Marx Plastic Toy Soldiers and Playsets

If you collect vintage toy soldiers, action figures or playsets, you are likely quite familiar with the name Louis Marx. Louis Marx and Company created popular toy soldiers and western playsets throughout the 50s, 60s and 70s. These Marx toy soldiers and palysets are all highly sought after today. So for now, let's just take a look at the Toy soldiers in particular.

Louis Marx, the man behind Louis Marx & Company, served in the Army during World War I. After the war was over he returned to making toys and during the 30s and 40s his company (and most other toy soldier manufacturers) made metal figures. This all changed during World War II, but it wasn't just because of shortages of metal. Plastic manufacture had become much more refined and opened up some new possibilities to toy manufacturers. So from the late 1940s onwards, plastic toy soldiers and action figures became all the rage.

Marx action figures continued original production through the 1970s before the company dissolved. Nowadays you can find vintage versions of their toy soldiers, action figures and playsets on Ebay. And there are also lots of Reissues made from the original molds available in various scales, such as 1:32, 60MM, 54mm, 25mm, and 6 inch Scale Figures.


Marx Toy Soldiers
Marx Toy Soldiers

Plastic Toy Soldiers

Marx specialized in plastic figures and play sets. You could buy bags on unpainted toy soldiers and their accessories and paint them yourself. Collectors today prefer that their vintage plastic soldiers stay unpainted. Although, that does strongly depend on the type of collector.

There are many historical periods covered by the Marx figures and playsets, including ancient Rome and its chariot races and the US Civil War. But there's more than just the historical figures, there are also toy soldiers based on popular tv shows (usually Westerns) and some futuristic action figures as well, such as Tom Corbett, Space Cadet.


Louis Marx Playsets

In addition to the individual toy soldiers and painted or unpainted figures that you could buy in bags, Marx also made some really incredible playsets and somewhat specialized in Western playsets. Some of the most popular and collectible Marx Western playsets include the Fort Apache Stockade in 1951, the Roy Rogers Ranch and Mineral City in 1952, the Wyatt Earp playset in 1959, and the Gunsmoke playset in 1960.

Through the 50s and 60s, Marx manufactured high quality and highly detailed hand-painted playsets. Again, many of them were licensed products for tv shows, but there were also some very cool military historical playsets that you could use to build dioramas, such as Custer's Last Stand, 20 Minutes to Berlin, the Battle of Vikings and Knights, and the Charge of the Light Brigade sets.

Marx Playsets TV Commercial 1968

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What's your favorite vintage toy? 6 comments

RVDaniels profile image

RVDaniels 7 years ago from Athens, GA

I didn't realize that toy soldiers were so popular. We had some wooden soldiers when I was a boy.


Research Analyst profile image

Research Analyst 7 years ago

vintage toy soliers action figures is huge business for collectible playsets especially on eBay, I was reading the free weekly newspaper in my local area and saw an add where they were paying cash for these toy soldiers, it seems they are really in high demand.


oldenuf2nobetter 6 years ago

I grew up in the sixties and still have my toy soldiers.I collect them still.Toy collecting is one my hobbies.Enjoyed the hub.thanks!


Jq 5 years ago

Looking for a rubber pirate figure circa 1960 s


dhoward5468@charter.net 5 years ago

Seeking inventory list of contents of Marx Sears Allstate Big Inch Pipeline play set. Help.


Tom Jantz 5 years ago

I have a huge toy soldier collection, mostly plastic but also all kinds and sizes from all eras. I would like to suggest that anyone with a collection of Civil War toy soldiers contact your local library to set up a display. Most librarys have cases for monthly displays and have lockson them. It is the 150 year anniv.of the Civil War so now is a good time. I have done this many times. Some of my favorite toy soldiers are Warriors of the World. They are 60mm figures and represent all eras of history. There were also 6 inch versions of some of the 60mm figures and also some figures, such as ww2 japanese, that have no 60mm counterpart. There were 8 each of the union and confederate soldiers plus one of Lee and Grant. I have fond memories of buying Warriors of the World as a kid in the 1960s at dime stores, mostly the SS Kresge company. The Toy soldier hobby is a good way to make friends. You may want to go to a toy soldier show if you want to get into the hobby. Thanks for letting me post. Tom Jantz, toy soldier fanatic.

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