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

 
Appendix J-8 - The Little People
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.

This web site was created in late 2007, providing information about Marx wild west playset figures on a single web page.  It now consists of about 30 web pages, with information on figures, structures, terrain pieces, and small accessories from playsets in many different themes.  It also has indexes for Playset Magazine and PFPC magazine.  
I will continue to update these pages as I obtain more information and photos.  If you have anything to add to these pages or suggestions to make them better, please e-mail me at ericjohns4444@gmail.com.  I will be glad to attribute contributions to you.  And if you have questions or comments, I am always glad to hear from you!




Table of Contents

  (click on name to move to section)

The Little People

Marxville Town People and Buildings
Disneyland
Sears Shopping Center
Gas Stations
Airports
Strategic Air Command
Mystery Space Ship
Railroad People
     
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As I begin to prepare this page, I am struck by the limited attempts there have been to prepare an accurate inventory of what I call here "The Little People" of Marx.  These are not figures from the Marx miniature playsets that are about an inch tall (close to HO train scale), ranging from Noah's Ark to the Alamo to the World War II battlefield.  Rather these are -- for the most part -- the approximately 35mm to 40mm scale figures that were found primarily with a few smaller scale play sets (such as Disneyland, Strategic Air Command, the Mystery Space Ship) and Marxville buildings that were made for model train layouts.

You might object that figures such as those found in Marxville buldings are not playset figures.  While that is true, the ones I show on this page are made in exactly the same manner as the company's play set figures and some could, in fact, be reasonably added to some of the play sets.  They are molded in vinyl or soft plastic, are mostly a cream color identical to that used for many play set figures, and are not painted.  I have seen some in a brown color.  As for size, the first two photos shown below -- a preacher and groom -- are about 1-1/2 inches tall.  Due partially to the size of these small figures, many of them are not of the same high quality as larger scale Marx figures.  The photos below show this.  I am sure it takes more skill to create well-detailed smaller scale figures and, consideirng that these are toys, Marx did not see the value of paying the added costs.

I have found two sources of information that provide some organization to these figures.  First is the 1993 Appendix to Geppert's Guide for Non-Metallic Soldiers of the U.S.  Second is a 2-page article by veteran collector and seller Rick Koch that appeared in the Plastic Figure and Playset Collector Issue 67 in August 2000.  
I feel certain that the information I offer below is incomplete at this time, and I welcome input from others. 

This lack of information surprises me, because the figures show great imagination and, on occasion, nice detail.  Moreover, Marx never produced many of these figures in a larger scale, and I find that sad.  Where is the motorcycle policeman and the prisoner handcuffed to the policeman in the Untouchables play set?  Where is the boss, walking down a windy street, in his heavy overcoat with his hat pulled low in the Skyscraper play set?  Where is the four-armed alien in space play sets other than the Mystery Space Ship?  Why aren't these men carrying boxes, holding clip boards, and sweeping up in the freight terminal set, instead of the blocky robot-like figures we find there?  Why don't doll houses have the girl jumping rope, the child with the ice cream cone, and the woman pushing a baby carriage?

Well, at least we have The Little People...and a grand village of people they are!

Note that some of these figures are also shown on other pages of this web site.  For example, the Disneyland figures are shown on the Disney page and the Mystery Space Ship figures on the Space Figures page.

Marxville Town People

For the most part these figures were found only with Marx' line of plastic buildings for model railroads, dubbed Marxville.  Each building was accompanied by appropriate figures, as shown below, and small accessories.  Some of the Marxville figures are extremely hard to find, having been sold with one type of Marxville building and no where else.  This includes, for example, the boy on a bicycle that came with the schoolhouse and the policeman with a prisoner found only in the police station.

To begin, what better figures to go with a church than a preacher and a couple to marry?  The bride's right arm fits perfectly into the groom's left arm.  Unfortunately, the church (and most of the Marxville buildings) did not have doors that could open, so the couple has never made it to the altar!

