figures created by Marx.  With the increasing unpopularity of the Vietnam War, sales of military toys were declining.  Overall playset sales were falling, but military sets were particulary hard hit.  The only innovations left in the area were the Carry-All sets in small tin suitcases released in 1968 (Boot Camp was the military-themed set) and the large mountain pieces included in two sets after Quaker Oats took over the company (Guns of Navarone and Iwo Jima).

54mm German Soldiers

Early German figures were a dark gray soft plastic; the color became lighter in later years.  The motorcycle was a part of the German vehicle set (see the Military Accessories page) and was not always included with the figures.
1.  Officer, pointing downward 2.  Looking through binoculars
3.  Marching with goosestep 4.  Walking, carrying bazooka

5.  Walking, machine gun held across shoulder
6.  Advancing, bent over with rifle held at waist 7.  Runing, with pistol 8.  Standing, machine gun held at waist level

9.  Lying dead
10.  Throwing grenade 11.  Standing shooting rifle 12.  Kneeling, shooting rifle

13.  Running with machine gun

German soldier sitting
German motorcycle driver
Driver is molded onto motorcycle.  Side car can be removed from motorcycle.

54mm Japanese Soldiers

Japanese figures were a khaki or tan soft plastic.  
1.  Leaning forward, left hand on ground 2.  Kneeling, holding pistol and radio

3.  Running with flag 4.  Firing machine gun from hip

5.  Shot, dropping rifle 6.  Surrendering, hands behind head 7.  Advancing, rifle at chest level

8.  Running, with long knife 9.  Bayonetting downward 10.  Running with machine gun

11.  Runing with sword and pistol 12.  Throwing grenade

World War II Allies

Troops from the three allied countries -- Great Britain, France, and Russia -- were introduced in later Battleground playsets, such as the large European Battleground.  There were far fewer of these figures made than of the American GIs, the Germans, and the Japanese, so these figure are harder to find and more expensive today.  Generally, you will find that the French and Russians in good shape run $10 to $15 apeice.  The British are slightly more, up to $20 or so.  According to Tom Vida of Tiny Troops, the British figures were made of a more fragile material -- perhaps included a higher percentage of chalk, according to Tom -- so are less often found in one piece.

Very nice re-issue figures exist for all three groups, as shown below.

54mm British Soldiers

1.  Officer, holding pistol and gesturing
re-issue figure
2.  Standing, shooting rifle
re-issue figure
3.  Standing, with radio
re-issue figure

4.  Advancing, rifle held at waist level
5.  Running, with pistol and ammo can
re-issue figure
6.  Throwing grenade
re-issue figure

54mm French Soldiers

9.  Officer, pointing and and holding pistol 2.  Marching with rifle slung on right shoulder 3.  Running with weapon in left hand

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
4.  Standing, shooting rifle
5.  Kneeling, shooting rifle 6.  Advancing, with rifle at waist level
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
two figures in two poses $16 April 2013 Ebay
18 figures $168 July 2013 Ebay

54mm Russian Soldiers

Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
1.  Officer, holding pistol and gesturing 2.  Standing, shooting rifle
3.  Shot, dropping pistol

4.  Throwing grenade
5.  Running with machine gun in right hand 6.  Hitting with rifle butt, rifle held overhead
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
18 figures $129 July 2013 Ebay


West Point Cadets (with Military Academy Play Set)

This 54mm, 11-pose group was released in 1954 as part of the company's Military Academy Play Set.  They were made in soft plastic in the rarely used color of white.  The company sold 60mm versions of five of the poses (PL-670); these were sold in soft plastic at U.S. dime stores and in painted hard plastic in the Warriors of the World series (see later on this page).

The Military Academy Play Set included five other figures and various accessories.  The figures were the first set of generals created by Marx, the six U.S. five-star generals.  These were Generals Eisenhower, McCarthur, Gruenther, Arnold, Bradley, and Marshall (see section on the general group later on this page).  Accessories were somewhat minimal for the set, but included a 3-story tin litho cadet quarters building, four walls, and four corner towers.  These are similar too -- and in some case almost identical to -- the fort structures in the company's medieval playsets.  However, no gate is included, because West Point is not a walled fort.

The set is difficult to find today.  I imagine that this is at least partially because -- with no enemy forces to do battle -- the set was probably not a big seller.  Unfortunately, Marx records are not available for us to check out such things.

The figures and the Military Academy Play Set are featured in Playset Magazine Issue 59.  Re-issues exist, as shown in several of the photos below.

