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this time we're going to find out why Marx beat
Hi everyone. I'm Roger Carp, senior editor at Classic Toy Trains magazine
and it's great to be back to you at the Emporium.
First of all, I want to thank all of you who have commented
on these videos either on Facebook or on the Classic Toy Trains forum.
Your comments have been very kind and very helpful.
You've made some good insights into how I can improve these videos
and make them more useful for you and that's always been my goal.
i'd never claimed to be a pro at doing videos the way my colleague Bob Keller
So this week we're going to look at
a way that Marx beat the giants.
Here's what i'm talking about. A few years ago I put together a book called
101 Classic Toy Trains
in which I evaluated all the trains and accessories from the post
World War 2 period, O gauge as well as S gauge.
It was a great of work and a great deal of fun because it caused me
to go through all the different lines of toy trains.
I was familiar with Lionel and pretty much familiar with American Flyer
but I've got to be honest I didn't know as much about Marx
as I should. So I started going through and I discovered some real gems
in the Marx line. Here's an example. If you've read the book you will
that I rated rather highly the crane car.
Lionel had a great crane car, one of those wrecking cranes on
on trucks where you could move it around if you were a child
or an adult and fix up a wreck, clean up some
damage the railroad had done. So I was impressed with Lionel's.
Then I looked at the Flyer and I was impressed with that.
But Marx beat them all. How?
Let me show you. Here is the marx crane car.
like Lionel's, it's built on a die-cast metal
frame so that gives it a lot of bulk and strength.
You've got a realistic cab
molded out of plastic. But here's what I really love about this, and it shows that
the people at Marx
understood what kids are all about. There's a light on top.
What does that mean? That means if you are seven
or seventy you can have a wreck going on in the dark of night
position your crane car there, turn on the light,
and have the drama and the excitement
of cleaning up a wreck under a spotlight.
Seems like a real simple idea, probably was, but
what a breakthrough. Really shows that the people at Marx, the designers,
the marketers, they knew what kids liked and they were going to do their best to
give them something fun
an exciting to try. Marks put on there two knobs that were going to control
the basic motions of the crane.
The *** that's closer
to the front raised the boom up and down
the *** that was in the back would control
the hook. Simple. But so much fun.
And then we have the light beaming and we'd have good,
good times and some realism. So that's why I think that when it comes to crane cars
Marks beat the giants. Thanks everyone.
See you next time.
Roger Carp is a nationally known expert in the field of toy train history.
Read his articles in every issue of Classic Toy Trains magazine.