Marxville Church
Minister Groom Bride

These pinkish figures are hard plastic re-issues. Photo is of items in the Marx Museum at Moundsville, West Virginia

No town is complete without a schoolhouse.  Unfortunately -- unlike the larger scale Marx schoolhouse playset -- there is no way to get into this school building.  So it's always recess time in Marxville!

The hard plastic building is about 9-1/2 inches by 3-3/4 inches.  The colors in the photos below are not correct; the roof and trim are white, and the steeple on top is light gray.  Figures are soft plastic and originally were a cream or white color.  They are larger in scale than the building.  To the best of my knowledge, the teacher, walking girl, and boy on the bicycle are unique to this set and difficult to find.  The small accessories are a hard plastic silver that is similar to many of the re-issues coming out of Mexico today.  They are about the same scale as the figures, though the swing set seems a bit large.  A separate bicycle and sled and also included as accessories in the display of the schoolhouse in the Marx Museum in Moundsville, WVa.

I like the added detail of a fire escape on the back wall, but I'm surprised this set did not come with a flag pole and U.S. flag!

Marxville Schoolhouse
The roof and trim in the photo look yellowish, but are actually white. Side view Fire escape on back wall
Teacher
She is just a smidgen more than 1-1/2 inches tall.
Boy on roller skates Girl, walking Slide Monkey bars
Boy on bicycle
This one seems to be missing one of his handle bars!
Girl jumping rope Child with ice cream cone Bicycle rack Swing set


I think the supermarket must have had more figures than this and some accessories, but I am not sure which ones.  Whenever I go to the supermarket, there are way too many people!
 
Marxville Supermarket
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Butcher Milkman

My information on the gas station is the same as on the supermarket.  At least I got a photo of the gas station at the Marx Museum!

Marxville Gas Station
Gas station on left, police and gas station on right
Photos are of items at the Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia


Have to have a firehouse!  Too bad there was not a house on fire; that would have made for some action!

Marxville Firehouse

Photo is of items at the Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia
I doubt that the guy with the hammer and chisel and the forklift came with the fire station!

Fireman with hose Fireman with axe Fire chief
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Boy with boots Firehouse dog


And the police station.  The policeman handcuffed to a prisoner is one of the hardest Marx figures to find.

Marxville Police Station
Police station on left, police and gas station on right
Photos are of items at the Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia

Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Motorcycle policeman Traffic Policeman Policeman with prisoner
Re-issue figure
Geppert's Guide to Non-Metallic Toy Soldier of the U.S." states that three other poses came in the Police Station: a man with a broom, a newpaper boy, and a child with an ice cream cone.  I have not found this reported elsewhere.  These poses are shown elsewhere on this page.
 

Being involved in manufacturing toys, what more appropriate building could Marx produce than a toy factory?  This building is a nice addition to anyone's display of Marx playset toys!

Marxville Factory
Man in tie, right arm held out Man holding clipboard Man in hard hat carrying large wrench Box on pallet
(box is molded on)
Boxes on cart
(boxes are molded on)
Fork lift

Man pushing separate dolly Man carrying box on shoulder Hand cart
Scale or drill press?


The obligatory farm.  Careful, it is easy to get Marx farm pieces mixed up with those from the farm in the similar series Plasticville, which was sold about the same time as Marxville.

Marxville Farm
Photo on the left is of items from the Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia
Did you send me the photo on the right?  I can't recall where I got it!
Farmer Farmer's wife Goat
Cow Horse Pig


Whoa, Marxville is an Army town!  You'll see the barracks building shown below on Ebay occasionally -- often in re-issue -- but I have only twice seen the Army men that came with the set.  The first was in Rick Koch's article on Marx' 35mm figures in PFPC Issue 67.  More recently, toy collector Terry Sells sold a complete Army Barracks set on Ebay in January 2017 for an eye-popping $735.  Kindly, he has allowed me to use his photos.

