Marx Lane
Marx Playset Figures, Structures, and Accessories
of the American Wild West
Manufactured from 1951 to 1980
 
Addendum E-1  - Captain Gallant and the Foreign Legion
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)
This Page
Legionnaire Figures
Arab Figures
Animals
The Fort
Fort Accessories
Arab Camp Accessories
Terrain Items
     
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Please note:  For the most part, figures on this page are shown in approximately proper proportion when compared to other figures.  The primary exception to this are some accessories, with smaller items being increased in size and larger items decreased.


Although Louis Marx refrained from advertising his toys on television for many years, he understood the power of the medium and was glad to create playsets based on popular television shows.  One of those was the popular show Captain Gallant, the
adventures of the French Foreign Legion's Captain Gallant and his son Cuffy battling Arabs in North Africa.  The show first aired in early 1955, and Marx released his playset about a year later.  The show, however, was cancelled in 1957, so sales of the set were limited.  Moreover, Marx never produced another playset that was able to re-use the figures and accessories from the Captain Gallant set.

Because Marx changed its playset scale from 60mm down to 54mm in the 1956-57 period, this was one of the last 60mm playsets issued by the company.  Several of the figures are actually slightly larger than 60mm, stretching toward 65mm or even 70mm.  Between all that and the finely detailed figures in the set, it is coveted by many collectors and all items in it are very expensive.  Even the most common figure in good condition can cost $20 and up.

Almost all photos shown here are of figures and accessories owned by Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg, owners of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).  Deanna reports that she purchased the set for Nick several years ago after Nick bemoaned that it was the one Marx playset that he wanted as a child, but never got.  With their house now filled with TSSD toy soldiers, it's the only one he still owns!  
Nick opening his Captain Gallant Christmas present

Legionnaires
       PL-743

Unless otherwise noted, all photos below are courtesy of Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).
 

1.  Captain Gallant, running with rifle 2.  Cuffy

3.  Officer with binoculars 4.  Mounted with sword overhead


5.  Marching, rifle on right shoulder 6.  Standing, shooting rifle


7.  Shooting pistol 8.  Walking with rifle in right hand


9.  Standing, rifle butt resting on ground  10.  Standing at attention with rifle on shouder, hand across chest

9.  Lying, shooting rifle

Arab Figures
       PL-
  
Unless otherwise noted, all photos below are courtesy of Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).

1.  Standing, shooting rifle
Yes, that's a biiig rifle!
2.  Standing, knife raised in right hand


3.  Running, rifle held at waist level 4.  Kneeling, rifle in right hand
5.  Mounted with rifle overhead 6.  Mounted with sword overhead
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf

Standing with curved sword overhead

Animals
Unless otherwise noted, all photos below are courtesy of Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).

Marx went cheap with animals in the Captain Gallant playset.  The horse is the same one used as the Wild West 54mm cavalry horse.  At 54mm, it is a bit small for the figures, and I would imagine that the saddle is not like that commonly used by French Legionnaires and Arabs.  The camel is the same one used in the company's circus playset and is also too small when compared to the figures.
Horse

Camel


The Fort

As with most of its playsets, Marx provided the Legionnaires a beautiful and sturdy fort made of pressed steel (which collectors call tin) decorated with detailed lithography.  Like the medieval forts made by Marx (and unlike the Wild West forts), the Captain Gallant gates and walls have depth to them --about an inch and a half -- so that figures can be placed on top.  Similarly, the wall tabs attach to the sides of the headquarters building like the medieval castles, so that the Legionnaires can be tightly and safely ensconced within their fort.  

Walls are attached firmly with three tabs, one on top and two at the bottom (see photo below).  The top tab is bent upward and slipped into its slot first, and the bottom two tabs follow into their slots.  Once all three tabs are in, a slight push downward locks the the wall into place with the hook shape of the bottom tabs.  The three slots are shown in the photos of the corner towers below.  The gate and building have identical slots to connect the walls.

Unless otherwise noted, all photos below are courtesy of Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).

Captain Gallant Fort
Photo above courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf

Front of gate
Doors, gate frame, and top piece are light brown plastic.
Back of gate

Overhead view of gate from inside Closeup of lithography


Long wall - outside and inside views

Short wall - views of both sides
Note tabs connecting to towers, gate, and Headquarters building.  There is one large tab on top and two small tabs on the bottom.  A wall cannot be attached to another wall.

Corner towers - views of all four sides
Note slots for one top and two bottom wall tabs on the two middle photos.  These same slots are on both sides of the gate and the Headquarters building.
Tower cap (plastic)

Tower with short wall Tower with short and long wall

Headquarters building - front
Center and corner cornices are light brown plastic.
Headquarters building - back

The flag Closeup of Headquarters front


Small Accessories

Most small accessories for the Legionnaire fort and the Arab camp were made in four molds, as shown below.  All were made in hard plastic.  Most were not used in any other Marx playset, which is why they are hard to find today.  Re-issues exist and are much less expensive.

These small accessories were produced in one of four colors: dark or light brown, yellow, and purple.  Legionnaire accessories were in brown; Arab were yellow and purple.

Dark brown Light brown Yellow Purple

    Fort Accessories
Unless otherwise noted, all photos below are courtesy of Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).

2-piece stone well

sand bag fortification Box of TNT

crate of rifles rifle rack with removal rifles
Photo above courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
rifle

hitching post

2-piece machine gun oil drum powder keg

goat skin water bag roll of barbed wire open urn
Photo above courtesy of collector Phil Webb
vase with handle

Photo not available at this time.
sack wood canteen water bag lantern


    Arab Camp Accessories
Unless otherwise noted, all photos below are courtesy of Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).

Tent

Photo not available at this time.
support poles for awning Partial sprue of tent points

rifle crate table
Notice the intricate etching on the table top.

tent awning

Camel pack (views from both sides)

hassock tied bundle

jewel chest pillow

scimitar sword pot with fire
The two photos above courtesy of collector Phil Webb

hookah oil lamp incense burner

Terrain Items
Unless otherwise noted, all photos below are courtesy of Nick and Deanna Ver Steeg of Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD).


With all the other accessories, the playset's terrain pieces were limited.  This makes at least some sense, because if you had a sand box, you were pretty well fixed already for this playset.  The trees and ferns shown below are the same ones used in the company's Zorro playset, so a more available than most pieces of this set.
medium double palm tree small double palm free

Single palm tree 4-leaf fern 3-leaf fern



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.