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

Appendix B-2 - Other Playset-related Figures
of the American Revolutionary War

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 the section or page to move to it.
This Page
60mm Continental Soldiers
American Heroes
Warriors of the World
The Early Presidents
Cereal Premiums
Unproduced Figures
Other Pages
Page 1 - Playset Figures
Page 3 - Playset Accessories
Page 4 - List of Playsets
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60mm Continental Soldiers

Although Marx did not release a Revolutionary War Playset until 1957, it began making soft plastic Revolutionary War figures in 60mm scale in 1953.  This group consisted of eight Continental soldiers, which were sold individually for 10 cents in dimestores, as well as in boxed sets.  British troops were not produced at that time.

These 60mm Revolutionary War figures were sold unpainted in cream, white, and both powder and medium blue, and in both vinyl and soft plastic.  Marx encouraged buyers to paint these 60mm figures, going so far as to sell paint sets to do so.

Perhaps because Marx was revamping its playsets from 60mm to a smaller 54mm scale in the 1956-57 period, none of these figures appeared in playsets.  The company must certainly have had Revolutionary War sets in mind, however, and it commissioned molds for its 54mm figures in 1956.  The compay's first sets with a Revolutionary War theme were on the market a year later.

More information on these figures can be found in PFPC Issue 32.
Photo not available.
Photo not available.
1.  Paul Revere, mounted 2.  Walking with flag

3.  Fifer 4.  Drummer

5.  Officer, walking with stick 6.  Walking with rifle

7.  Marching 8. Standing in cold weather dress

American Heroes

In the mid-1950s Marx produced a set of 30 figures depicting U.S. military leaders.  Primarily of 20th Century generals, these were called the American Heroes and were sold individually from bins of figures for 15 cents apiece.  The 60mm figures were made in white hard plastic with bases that displayed the figures' names.

In a few instances -- at least 13, according to PFPC Issue 15 -- one of these figures was combined with a handful of existing soldier figures from the appropriate era and sold as a boxed American Heroes set.  Figures in these sets were sometimes painted.  As best I can determine, these figures included only one Revolutionary general, George Washington.  He is in a dramatic pose, wearing his British-style military hat and his cape draped over his left shoulder, much different than his stiff pose in the Presidential figures shown later on this page.
Geroge Washington
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, 610allanf
Box of Unpainted American Heroes
Photo courtesy of Rodney's Dimestore Gallery, Ebay ID scorcherxxx

Window Box of Painted American Heroes
Photo courtesy of Rodney's Dimestore Gallery, Ebay ID scorcherxxx


Warriors of the World (WOW)

In the early 1960s, Marx's Hong Kong branch produced these same 60mm continental soldiers as painted, hard plastic figures in the company's popular Warriors of the World (WOW) series.  
The one difference was the elimination of the mounted "Paul Revere" pose shown above, reducing the Continental figures from eight to seven.  Although Marx had not marketed any British Redcoat figures in 1953, the Hong Kong WOW figures included a group of eight Redcoats.  Collector Josh Petrie suggests that the mold used for the Redcoat group is the same style as the mold for the Continental figures, so was possibly created in the 1950s at the same time.  

According to the 1994 Special Collector Edition of PFPC, the Hong Kong branch made similar WOW figures in at least 26 different themes.  Many almost identical figures were made by Marx in Germany, Holland, and Taiwan, though the quailty of the painting varied.  I have noted any figures shown below that were not made in Hong Kong.

The Hong Kong figures were sold individually in small, attractively-designed boxes with cards that provided a picture and a fictitious biography for each figure (see cards for Continental Poses 4 and 6 at right).  Marx also sold them in boxed sets, and PFPC Issue 32 reports that they were sold in white hard plastic in Marx' "Paint Your Own" series.  One boxed set came with the George Washington pose from the American Heroes set described above.

One note I will add is that I have seen the Redcoat artilleryman with torch and ramrod (Pose 1 in British section below) both with and without a flame on the end of the torch.  I show both below.  As can be seen at left in the card that came with the figure, it was at least originally intended to have the flame.  However, the one I have with no flame appears to have been originally painted with no flame, so perhaps it was a molding problem that sometimes left off the flame?  Of interest, the one shown below with the flame was made in Hong Kong, while the one I have with no flame comes from Taiwan.