Terry reports that the barracks are hard plastic, about 7 inches wide.  Figures are soft plastic and about 1-1/2 inches tall, slightly smaller than the Training Center figure group shown on the Military Figures Page.  The hard plastic fence was used in several Marx playsets, primarily farm sets.  All but one of the figure poses shown below are similar to larger Marx military figures.  The seated pose is unique, a rather classic pose that I would have enjoyed seeing in a larger scale.  The photos show the entire contents of Terry's set; I'd assume that these are the only figure poses that came in the set, because Rick's article included the same poses.

Marxville Military Barracks
All photos below courtesy of Terry Sells
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Box, front and back
Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
The four wall sections Roof and fire escape ladder Fence sections and figures
Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
The 10 figures in the set
The figure second from the left is a bugler.  The fourth photo from the left appears to be designed to hold something.
 

And since the whole Marxville series was made for model trains, there has to be a train station!  Based on the display at the Marx Museum, Marx actually made two train stations for Marxville.  The one (on the right) is the usual train station and the other is a passenger platform, perhaps for commuters.

Marxville Train Stations
Photos are of items at the Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia

Train man with lantern Porter with three bags Woman wearing hat with child Train engineer?
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Man in heavy overcoat Man  walking, coat held over arm Newspaper boy

         
Finally, Marxville included several houses in different styles.  The only one I can provide information on is the ranch house...and that means real ranch house, not just the style.  It came with the company's 40mm cowboys and unique Wild West accessories.  The figures are shown separately in the Wild West section.
 
Marxville Ranch House
Photo is of items at the Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia
                                                                 




Disneyland

The figures below (including animals) populated the 1961 Disneyland Play Set.  As most of The Little People, the figures in the Disneyland set came in a cream colored soft plastic, but they can be found in other colors also, such as light gray.  Five of the six cartoon characters are down-sized versions of the 60mm poses in the Television Playhouse set.  To the best of my knowledge, the animal figures were never used in any other playset, but the cartoon figures were used in the Disneykins group, a large group of Disney characters in painted hard plastic (see the Cartoons - Tiny People page).

The Disneyland figures below are also shown on the Cartoons - Disney page of this web site.


          Disneyland Characters and Park Visitors
Photo not available at this time.
1.  Mickey Mouse
2.  Minnie Mouse
3.  Pluto
4.  Donald Duck 5.  Professor Ludwig Von Drake 6.  Goofy
        
1.  Boy riding donkey 2.  Woman with little girl 3.  Woman with purse
        
4.  Woman with shopping bags 5.  Man with package under arm 6.  Woman with package under arm
        
Photo not available at this time.
7.  Woman with hat box 8.  Astronaut 9.  Cowboy
Pose is similar to 60mm Matt Dillon in Marx' Gunsmoke Play Set.
        
10.  Wild West lady with umbrella
Pose is identical to Miss Kitty in Marx' Gunsmoke Playset.
11. Indian chief 12.  Man in derby hat

          Disneyland Animals
1.  Matterhorn goat
2.  Elephant
3.  Giraffe
 
Photo not available at this time. Photo not available at this time.
4.  Rhinoceros
5.  Hippotamus, with flat bottom
6.  Water buffalo, with flat bottom

7.  Water buffalo, with flat bottom, head turned
8.  Lion
9.  Lioness

10.  Alligator
11.  Gorilla 12.  Tiger
                                                                        




Sears Shopping Center

Another set that included The Little People was the Sears Shopping Center, which the Sears and Roebuck Store requested Marx produce.  It would have been difficult for Marx to turn down the request, since Sears sold more Marx toys than any other company.  Most likely due to the limited distritution and sales anticipated for this set, Marx used already-existing, 35mm figures to populate the play set.  Made in cream soft plastic, these figures were borrowed from other Marx play sets, such as Disneyland, airports, and the Marxville playset buildings.  I find it odd that Marx did not even create any sales personnel for the Sears set; you would think that Sears would have insisted on such figures!

This figure group, of course, is shown on the Sear Shopping Center page also.
 

