Now I've already written about why I wanted these accessories. But I'd like discuss the what, and take a closer look at the piece itself.
Marx made many low-cost toy train accessories, both before and after World War II. This floodlight was one of them. It featured two bulbs in sockets that rotated both side-to-side and up-and-down, so you could position the lights however you chose.
The interesting thing about this piece is how Marx economized to keep the cost down, yet still put out a durable -- and useful -- toy train accessory.
|See the similarities? |
It even has the same red paint!
The base was used for several different accessories, such as the 413a switchman's tower I also purchased at the meet. That pillar (and base) was also used for street lamps, searchlight bases and other accessories.
And look closely at that girder column. It's the same one used in the 413a switchman's tower (and a few other things besides). Need I say that the light assembly also shows up in different pieces.
Marx recycled as many components as they could to make new and different toys. In the end, they could produce attractive and good quality products at a price that made them more than competitive. Dime stores like Woolworth's and catalog retailers like Sears (the 1930's equivalents of Wal-Mart and Amazon) would often have a low-end item or two from Lionel and American Flyer, and a plethora of products from Marx.
| One thing about exposed bulbs -- they can|
put out a lot of light!
And because it's made of metal, it actually looks a little more realistic than you might think, especially when the room lights are dimmed. Marx toys may be cheap and simple, but examine them carefully, and you'll discover excellent examples of American ingenuity!
|Positional instead of fixed position lights. |
Marx added value where it counted.