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

 
Appendix P - Policemen, Firemen, Spies, and Bad Guys
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.



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Policemen - 35mm
The Untouchables
Firemen - 45mm
Firemen - 35mm
Firemen - 3-inch
The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - 6-inch
                         
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Policemen - 35mm

To the best of my knowledge, Marx never produced any police playsets, except for The Untouchables set which is described in detail below.  However, they did sell a Marxville police station, which included three small scale figures, generally called 35mm scale.  Marxville buildings were plastic and intended to be used on model railroad layouts, which are a smaller scale that most Marx play sets.  Appropriate figures were included with each building.  Though never included in a play set, the three figures were manufactured in the same manner as the company's playset figures.  They were made initially in vinyl, later in soft plastic, and are cream or off-white.  The motorcycle and traffic policemen occasionally made it into one of Marx' few playsets that used small scale figures, such as Disneyland, Sears, and airport playsets.  The policeman with prisoner, however, came only with the Marxville building and is difficult to find today.
Policeman on motorcycle Policeman handcuffed to prisoner
Re-issue figure
Traffic policeman




The Untouchables Play Set - 54mm
  

Marx first issued its 54mm scale Untouchables Playsets in 1961, appearing in both the Sears and Wards catalogs of that year.  The sets were numbered #4675 and #4676, but the contents seem to have been exactly or almost identical.  The set was sold by many other catalog and department stores as well.

This set, of course, was one of several that Marx based on popular television programs, relying on the program itself to provide sufficient marketing to sell the set.  The playset box even featured a picture of the program's star, Robert Stack.  The set itself had two character figures, one of Eliot Ness (again in the likeness of Stack) and Al Capone, both in cream.  
The Untouchables television program debuted in the Fall of 1959 and ran for four years.

Besides the character figures, the set included six "good guys", ten "bad guys", and two innocent civilians.  The figures came in either blue or gray, with sets having the "good guys" and civilians in one of the two colors and the "bad guys" in the other color.  The good guys included policemen and Federal agents, and the bad guys varied from a stereotype tommy gun shooter to a gun moll.  The civilians are a truck driver with his hands up and a guy lying on the ground, apparently dead.  All are nicely detailed and imaginative.

The set came with two tin litho buildings and a variety of small accessories, including two tin litho gangster-era friction cars.  While some of the accessories were borrowed or copied from previous playsets (such as fencing and telephone poles), several were made specifically for this set and never used in any other.  The tin buildings used the same metal stamping as those in some other sets, but had all-new lithography.

As it seems to have often happened, due to planning time required to get a playset on the market, Marx was late in getting its Untouchable playsets to the public.  Playset Magazine Issue 29 features the sets and notes that the company "didn't release 'The Untouchables' until around the time complaints against the show were mounting.  By the following year, the show had dropped to number 41 in the TV ratings and went off the air the next year."  Yeah, but I bet a lot of kids were glad to have it, TV show or no.  However, this must have shortened playset production, and it is a hard set to find today.

On a side note, Playset Magazine also points out that the set may have originally been intended to have another pose, that of a brooding Edward G. Robinson look-alike sitting in a chair.  The Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia, has just such a figure in its collection of Marx Untouchable figure prototypes.  He fits perfectly into the set's captain's chair.

Not to be outdone, Plastic Figure and Playset Collector Magazine (PFPC) Issue 15 also featured the sets and includes an article by Mark Harris which attempts to show that almost every Marx pose in the set represents an actual person or a character on the television program.  And Issue 16 states that veteran collector Paul Stadinger has mentioned that he is aware of a Marx prototype of an exploding beer truck...now that I would like to have seen!

By the way, my feelings on the set are that the "innocent" truck driver is in cahoots with the bad guys!  He looks guilty as heck to me and just may be the key figure in the whole set!

