Some opinions about Marx Trains and Accessories that

are best left unmodified

There are better candidates for your next Kit Bashing Project


Plastic

Marx Windup 490 Long-Nose E-7 Auto Carrier Gussets Marx 1666 Trestle Version Marx 400 Puffer
Marx 490 Windup Long-Nose E-7 Auto Carrier Gussets Marx 1666 Trestle Version Marx 400 Puffer
Marx Transition
Marx Transition

Sheet Metal - Mostly Steel Plated with Tin - And Motors

M10005 DINER Marx 933 Battery Marx 391 - All Black Marx 944 Marx Rare Jubilee Locos
M10005 DINER Marx 933 Windup w/Battery Marx 391 - All Black Marx 944 w/number on side Marx Rare Jubilee Locos
Marx Zinc Frame Cars So Pac White Bottom CP Passenger Cars Marx DC Motor
Zinc Frame Cars So Pac White Bottom CP Passenger Cars Empty Marx DC Motor

Cast Metal

Closed Pilot 999 Clockwork 666 Gray 666 empty
Closed Pilot 999 Clockwork 666 Gray 666 Empty

These pictures and descriptions tell a story about some old toys that people are fond of. Most are not expensive to buy these days. In fact, Marx trains in general are not costly and offer delight to the owners. Since many of the good people in this hobby occasionally enjoy modifying, kit bashing or re-purposing some of these older trains into models they prefer, some of the less common and somewhat harder to find items are in danger of being used up that way. The purpose of this page is to show some of the trains that might just be worth preserving.

If you are considering a kit bashing project, you might want to avoid using one of these models as the starting point.

Please feel free to contact me if you have an opinion about one of these or if you have a candidate you think belongs on this page. Visit my contact page to leave a comment or to send candidate descriptions or photos. It would be good to have a description of the item, a photo of it and another photo of a reference piece for comparison. Spotting marks and key points will help.

Remember, the idea here is not that the items depicted here are not especially valuable, rare or collectible. They are just unusual enough in the universe of mass-produced toy trains that they deserve better treatment than to serve as donors of parts or to be used for kit-bashing projects.


Attached is a photo of the windup 490. Sounds like it ought to be the most common thing in the world, but it's not. This is the first one I've seen in 10 years. It doesn't run real well, and by 1962 when this was made, windup trains were being phased out in favor of battery power anyway. So not many were made and I'll bet a lot of them were discarded. They're difficult to find, and I understand a lot of them you do find have broken parts. The windup 400 looks just like it, so always look closely at plastic windups. Every once in a while you may get lucky. Oh, and this variant isn't in any of the books. So if you do manage to find one, there's a pretty good chance it will be priced the same as an electric.
- Dave Farquhar
Marx 490 Windup
Marx 490 Windup - Photo Dave Farquhar

Marx Bashed 490 - Photo Bill Porter
M10005 Diner. Considered the hardest of the M10005 cars to find.
Only came in Yellow/Brown
- Steve Eastman

Photo by Steve Eastman

Could use a reference photo
933 Cockwork with battery headlight. Thumbscrew on the side is actually the on/off mechanism. Very uncommon.
- Steve Eastman

Battery Compartment - Photo Steve Eastman

Side view showing 'switch' - Photo Steve Eastman
All Black 391. Late pre war when tin was difficult to get.
- Steve Eastman

- Photo Steve Eastman

944 With Number on side. Not very common, may have come in only one set
- Steve Eastman
Photo Steve Eastman
Long Nose E-7. Probably made in large numbers, but by now few with unbroken pilots are around. Also note the one on the left has no yellow stripe. Rare unpowered unit used in one set only.
- Steve Eastman

E-7 Pilot Variations - Photo Steve Eastman

There are two distinct second tier decks for the DeLuxe Auto Carrier Car . Variation No 1 The uprights on the ends have No Gussets where they meet the floor . Variation No 2 There are Gussets where the floor meets the uprights . Variation No 2 is not as common ans No 1 although now that I have "discovered them I seem to see them a little more often but still not as plentiful as No 1.
- Adam Boksz
Photo Adam Boksz
Gun Metal Gray 666. Only 3-4 have been found. Marx never made 3-4 of anything, they just have not publicly surfaced yet.
- Steve Eastman

