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

 
Wild West Page 2 - 60mm Figures
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
Western Ranch Cowboys Roy Roger Town Cowboys
60mm Pioneers Roy Rogers Special Town Cowboys
Stockade Indians Ranch Kids
Camp Indians 60mm Lone Ranger Character Figures
Skinny Indians Famous Americans of the Wild West
60mm Roy Rogers Character Figures 60mm Cavalry
Roy Rogers Ranch Cowboys Rin Tin Tin Character Figures
  Other Pages
Page 1 - 45mm Figures
Page 3 - 54mm Figures
Page 3A - The Alaska Connection
Page 4 - Large Scale Figures
Page 5 - Figures Manufactured Outside the U.S.
Page 6 - Miniature Playsets
Page 7 - Uncommon and Other Miscellaneous Figures
Page 8 - Horses, Cattle, and Other Animals
Page 9 - Forts, Structures, and Terrain Pieces
Page 10 - Accessories
Page 11 - Wonderland of Marx Playset Boxes
Page 12 - List of Marx Playset Boxes
Back to Wild West Table of Contents
Back to Main Table of Contents

                                                                                                          

Western Ranch Cowboys
PL-129

The first Marx playset I owned was a Marx Western Ranch Set.  I vividly recall these early, block-like cowboys, as well as the cabin, horses, and many wild west accessories that came with them.  Commonly called "Chubbies," these 60mm cowboys were not the tiny works of art that Marx created later.  
I've always called the walking cowboy (Pose 5 below) "Old Flatface," because the mold caused the right side of his head to look as if he had just been hit by a two-by-four.  And has anyone ever held a lasso like the roping cowboys in this set (Poses 2 and 4)?  However, I am sure that I spent many happy days with them, and I will always rue my failure to keep my set.  

Marx produced these figures only in the early 1950s.  The 16-cavity mold included two sets of the figures, but only one cowgirl (Pose 8) and one gunman (Pose 3), so contents were not the same in each playset.  Marx reportedly reworked the mold several times, attempting to improve the primitive sculpting.

While Geppert's Guide states that these figures came in yellow, cream, white, and gray vinyl, you can find them in many shades of these and similar colors if you scour eBay or attend a few toy soldier shows.  Be sure to clean them to find out what color they really are under all that dust and grime.  I'm sure that Marx was experimenting with its figure colors in those early days, so that lots of interesting colors appeared in playsets!

The Western Ranch Sets included no Indians, no bad guys, none of the fighting Marx cowboys and cavalrymen that came later.  As PFPC states, "This is the most peaceful set of wild west figures that Marx made."  

My favorite?  The Old Guitar Player, Pose 6.  By the way, see the section on "Other Extremely Rare Figures" for a couple of more figures that infrequently were found with these Chubby cowboys.

I have never seen re-issues or copies of this group.
 
     Click here to see horses related to these figures.
     
1.  Mounted, right arm out 2.  Mounted, with lasso 3.  Standing, 2 pistols drawn

4.  Standing, with lasso 5.  Walking, arms at sides 6.  Sitting on box with guitar

7. Sitting, waving 8. Cowgirl, standing




60mm Pioneers
PL-322

These rustic pioneers were the first figures that Marx created to defend Fort Apache.  With the old 45mm Fort Apache frontiersmen cast aside, they were released in Fort Apache Playsets at Christmas 1953, to do battle with the Stockade Indians below.  As the Indians continued multiplied (see the sections on Camp Indians and Skinny Indians below), the pioneers became quickly outmanned.  Marx finally sent a relief force of 60mm cavalrymen to assist the pioneers in 1955.

These figures showed improvement in detail and realism from the Western Ranch cowboys.  However, none of them initially had bases to help them stand, so most had difficulty remaining upright without support.  With the exception of the pioneer woman (Pose 4), Marx added bases to the figures in 1954.  At the same time, Marx completely redesigned the Advancing with Pistol (Pose 5 and 5R) and Running with Rifle (Poses 6 and 6R) poses.  These two new, strikingly-detailed poses might be called Marx' first works of art in its wild west playset figures and are now among the most sought-after Marx wild west characters.  Both versions of these two poses are pictured below.  The two poses were actually revised twice, but the final change only added a larger base.  I believe the revisions shown below are those with the larger bases.

