c.1931 Marx, Mechanical Merry Makers with Marquee and Original Box

c.1931 Marx, Mechanical Merry Makers with Marquee and Original Box

I couldn't believe it when I found this toy. Keep in mind it was made nearly 85 years ago, of course by the Louis Marx Company. It's a scarce Mechanical "Merry Makers" Mouse Band COMPLETE with its original box AND packaging papers. Everything is original; parts, paint, etc., and nothing has been touched up or repaired. What's even more amazing..it's by far the absolutely highest condition Merry Makers toy and box I've ever seen.

I don't know how it was stored, or where it came from, but somehow its escaped the ravages of time and play. The toy easily grades near mint+....dare I say mint condition. And the box grades as astonishing near mint.

It's also the only boxed example I've ever seen with its original packaging papers. These are the materials that hold the toy parts in place inside the box after manufacturing. They're not even torn! In fact they still retain the original shape of the parts they held. This means there's a good chance that it was only recently removed after many years.

There are three variations of this toy and although all of them are scarce there is a difference in rarity:

1. Extremely difficult - with marquee and violinist. A large half-circle tin litho Marx Merry Makers band marquee is inserted into the back of the piano. The mouse sitting on top of the piano plays a violin.

2. Very difficult - no marquee, but the mouse sitting on top of the piano plays the violin.

3. Difficult - no marquee, no violin. The mouse sitting on top of the piano conducts with a baton.

This toy is the first variation with marquee and violinist. In addition to being really hard to find, super high grade condition examples like this one are just about non-existent.

Additional Information
Originally selling for 98¢ the toy features a 4-piece mouse jazz band lithoed in white, red, and black. One plays an upright piano, a second dances, a third drums, and the fourth plays a violin (or holds a baton) while sitting on top of the piano. They wear matching formal tuxedos complete with white button shirts, red vests, white gloves and spats (button-down shoes).

Lithoed on the piano are wide-eyed mice running across the piano keys. The back of the piano has the Marx name, trademark, patent numbers and toy name in block lettering. A cat face decorates the sides and backs of the chairs.

The top, front and rear panels of the box were printed with the Mouse band under full swing. The illustration perspective implies a theatrical stage complete with conductor. The curtain is drawn and we are the audience. The box bottom is blank. Legend has it that the styling of the mice on the box was based on Cab Calloway.

The two interior flaps are very important, yet are frequently missing. One shows a schematic with the figures assembled in working position. The other includes extensive text directions for assembly and operation. The packaging papers are blank paper and completely intact.

Size: Approx. 10" x 9" x 5" assembled.

Sold: May, 2017

Price Sold: $ 1900


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Subject: c.1931 Marx, Mechanical Merry Makers with Marquee and Original Box

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