1958 Marx, Electric Automatic Baseball Pitching Game in Original Box

1958 Marx, Electric Automatic Baseball Pitching Game in Original Box

This is the infrequently encountered, and even less infrequently working “Automatic Action Baseball Pitching Game” by Marx. Although not considered one of their best toys, from a historical perspective it’s definitely “unique”.

Weighing about 2½ pounds it consists of three white solid hard plastic baseballs, each about 2¼” diameter. The balls rest on a soft plastic “nest”. These are attached to a 1” wide steel ribbon which is manually cocked backwards and clicked into position.

The toy is heavy gauge tin litho and features some great illustrations of two pitchers, a dugout with players, and a catcher with umpire. The underside contains complex schematics and instructions.

Batteries are inserted on the right side. Electric contact is made with a little steel pull down lever. A red button on the front of the toy has some tiny white on black text which reads “to start hold button down for three seconds then release”. What it doesn’t say is once you press that button, don’t for a second get in front of this thing. Each steel ribbon is released in succession starting from left to right. There’s about 4 seconds between each pitch. And they are thrown hard. Very hard! I let one go outside on a lawn to avoid scratching the ball. It flew 30 feet before it even hit the ground once! If you’re unlucky enough to be in front of it when one of the steel ribbons lets go it’s going to hurt! But historically that’s what makes it so important. Nothing like it could ever be produced today. And although it’s a pretty scarce toy when it is found it’s almost never working. Well, this one works…and it works well! Fortunately, the steel ribbons will not release unless batteries are inserted and the button pressed.

The red, blue, and yellow box shows a pitcher and swinging batter on the front and back. Top and bottom panels show an ump declaring a strike behind the catcher, while just to the right a batter whacks one away just as another is being launched. The endflaps contain the toy name and a couple baseballs. One flap has a Reade’s price sticker for $2.22. From the looks of it and considering how old the toy is, I’m guessing that the sticker was placed on the box only recently to cover up a surface tear; probably from removal of the original price.

Size: 12½” x 6” x 4½”. 

Sold: Jun. 2012

Price Sold: $ 135


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Subject: 1958 Marx, Electric Automatic Baseball Pitching Game in Original Box

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