  Continental Soldiers

1.  Michael Campbell, walking with flag

2.  Johnny Wilson, playing fife 3.  John Reeves, drummer
This figure was made in Taiwan.

4.  Richard Travis, officer with walking stick or sword 5.  Randolph Jayes, walking with rifle in right hand
This figure was made in Holland.

6.  Ebenezer Bray, marching 7.  Roger Medford, standing, in cold weather dress
   British soldiers

The eighth figure in this set was General Cornwallis.  This figure was found only in boxed sets of the figure group and is very hard to find today.  Unlike the other figures in the group, Cornwallis is mounted on a small pedastal with his name on it, the same as Marx presidents and several other generals.
1.  Artilleryman with ramrod and torch
(with flame at end of torch)
1.  Artilleryman with ramrod and torch
(no flame on torch)
This figure was made in Taiwan.  
2.  Advancing with rifle at waist

3.  Standing at attention
Top tip of rifle is missing
4.  Horace Swire, kneeling with rifle
This figure was made in Taiwan.
5.  Joseph Shipman, officer with raised sword 6.  Richard Ellis, in tri-corner hat, standing with rifle at waist
This figure was made in Taiwan.

Photo not available - we could use yours!
7.  Standing, shooting rifle 8.  Officer, standing
This figure was made in Taiwan.
General Cornwallis
Figure available only in boxed set

The Early Presidents

Louis Marx had a patriotic spirit, and -- similar to the American Heroes figures mentioned above -- the toy company produced figures of all U.S. presidents through Eisenhower.  The figures came in several scales, but most often in 60mm hard plastic.  They were sold individually, in partial and complete sets, and in two playsets that included downsized, highly-detailed models of either the White House or Capitol Building.  A styrofoam, semi-circular reviewing stand that held all 34 presidents was also available for 99 cents.  The figures came unpainted (sometimes in "paint your own" sets) and painted.

Marx also created figures of some first ladies, and in 1968, created figures of all presidential candidates.  The turbulent and unsettling events of the 1968 election seem to have ended the company's production of presidential figures.

The presidents were among Marx' most popular figures and sold well from the 1950s to the 1970s.  Figures of the nation's first five presidents are shown below.

Playset Magazine Issue 41 includes a feature article on the presidential figure series.

George Washington John Adams Thomas Jefferson

James Madison James Monroe

Non-Marx cereal premiums

I am including these white soft plastic figures because some collectors refered to them as Marx for many years.  However,
Marx records include no documentation of a mold to manufacture these figures, and research by veteran collector Kent Sprecher reveals that they were used as cereal premiums by Nabisco and not made by Marx.  It is possible that they were sculpted by a company who also created Marx figures, but they are not Marx figures.

Included as premiums in Nabisco Shredded Wheat cereal around 1960, the set consisted of at least nine historical Americans, including the four shown below related to the Revolutionary War.  Many thanks to collector Randolph Gess who sold me three of the figures below after finding them in a Marx Revolutionary War playset he purchased recently.  And, no, they were not part of the playset, but most likely would have been added by the set's original owner, who probably ate a lot of Shredded Wheat to get them.  

The figures are about 54mm scale with bases that have their names on the front.  However, because they are white, the lettering and the figure details are difficult to see.  The photos have been slightly darkened so that the names are visible, though they are still hard to see.  They're nice figures except for the color, but the stoic poses add little to Revolutionary War playset action.
George Washington Nathan Hale Patrick Henry John Paul Jones

Unproduced figures found in warehouse

One of the several mysteries of Marx are these two figures which were found among items purchased in the Marx warehouse sale when the company went bankrupt.  To me, they appear to be Revolutionary War figures, though collector Josh Petrie believes they were more likely created for use in the company's figure group for Boonesborough (see Page 3 of the Wild West section).  In any case, Marx never included them in playsets or otherwise sold them.  Both the company's Revolutionary War and Booneborough sets could certainly have used some peaceful folks like these!  They have since been manufactured by other companies and are plentiful in today's market.

"Re-issue" figures in two colors, never produced for sale by Marx

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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.