The mold included three complete sets of the six poses.  The pioneers were most commonly molded in cream, gray, and brown.  Initially produced in vinyl, they were later made of soft plastic.

My favorite in this set is the revised Advancing with Pistol, but you have to admire the female re-loading the musket in the face of Indian attackers.  What a woman!

1.  Standing, firing rifle 2.  Kneeling, firing rifle

3.  Clubbing with rifle
(with base)
4. Woman reloading rifle

5.  Advancing, firing pistol 5R.  Advancing, revised

6.  Running, with rifle 6R.  Running, revised




Stockade Indians
PL-310

This set of Indian warriors was the first of three 60mm Indian sets released by Marx in 1953 and 1954.  This first set was was a companion piece to the 60mm pioneer set above, also initially released in Fort Apache playsets at Christmas 1953.  These were the first Indians sculpted specifically for Fort Apache and remained with the playset until Marx began to replace the 60mm figures with 54mm figures.  The quality of the figures is similar to the 60mm pioneers, though the crawling Indian (Pose 6) invariably has an ugly mold line down the center of his face.  Also like the pioneers, the Indians were first issued with no bases, but Marx soon re-issued the three standing figures with bases.  Marx made no other changes to the set.

The mold included three complete sets of the six poses.  Figures were initially made in vinyl and later in soft plastic, with the bases added to many of the plastic ones.  The most common colors used for the Indians were red brown, yellow, and gray.  However, they also can be found in several other colors, including my preference of red.  I have also seen some in dark green.

It's hard to pick a favorite among these six figures, but I suppose it would have to be the mounted Indian holding his rifle aloft and weilding a knife in his left hand.  To me, he appears to be delivering a pep talk prior to the battle.

 
     Click here to see horses related to these figures.

1.  Climbing ladder or mounted,
with club
2.  Mounted, with rifle

3.  Standing scout
(with base)
4.  Standing, tomahawk raised
(with base)
        

5.  Standing, firing rifle 6.  Crawling

 
 
                                          

Camp Indians
PL-390

Also included in the Christmas 1953 Fort Apache Playsets, the Camp Indian set included two sitting chiefs, a dancing medicine man, three squaws, and two bowmen.  This second group of 60mm Indians was sculpted with slightly more detail than the Stockade Indian set.

The mold included two complete sets of the eight poses.  
Figures were initially made in vinyl and later in soft plastic, with bases added to many of the plastic ones.  They were produced in colors similar to the Stockade Indians in the previous section.

The two bowmen seem somewhat out of place among the other more peaceful-looking figures in this set and would perhaps better fit with the warriors of the Stockade Indian set.  On the other hand, perhaps they are simply getting in some target practice.

The sitting chiefs (Poses 1 and 2) have to be my favorite of the bunch.  It's too bad that Marx did not make more Indians in domestic poses.  Of course, I doubt that we kids would have been too excited to buy them; like today's kids, we wanted to be where the action was!
1.  Chief, sitting, arm raised   2.  Chief, sitting with pipe

  3.  Dancing 4.  Old squaw with bowl

5.  Squaw with papoose
(with base)
6.  Sitting squaw

7.  Archer, standing 8.  Archer, crouching Pose 8 with base added
Photo courtesy of Rick Koch, Ebay ID toy-hood.  This pose is not often seen with base.




Skinny or Slim Indians

PL-591

This was the third and last set of 60mm Indians released by Marx for its Fort Apache Playsets.  They were first included in Fort Apache playsets in 1954.  The sculpting quality and detail is markedly improved from the first two sets of 60mm Indians, and, as a result, this is one of my favorite figure groups.  I think the quality of these figures is further emphasized by the larger 60mm scale.  The difference from 45mm anb 54mm scales may not seem like a lot...until you stand the figures side by side!

The mold included two complete sets of the eight poses, and the figures came in colors similar to the Stockade Indians described above.

The mysetery of this set is the Indian Shot with Arrow (Pose 10).  A similar pose was later made in 54mm scale (see PL- 787 on page 3).  The obvious question, of course, is, "If the Indians are fighting the cavalry, who shot the Indian with an arrow?"  The answer -- according to Frank Rice, Chief Designer of Marx playsets -- is that he was hit by friendly fire!  To keep up in the toy business, Marx had to think ahead, and one playset that Mr. Rice had high on his list was the forthcoming Custer and Battle of Little Bighorn.  He recalled a painting that depicted Indians who had surrounded a group of cavalrymen, firing into and across the circle of soldiers.  In the confusion of battle, an arrow had apparently passed through the circle and struck an Indian.  So this pose is perfect for the disaster of Little Big Horn.  The 54mm pose was in some Wagon Train playsets (who can forget the dreaded call, "Circle the wagons!") and eventually found its way to its intended home in the 1963 Custer playset.

