Friday, April 11, 2014

Toy Soldier Saturday: MARX PRESIDENTS (Part 1)

Sometime in the '50s, Marx issued a great set of Presidents (up through Eisenhower) done in white plastic to resemble marble statues. I got mine (at a flea market some years back) in a box with a plastic build-it-yourself White House. 

In the '60s, I believe, Marx followed up with the painted versions. These were made of cheaper white plastic and hand-painted by "artists," probably sweat-shoppers in Japan or Hong Kong. Surprisingly, the color figures look pretty good in these pics. In person they look cheap and sloppy, especially next to the classy originals. 

Old John Quincy Adams looks sort of lonely here. The painted version of him was not in the box with the others, and I can only guess he's out philandering with an intern (or maybe the Ideal princess or Tim-Mee WAC seen previously in this space). 

More (but less Presidential) Toy Soldiers HERE.


Anonymous said...

I've never seen these before. I remember the Civil War set included figures of Lincoln and Jefferson Davis (and Grant and Lee).

I do remember some of those "hand painted by artists" sets. Cowboys and Indians, Roman soldiers, Vikings, maybe some WWII soldiers. There was a Revolutionary War set with American and British troops, and it included figures of Washington and Cornwallis. Like the presidents, the generals were on a base with their names.

Evan Lewis said...

These guys are 60mm, or around 2 3/4" tall, and made of hard plastic. The guys in the Civil War set are 54mm, about 2 inches, and in soft plastic. The Civil War Lincoln, I recall, wore a top hat, while the prez figure does not.

Marx did other figures in this presidential style. I have Davy Crockett, Daniel Boone, Custer, Sitting Bull and Buffalo Bill, and I'm sure there were others. Usually they were in hard plastic of appropriate colors (tan, gray or brown), but I also have one of Bill in soft plastic.

Those other painted guys you mention were the Warriors of the World. Each came in his own box (now worth more than the figures, no doubt) and had a name. As with the Presidents, the painting was often slapdash. Too bad. I'll be posting pics of some of those guys soon

Anonymous said...

I remember the soft plastic ones being about 1/2" shorter than the Warriors of the World.

I remember the Warriors of the World each coming with a card that had a short biographical sketch. The ones I saw came in sets, not individually. I had one with the Revolutionary War figures (maybe two sets, one for the Americans and one for the British), one with Vikings, and one that was a smorgasbord of cowboys, Indians, Vikings, gladiators, Civil War soldiers, and West Point cadets.

Evan Lewis said...

Sets! I'm jealous.

Cap'n Bob said...

Don't forget the Pope, Jesus and the disciples, and Famous Canadians.