1936 Marx, The Poor Fish in Original Box

1936 Marx, The Poor Fish in Original Box

Rare and unusual steel litho (not tin) clockwork "The Poor Fish" by Marx. Scarce toy and even scarcer box. In fact it's only the second example I've sold. The last time was nearly 8 years ago. I've seen only one other boxed example. It has no manufacturer's marks making it nearly impossible to identify without having the box. Comes complete with original Marx key too! 

I only wish I knew the story behind this toy. Of course there were other fish toys, but none were so mean looking, or so realistic. It was accurately lithographed from darker at the top, to lighter towards the belly. Realistic looking scales and fin lines were also added. And then there's the head with that large single, red bloodshot eye with black circular disk and the large mouth outlined in black with a red center and and a long row of teeth at the bottom. The head is shades of green and blue and highlighted with black details including the gills.

The toy is made from 5 separate segments including the tail. They're pinned together so they move in random directions. The toy runs on two blue cam-like wheels which gives it a lumbering motion. It balances using the tail. The top fin sort of waves from side to side

The key is original and correct for this toy. 

The box is just as fantastic as the toy. It shows a beach scene with a white haired middle aged man leading his wife and two children away from the water. They all smile and look back at the giant fish emerging leaping out of the waves. It too has a smile, but with its numerous, large teeth and gaping mouth it probably has a different reason for doing so. It also interesting to point out that the man curiously resembles Louis Marx. I'd bet that the Marx logo printed on his chest was not a coincidence either. There was probably a good reason for this scenario as well as the existence of the toy and its scarcity which are now lost.

Size: 8½" long x 2¾" high.

Sold: Nov. 2009

Price Sold: $ 430


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Subject: 1936 Marx, The Poor Fish in Original Box

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