The mounted Indian with raised spear (Pose 1) is my favorite pose in the set, but I think the kneeling archer who has just released his arrow (Pose 6) is perhaps Marx' finest 60mm Indian figure.  Both can surely be called works of art, in my opinion.


     Click here to see horses related to these figures.

1.  Mounted, lance raised   2.  Running, rifle raised

3.  Standing, tomahawk raised 4.  Running, with club and bow

5.  Standing, knife in right hand 6.  Kneeling, shooting bow

7.  Crawling, with tomahawk 8.  Kneeling, shot with arrow




60mm Roy Rogers Character Figures
PL 416, 416A

Marx produced its first character set of wild west figures in early 1952, based on the popular Roy Rogers television show.  The first Roy Rogers Ranch Sets included poses of Roy, Roy's wife Dale, and Roy's dog Bullet.  The figures were 60mm scale and were issued in a cream vinyl.
 
By Christmas of the same year, Marx had added to the group a mounted waving, mounted Roy and a second standing pose of Roy.   The mounted Roy pose remained in PL-416, while both standing Roy poses were moved to a separate PL-416A.  The PL-416 mold was changed again in 1955, putting bases on the figures to help them stand and adding a Pat Brady figure.  In addition, the 1955 figures were manufactured in soft plastic.  While cream continued to be the standard color, collectors have found a few Roys in a rare chocolate color.
 
Concerning the standing Roy Rogers with hands on hips, I recently noticed that the two figures I have of this pose are not the same size.  One is clearly a couple of millimeters shorter than the other and has a narrower torso.  Both look original to me.  When I showed them to other collectors at OTSN, Rick Eber agreed that they are original, but insisted they were not made from the same mold, pointing out differences in their faces.  How can that be?  I'm not positive, but the only clue I have seen is that PL-416A reportedly included four cavities, making two Roy with hands on hips and two with a pistol in his left hand.  So right there are two molds for each standing Roy pose, and who is to say that they were exactly the same?  The one shown below is the shorter one.

Finally, a concerned collector has pointed out to me that Roy Rogers does not really belong on a web site about America in the 18th and 19th Centuries, because he was a 20th Century cowboy.  While many of his escapades resemble 19th Century action, his jeep Nellybelle proves that he is a more modern version of the cowboy.  This anomaly occurred when I changed the title of this web site from Marx Wild West Playsets to Marx Playsets of America in the 18th and 19th Centuries.  Well, after careful consideration, I have decided not to "fix" this error, and you'll just have to live it!
 
I have not seen any re-issues or copies of this group.
 
     Click here to see horses related to these figures.

1.  Roy Rogers, standing, pistol in right hand 2.  Roy Rogers, mounted, waving 3.  Dale Evans, hat held in right hand

4.  Roy's dog Bullet 5.  Pat Brady, holding hat on head 6.  Roy Rogers, standing, hands on hips

 


Roy Rogers Ranch Cowboys
PL 463

The Roy Rogers Ranch Sets released in early 1952 were manned with the Chubbies, the Western Ranch Playset cowhands.  By Christmas of that year, these figures had been replaced with a new set of slimmer and more realistic 60mm cowboys.  

The mold included two complete sets of the eight poses.  You can find them in both vinyl and soft plastic.  Kent Sprecher reports that Marx originally made these figures in yellow, brown, and cream for playsets, but later in red, blue, green, and gray for sale in bags of figures.

Of special interest to me is Pose 4, which I have always called the Elvis pose.  Note that Pose 2 in the following section on Roy Rogers Town Cowboys is the same guy (according to me).
 
     Click here to see horses related to these figures.