     Character Figures
1.  Eliot Ness
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com
2.  Al Capone
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com
Re-issue figures of Ness and Capone
Nice figures in hard plastic by Hobby Bunker
Recent Price Lines I have noticed
Both character figures $65 September 2012 Ebay

     Federal Agents and Policemen


1.  Federal agent with tommy gun
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
2.  Federal agent reaching inside coat 3.  Policeman shooting pistol
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com

Photo not available at this time.
4.  Policeman shooting tommy gun
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
5.  Federal agent running with ax
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
6.  Federal agent with pistol, holding captured gangster
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com

     Civilians
7.  Truck driver with hands up
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
8.  Civilian lying on ground (dead?)
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf

     Criminals

9.  Gangster crouching with pistol
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com
10.  Gangster shooting tommy gun
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com
11.  Gangster with pistol, wearing mask
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf


12.  Gangster shooting pistol downward
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com
13.  Gangster shot, dropping pistol
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
14.  Gun Moll
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com

15.  Gangster removing rifle from golf bag
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com
16.  Gangster with hands cuffed behind his back
Photo courtesy of Haileesoldtoybox.com

     Buildings and Terrain

Not one, but two great tin litho buildings in this set!  One townfront and one warehouse!  Not many Marx playsets had that surprise.  

The townfront is from the same stamping that was used for the smaller Wild West and Alaska townfronts, with a different lithography to match the Roaring 20's.  It is 20 inches wide and, as seen below, is lithographed inside as well as outside.  However, despite having interior furniture accessories, it has no interior floor.

The bright red warehouse uses the standard 12-inch "shoebox" style stamping that was used for such 4-sided buildings as the Alamo and the Zorro hacienda.

Both buildings are adorned with light brown, hard plastic add-ons (PL-1095).  The townfront includes doors for the bank, a marquee for the movie theater, and awnings and lamps for the Federal Building.  The warehouse has plastic doors, a loading ramp, side awning, skylight, and chimney.


Town Front
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
Backside of Town Front
Photo Courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf

Warehouse
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf
Warehouse Viewed from the Side
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford, Ebay ID 610allanf


     Vehicles

Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Rolls Royce Touring Car




     Small Accessories (PL-1100)

Original plastic accessories came in both green and silver.  Generally each set had about half in one color and half in the other, but every item can be found in both colors.  Several have very imaginative detail, such as the restaurant counter and table, desk, and the gas cans.  The originals are in a "stiff" plastic, according to Playset Magazine.

In viewing photos of the accessories, one might be motivated to obtain at least some of them for use with Marx Wild West playsets.  Unfortunately, most of the Wild West playset accessories were created for 60mm scale figures, so that many of the 54mm Untouchable accessories look too small when used with them.  Even within the Untouchable accessory group, some appear to me to be mis-sized when compared to other pieces.  For example, the chair noted simply "chair" below seems to be a much smaller scale than the "captain's chair" that is shown beside it, and the desk chair is small when compared to the large desk.  Things are just not all that important when you are making toys for 10- and 12-years old.

As shown below, most accessories in these sets have been re-issued from the original molds in brown.
Bank teller cage
With small machine gun shown later in this section.
Photo courtesy of Tom Lozowski
Bank safe
Item is re-issue.
Desk
Item is re-issue.
Desk chair
Item is re-issue.
Restaurant counter
Item is re-issue.
File cabinet
Item is re-issue.
Restaurant table
Item is re-issue.
Chair
Item is re-issue.
Captain's chair
Item is re-issue.
Coat rack
Item is re-issue.
Street light with mail box
Item is re-issue.
Street light with street signs
Item is re-issue.
Pull car (2-piece) and Dolly
Items are re-issue.
Pile of gas cans
Item is re-issue.
Oil drum
Item is re-issue.
Gas can and burlap sack
Items are re-issue.
Small sprue included fire hydrant, lantern, violin case, pistol, and tommy gun that fits into the violin case.
Items are re-issue.


        Other Accessories

Other accessories included five pieces of barbed wire fencing, four telephone poles, a 6-foot length of black string to use as telephone wire, six wooden crates, and six wooden barrels (3 red and 3 yellow).

According to PFPC Issue 15 the crates and barrels were borrowed from the company's earlier Freight Trucking Terminal playset, and the telephone poles from the Marx Erie plant's train sets.  The barbed wire fencing was also used in Marx farm and space playsets.

