1950's Marx, Mechanical Leprechaun Tricycle with Revolving Bell

1950's Marx, Mechanical Leprechaun Tricycle with Revolving Bell

This toy is truly an enigma. I purchased it at an auction where many Marx prototype toys were being sold. I couldn't find any reference to it. I don't know if it was a production toy or not. 

Taking the mechanical tricycle toy concept a bit further than Mickey, Fred, or Santa, this mechanical Leprechaun is a complete mystery. Structurally the tricycle is a standard Linemar design, but that's where the familiarity ends. The toy was fabricated using three different materials. The tricycle, bell, and wheels are tin litho. The yellow boots are celluloid. The body and head are plastic, but have properties that more closely resemble wax. 

The tricycle was lithoed using a western theme with a simulated wood grain frame, spoked wagon wheels, and a bell lithoed with two bareback Indian riders with desert scenery in the background. In addition, lithoed behind the Leprechaun is a rolled up blanket.  On the right side of the front wheel frame is a shotgun! On the left is a coiled lasso rope. I don't recall any stories of Leprechauns carrying shotguns.

The rear plate below the bell is marked with the Marx logo and copyrighted. It's also marked "Made in Japan" which leads me to believe that this was a Linemar product with the Marx name on it. 

The Leprechaun has a child-like cartoon appearance. It's difficult to tell if it's a boy or girl.  The body was molded from a flexible green plastic possibly polyethylene, but it has a wax-like feel to it similar to the fake vampire teeth kids wear for Halloween. The back is embossed "Made in Japan". The hands were hand painted. The head was applied separately. Facial features including the hat were hand painted. The plastic used to make the head is stiffer, less flexible than the plastic body. Oh, and the is head movable, but only slightly.

It has an attached cast iron key and the toy itself works great!

Size: 3½" long x 4" tall x 2¼" wide. 

Sold: Apr. 2005

Price Sold: $ 177


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Subject: 1950's Marx, Mechanical Leprechaun Tricycle with Revolving Bell

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