1.  Mounted cowgirl, gloves in left hand 2.  Mounted, waving hat 3.  Falling off bucking horse

4.  Mounted, right arm out 5.  Standing with whip 6.  Standing, twirling rope

7.  Standing with rope 8.  Hanging onto fence
(or bull dogging?)




Roy Rogers Town Cowboys
PL-389

When Marx began to release its many versions of the wild west town, these were the people who populated it.  Many town versions were manufactured -- Roy Rogers' Mineral City, Wyatt Earp Dodge City, Silver City, and a plain old Western Frontier Town -- but the people were always the same, along with the extra town cowboys from PL-329 in the following section.  This large group of 14 figures is known most commonly as the Roy Rogers Town Cowboys, because the first western town playset carried the name of Roy Rogers.

The mold had sixteen cavities, making one each of the 14 poses plus two rifles held by the kneeling, firing rifle pose.  Like the Roy Rogers Ranch Cowboys above, these were made in first vinyl and later soft plastic.  Colors include yellow, brown, and cream, with yellow being far the most common.

To the best of my recollection, these are the cowboys that populated my Marx western town which I received one Christmas in the mid-1950s.  I specifically recall the mounting horse pose, the fighters, and the female shopper.  I also recall what I refer to as the Howdy Doody pose (Pose 10), which is frozen in the waving position that I see in my mind whenever I think of Howdy Doody (which fortunately occurs very rarely these days).

Today, it is hard to find 1) Pose 1 with the lasso unbroken and 2) the separate rifle that goes with Pose 13.  There is a rather common molding flaw on many Pose 14 figures (woman with basket).  The front corner of the basket on the woman's left side is often mis-shaped, with the plastic pulled slightly outward from its intended shape.  It would seem that this must have occurred when the figure was removed from the mold; the error can range from quite small to very distracting.
 
     Click here to see horses related to these figures.
 
1.  Mounted with lasso 2.  Mounted, left hand up 3.  Mounted outlaw, firing pistol

4.  Mounting horse 5.  Standing outlaw, turning with pistol 6.  Sheriff with two pistols drawn

7.  Captured outlaw, hands up 8.  Sheriff with pistol and bag 9.  Walking with harness

10.  Sitting, waving 11.  Knocked to ground 12.  Standing, punching

13.  Kneeling with separate rifle 14.  Woman walking with basket




Roy Rogers Special Town Cowboys
PL-329

Special?  They're nice figures, but I don't see anything special about them.  I'm not sure how they came to be called special, but they are really just extra or additional.  Their sculpting quality lies somewhere between the early Western Ranch Cowboys (see PL-129) and the other Roy Rogers Town Cowboys and Ranch Cowboys in the section above.  Though more detailed than the Western Ranch bunch, they retain some of the "chubby" quality with unwrinkled clothing and stiff poses, as if someone had just told them to "Say cheese."  This fact is particularly telling when you realize that their PL number lies between the PL numbers of the Western Ranch cowboys and the Town Cowboys.

The five new poses were issued very soon after the other Town Cowboys above, and I am puzzled why they were added at all.  Perhaps they were initially intended for some other playset that never got out the door or were among test runs of figures some time between what must have been an in-house progression from the early Western Ranch Cowboys to the much finer Town Cowboys.  Personally, I like these guys (and gal), because they provide a few more peaceful figures to the town, similar to the Western Ranch cowboys.

Due to my interest in the Earp family, Pose 1 below is one of my favorite Marx poses.  It is perhaps the only Marx 60mm figure that could pass for an Earp brother, as he is wearing a badge, carrying a single pistol, and sporting a good-sized mustache.  He looks a bit old for Wyatt, but might be the eldest brother Virgil, who wore a badge more often than Wyatt anyway.  I'm not sure than the outfit is right for the Earps, but perhaps Virgil's wife Allie just had not done the laundry recently.  Anyhow, he's Virg to me, though it is doubtful that the sculptor intended the figure to represent any actual person.

Thse figures are generally found in cream, red brown, or tan colors.  The mold had 15 cavities, making three complete sets of the five poses.
1.  Standing, left arm out 2.  Sitting, right hand on leg 3.  Sitting, left leg up

4.  Kneeling with branding iron   5.  Standing cowgirl, right arm out



To the left is a re-issue of Pose 2 above.  It is rather well made, but is in a harder plastic than Marx used and is a deep red color, which Marx used for a few Indian figures, but not cowboys.  Maybe he just stayed out in the sun too long!















