1931 Marx, Mechanical "12th St. Trolley Car" in Original Box

1931 Marx, Mechanical

Spectacular example of Marx's scarce Mechanical tin litho 12th St. Trolley Car complete with it's even more scarce original box. Added to this, it's an extraordinarily rare electrified version. 

The 12th St. Trolley was an unusual toy for its time since it was designed as both a floor toy, or a track operated train. It's designed with an exceptional amount of detail rarely seen. To get some idea of the scale check out the first photo below showing the larger passenger windows. Each measures ½" x ¾". There's eight windows on each side and every one of them is embossed on all four sides. My camera couldn't show the embossing so it appears flat. In addition each end of the car has a pair of double entry doors. If you look at the lowest window at the bottom of each door you can see the steps leading into the car (exactly as you would expect to see in a real trolley). 

On each end of the streetcar are two wide windows. In front, above the headlamp, you can see the motorman on duty. On the opposite end the conductor accepts tickets from boarding passengers. A total of 39 people were lithographed in the doors and windows....plus one dog.

The top of the car has a copper conducting rod with a looped end and a pressed fiber lever which turns on the headlamp. It has its original oversized flat style bulb and it works beautifully! Below the bulb is a die cut zinc cow catcher. In this case it protects the bulb. A non-electrified version can be more "easily" found because it was originally less expensive and more were sold. Even without a headlamp it's still a tough toy to find.

It has an attached key and a spring driven mechanism with one difference. Fitted to the center of the rear axle is a bell striker. Yes, it also has a chrome plated bell which rings continuously as it runs. The wheels are two piece chrome plated tin disks. The front wheels pivot and can be locked into place to make a continuous circle. The original locking pin is still fitted into a slot just above the inside front axle. The wind-up mechanism works great!

The box for this toy is just amazing. Prior to this example I had seen only pieces of it; never a complete box. Two panels were illustrated with an excruciatingly detailed fine line illustration. Colored only in orange and black it depicts an incredibly busy street scene. Two trolleys are shown. One on the right is moving swiftly clanging its bell to warn the multitude of side pedestrians to stand back. A second trolley (center of the box) is stopped to let passengers on. Two super streamlined auto's are also stopped waiting for the passengers to board. Behind the cars looms the big city with buildings stretching off to the horizon. The company name and address are printed just below the street scene, but extremely light so that it doesn't take your eyes off the detail. The remaining two box panels are blank. Overall it has to be one of the most "handsome" box illustrations I've seen.  

Size: 9". 

Sold: Jul. 2006

Price Sold: $ 1811


Send Comments

Email Address:
Confirm Email Address:
Subject: 1931 Marx, Mechanical "12th St. Trolley Car" in Original Box

security code