Marx Lane
Links to Web Sites and Other Information Sources of Interest to Collectors of Marx and Other Toy Playsets
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.

The links on this page are the ones that I have personally used.  Some of these links have more extensive link pages that will take you to additional toy soldier manufacturers and retailers.  PLEASE NOTE that I do not endorse any of the dealers listed below.  Some sellers provide better quality than others; some are more expensive than others.  Again, they are on the list only because I have purchased from them a few times or have at least corresponded with their owners.  Even if you do not purchase anything from them, it can be fun to browse their web sites just to see what items are available if you get the urge to buy.


A note to those buying Marx re-issues or copies:   Some companies list the manufacturer of Marx re-issues as Marx, because the figures were originally made by Marx and the re-issues were made using the original Marx molds.  If the item description does not specifically state that an item is original Marx, there is a 99.9% chance that it is a re-issue.  In addition, some companies use re-issued items to create playsets identified as Marx, but often include some items which were manufactured by other companies.  There is generally nothing wrong with those other items, and they add some variety to the playsets.  However, you need to be aware of these practices if you want to be sure of what you have: the more expensive original Marx or the generally less expensive re-issue Marx.  

Re-issues -- made using the original Marx mold -- are a good way to obtain items from Marx molds without paying the higher prices for originals or to fill out your collection until you buy the originals.  There are some very nice re-issues out there, some that might be considered better than the original (though it is almost sacreligeous to write that!).  BUT there are also some poorly made ones.  Copies -- made without using the original Marx mold -- are a different story.  They are generally made by creating a new mold of a Marx figure.  Many turn out very poorly.

If you are a seller who believes you should be included on this list, please let me know.  If you care to learn a little more about me or to see more of my collection, click here (not working right now, back sooner or later).