 


Ranch Kids
PL 421

These 60mm ranch kids were sparingly included in a few Roy Rogers Ranch playsets.  Although the group includes 14 figures, only three poses were randomly inserted into each set.  Marx certainly spent several thousand dollars making the mold, so why they produced so few is another of the company's many mysteries.

The mold had 14 cavities, or one complete set.  For the most part, the vinyl figures were in a cream color, though the dog has sometimes been found in tan.  Other figures may have been produced in tan; if so, they have not survived.

The figures are posed for probably the largest amount of interaction of any Marx wild west figure group.  The ranch hand (Pose 4) is holding the hand of the smallest girl (Pose 3), the largest girl (Pose 2) is petting the dog (Pose 14), and three of the boys (Poses 8, 9, and 10) can be posed in a typical kids'  pile-on.  (Although I believe that Pose 10 was meant to be riding a horse.)  The boy in Pose 6 is holding the reins of a horse, and the one in Pose 5 could be doing the same, but by his posture, it's more likely that he's pulling a balky mule than a horse.

Also of interest, Roy Rogers Jr. recently revealed to Playset Magazine that three of the figures represent Roy Rogers' children.  These are Roy Rogers Jr. (Pose 1),
Cheryl Rogers (Pose 2), and Linda Rogers (Pose 3).  Playset Magazine and Jim McGough also report that the Ranch Hand (Pose 4) is sometimes found slightly bent over, looking downward, in a cream plastic.  These are probably due to a common manufacturing error in which the figure is removed from the mold too early.  One final comment on these figures: let us hope that the kid in Pose 12 does not have any bullets in those two guns!

Because so few of these figures were manufactured, the ranch kids are among the hardest to find Marx wild west figures.  I have only one original (see Pose 9 below), which I purchased from the San Antonio Toy Club in 2008 for $20.  Several original figures sold on Ebay in early 2009 for $47 to $87 apiece.  They were re-issued in Mexico about 1990 in brightly colored hard plastic, including shiny green, blue, red, yellow, and white, as shown below.  The re-issues are much less expensive, but even they are somewhat hard to find and often sell well above the dollar or so that many re-issued figures go for.  Again in early 2009, a complete set of re-issued figures was listed on Ebay for a Buy-It-Now offer of $56.  
1.  Boy waving, hat in hand
(Roy Rogers Jr.)
re-issue figure
2.  Girl petting dog
(Cheryl Rogers)
re-issue figure
3.  Girl holding hand of ranch hand
(Linda Rogers)
re-issue figure

4.  Ranch hand
re-issue figure
5.  Boy looking backwards
re-issue figure
6.  Boy holding reins, leading horse
re-issue figure

7.  Boy with axe
re-issue figure
8.  Indian lying on back, under cowboy
re-issue figure
9.  Cowboy on top of Indian lying on back

10.  Indian on top of cowby or riding horse
re-issue figure
11.  Boy with lasso
re-issue figure
12.  Boy with two pistols
re-issue figure

13.  Girl with doll
re-issue figure
14.  Dog
re-issue figure
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Indian boy lying on back (Pose 8) $42 April 2011 Ebay
Boy with axe $69 April 2011 Ebay
Boy with lasso $71 April 2011 Ebay
Dog $451 January 2012 Ebay Only time I have seen it for sale.
12 figures $655 January 2012 Ebay included dog, one duplicate figure
Complete set $1,240 February 2012 Ebay
Boy with axe $75 March 2012 Ebay
Girl with doll $73 September 2012 Ebay
Boy with axe and Indian boy (Pose 10) $97 July 2013 Ebay

 


60mm Lone Ranger Character Figures
PL-497

In 1952, shortly after releasing the Roy Rogers Rodeo Play Set, Marx released the Lone Ranger Rodeo Play Set, which resembled the Roy Rogers set right down to the front gate with only the name and color changed.  The set included 60mm character figures of both the Lone Ranger and Tonto.  Five years later, when the company converted its playset figures from 60mm to the smaller 54mm scale, the company produced a similar playset titled the Lone Ranger Ranch using the smaller cowboys, but with the same 60mm scale Lone Ranger and Tonto.

 As with its Roy Rogers merchandise, Marx increased its sales of wild west playsets through the popularity of the Lone Ranger and his faithful Indian sidekick Tonto, who were at the forefront of wild west heroes for more than 20 years after the Lone Ranger debuted on radio in 1933.  The live radio show continued until 1954.  The Lone Ranger continued on television from 1949 to 1957, and also appeared in newspaper comics, comic books, and novels.