Also included were a large beer vat (rarely seen today and never used in another set) and a 16-by-30-inch playmat.
Fencing
Telephone pole
About 7 inches tall.
Photo courtesy of Tom Lozowski
Crates and Barrels
Photo courtesy of Allan Ford

Vat for beer brewing with ladder (both sides)
2-1/2 inches tall in dark brown hard plastic
Photos courtesy of collector Tom Lozowski

Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Playmat (16 inches by 30 inches)



 
  Royal Canadian Mounted Police
     PL-

According to Kent Sprecher's Toy Soldier HQ web site, Marx made four 60mm vinyl mounties in the early 1950s.  Though the never appeared in Marx playsets, they were manufactured in the same manner.  Based on these figures, I think that Marx must have considered making a Canadian Mountie playset at one time.  The Ideal Toy Company made a very nice one, with a beautiful tin litho structure that is very popular among collectors today.

The original Marx figures are somewhat hard to find, but re-issues are plentiful
.
1.  Mounted Mountie 2.  Walking Mountie

3.  Standing Mountie 4.  Mountie with binoculars
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Denis Rylev
                            



Firemen - 45mm

     PL-

Playset Magazine Issue 92 (March-April 2017) has an extensive article on the Marx Fire House playset, along with many full color photos.  These include some great close-ups of the inside of the fire station.  I believe that I have seen an article about it in PFPC, but I cannot locate it now.  

According to the PM article, the set was sold only in 1954 and was not a big seller, which explains why it is so seldom seen today.  It included a tin litho station, firemen figures in a cream color, dark brown furnishings and gear for the station, as well as two tin litho vehicles, a fire chief car and a ladder truck, both about 7-1/2 inches long (see second photo below).

Four years later, according to the article, Marx sold an updated version of the set in Canada, adding more pieces to the set with three groups of figures in cream, white, and green.  Also, the two tin litho vehicles were replaced with four larger and more realistic fire vehicles.  This set apparently did poorly as well, with only a few sets known to exist today; even the writers of the article are unsure of its exact contents.

Below are photos of the tin litho fire station, the figures, and some of the accessories.  The set, or pieces of it, are occasionally sold on Ebay.
Fire Station
Photos are of items in the Marx Museum, Moundsville, West Virginia
Refelctions are from glass casing.
Playset Box and some of the contents
Photo is of item in the Marx Museum, Moundsville, West Virginia
Refelctions are from glass casing.
Some of the accessories from the Fire House Playset
Photos courtesy of collector James McDonald
Note that the chair and desk are similar to those used in the Untouchables Playset
and the chair and bed are similar to those used in Western Town playsets.
Playset Magazine says the item on the right is an alarm box that will ring when twisted.  You can see it in the second photo of the fire house above.


1.  Crouching with fire hose
Photo courtesy of Rick Koch, Ebay ID toy-hood
2.  Running, pulling on coat
Photo courtesy of Rick Koch, Ebay ID toy-hood
3.  Walking with fire axe
Photo courtesy of collector James McDonald

Photo not available at this time.
4.  Fire chief with megaphone
Photo courtesy of Rick Koch, Ebay ID toy-hood
5.  Climbing ladder
Photo courtesy of collector James McDonald
6.  Sliding down pole in fire station

Photo not available at this time.
7.  Sitting, holding pencil 8.  Boy petting dog
Photo courtesy of collector James McDonald
9.  Fireman carrying separate person
Photo courtesy of collector James McDonald

Photo not available at this time.
10.  Person being carried by separate fireman





Firemen - 35mm
     PL-

According to an article written by veteran collector/seller Rich Koch in PFPC Issue 67, these five 35mm scale figures were included with the Marxville firehouse.  As explained earlier on this page, the Marxville buildings were plastic and intended to be used on model railroad layouts, which are a smaller scale that most Marx play sets.  Appropriate figures were included with each building.  Though never included in a play set, they were manufactured in the same manner as the company's playset figures.  They were made initially in vinyl, later in soft plastic, and are cream or off-white.  These figures were sold only with the Marxville firehouse and are not easy to find today.

1.  Fireman with hose 2.  Fireman walking with axe 3.  Fire chief
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Boy with boots Firemen's dog





Firemen - 3-inch scale (from tin litho vehicles)
     PL-

My knowledge of these figures is limited to what is in Geppert's Guide.  According to the Guide, the figures came with tin litho vehicles and were a cream color, though the one shown below is white.  The Guide also has small photos of each of the four poses listed below.  Beyond that, I welcome any information anyone has on them.
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
1.  Standing with fire extinguisher 2.  Standing with fire axe
Photo not available - we would welcome yours! Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Fire chief, sitting Sitting, driving






The Man from U.N.C.L.E. - 6-inch scale
     PL-


Although Marx produced only one police-related playset (The Untouchables), the company produced a set of twelve 6-inch, soft plastic figures in 1966 based on the popular spy television program "The Man from U.N.C.L.E."  The show was one of several in the mid-1960s that featured cold war undercover action involving U.S. and Russian secret agents.  The program ran from 1964 to 1968 and starred Robert Vaughn as the American Napoleon Solo and David McCallum as Russian Illya Kuyrakin, who were agents for the international espionage and law-enforcement agency U.N.C.L.E.  Leo Carroll played Alexander Waverly, head of the British office.

