c.1939 Marx, Wonder Cyclist in Original Box

c.1939 Marx, Wonder Cyclist in Original Box

In 1931 the Louis Marx Co. produced their first clockwork velocipede. It was listed in the Sears-Roebuck 1931 catalog as the "Kiddie Cyclist" and sold for 89¢. It was relisted in 1932, but this time as the "Kiddy Cyclist". Note the difference in the spelling. That was its final year of manufacture by Marx.

In 1938-39 Unique Art Mfg. Co. "borrowed" the name Kiddie Cyclist to produce the first patented version of the toy. Not to be outdone, Marx updated their earlier toy and reused the Wonder Cyclist name, but it was too late. The concept was already patented by another company. After a few months it was withdrawn. The toy in this auction is that second Marx version.

Most likely because of its patent infringement, today, the Wonder Cyclist is a scarce toy especially in higher grades. It may also explain why it was one of the few Marx toys that does not have a Marx logo. Only the box identifies it as a Marx product making it frequently misidentified as the Unique Art toy. It never reappeared in the Sears catalog and there are no references to it in any of the Marx guides. 

Basically it's an "idyllic" clockwork velocipede with blue eyes, blond hair, red lips, white teeth, and rosy red cheeks. The motor underneath the seat turns the rear wheels and friction does the rest. Steering depends on the terrain. The bell rings as it moves. It's made from an unusual combination of several lithoed metals including steel (bicycle frame), tin (wheels, boy's arms and legs), and aluminum (body and head).

The box was beautifully illustrated and colored in rich primary colors (blue, yellow and red). The Marx name appears on every panel including the endflaps. The logo was printed only on the top and bottom flaps. 

Size 8" long x 9½" tall x 5" wide

Sold: Sep. 2008

Price Sold: $ 284


Send Comments

Email Address:
Confirm Email Address:
Subject: c.1939 Marx, Wonder Cyclist in Original Box

security code