1936 Marx Play Boy Sparkling Machine Gun In Original Box

1936 Marx Play Boy Sparkling Machine Gun In Original Box

Over the years I've come across perhaps less than half a dozen examples of Louis Marx's early pressed steel Play Boy Sparkling Machine Gun. It's a scarce toy, but the few times when I have found it in the past it's always been well used, dented, and has lots of rust. That's why when I recently found this toy at the Allentown, PA toy show I knew it was something special. It not only grades as the best example (excellent+ to near mint), but also comes with the first original box I've seen.

Made from all pressed steel it was lithographed in bright blue, yellow and red. The Marx logo was lithoed onto the top rear of the gun just above the red trigger guard. The guard looks like a handle attached to the rear of the toy and protects the ring-like trigger. It has its original front sight with removable flint plus its original fold down metal rod stand.

I've seen three versions of the stand; 1) as a simple, single fold down "foot" type stand which is located on the underside center of the gun to balance it while firing, 2) a fold down stand with spreading clamps that form two "feet", and 3) a separately attached tripod which screws into a threaded hole on the underside of the frame. This is version 1. It is not missing the tripod. It has no threaded screw hole.

The gun operates using an attached cast iron key to wind it's internal clockwork motor. Pulling back on the rear ring underneath the red trigger guard causes it to repetitively fire with a loud RAT-TAT-TAT sound. Simultaneously it emits sparks from the barrel tip and barrel side vents. Best of all it works great with sparks, sound, everything!

You'll notice that there's a slight angle at the center of the gun where the end of the ribbed barrel attaches to the blue and yellow "cartridge" block. Although the box shows that the top of the barrel even with the cartridge, every example I've seen has this slight angle. There is no empty space, play or looseness between these parts.

And then there's the original box. The graphics are fantastic. Repeated on all four panels it shows a grinning youngster (of course wearing a tie), bending over, aiming, and firing the machine gun. The drawing of the machine gun takes up half the panel! Sparks in the form of lines and stars are shown shooting out from the barrel with the name of the toy in large block lettering. Two of the gunner's buddies watch from behind him as he aims. They all look like they're having a great time. Also note that the box is missing all of the endflaps plus approximately 5% of the adjacent cardboard. Despite the missing sections it's really, really neat! I also made a cardboard sleeve which fits perfectly inside the box to retain its shape. It can be easily removed if you choose.

Size: 23"

Date Sold: Jan. 2010

Price Sold: $ 233


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Subject: 1936 Marx Play Boy Sparkling Machine Gun In Original Box

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