Photo Steve Eastman

Clockwork 666 actually used a 999 open spoke casting. Pilot on this one is broken. Thought to be only about 65 made.
- Steve Eastman
Photo Steve Eastman
One of those not readily known to non specialist collectors is the 1666 plastic loco made for trestle sets. It does not have an E-unit. It also has a traction tire. That is because it had to be forward only. Climbing a trestle and losing connection would have made it reverse........with the obvious calamity to follow! That 1666 was different from the average version. It came with no front trucks, and sometimes no rear trucks. Because of the missing front trucks, Marx actually molded a whole different shell for it.
- Pete Miksich

I believe there were two mountain climbing trestle sets. A large on with two loco's and a small one with just one loco. Not 100% sure though. - Al Schindler
Photo Pete Miksich

Reference Photo Bill Porter
Marx 400 electric puffer - DR motor with no reverse as that's where the puffer is located.
- Rob Cunfer

Photo Rob Cunfer

Photo Rob Cunfer
Rare closed spike 999. Note the pilot - or cowcatcher - has raised bars and the area behind them is filled in. This one was restored from a basket case pile of junk by Todd Hein with plenty of help from Al Osterud and Steve Eastman.
Photo Todd Hein

Repainted plain pilot 999 - Luckily it was not the rare version
Photo Bill Porter
Marx Canadian Pacific locos are often referred to as CP's for obvious reasons. They are also often called 'Jubilee' by long time Marx collectors due to the historical part the 4-4-4 Jubilee loco played in the development of the model. There are plenty of variations in trim, features and wheel arrangements. The catalog numbers commonly associated with the types are 494, 495 and 3000. Any of the 3000 side board jubillee locos are HTF and probably should be kept whole if possible, but of those these two are likely the most rare...
- Rob Cunfer

Photo Rob Cunfer

Photo Rob Cunfer
Here's one more rare variation of a Jubilee loco... It's not the shell that's rare as much as the early style double reduction motor with spoke drivers... Note the weights, one on front and there's another in the cab...
- Rob Cunfer

Photo Rob Cunfer

Need a Reference Photo.
In 1939, Marx made some 4-wheel frame cars with frames plated with zinc rather than painted or lithographed. Not all are well-documented or even mentioned. The zinc base cars are somewhat rare and worthy of preservation. The metallic surface changes over time and may be anything from bright to dull.
- Rob Cunfer

Very rare (undocumented - surprise!) zinc-frame tender
Photo Rob Cunfer

Here is a set of freight cars with zinc frames. It may well be that only 4-wheel cars had zinc frames.
Photo Rob Cunfer
One more odd ball, they're probably not "rare" but you see the southpac diesels with the white bottoms much less than you see the version with the silver. And being that they're older they're usually more beat up??
- Rob Cunfer.

Southern Pacific Diesel - White Bottom.
Photo Rob Cunfer

Need a Reference Photo - Silver Bottom
If you find anything with this motor - do not disturb... it's the rare DC motor.....
- Rob Cunfer

Photo Rob Cunfer

Photo Rob Cunfer
Plastic bodies with the scale type "B" trucks. Very nicely proportioned and not too numerous. It appears there are a total of 8 original items of this sort including cranes in two colors (gray and red), a B&O caboose and a Pennsy gondola in addition to the ones pictured here. - Several contributors
Permission granted by the seller on eBay. She did not provide a name for the credit, but, did grow up not far from where I did.

You can probably figure that this photo shows the undersides.
These tinplate 6-inch cars were made in the late 1930's. Some were on 4-wheel chassis.
Some had 8-wheel trucks. There were 8 different car names:
246 Montreal,
247 Toronto,
249 Ottawa,
250 Winnipeg,
253 Hamilton,
248 Quebec,
251 Vancouver
and 253 Calgary.

These one-way couplers were not original. All cars were made with tab-and-slot couplers.
Photo Bill Porter

Photo Bill Porter