1929 Marx, Ask Me Another "Electric Wizard" in Original Box

1929 Marx, Ask Me Another

Very unusual electric question and answer toy called Ask Me Another "The Electric Wizard" manufactured by Marx. Scarce toy was available only through the Sears Roebuck Christmas catalog for 1929-30. Originally selling for 94¢, it's complete with all original parts, original instructions and original box. Best of all this 80 year old toy in excellent+ condition still works!

Toy consists of large 10" x 8½", die cut man's head wearing a red turban decorated with a crescent moon and star printed on thick, heavy cardboard. The figure's hands extend upwards in either side of the face. Each palm has 12 brass lined holes uniformly spaced between the second and fourth fingers. Two cloth covered wires with metal terminals coil out from the back of the toy to the front. 12 pairs of die cut cards, resembling right and left hands, precisely fit over the figures hands. Of course in 2009 the concept is incredibly simple. The left side are questions. The right are answers. Match them up by inserting the wire terminals into the correct hold and a light bulb in the center of the toy lights up. But back in 1929 the concept of a non-vehicle electricity based toy was unique and new.

A large rectangular green wooden block riveted to the back of the toy holds a single D-cell battery. It originally came with a battery which was still with the toy when I found it, but it was beyond saving. The block has its original zinc plated cover which encloses the battery and completes the electrical connection. A card fitted between the battery holder and the figure conceals the underlying wiring. Stamped on the center of this card is its original factory inspection date, August 10, 1929.  

The toy is complete with all 24 (12 pairs) of original hand cards. Each pair also matched in color and several different colors were used. In addition it has its original flat style light bulb, plus its coiled metal battery clip (to insure contact).

The box was beautifully illustrated with the Wizard's face and raised palms. The wire terminals are shown inserted. Symbolic lightning bolts surround the figures head. The box aprons suggest the toy can be used as an educational tool. Each is illustrated with schoolroom, teacher, and class. A gigantic Wizard seems to observe in the background. It's interesting to point out that someone thought enough of the box to keep it in good condition. Two loops of string were knotted through perforations made in the bottom endflap and panel to insure that it would stay closed. I've shown this with green arrows below. 

One of the main panels also has a factory punch out which was never punched. It's rectangular and located at the center of the lower edge. This was used to insert the battery box through it. Apparently the box could be used as a backdrop for the toy......which makes it even more surprising that still exists. 

Incredibly, it also includes its original (and complicated) directions sheet for setting up the toy. Never one to lose a potential marketing gimmick, Marx suggests in the instructions that the toy can also be used to learn Morse Code!  

This was one of the most elusive Marx toys I've ever tried to find. I located only one other boxed example at the Allentown Toy Show last year.

Size: Box 8¾" x 10" x 3½"

Sold: Apr. 2009

Price Sold: $ 225


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Subject: 1929 Marx, Ask Me Another "Electric Wizard" in Original Box

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