1936 Marx, 4-Motored TWA Airmail Biplane in Original Box

1936 Marx, 4-Motored TWA Airmail Biplane in Original Box

Magnificent quadruple motor, tin litho, mechanical TWA Airmail Biplane by Marx. Incredibly scarce toy grades excellent and comes complete with it's original box and insert. It's the first time I've found it in blue and only the second box I've seen for this toy. 

The entire airplane is lithoed deep blue with a trace of green. The fuselage has white lithoed highlights and original decals. This includes eight windows (seven passenger seats plus the Captain) on either side. It's actually the only plane of this style which showed the Captain. A rear cabin door is on either side behind the last passenger. "U.S. Mail" is lithoed just in front of the tail wings on each side of the fuselage. "TWA" appears on both upright rudders. The early type Marx logo is lithoed is at the top center behind the cockpit. This was the first Marx plane that a twin rudder. 

The wing assembly is made from identical upper and lower sections which were painted with black highlights. Notches, tab slots, everything; both are the same. This reduced manufacturing costs by making it easier to assemble and eliminated the design for another wing. Polished tin vertical supports and struts were used to permanently join the two wings. Over the next 15 years the same toy, minus the upper wing, was produced in many colors and variations. Each was sold as a unique toy. 

The motor housings are red with black "holes".  The undersides of the motors are complete with metal all the way around. Later configurations were open on the bottom to reduce cost. The four, blue celluloid propellers have been replaced. Over time the original celluloid becomes brittle and cracks. Unlike many toys from the 1950's there is no connection from the wind-up motor to the propellers. As a result when it moves forward the propellers sometimes remain stationary, or rotate only periodically. 

It has two gray balloon landing gear wheels and a single narrower metal wheel in the rear. The plane is able to move in a straight line, or in circles by changing the position of the rear axle. It still has it's original clip which holds the axle in place. The motor is spring wound with an attached key. .

The box is a simple text style. However, the rear panel has a (really neat) complex, four step, illustrated schematic showing how to assemble "the aeroplane". The endflaps have all been replaced. The insert resembles a wide tent to protect the propellers.

Greenberg's Guide to Marx Toys, Volume II indicates that in addition to this version a yellow/red/green was also produced. However about a year ago I found a third version which was orange and cream. 

In 1936 it cost 47¢.

Size: 18½" wingspan, 13" fuselage. 

Sold: Feb. 2007

Price Sold: $ 1124


Send Comments

Email Address:
Confirm Email Address:
Subject: 1936 Marx, 4-Motored TWA Airmail Biplane in Original Box

security code