According to
PFPC Issue 50, the Lone Ranger Rodeo playset included three 60mm character figures:  a standing Lone Ranger, a standing Tonto, and a mounted Lone Ranger, all in white vinyl.  The original standing Lone Ranger figure had a small log attached to his back foot to help him stand, but the vinyl material still caused his legs to pull together and renewed the problem of figures standing properly.  Marx soon revised him with a full base, as shown below.  

The later Lone 
Ranger Ranch Play Set -- which was issued in three or four versions -- came with the mounted Lone Ranger and standing Tonto in a cream soft plastic.  Despite the 60mm character figures, PFPC reports that the ranch sets came with the smaller 45mm Indians and 54mm cowboys.  Thus, these play sets were among the few that included all three of the basic Marx figure sizes.  The soft plastic character figures were also sold in bags of figures in 1957, as shown above (the bag's header card) and below.
  

The big question I have regarding these figures is why Marx never created a mounted Tonto.  After all, we even know the name of Tonto's horse, Scout.  I guess it's just better to be a superhero than a superhero's sidekick.  Also, Marx did make 54mm scale Lone Ranger and Tonto figures (see Page 3), but for some reason never included them in playsets.

Today these character figures are somewhat hard to find, much more so than the Roy Rogers character figures.  You will likely pay $20 or so for Tonto.  If you buy one, be sure that he has his feather; if he does not, it has been broken off, or it is a smaller 54mm figure (which Marx made in the same pose with no feather).  I have seen the Lone Ranger mounted pose sell for up to three times as much on Ebay.  The standing Lone Ranger pose is much harder to find and will cost more in good condition.  I paid about $60 for each of the standing figures shown below, neither being in pristine condition.

I have not seen any re-issues or copies of this group.
 
     Click here to see horses related to these figures.

1.  Mounted Lone Ranger 2.  Tonto Lone Ranger header card bag
Photo of bag and header card courtesy of  Terry and Leslie Rogers, Ebay truckus
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Header card bag similar to the one shown above $205 May 2011 Ebay

3.  Standing Lone Ranger
(white vinyl without base)
3.  Standing Lone Ranger
(cream plastic with base)
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Standing Lone Ranger with base $66 January 2011 Ebay



Famous Americans of the Wild West
        PL-687

Five of these figures -- with the exception of Davy Crockett (Pose 6) -- were in this mold and were included in a few Fort Apache playsets beginning in 1955.  All six were sold individually as well, and some were inserted in a few later selected playsets.

The original figures were produced in a dark cream color -- or what I would call a light tan -- with names imprinted on the front of the base and birth and death years on the back.  They are somewhat hard to find, but not overly expensive.  Kit Carson is especially hard to find with an unbroken rifle.  You can also occasionally find original figures in yellow, as shown for the Custer figure below.

Rather nice re-issues have been made in Hong Kong and are clearly identified as such.  These are in a hard plastic dark brown with no names on the bases.  The bottoms of the bases are not flat like the originals, but rather have bases with a large depressed area on the bottom and state "Made in Hong Kong."  These re-issues are available at reasonable prices.

In addition to being in playsets and sold individually, General Custer was one of 13 "American Heroes" sold in boxed sets that included related related figures (see photos below).  The Custer set was  No. 13 and included the General Custer figure along with 60mm U.S. Cavalry figures, which are shown in the following section.  Most of the other "Heroes" were 20th Century military figures.  Interestingly, while Custer is the thirteenth set, only 11 sets are known to exist today.
1.  Buffalo Bill 2.  General Custer 3.  Daniel Boone 4.  Davy Crockett

5.  Kit Carson 6.  Sitting Bull Custer figure in the harder to find yellow

Store display
Photo courtesy of Mark Hegeman

American Heroes No. 13 - General Custer and U.S. Cavalry (see 60mm Cavalry figures below)
Photo courtesy of Mark Hegeman
End of box shown at left
Photo courtesy of Mark Hegeman




60mm Cavalry
PL-693

Released first with the Fort Apache with Famous Americans playsets in 1955 and the Rin Tin Tin at Fort Apache playsets in 1956, this 60mm cavalry set is one of most collectors' favorites.  Made of vinyl, Marx was not able to give them the intricate detail that many later soft plastic figures had, but there is no doubt that these eight U.S. cavalrymen are rough, tough, and ready to fight to the death.  Every one is clearly ready for action.  Former Marx employees have said that these figures were intended for a 60mm Custer playset that was never made.

