|The Marx "Untouchables" Playset. Those cars were|
made by Line Mar, Marx's Japanese subsidiary.
I gave my presentation before the Capital Miniature Auto Collectors Club. The talk provided a background for the toys, made between 1949 and 1963, along with examples from my surviving childhood toys. Also on display was the Straco Express layout, which showcased smaller Japanese toy cars from the period.
Part 1 features the final version of the talk in written form, subsequent parts include galleries of the toys actually discussed.
Line Mar was an import subsidiary of Louis Marx & Co. and was founded in the 1950’s. It continued as a separate entity until 1968, when Marx absorbed the operation into the parent company. Line Mar products were manufactured in Japan, and were sold under their own brand. Because the logo was (deliberately) so close to Marx’s, Line Mar toys are frequently misidentified on eBay as being Marx.
|Line Mar made this tractor trailer for the Washington, DC-|
based Giant Food chain.
|Heidi was the Giant Food house brand for baked goods. Note the |
Line Mar logo on the door. Line Mar was one of the few companies
to brand their toys.
|The Line Mar Allied Van Lines truck. Probably produced for Allied.|
|The rear door opened, so you could load your own cargo for moving |
(for me it was mostly alphabet blocks). Note the logo on the door.
|The two cars in the back came from a Marx "Untouchables"|
playset. The convertible in the foreground was offered
for separate sale by Line Mar.
|The "Untouchables" cars were marked Rolls Royce. The Line Mar|
convertible was marked Cadillac. Neither is correct, of course.
|The Marx "Untouchables" Rolls Royce.|
|The "Untouchables" Rolls Royce sedan. Unlike the convertibles,|
this car has no interior detail, leaving the friction motor
|What is the origin of this 3"-long penny toy from Line Mar?|
We may never know.
Was it produced for Pepco as a premium? A giveaway? I have no idea, although one suggestion offered at the meeting was that a photo of a power company truck -- which just happened to have the Pepco livery -- was used as a design guide for this general-purpose toy.
Part 1: The Golden Age of Japanese Tin Toy Vehicles 1949-1963
Part 2: Bandai
Part 3: Haji and Masudaya
Part 4: Cragstan and Shioji
Part 6: Nomura and others (Marusan, Yonezawa, Alps, Ichico, ATC)