Enamored with Marx

I never paid much attention to Marx tin or plastic.  Had a few which were good runners and wowed the kids when they crashed.  Lately, due to a ton of Marx videos on Youtube(including many by gigeastman) I have become enamored with old Marx tin.  There is a certain charm seeing them rattle around the track and the litho is really impressive when you examine it closely.  One thing that surprises me is the asking price on many items and the final price achieved.  This leads me to my question to those in the know, and, this is more regarding the Marx plastic versus the tin.  I've seen the plastic 'E' AA sets go for a good sum of money, especially the NYC 'feather' sets.  Is this because of rarity?  I did put a bid in on one set and was quickly frozen out by other bids.  I also noticed the Wm Crooks sets seem to get a premium also.  I would always expect a set in excellent condition to go for a good price, but some of the amounts paid for beat up scratched items do cause me to wonder.

Original Post

I have a soft spot for the Marx deluxe plastic trains as I had these along with my Lionel trains as a child.The Plastic Marx E7's usually bring high prices if they have all their steps and are in C8 or better condition. The Penn Central's are the toughest to find. Followed by the Grey/Yellow Western Pacific and the Orange Allstate's. The Rock Island, NYC,UP and Green/Yellow  Western Pacific's are somewhat easier to find. The Santa Fe and New Haven E7's are the easiest to acquire. All the Marx E7's are fragile and hard to find with all the steps intact. The William Crooks locomotive has a lot of fragile trim and is very hard to find with all the trim unbroken. The Rock Island and Allstate 8 wheeled S2's are tough to find also. Boxed sets always bring a premium as they do in the Lionel world. The smoking version 333 4-6-2 steam locomotive is highly prized in C8 or better. As for the high prices paid for beat up items, I'm also left scratching my head too. 

 

I'm a simple man...I see a train I like and I buy it! 

SWANKO posted:

Hey Boomer, now I understand why there is a set of PC Green on the bay sitting at 290 dollars with hours to go.  Quality always brings a high price no matter the brand.

Yes,they were made late in Marx's train production,in 1973 to 1975 I think. There are two variations,with and without a white stripe. I remember seeing these in Western Auto,Otasco,Montgomery Ward and even Radio Shack stores back then for 19.95 for the set. Most folks were all on the hunt for Postwar Lionel then and no one gave it any thought that anyone would ever seriously collect Marx. Marx was usually relegated to the junkboxes under the tables at train meets.

Here are some TOUGH sets to find.

$_59$_1 [1)$_1marx 41850 mohawk freight set boxed c

I'm a simple man...I see a train I like and I buy it! 

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With other E-s fetching such good prices, this is a more affordable alternative, but I think the motors reputation has finally been truly recognized too. Add better acceptance of MPC today and it is little wonder some Marx is on the rise the last few years.

  The William Crooks has better scale proportion's than a General, and has been sought after for that reason too. Up till MTH, you needed to delve into the high end market to get an 1800s engine besides the WC or General.

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





I am liquidating my late brother-in-laws collection of pre-war Marx sets and non-sets he collected over 35 years. I'm in the process of cataloging the sets and then will get into the many boxes of wrapped cars. He never ran any set he purchased, he only collected. I have 82 boxes, including full sets that I have to go thru. He was very big in military sets and has some beautiful and rare cars. If there is any interest out there for what I have, please email me and I'll keep you in mind when I finish the process I'm going through. He also collected Lionel and American Flyer.  I bought all the Lionel, 253 pieces of engines and rolling stock, which was primarily pre-war as that is what I have. I sold the A/Flyer to a relative. There are several complete Marx wind-up sets among others. My email is gm.gilligan@comcast.net

 

I have both tin and plastic Marx and, aside from some coupler issues, they both work well.

Prices on ebay have skyrocketed in the past few years, but I can still find some really nice stuff.

I also have a ton of Plasticville, various paper buildings, some AF and Lionel accessories, and a smidgeon of sctratch built stuff.... plus candy and cracker tins, out of scale Christmas decorations, and repurposed items.  See, I'm running toy trains , NOT model trains and nothing is of any particular scale. 

Tom

Forty Rod posted:

I have both tin and plastic Marx...

So do I, and I'm having a lot of fun with it!  Not to mention the die-cast Marx steamers, like the 333, 666 and 999.

Prices on ebay have skyrocketed in the past few years, but I can still find some really nice stuff.

I've only been interested in Marx since last spring, so I can't comment on what prices have done over the past few years.  But they're still far lower than any decent Lionel equipment of any age.

I also have a ton of Plasticville, various paper buildings, some AF and Lionel accessories, and a smidgeon of sctratch built stuff.... plus candy and cracker tins, out of scale Christmas decorations, and repurposed items.  See, I'm running toy trains , NOT model trains and nothing is of any particular scale. 

I understand completely.  Although I do try to maintain something resembling O or S scale, I'm more interested in how it looks overall than how close to exact scale it is.  When I want to fuss over the niceties of scale, that's when I turn to my mostly-Lionel 3rs layout.

The tinplate locomotives almost always need work, but one of the beauties of Marx is that they're easy to work on, and parts are neither rare nor expensive.  I found a Marx M-10005 streamliner at an antique mall over the summer, and nearly the entire motor and wheel mechanism needed repaired, cleaned and replaced.  But compared to what I had to go through with my Lionel 783 a few years ago, it was almost enjoyable.

I've also grown to appreciate the ingenuity that Marx threw into their train line.  By the time the "deluxe" line appeared, Marx was seriously nipping at the heels of Lionel's 027 lineup.  Makes me wonder what the toy train (as opposed to scale models) landscape would have looked like if the toy train market had remained strong for a few years longer.

But don't tell anyone how much fun Marx trains are.  It'll only raise prices higher!

 

Adriatic posted:

With other E-s fetching such good prices, this is a more affordable alternative, but I think the motors reputation has finally been truly recognized too. Add better acceptance of MPC today and it is little wonder some Marx is on the rise the last few years.

  The William Crooks has better scale proportion's than a General, and has been sought after for that reason too. Up till MTH, you needed to delve into the high end market to get an 1800s engine besides the WC or General.

Thomas Industries made a really nice metal 4-4-0 that came in a couple variations in the 1950s; it's much closer to scale proportions than Lionel, Marx or MTH attempts at an 1800s styled model. Here's a link to information about Thomas' line:

http://www.tcawestern.org/thomas.htm

I have the balloon stack version with several of the stamped tin passenger cars - it takes some detective work to amass a collection of Thomas model trains.

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