1.  Marching with flag
Re-issue figure
2.  Marching with sword on right shoulder 3.  Marching with rifle on right shoulder
Original and re-issue figure
4.  Marching with rifle on right shoulder, wearing overcoat
Photo courtesy of Mike Germain of  Ziggy's Toy Soldiers on Ebay

Photo not available at this time.
5.  Guard at present arms
Re-issue figure
6.  Guard, standing at attention
Re-issue figure
7.  Guard, standing at ease 8.  Saluting

9.  Bugler 10.  Drummer
Re-issue figure
11.  Walking with notebook
Re-issue figure

U. S. Strategic Air Command - 35mm Airmen

In October 1962, the U.S. learned that Russia was placing missiles with warheads in Cuba, only a few miles south of Florida.  President Kennedy quickly informed the Soviet Union that if the missiles were not immediately removed, the Soviet Union would suffer dire consequences.  To back up Kennedy's threat, the U.S. placed B-52 bombers and fighter jets at its Strategic Air Command bases on round-the-clock alert.  At the same time, U.S. troops began to prepare for a Cuban invasion.  Thus began what has become known as the Cuban Missile Crisis.  

Fortunately, of course, Soviet Premier Nikita Kruschev and Cuban dictator Fidel Castro blinked first, and the missiles were removed with no violence.  However, the Soviet's actions brought new dimensions to Marx military playsets.  As the company prepared for its 1963 toy line, Louis Marx insisted that a Strategic Air Command (SAC) playset be created.  

With impressive new aircraft, SAC buildings, and Nike rockets, it became one of the company's largest playsets.  Its run, however, lasted only two years -- 1963 and 1964 -- sold largely by Sears and, to a much lesser extent by Montgomery Wards.  I find it hard to believe that the sets were not popular, but perhaps the cost to produce the large set that included many unique accessories was just too much.  Even as produced, the B-52 bombers had to be significantly downsized in comparison to other items in the set.

The new and colorful accessories were certainly the heart of the playset.  On the other hand, the set's figures were down-sized versions of figures previously used in Cape Canaveral and airport playsets.
 The approximately 35mm figures were made in blue and silver soft plastic.  The blue figures shown in the photo below are a darker blue than shown; I lightened the color to show more detail on the figures.

I am uncertain exactly how many poses were included in the sets.  Playset Magazine Issue 54 reports that the Sears sets included 16 figure poses, with a total of 54 figures including duplicates.  Sixteen of these were the jet pilot pose with one hand at chest (Pose 8 below), apparently running toward his bomber in response to a red alert!  However, the Playset Magazine article includes a photograph of 19 poses, as listed below.  "Geppert's Guide to Non-metallic Toy Soldiers" lists 18.

The SAC sets are popular among collectors and today, and neither sets nor individual items are easily found in today's market.
Photo not available - we welcome yours!
1.  Officer, standing reading papers 2.  Officer standing, hands behind back 3.  Airman, loading rocket
4.  Airman holding signal flasher 5.  Chubby pilot, walking in high altitude suit
Photo not available - we welcome yours! Photo not available - we welcome yours! Photo not available - we welcome yours!
6.  Pilot, squatting with papers 7.  Pilot, walking with arms at sides 8.  Pilot walking with one hand at chest 9. Skinny pilot, walking in high altitude suit 10.  Fireman in asbestos suit with fire extinguisher
Photo not available - we welcome yours!
11.  Crewman with geiger counter 12.  Crewman with fuel hose 13.  Airman with lighted signal batons 14.  Crewman carrying large wrench on shoulder 15.  Airman pointing upward
Photo not available - we welcome yours! Photo not available - we welcome yours! Photo not available - we welcome yours!
16.  Fireman in asbestos suit with CO2 cannister 17.  Fireman in asbestos suit with fire hose 18.  NCO marching with pistol and holster 19.  Airman marching with rifle on shoulder

Miniature Playsets

Among the 45 or more miniature playsets that Marx' Hong Kong operations began producing in the early 1960s, there were at least four miniature World War II playsets.  Figures and accessories in these sets were approximately HO scale.  Many of the figure poses were down-sized from larger playset figures.  The four sets were:
The Iwo Jima set is described in Playset Magazine Issue 20, and the other three sets are featured in Issue 53.

Battle Ground
Sands of Iwo Jima
20 Minutes to Berlin
Invasion Day

 At some point, a Guerilla Warfare set was also produced, based on the Viet Nam War.  The set is described in Plastic Figure and Playset Collector (PFPC) magazine Issue 18, along with several other Marx miniature sets.

 In addition, PFPC Issue 20 features a Marx World War I miniature set titled Over the Top.  This set, which was found among childhood toys of a non-collector, included World War I fighter planes, and a photo of set contents includes down-sized figures from the World War I German Warriors of the World (see earlier on this page).

This site hopefully will eventually provide photos of the minature figures and accessories.

Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Sands of Iwo Jima $320 October 2011 Ebay
20 Minutes to Berlin $427 November 2011 Ebay
20 Minutes to Berlin $587 July 2012 Ebay
Guerilla Warfare $1,025 November 2011 Ebay Wow!

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