Magazines, books, and videos
Guide for Non-Metallic Toy Soldiers of the U.S. Timothy Geppert This guide with its two appendices continues to provide the most complete printed listing of Marx play set figures in any one location.  Though written in 1986 -- prior to much information about Marx play sets known today -- it remains a valuable guide to both Marx and many other of the U. S. manufacturers who produced play sets and toys soldiers from the 1950's to the 1980's.  It is still available from Classic Toy Soldiers for $40 (see link at left), and can occasionally be found on Ebay.  Note that the "book" you will receive from Classic Toy Soldiers consists of 64 unbound, photo-copied pages plus an appendix of 75 pages.  I have seen the second appendix of 10 pages, but information in it apparently has been incorporated into the larger appendix.
Playset Magazine Rusty and Kathy Kern Today's premier magazine for collectors of toy soldier figures and playsets.  Full of information and beautiful color photos.  Web site includes list of toy soldier shows.  No collector can be without this magazine.
Plastic Warrior Paul Morehead The English magazine on plastic figures and playsets, which was first issued in 1985.
Plastic Figures and Playset Collector  (PFPC) The former premier magazine for collectors of plastic toy soldier figures and playsets.  It published 76 issues from 1989 to 2002, in the "early" days of the hobby.  That was not that long ago, but it was "early" as far as information on Marx playsets.  A huge amount of information on Marx playsets has been brought to light and diseminated to collectors over the past 15 years or so, but these magazines still offer invaluable information for collectors.  All but the earliest issues of PFPC were still available from the editor Tom Terry until his death in 2010.  His web site is still up, but I am not sure if the magazines are still up for sale through the site.  All the issues are sold frequently on Ebay.
Marx Toy Kings, Volume I Rusty Kern Released in late 2009, this book provides a history of Louis Marx and his toy company from his birth to the mid-1950s.  An attractive hardback book with plenty of fascinating information and photos.  Available from Playset Magazine.
Marx Toy Kings, Volume II Rusty Kern This book follows up Volume I, covering Marx playset operations from 1954 to the company's demise in 1982.  About a third longer than Volume I, it again includes a ton of information and photos.  Available from Playset Magazine.
Dinosaur Playsets: An Illustrated Guide to the Prehistoric Playsets of Marx and MPC Jeff Pfeiffer
Published in 2016, this 192-page book provides the most complete information available on Marx dinosaur playsets.  The book is sold by amazon.com and is advertised in Playset Magazine.  Great info and photos!
Marx Toys Sampler Michelle Smith Published in 2000, this book is hard to find and will cost you about twice its original price of  $27.  It has information and photos on a variety of Marx toys, but does not come close to covering the full scope of the company's products.  It does include some info and photos of the Glendale operation where play sets were made and brief narrative in chapters on play sets, doll houses, play set figures, and the company's larger Johnny West figure series.  For the most part, however, it offers several black-and-white and color photos and various listings of Marx toys, with some nice photos of play sets and related items.
Marx Western Playsets, The Authorized Guide Jay Horowitz I'm not sure if this book is still being published, but it is at least occasionally available from such sources as Ebay and amazon.com.  Like Marx Toy Kings above, it is an attractive hardback book with great information and photos.  The book concentrates on the playsets themselves, rather than the history of the company.
Collecting American-Made Toy Soldiers Richard O'Brien A large-format, 720-page paperback book with 81 pages on Marx.  Includes numerous photos of figures with price guides, as well as a listing of playsets, again with price guides.  I believe Edition No. 3 of 1997 is the latest version.
The Westerns DVD Rusty Kern A 1-hour video on wild west playsets, primarily those made by Marx.  Segments include Custer's Last Stand, Wyatt Earp, and Wagon Train playsets.  Available from Playset Magazine.
The TV Sets DVD Rusty Kern This video features Marx playsets based on television programs.  These include such wild west programs as Roy Rogers, Zorro, and Gunsmoke.  Available from Playset Magazine  
Small Wonder:  Worlds in a Box David Levinthal A soft-cover coffee table book, it includes about 25 pages on Louis Marx and his company and about 125 pages of creative color photography of playset figures and accessories.  Very well done, and a must for any serious collector's coffee table.  It is available on amazon.com.
Little Big World: Collecting Louis Marx and the American Fifties Jeffrey Hammond Written by a professor of English who seems to have fallen in love with the Marx 60mm Dale Evans, this book discusses the psychology, philosophy, and inanity of collecting toy soldiers.  A bit slow at times, it has many pearls of wisdom that make the book a worthwhile reading.  Collectors will certainly recognize themselves being discussed in the book as Professor Hammond takes us through his childhood obsession with playsets and his adulthood addiction to them (thanks to the wonder of Ebay).  You can find it at amazon.com.
Major Sources of Original Marx Figures
Brandywine Toy Soldiers Allan Ford Veteran seller at many toys shows.  No web site, but Ebay at 610allanf.  E-mail allanford@zoominternet.net.
Battletoys Bob Jones Veteran seller that has great stuff at many toy shows.  Often seen with Rick Eber (see below).  No web site, but his e-mail address is battletoys@aol.com.
Toy Soldier Headquarters Kent Sprecher Sells original figures, playsets, and accessories from a large number of the old plastic toy soldier companies.  Its web pages also offer a huge amount of information on what figures the companies made and are invaluable in identifying figures.  
Marx Playsets Rick Eber Veteran seller that sells some incredible stuff!  Shows up at many toy soldier shows.
Toymiester Dan McLean Veteran seller at many toy shows.  No web site, but Ebay at toymiester.
Marx Toy Connection Francis Turner Operated by the owner of the Marx Museum in West Virginia, this site sells original Marx figures, accessories, and playsets in exceptional condition.  Expect to pay top dollar, but if you want certain items in top condition right now, there is not much of anywhere else to go.
Tiny Troopers Tom Vida Veteran seller that sells some incredible stuff!  Shows up at many toy soldier shows.
Ebay (of course!) -- Keep looking and it will show up sooner or later!
Major Sources of Marx Re-issues or Copies
Classic Toy Soldiers Dave Payne and Tim Geppert Produces and sells a wide variety of Marx re-issued figures.  Also manufactures and sells some original figures that have been created specifically to be compatible with Marx figures.
Forester Enterprises Willie and Rosa Forester The Foresters have have tons of Marx re-issue items and a variety of other toy soldiers and related items.  They are at the West Coaster Toy Soldier Show every year, as well as other shows.  At one time they had a web site, but I do not think they have one now.  They are in Las Vegas, and their e-mail is rosa2428@earthlink.net..
Hobby Bunker Manufactures a wide variety of Marx re-issue items, including sets of Marx town furniture.
