Marx Car & Battery Powered Dump Truck, ca. 1938

Value (2011) | $3,400 Auction$4,600 Auction
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GUEST:
I received these as Christmas or birthday presents when I was a kid back in Minnesota. This was in the late '30s or early '40s.

APPRAISER:
Well, of course, 1941 we go to war, they stop making tin toys.

GUEST:
Yeah, that's right.

APPRAISER:
And so these date definitely pre-war. And it looks like you took very good care of your toys.

GUEST:
Well, we had to. My folks were not wealthy, and if we didn't take care of our things, there were no replacements.

APPRAISER:
Well, what you’ve brought here is a wonderful Marx roadster is a travel trailer. I love it with the caravan trailer decal on it. The condition is amazing. I don't think I've ever seen one with that decal still on there.

GUEST:
Is that right?

APPRAISER:
And it's a wind-up, which was the classic toy of the 1930s. You wound it up, and you let it go. Marx was probably one of the great American tin toy makers of the '20s and '30s. This is a terrific truck and of course, as you know, if you watch the Roadshow, we love to see original boxes. It's a coal truck, and usually when you see this truck, it's a wind-up just like that sedan.

GUEST:
Uh-huh.

APPRAISER:
But this is a little different. Instead of a wind-up motor, it has this compartment with four batteries. And when we turn this, there the lights go, and the motor, there we go.

GUEST:
Yeah, it putts along.

APPRAISER:
It putts along, so it's battery-operated and with electric lights. Now, what's really amazing about this is, everybody thinks battery-operated toys didn't really come in till the '60s, when they started making the toys in Japan. This was like a pioneer battery toy. I think a conservative auction price for the roadster with this trailer, travel trailer, could be about $400 to $600.

GUEST:
Yeah?

APPRAISER:
Conservatively. I think, in this condition, which is extraordinary condition, with the original box, a conservative auction price would be $3,000 to $4,000.

GUEST:
Man... alive. Man alive! Wunderbar!

APPRAISER:
I thought you'd be happy with that.

GUEST:
I'm very happy with that. Thank you very much.

Appraisal Details

Appraiser
Noel Barrett Antiques & Auctions Ltd.
Carversville, Pennsylvania
Appraised value (2011)
$3,400 Auction$4,600 Auction
Event
Eugene, OR (June 04, 2011)
Period
20th Century
Form
Truck
Material
Metal, Tin

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