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

Appendix J-4 - Little Red Schoolhouse Playset
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Featured in PFPC Issue 43, the Little Red Schoolhouse Playset was released in 1956.  It clearly was one of three Marx playsets sold in the 1950s which was intended as much or more for girls than boys.  The others were the Pet Store Playset and the Babyland Nursery Playset.  According to PFPC, the schoolhouse set is the most difficult of the three to find today.

Unless otherwise stated, all items pictured below are of items from the collection of prolific collector David Schafer.  I sincerely thank him for allowing me to tour his vast collection and take these photographs.


The set included a teacher and eight children in an approximate 60m scale.  These included two each of the sitting poses, so that there were a total of seven different poses, made in a 60mm cream soft plastic.  The figures were sculpted with great detail, and it is unfortunate that they came only in this playset.  
1.  Teacher 2.  Boy sitting 3.  Girl sitting
Boy and girl are intended to sit at student desk with boy's left hand and girl's papers on top of desk.

4.  Girl, standing with book 5.  Girl, standing with hand up 6.  Boy standing with hands on hips 7.  Boy running with book


     Little Red Schoolhouse

The schoolhouse was manufactured in the company's usual tin-plated, pressed steel and has the same metal stamping as the buildings in the Marx Pet Shop and Babyland Nursery playsets.  The structure measures about 16 inches wide, 8 inches deep,and 8 inches tall (not counting the belfry on the schoolhouse).  The colorful schoolhouse lithography, of course, is different from the other two sets.  The unique figures in this set are a slightly smaller scale than the figures used in the Pet Shop and Nursery (which are borrowed from the company's larger scaled doll houses), so the schoolhouse's front door and other lithography is painted slightly smaller so that it appears more in size with the school figures.  
As in the other two sets, pieces of clear acetate were included to cover the building's two windows, this time painted with red lines that divided them into six window panes.

The back side of the building is open, and the inside is somewhat minimally lithographed. Instead of a chimney, the bulding is topped with  a 2-piece belfry made in red and white hard plastic.  Inside the belfy is a small metal bell and on top is a hard plastic weathervane.
Little Red Schoolhouse
Photo courtesy of Russian collector Valery Pochtarev
Inside of Schoolhouse
Photo is of item in Marx Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia

     Small Accessories

The set includes a small, but very nicely-made group of inside accessories in tan hard plastic.  For the most part, they are not overly attractive, with the teacher's desk looking especially klunky.  Though, I suppose, that is what schoolroom furniture is often like.  On the other hand, the globe, water fountain, and movie projector are especially nice items.

Unfortunately, like the figures, the accessories were sold only in the schoolhouse set, except for perhaps the chairs.  Many of the items could be easily used in many other play set themes.  You will not often find them in today's market unless you run across a seldom seen complete play set.  By the way, the set included four student desks and four student chairs.
1.  Teacher desk 2.  Teacher desk chair

3.  Student desks

4.  Bookcase
That thing on top is a plant.
5.  2-piece globe on stand

6.  Round table 7.  Chairs

8.  Drinking fountain 9.  Wastebasket

10 and 11.  Movie projector and table
Two pieces
12.  Movie screen

     School Bus

Though not a part of the Schoolhouse set, Marx sold a plastic yellow bus that makes a good school bus for the set.  The box for the bus is actually labeled "Deluxe-Scenic Bus" as if it might be used as a tour bus, but it is clearly a school bus, coming with four sitting children borrowed from the company's dollhouse figures and a bus driver, perhaps unique to this item.  As shown below, the bus came in two parts with a lift-off clear top, so that riders can easily be added or removed.  The dollhouse figures are a slightly larger scale than those in the schoolhouse set; but with a little freedom in scale, the empty bus seats and school desks could be filled with additional Marx dollhouse children!  And don't those kids look well behaved!?!

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.