Classic Recasts James Wozniak Hundreds of re-issue Marx figures made in Mexico.
Michigan Toy Soldier Company Inventory of many manufacturers includes wide assortment of re-issued Marx figures and accessories.  The company had legal issues in early 2011 and may not be in business at this time.
Battlefield Legends Greg Schene Sells a variety of toy soldiers, including a large variety of Marx re-issues.
Nostalgia Toy Box Phil Rosner Sells re-issue Marx play set boxes.  Not identical, but very close to the originals.  Also sells custom play set boxes.
The Toy Soldier Company Jamie and Jenny Delson Produces and sells a wide variety of Marx re-issued figures.  This 25-year-old company claims to be "...the largest mail order company in the world specializing in new and old plastic and metal figures."  Its 104-page catalog includes a brief history of toy soldiers.
Ebay (of course!) -- Keep looking and it will show up sooner or later!
Major Manufacturers of New Plastic Figures and Playsets That Are Similar to Marx
Austin Miniatures New maker of wild west and military figures, buildings, and accessories.
Barzso Playsets Ron Barzso Manufactures and sells a wide variety of new playsets and figures.  Production of each playset is limited; if you want them, get them when you see them.  Has some great adobe buildings and a large Alamo reproduction for wild west displays.
Build-A-Rama Mark Vuncannon Manufactures primarily structures and scenic items in various scales.
Classic Toy Soldiers Dave Payne and Tim Geppert Manufactures original figures, including Mexican poses that go well with Marx Mexicans.  Also sells new figures produced by other manufacturers.
Conte Collectibles Richard Conte Manufactures and sells beautiful new playsets, though mostly metal.  Production of each set is limited, so get them while they are available.
Paragon Gene and Teri Abravaya Great new Wild West figures!
Toy Soldiers of San Diego (TSSD) Nick and Deanna Versteeg An expanding producer of playsets, figures, and accessories.  Also sells many products from other companies.  Web site includes a wealth of information.  Has a large Alamo reproduction for sale and sponsors the annual Texas Show in San Antonio. 
Steve Weston's Toy Soldiers Steve Weston Manufactures and sells various figures and playset accessories, as well as new production from other manufacturers.  Has figures and structures that resemble the Magnificent Seven and some creative Mexican peasants.  Is official distributior of Replicant figures, which include many wild west figures.
Traverse Dioramics Dave Bonick Makes excellent scenic pieces for the Wild West and other themes.
Major Retailers of Mostly New Plastic Toy Soldiers
Build-A-Rama Mark Vuncannon Sells new production from dozens of companies.
Hobby Bunker Matt Murphy Sells new production from dozens of companies.
Michigan Toy Soldier Company Sells new production from dozens of companies.  The company had legal issues in early 2011, but remains in business.
Treefrog Treasures Staci Sells new production from dozens of companies.
See also companies listed above as Sources of Marx Re-Issues and Manufacturers of New Plastic Figures and Playsets; many of them also sell other companies' items!!
Museums
The Official Marx Toy Museum, Moundsville, West Virginia Francis Turner Sadly, the museum closed June 30, 2016.  It has plans to expand its web site, present traveling displays and, perhaps, set up permanent displays at another location in the future.
Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, Wheeling, West Virginia Allan Miller A vintage toy museum with a heavy emphasis on Marx.  Hosts the Marx Convention each June.
Major Toy Soldier Shows (with a west coast bias)
OTSN Don Pielin This is the big one.  Held near Chicago each September, you don't want to miss this one.
West Coaster Craig McClain The big show on the West Coast held late February/early March.  It's mostly metal, but has plenty of plastic also.
Texas Show Nick and Deanna Versteeg A big hit in San Antonio in its inaugural year of 2007, this has been a huge success.  Held near the Alamo, its occurs on Memorial Day weekend, so there is no reason not to attend.
Marx Convention -- Held in late June in the Krueger Toy Museum in West Virginia.
Indy Show -- Mike Kutnick and Roger Ross insist it is the best!  Held in March, in Indianapolis of course.
East Coast Show -- In Hackensack, New Jersey.
Plastic Warrior Show Paul Morehead Held during May in Surrey, England.  This is the big one over there and is honchoed by Paul Morehead and his Plastic Warrior magazine.
Other web sites of interest
Yahoo Marx Playsets Group Pjr51 Join the group for messages board discussions, photos, links, and other information about collecting toy soldiers.  Mostly Marx, but other manufacturers are also discussed.
Marx Playset Collectors on Facebook Lots of action in this group with photos, information, questions, and more.
Paul Stad's Blog Paul Stadinger A running commentary of activities and thoughts from a long-time collector and expert of toy soldiers.
Wresman's World of Toys and Models David Schafer An incredible photo album with beautiful pictures of several hundred toy soldiers, playsets, models, and similar toys by many different manufacturers.
Figures of Louis Marx and Company Denis (from Russia) Incredible, beautiful photos of individual Marx figures.  The text is in Russian, but the photos make the web site a must-see for any Marx fan.  The site has mainly 6-inch, 60mm, and 54mm figures, with several photos of many figures from different angles.
Marx Dollhouses Larraine Incredible web site on doll houses made by Marx and other manufacturers!  This site shows everything from the Marx Bomb Shelter House to the Disney House to the Marx-a-Mansion Dream House.  And, yes, of course the famous Imagination House and even the 1930's "Modern Metal Bungalow" with garage and 14 pieces of furniture which sold for 98 cents!
Playset Addict Web Site Joe Baker Outstanding life-like dioramas of toy soldiers!
Ponylope Horses and More Penny Seuss A small but fun site where you can purchase vintage horses and related figures and accessories manufactured by Marx, Stuart, Beton, and others
Knights of Avalon -- A beautiful web site that shows a huge variety of medieval figures, as well as photos of many wild west figures.  This site is invaluable in identifying the manufacturer of figures, including both metal and plastic.  The site creator lives in Great Britain, so there is no information on Marx.  However, there is plenty on major European manufacturers, such as Britains, Timpo, Crescent, Cherilea, etc.  
Realm of Rubber Dinosaurs -- A fantastic web site.  Absolutely everything you want to know about dinosaurs made by Marx, MPC, and others.
Dinosaur Toy Collectors Guide Barry Jaeger A superb web site on toy Dinosaurs.  The link goes directly to the Marx page, but browse around the site to see information and photos about products from several toy companies and lots of information about dinosaurs.
Disneykins.com -- This site has voluminous information and photos of Marx Disneykin figures, including store displays, advertising cards that show all 36 figure poses of the 101 Dalmations, and a page on the Disneykins Dream House.  It also has a page on the Marx Nativity Set and the figure set of Jesus and his apostles.
Stewart's Best of the West -- A beautiful site on Marx' 12-inch action figures such as Johnny West.  It includes an incredible amount of information.

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.