1.  Man pushing seperate hand truck 2.  Man pumping gas 3.  Man with hammer and chisel 4.  Man carrying box on shoulder

5.  Man pushing broom 6.  Woman in hat with feather 7.  Lady wearing hat with girl 8.  Lady pushing baby carriage

9.  Policeman on motorcycle 10.  Lady walking with bag and pusrse 11.  Girl with ice cream cone 12.  Man in uniform, walking

13.  Man walking, looking at watch 14.  Man in cap looking up
                                                                 




Gas Stations

For whatever reason, Marx chose to invariably include The Little People in its gas station play sets.  These will be included on this web site's Service Station page, whenever I get around to creating it.  The company produced two figure groups for the sets, one early and one later.  The first group was made in cream; the second in blue.  Figures from the first group also were used in other play sets.  According to veteran collector/seller Rick Koch's article in PFPC Issue 67, the second group is slightly larger than 35m scale.

Speaking for myself, I would be a little leery of the guy in the first group who appears to be working on a car with a hammer and chisel!

               1950's Gas Station Figures

Serviceman with rag Serviceman with broom Serviceman with hammer and chisel

Serviceman repairing tire Traffic policeman

             1960's Gas Station Figures

Serviceman with rag Serviceman with tire Serviceman with oil

Serviceman with water hose Serviceman kneeling
                                                                   




Airports

Marx used Little People in its airport play sets, undoubtedly to better fit with the still-undersized aircraft.  According to "Geppert's Guide to Non-Metal Toy Soldiers of the U.S.", the airport group include 24 figures in the standard cream color.  Most of the figures are also in other Little People figure groups.  For example, the airport group includes the entire Marxville factory group, three figures from the early gas station play set group, and one from the Marxville school house group.  

In PFPC Issue 67, veteran collector/seller Rick Koch lists seven to be exclusive to the airport sets.  Having researched the figure groups, I think that there are actually only three such figures, the first three shown below.  Rick included four that are in the SAC play set (see below).  I would also suggest the stewardess, but I believe she is the same as the woman with a shoulder bag in the Disneyland figure group shown above.

These figures are also shown on the Airports page of this web site.
 
1.  Policeman on motorcycle 2.  Policeman standing, right hand up 3.  Man carrying box on shoulder 4.  Newsboy 5.  Man pushing broom

6.  Man with hammer and chisel 7.  Man pushing hand cart 8.  Hand cart 9.  Man with pencil and paper 10.  Man with paper, right arm extended

11.  Man in hard hat, wrench on shoulder 12.  Man in suit, looking at watch 13.  Woman pushing baby stroller 14.  Woman wearing hat with purse 15.  Woman carrying grocery bags

16.  Woman standing with child 17.  Girl with ice cream cone 18.  Stewardess with shoulder bag 19.  Ground crew with batons 20.  Ground crew wearing goggles, right hand  up

21.  Traffic controller, seated 22.  Emergency crewman with fire extinguisher 23.  Ground crew with fuel hose 24.  Pilot, walking 25.  Jet pilot in high altitude suit
                                                                




U. S. Strategic Air Command


These figures came in the U.S. Strategic Air Command play set, which was sold in 1963 and 1964.  With impressive new aircraft (including B-52 bombers), SAC buildings, and Nike rockets, Marx downsized several figures already produced in larger scales for sets such as Cape Canaveral to better fit the still-undersized Air Force planes.  Figures were made in silver soft plastic.  

In PFPC Issue 67, veteran collector/seller Rick Koch states that the first 11 figures below are the "Air Force" group and can also be found in blue and in some other playsets, such as airports.


I am uncertain exactly how many poses were included in the SAC sets.  Playset Magazine Issue 54 reports that they included 16 figure poses, with duplicates of each.  However, the magazine article includes a photograph of 19 poses, as listed below. "Geppert's Guide to Non-metallic Toy Soldiers of the U.S." lists 18.

The SAC sets are popular among collectors and today, and neither sets nor individual items are easily found in today's market.  The figures are also shown on the Military Figures page of this web site.