The mold has 12 cavities, a complete set with duplicates of the two kneeling figures, the standing firing rifle, and the standing with sword and pistol.  They generally were manufactured in metallic blue -- but occasionally in light blue or tan -- and appeared in Fort Apache playsets for many years.

It's hard to pick a favorite among these guys, but if I had to, it would be that bow-legged fellow atop his charging steed, chasing down the bad guys, ready to slash and bash.  But all the others are just sooo good!!!

     Re-issues are not often seen, but do exist.

 
     Click here to see horses related to these figures.

1.  Mounted with sword 2.  Mounted with pistol 3.  Fighting with sword

4.  Standing with sword and pistol 5.  Standing, firing rifle 6.  Kneeling, firing pistol

7.  Kneeling, firing rifle 8.  Standing with pistol and bugle




Rin Tin Tin Character Figures
PL-781
 
In the midst of its change from 60mm to smaller 54mm figures, Marx produced one final 60mm figure group in 1956, revising its Fort Apache format to take advantage of the popular television program, The Adventures of Rin Tin Tin.  Three 60mm character figures from the show were added to the playset:  the heroic dog Rin Tin Tin, its young owner Rusty (played by Lee Aaker), and Rusty's guardian Lieutenant Rip Masters (played by James Brown).  The program, which ran from 1954 to 1959,  told the story of an Indian massacre's lone survivors, Rusty and his dog Rin Tin Tin.  Found by U.S. soldiers from Fort Apache, Arizona, they were taken in by Lt. Masters.  Rin Tin Tin was also featured in many movies and on radio from 1930 to 1955.
 
The play set figures were released in soft plastic cream; these same figures were sold separately as a cereal premium.  According to PFPC 60, Marx also sold the character figures in powder blue in bags of figures in 1957, which included 12 60mm cavalrymen and 6 stockade Indians.  Mark Hegeman reports that bagged blue Rin Tin Tin figures were also sold in Canada, as shown in the group photo below.  Playset Magazine Issue 72 picutres two header bags of "Rin Tin Tin Cavalry Set," one with hard-to-find tan 60mm cavalry.  PM also has photos of the character figures in a "really rare charcoal gray rubber" and hard white plastic; I'd imagine both of those versions are near impossible to find.

Lt. Masters and Rusty have their name imprinted on the underside of their bases, and Rin Tin Tin imprinted on his belly.  The mold had six cavities, two sets of the poses.  Of note, although Rip and Rusty are 60mm figures -- Rip actually measures a whopping 65mm tall -- Rin Tin Tin is the same pose as was issued later for Bullet with the 54mm Roy Rogers character figures (see PL-879 on Page 2), the only difference being the name on the belly.
 As stated in PFPC Issue 60, "Perhaps the men behind the scenes were already looking down the line at the new-scale 54mm Roy Rogers characters which would be released a short time later."  Marx never produced a Lt. Masters or Rusty figure in 54mm scale. 
 
The figure of Rusty is particularly fragile, and he is often found with his rifle partially or totally missing.  Some collectors believe that this was partly a manufacturing problem and that the thin rifle was sometimes damaged in the molding process.  Rusty's left hand is positioned so that it rests on the back of Rin Tin Tin's neck when the dog is placed beside him.  Of note, this positioning fits much better with the 60mm rather than the 54mm Bullet, and I once purchased the remnants of a Marx Rin Tin Tin playset that included a Rin Tin Tin that was the 60mm Bullet, not the 54mm Rin Tin Tin.  These sets were issued during Marx' transition from 60mm to 54mm figures, so they may have used up a supply of the 60mm dog in some Rin Tin Tin playsets.   
 
I have not seen any re-issues or copies of this group.
1.  Lieutenant Rip Masters
(cream)
1.  Lieutenant Rip Masters
(blue)
2.  Rusty 3.  Rin Tin Tin

Rin Tin Tin character figures in a light blue from bags of Marx figures sold in Canada
Photo courtesy of Mark Hegeman
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Rusty and Rin Tin Tin in blue $55 February 2011 Ebay



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