1950 Marx, (Electro) Magnetic Crane Truck in Original Box

1950 Marx, (Electro) Magnetic Crane Truck in Original Box

Marx produced this Magnetic Crane Truck for only one year. It's sales were limited exclusively through the 1950 Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog for $2.79. The short time that it was available has made it one of the more difficult Marx trucks to locate. This is why locating a high grade example, like this one, complete with the original box is particularly extraordinary. It also still has it's original assembly instruction sheet.

The truck is huge measuring over two feet long. It's all pressed steel including the disk wheels and beautifully painted in bright yellow. It has a one-piece grill-headlight-front bumper assembly. The rear bed floor is red and it has black wheels. 

Mounted to the trailer is a 360° rotating operator's cabin with rear hinged door and blue corrugated roof. A 3-position, 14" long steel boom projects out from the rear of the cabin. Controls located on the cabin's right exterior wall raises, lowers, and locks a manually cranked winch with a 1½" die cast metal crane hook.

The toy is unique in that it operates as a real working electromagnet. Electric current supplied by a single D-cell battery inside the cabin magnetizes a ½" thick disk which hangs from the crane hook. A switch protruding through the rear window of the cabin controls the current. In the ON position electric current supplied by battery magnetizes the disk allowing it to pick up iron objects. By turning it off the disk is no longer magnetized so it drops the load.

It was originally advertised as capable of picking up to two pounds of material, but I think that's a bit exaggerated.The exterior cabin walls have three large decals on them. Two of these have the words "Crane" and "Magnetic" spelled out in block lettering intersecting through the letter "N". Between the intersected words are four black lightning bolts. It also has a safety decal located on the rear door to remind the "operator" to remove the battery when not in use. 

The style of the original box dates back to the early 1930's when Marx used two simple folding cardboard sheets, one inside the other. Printed on the cover is the name of the truck, manufacturer name and address, and a pre-1939 logo. It also has its original insert which, prior to assembly, contained the crane hook.  

Most amazing of all (and as evidence to its infrequent use) are the original instructions which were still inside the box. In addition to explaining the magnet's operation it shows that the boom was originally packed separately from the truck. A cotter pin was used to hold it in place. I believe that the cotter pin has been replaced.

So it doesn't get overlooked....the electromagnet works beautifully (although it demagnetizes more slowly).

Size: 25", Height 13½", Width 5". 

Sold: May 2006

Price Sold: $ 1175


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Subject: 1950 Marx, (Electro) Magnetic Crane Truck in Original Box

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