1930 Marx, Coast Defense in Original Box

1930 Marx, Coast Defense in Original Box

One of the earliest and most difficult to find of all Marx "circling toys" is the Coast Defense military toy. High grade examples complete with original circling aircraft in its original box are very difficult to find. In this case both the toy and original box are in outstanding excellent+ to near mint condition. 

Marx produced two variations of this toy. The first, like this example, has a 5" long corrugated, tin plated silver zeppelin circling the field. The second substitutes the zeppelin with a low wing Army Air Corp. monoplane. The zeppelin version has a curved tin litho mural scene connected to the rear base of the toy. It  shows a row of seven military barracks with flags and wind socks. Three monoplanes and a large zeppelin fly through the bright yellow, red, and orange sunset above the camp installation. The monoplane toy has no mural and is completely version. 

Maxine Pinsky in Greenberg's Guide to Marx Toys, volume 1 states that the monoplane version is more difficult to find. However, I believe this to be exactly the opposite. Over the past 15 years, of those with high grade original box, I've found three with the monoplane. But this is the very first one I've found with the zeppelin and mural. Just as important.... both the zep and mural are original; neither is a reproduction. 

As a cost savings matter a "generic" base was designed to accommodate either version. Four short slots around the rear edge held the background in place. The "wall-less"' airplane version also has these same slots, but they're empty. Frequently it's mistakenly assumed that the airplane version is missing the back wall. 

Unlike many of the circular "Honeymoon" Marx toys which use a motor located in the center of the base, the Coast Defense clockwork motor is housed in a three dimensional hangar fixed to the rear edge. This allows the zeppelin to rotate off-center, flying directly above the airfield. It makes a loud buzzing sound as it runs. The hangar has a start/stop lever and uses an attached key. "Coast Defense" was lithoed on the roof. 

The 9" diameter embossed platform has green areas representing grass and a rectangular beige fort surrounded by bricks. Two rows of bricks also line the outer edge of the base. Inside the fort are three "disappearing" guns manned by seven flat soldiers. The guns move back and forward; with the two end guns moving in opposite direction to the center. In the forward position the barrels are automatically raised. The barrels lower, or "disappear" as they withdraw. 

Printed in brown, orange, and white the main panels of the box are handsomely illustrated with an accurate representation of a fortified long range cannon. The side panels show a zeppelin escorted by two biplanes with three large gun barrels in the lower left corner. Huge blocked letters of "COAST DEFENSE" appear on every panel. 

It originally sold for 59¢.

Size: Box 9¼" x 9¼" x 3". Toy 9" diameter.

Sold: Nov. 2008

Price Sold: $ 1102


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Subject: 1930 Marx, Coast Defense in Original Box

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