c.1955 Marx Lone Ranger Flashlight Pistol In Original Box

c.1955 Marx Lone Ranger Flashlight Pistol In Original Box

Manufactured by Marx, this is The Lone Ranger 45 Flasher Frontier Model Flashlight Pistol in its original box. It's a large plastic clicker gun which has a small flashlight bulb screwed into the barrel tip using a red plastic "washer". It's never been used. Both the toy and box are in amazing near mint condition. Not surprisingly, I could find no reference for this very unusual toy.

The closest reference that I found was listed in Jim Schleyer's book, Collecting Western Toy Guns. It was listed as a prototype clicker pistol, but was not a flashlight. The grips and Lone Ranger Lettering were also different. Greenberg's Guide to Marx Toys, Volume I only listed the name as a single line item title, plus current value as "NRS" (no recent sale).

The toy is all plastic; black barrel and frame with ultra high relief cream colored grips. On the right grip is the Ranger's horse Silver framed by twisted rope. The left grip is a steerhead with twisted rope. "The Lone Ranger" logo is inscribed and painted in silver on the left barrel side. The Marx logo appears in raised letters on the right (black circular) area inside the grip. It has a die cast metal trigger, hammer, and plunger rod. All parts are original.

The plunger rod is internal and forces the battery to make contact against the bulb terminal after the trigger is squeezed. The two are connected by a metal spring, but there is nothing to complete the circuit. Touching a bulb to a single battery connected with a spring will not cause it to glow. It has no internal wiring, no contact points to complete a circuit (that would function to light the bulb), uses only one battery, and the barrel is not metal lined. So how does it work? By contemporary standards there is no way for it to work, but this is not a contemporary toy! As you can see in the second photo, I did figure it out.

The box is awesome. It's beautifully designed in black, white, yellow and red, and is loaded with images of the Lone Ranger, Silver, the Flashlight Pistol, western type text, and silhouettes of the pistol and Ranger. One of the side panels shows "directions" for replacing the battery (but they were useless in getting it to work).

The box indicates that it comes "complete with battery and bulb". This, in itself, is very unusual. There was no battery inside the toy or box, however, based on how the toy actually functions it would've been impractical to include one. All of this leads me to believe that it was either a prototype, or a very rare production toy.

Size: 9ΒΌ"

Date Sold: Nov. 2009

Price Sold: $ 280


 

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