U.N.C.L.E.'s primary nemesis was the organization THRUSH, which hoped to take control of the entire world.  THRUSH and its agents believed in a 2-party system of masters and slaves, killed people left and right, and were worrisome enough for U.N.C.L.E to bring together countries with totally opposing ideas on governmental, economic, and social structures...such as the U.S. and Russia.

As shown and described in Playset Magazine Issue 17, the figures were sold both individually and -- unlike any other Marx 6-inch figures -- as part of a mail-order target set.  Though called 6-inch figures, most of them are about 5-1/2 inches.  Three figures for each U.N.C.L.E. and THRUSH are character figures, though the THRUSH poses show only the figure's title, not name.  U.N.C.L.E. poses include character figures of Solo, Kuryakin, and Waverly.  
Three poses are labeled THRUSH officer, THRUSH agent one, and THRUSH agent two.  All six of these character figures have two circles on the bottom of their bases, one with their name or position and the other with "MCMLXVI MGM INC."

The six non-character figures have only one circle with the Marx logo and the date.

It appears that the six character figures were cast in one mold and the six unidentified figures in another mold.  I say this partially because
, based on information in Playset Magazine Issue 17, Marx commonly cast the character figures in a deep blue and the unidentified figures in gray.  Moreover, the colors of these two groups in my re-issue figures are different, a gray silver for the character figures and shiny silver for the others.  Interestingly, the unidentified figures from the set shown in the magazine are tan, and the three photos of original character figures shown below also seem to be a light tan.  

In addition to the figures, the Target Set included heavy cardboard structures that are pretty much in scale with the large figures.  These include two headquarters buildings -- one labeled U.N.C.L.E. and the other THRUSH -- that are connected by a parking garage.  According to Playset Magazine, the entire structure is almost five feet wide and 1-1/2 feet tall.  The set had two guns that shot 4-1/4 inch darts and two toy grenades that could knock down multiple figures at a time.  This must have been a truly fun set, as two guys could set up their figures and proceed to take pot shots at their opponent's figures.  Of course, if you happen onto one of these sets today, I strongly urge you to NOT do this!

All 12 figures have been re-issued in many colors.  The photos below are re-issues which I purchased from Classic Recasts in 2014.  They were made in Mexico and appear very well made in a hard plastic that has just a little bend in it.  Character figures have the original circular imprints on their bases; other figures have one circle, but nothing printed in it.  I do not care for the silver color of the re-issues --  -- but they would be a great project for you painters out there.

Figures are shown in approximately correct proportion to one another, but not to other figures on this page.

     U.N.C.L.E. character figures
1.  Napoleon Solo
2.  Illya Kuryakin 3.  Alexander Waverly Example of bottom of figure bases
The four photos above courtesy of collector James McDonald.

     THRUSH character figures
4.  THRUSH officer
re-issue
5.  THRUSH agent 1
re-issue
6.  THRUSH agent 2
re-issue

     Other Agents
Except for Pose 7, I have found no information to identify which agent shown below is on which side.  Pose 7 is clearly an U.N.C.L.E. agent, because he is holding the style of weapon used by U.N.C.L.E. agents.  Due to their more formal dress, I'd suggest Poses 8 and 9 are also U.N.C.L.E., but I really don't know.  If anyone out there can help, let me know!
7.  Standing with U.N.C.L.E. gun in left hand
re-issue
8.  Running with brief case
re-issue
9.  Standing with radio in right hand
re-issue

10.  Using pistol in right hand as club
re-issue
11.  Holding flashlight in right hand, pistol in left
re-issue
12.  Standing, pointing pistol forward
re-issue

     Target Set Structure
Photo not available - we would welcome yours!
Heavy cardboard structures from U.N.C.L.E. Target Set



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.