1936 Marx, Popeye Express in Original Box

1936 Marx, Popeye Express in Original Box

Magnificent mechanical tin litho (Honeymoon Express) circular toy with all original parts, no restoration, and spectacular complete original box. Toy conservatively grades excellent+ to near mint. The box, which is complete, grades excellent+.

Marx produced two versions of this toy by changing the lithography on the airport hanger located in the center of the toy. Version 1 has the hanger lithographed with "Popeye's Blow Me Down Airport" on the roof along side a portrait of Popeye. Version 2 has the hanger lithoed in orange, black and olive green camouflage.  This auction is for Version 2 and is one of the best examples I've found. I've provided photo's of both versions below for comparison. 

The box is no slouch either grading as one of the top, three or four examples I've seen. It's complete with all interior and exterior endflaps firmly attached and except for two short apron tear has no repairs or restoration. 

Of the 40+ "honeymoon express" variations produced by Marx, the Popeye Express is by far the most scarce and the most distinct. It features a full color illustrated, two sided, lithographed cardboard circular insert in the center. Typically this is missing or has been replaced. Popeye's flies a three dimensional monoplane with working aluminum propeller, while an M-10000 style train (four cars) with comic character portraits on the roof of each car circles below. 

The train speeds through a camouflaged bridge and two tunnels marked "Hamburgers" with Wimpy and cook Sappo on the sides. A switch on one of the tunnels starts and stops the train. The outer edge of the toy is lithoed red and shows several head portraits of Popeye. Concentric blue and white rings of "track" lead to the green pasture and forest in the center where Olive and several children look skyward. In the center is the airport hanger which houses the spring wound motor and attached key. 

The box cover and all four aprons are covered with comic drawings. The front panel shows Popeye waving from his plane "Spinachovia" as he whizzes over the rooftops and above the speeding train. Below him a fuming motorcycle cop races alongside the train, while hanging out of the locomotive an angry Olive shakes her fist. The side panels have the name of the toy flanked by repeating illustrations of Olive, Wimpy and Sappo on one end, and Popeye slamming another guy with a right to the jaw on the other. The reverse side of the box is blank. 

Size: 9¼" diameter. 

Sold: Jun. 2006

Price Sold: $ 1137


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Subject: 1936 Marx, Popeye Express in Original Box

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