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[row] [span3] Marx Toys Logo
[/span3] [span3] Marx Toys Logo
[/span3] [span3] Marx Toys Logo
[/span3] [span3] Marx Toys Logo
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Founded in 1919 in New York City by Louis Marx and his brother David Marx, the company’s basic policies were “Give the customer more toy for less money,” and “Quality is not negotiable,” which made the company highly successful. Initially the company had no product designs and no manufacturing capacity, so Marx raised money by positioning itself as a middle man, studying available products, finding ways to make them cheaper, and then closing a sale. Funds raised from these effort proved sufficient to purchase tooling for two obsolete tin toys called the Alabama Minstrel Dancer and Zippo the Climbing Monkey from toymaker Ferdinand Strauss, one of Louis Marx’s former employers. With subtle changes, Marx was able to turn these toys into hits, selling more than 8 million of each within two years. Marx then bought the company it had subcontracted to manufacture the toys. By 1922, both Louis and David Marx were millionaires. Initially Marx produced few original toys, but was able to predict what toys would be hits and manufacture them less expensively than the competition.

Louis Marx, Time Magazine Cover, 1955

Louis Marx, Time Magazine Cover, 1955

Marx was the largest toy manufacturer in the world by the 1950s. In a 1955 article, Time Magazine proclaimed Louis Marx “the Toy King,” and that year, the company had about $50 million in sales. Marx was the initial inductee in the Toy Hall of Fame, and his plaque proclaimed him “The Henry Ford of the toy industry.”

At its peak, Louis Marx and Company operated three manufacturing plants in the United States: Erie, Pennsylvania, Girard, Pennsylvania, and Glen Dale, West Virginia. The Erie plant was the oldest and largest, while the Girard plant, acquired in 1934 with the purchase of Girard Model Works, produced toy trains, and the Glen Dale plant produced toy cars. Additionally, Marx operated numerous plants overseas.

In the 1960s Marx capitalized on the space toy and robot craze. It produced the Big Loo “Your friend from the Moon” in 1964 and originated the popular Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots.

The Marx name has changed hands several times. Despite the similar names, neither of the Marx-branded companies of today have any connection to the original Louis Marx and Company.

The original Marx toys are highly regarded by collectors. *

* en.wikipedia .org

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