c.1961 Marx, Mechanical Mountain Climber in Original Box

c.1961 Marx, Mechanical Mountain Climber in Original Box

This lithographed tinplate Mechanical Mountain Climber toy manufactured by Marx, Japan was unused store stock; never used because the clockwork tram was not working correctly. I've since had it repaired and it works great! The toy is in NM+ condition and comes complete with its original box. 

The folding, three piece mountain railway consists of a set of parallel tracks which intersect at either end. The sides and top were realistically lithographed as a high altitude mountain railway complete with white capped mountains and a scenic castle beside a lake. A single, double ended tram with attached key and metal wheels passes over the paired tracks, including a raised bridge in the center.

The two end sections essentially rely on gravity to move the tram back and forth. The center bridge, supported by the two end sections, rises "hump-like" several inches above the lower track. An arrow on the train roof indicates its correct start placement direction. Beginning at the higher elevated end, the tram runs from one end to the other and then crosses onto the parallel track with the bridge. As it nears the bridge its gear mechanism located underneath the car engages repetitive ridges, resembling ties, cut into the track. This automatically starts the clockwork motor running which pulls it up and over the hump. Once on the other side the ridges end and the motor shuts off. The forward motion provides enough power for it to ramp up the "start" incline and repeat the cycle. 

This type of gear mechanism was used as early as WWI. The intermittent use of the motor allows it to run for an unusually long amount of time. I ran it only once to prevent it from scratching and it worked beautifully!

The box was illustrated with a simple color drawing showing the cross-over tram high in the snow covered mountains near a station. The long side panels show the tram passing over the bridge with the mountains in the background. Both toy and box are marked with "Made in Japan" and include the Marx Japanese trademark.

Size: 33".

Sold: Dec. 2008

Price Sold: $ 181


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Subject: c.1961 Marx, Mechanical Mountain Climber in Original Box

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