1935 Marx, Dick Tracy Sparkling Pop Pistol in Original Box

1935 Marx, Dick Tracy Sparkling Pop Pistol in Original Box

The Marx company produced several versions of their Sparkling Pop Pistol including the Lone Ranger, G-Man (in black and chrome plated), and a generic variation without a decal. However this is the first example of the Sparkling Pop Pistol in a Dick Tracy version that I've found. This realistic looking pistol comes complete with its original comic illustrated color box. It's also the only box I've seen.

Like the other versions, the Dick Tracy Sparkling Pop Pistol weighs a hefty ¾ pound. It was the largest one-handed metal gun produced by Marx. It's all pressed steel and finished in baked-on black enamel with cross-hatched grips on both sides. The trigger is heavy gauge polished steel and it has no guard. 

It's interesting to point out that the Marx logo was not stamped onto the pistol, nor was it printed onto the decal. 

The small half-band steel clip near the barrel tip (below the front sight) is made from non-rusting zinc. It's used to keep the flint centered in the barrel and is removable, so it's quite often missing. 

A squeeze of the trigger produces a single loud pop sound and a brilliant flash at the barrel tip. And yes, the sparkling mechanism works beautifully. 

There are three features that are unique to this toy. 1) The "faux" bullet cylinder was plated with a copper finish on both sides. First time I've seen this. 2) The right side of the frame has a red metal concho bead or "jewel" embedded inside a metal frame. Again, I've never seen this before. And 3) is its Dick Tracy decal on the left side of the frame. 

A note about the decal. The image of Tracy was taken directly from the comic strip. Below and to the right is a facsimile signature of the creator and artist Chester Gould. It has an unusual "Made in U.S. of America" slogan printed around the top edge. During manufacture, the decal was placed directly over a slotted tab. Once the tab was factory folded into place, any excess area not occupied by the tab was empty space. The decal was placed directly over this space. Without any support, those areas with empty space beneath the decal quickly chipped off (see 3rd photo). This probably occurred quickly after it had been applied. Possibly even while it was still in the factory. It's important to note that it didn't wear off. 

The box is just awesome. The main front and rear panels feature a comic strip type illustration of Dick Tracy, Tess Trueheart, and several other characters. A word balloon above Tracy says, "pull the trigger and call all cars". Five cops in succession are shown in the lower left corner; all with drawn billy clubs at the ready. The manufacturer name and address was printed on the main panels as well. These two panels also have the original Marx logo. They're the only logos on the entire toy. Directions for "replacing the sparkling metals" were printed on the narrow side panels. The endflaps include the toy name and blank space for catalog number. 

Size: 8" x 4" x 1". 

Sold: Dec. 2008

Price Sold: $ 240


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Subject: 1935 Marx, Dick Tracy Sparkling Pop Pistol in Original Box

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