Photo not available - we welcome yours!
1.  Officer, standing reading papers 2.  Officer standing, hands behind back 3.  Airman, loading rocket
4.  Airman holding signal flasher 5.  Chubby pilot, walking in high altitude suit
Photo not available - we welcome yours! Photo not available - we welcome yours! Photo not available - we welcome yours!
6.  Pilot, squatting with papers 7.  Pilot, walking with arms at sides 8.  Pilot walking with one hand at chest 9. Skinny pilot, walking in high altitude suit 10.  Fireman in asbestos suit with fire extinguisher
Photo not available - we welcome yours!
11.  Crewman with geiger counter 12.  Crewman with fuel hose 13.  Airman with lighted signal batons 14.  Crewman carrying large wrench on shoulder 15.  Airman pointing upward
Photo not available - we welcome yours! Photo not available - we welcome yours!
16.  Fireman in asbestos suit with CO2 cannister 17.  Fireman in asbestos suit with fire hose 18.  NCO marching with pistol and holster 19.  Airman marching with rifle on shoulder





Mystery Space Ship Astronauts and Aliens

The unusual Mystery Space Ship Playset of 1962 (see Space Accessories page for more information)  included a group of tiny 35mm spacemen and aliens.  They were not included in any other play set nor sold otherwise.  The astronauts were downsized versions of 60mm astronauts previously in Operation Moon Base play sets.  

These figures were made in soft plastic, but -- unlike most of the Little People -- were made in color, either what PFPC Issue 56 calls a "medium grass green" or "dull orange."  In each set, the aliens were generally made in one color and the astronauts in the other.

These figures are also shown on the Space Figures page.

1.  Space walking with wrench 2.  Walking on moon, one foot on ground
3.  Walking, hand on visor

4.  Standing, pointing
5.  Walking on moon, both feet on ground 6.  Holding both arms out, not wearing space suit

Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time.
9.  Alien with four arms 10.  Alien with pistol in left hand 11.  Alien with right arm up, pointed ears

Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time. Photo is not available at this time.
12.  Alien with pointed face, right arm up 13.  Alien with helmet, left arm up 14.  Alien with pistol in right hand





Railroad People

While the following figures are (or will be) included in the Transportation section, I feel obligated to include them here also, because they are just such enjoyable figures.  The first group -- in model railroad HO scale -- are perhaps the smallest figures that Marx made, certainly the smallest shown on this page.  Due partially to their size, they are very crudely sculpted, but I enjoy the dramatic change from the more common Marx gunslingers, fighting knights, and aliens.  A good paint job would probably dress them up very nicely.  They were manufactured in exactly the same manner as common Marx play set figures.

Made in a cream soft plastic and all a little less than an inch tall, you will not see them often.  They do not appear in "Geppert's Guide" or other toy soldier publications I have.  There are more figures than are shown below, but I do not have a complete listing of them.

Due to their small size, figures are shown slightly larger than other figures on this page.
Man and woman Farmer with son Mailman Grocer and customer Service station attendant

The second railroad figure group that I must report here is a group that is in "Geppert's Guide", properly labeled as railroad people.  These are the largest figures shown on this page, intended for O scale train layouts.  Geppert notes that the 10 figures were sold in bags, most likely one full group per bag.  Although they were intended for model train layouts, they were manufactured in the same manner as playset figures, in a cream vinyl or soft plastic, unpainted.  Most are about 50mm tall.

I think they include some very cool poses, and I'd hate to leave them out of this web site!  You can also find a man smoking a cigarette, though that of course is only the man with the pipe bowl broken off.  They are reasonably available in today's market.

1.  Man with briefcase and newspaper 2.  Man smoking pipe with newspaper 3.  Woman with dog, waving
4.  Boy with toy train, waving 5.  Hobo 6.  Porter, carrying four bags

7.  Conductor with watch and lantern 8.  Engineer with oil can 9.  Brakeman with flag


10.  Newspaper boy




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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.