Civil War Talk Throwback Thursday, 12-20-18

James N.

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#1
Image (5).jpg


It's a little early, I know, but not only has the site been having problems lately, tomorrow my public library won't be opening until 4 pm, so I thought I'd get this out early rather than late, especially after missing last week while working on my Fredericksburg thread: https://civilwartalk.com/threads/the-battle-of-fredericksburg-december-13-1862.152459/ for those who missed it. This week approaching Christmas I've created a thread on my favorite toys I received as presents: the "playsets" made in the 1950's, 60's, and 70's by the Louis Marx Company in West Virginia like The Battle of the Blue and the Gray shown here, ca. 1959: https://www.civilwartalk.com/threads/louis-marx-the-battle-of-the-blue-and-the-gray.152661/

Anyone else having (preferably) old Civil War-related photos, mementoes, or memorabilia is welcome and encouraged to post them in this thread as well!

Image 1972 (8) B&Gcrop.jpg
 

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#2
This was one classic !

I had the exact same 'play set' that Marx reissued under contract with Sears back in 1972.
This particular reissue was part of the Sears' Heritage Play Sets.

My 10 year old self spent hours enjoying various "battles" in my young imagination.


Heritage blue and gray - allan ford.jpg

http://marxwildwest.com/civil%20war/civilwar4.html
 
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James N.

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Picked this flag set at a flea market in NJ. It does not have a date but I would suppose it is from the 1960s. Box says it is mfg. by Sherritt Flag Co. Inc. Richmond 30 Virginia. Any thoughts on the year mfg.

View attachment 214527
Yes - I have an identical set, box and all - that I bought in August, 1964 while on a marathon Civil War Centennial auto trip with my friend Mike (@mkyzzzrdet). I got mine at the Museum of the Confederacy in Richmond.
 
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James N.

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#7
This was one classic !

I had the exact same 'play set' that Marx reissued under contract with Sears back in 1972.
This particular reissue was part of the Sears' Heritage Play Sets.

My 10 year old self spent hours enjoying various "battles" in my young imagination.


View attachment 214504
http://marxwildwest.com/civil%20war/civilwar4.html
One of my Alamo sets came in this same box - all they did was change out the photo on the front! I remember best the original Marx litho boxes, usually with fairly crude artwork printed in one or two colors on the white or brown box - I still have one of those, a 1959 or 1960 licensed tie-in from TV's Wagon Train with a drawing of Ward Bond on the cover.
 

James N.

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I had one of the original Marx sets. I played with it a long time. I enjoyed it very much. I guess it has all been redone by someone. I have no idea who reissued the sets, but I know they certainly showed up at History Day at schools. I helped judge at History Day for awhile. It was an interesting experience.
Depending on exactly when you mean, the last I heard was that following the death of Louis Marx and the bankruptcy of the company (he'd already sold it - to Quaker Oats, if I remember right - previous to his death) the West Virginia factory burned down. Fortunately, the molds for most of the figures, etc. either survived the fire or had already been removed beforehand and are in the hands of others. As recently as the 1990's reproductions were being made from the original molds in Mexico. They were purposely cast in a different plastic and in different colors than the originals so collectors will easily recognize the difference. There have also been reissues of these reproduction figures in playsets, some similar to the originals and others wholly made up - one such is a Last of the Mohicans set based on the 1992 movie! one retail outlet I know I've seen some of these in is the large toy soldier and military miniatures shop located on Steinwehr Avenue near the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
 
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James N.

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#10
*Since my separate thread on Louis Marx' playsets has already disappeared, I'll post the relevant parts of it here as well:

1545349782018.png

This time of year always reminds me of my very favorite November birthday and December Christmas presents - the wonderful playsets made by the Louis Marx Company in west Virginia! The "historical" ones were always my favorite, though I also had Prehistoric dinosaurs, a gas station (with working elevator!), freight terminal (my dad was a truck driver), Captain Space Solar Port (the space stuff was all in the future in the 1950's), etc., etc. But of course my most treasured were The Battle of the Blue and the Gray, Fort Apache, and Davy Crockett at the Alamo, in no particular order. As you can see, I also saved the relevant pages from the Sears & Roebuck Wish Book, reproduced here. Both pages above and below are from after Christmas 1960 when there were *NEW* figures added for the Civil War Centennial. (I had one from 1959 so just HAD to have one with the new figures too!)

Note the inevitable increase in prices for these, plus the fact they were merchandised differently over the years - in 1956 when Walt Disney's Davy Crockett - King of the Wild Frontier was all the rage on television, there were "official" Marx sets bearing the names of both Walt and his gold mine; later, it was enough to have simply Alamo sets so as to not have to pay those pesky licensing fees! I'm sure that many older members here remember these and like myself were inspired by them to actually want to learn about the war and other historical events - I owe them a great deal of gratitude.

1545349848929.png


Sadly, the backlash and protests against the Vietnam War caused the decline and eventual fall of these so-called "war toys", but for a time Marx through Sears and their chief competitor Montgomery Ward's found a way around that by emphasizing their "historical" value; above and below are pages touting Sears' Heritage Play Sets from the 1970's. In the descriptions for some reason they've confused the figure of Jefferson Davis, instead describing him as Sherman, no doubt to his posthumous dismay!

For completionists like myself, here are some additional Sears ads that do not include Battle of the Blue and the Gray; the one below is the oldest, dating from the 1950's:
1545349909531.png


Marx was always updating the sets, adding new figures and/or accessories; note the difference in the cavalrymen and Indians in these two different Fort Apache sets; the one below dates from 1972 and shows more of their Heritage line, including a plastic White House and all the Presidents to date:

1545349949993.png
 

Gandycreek

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#12
Depending on exactly when you mean, the last I heard was that following the death of Louis Marx and the bankruptcy of the company (he'd already sold it - to Quaker Oats, if I remember right - previous to his death) the West Virginia factory burned down. Fortunately, the molds for most of the figures, etc. either survived the fire or had already been removed beforehand and are in the hands of others. As recently as the 1990's reproductions were being made from the original molds in Mexico. They were purposely cast in a different plastic and in different colors than the originals so collectors will easily recognize the difference. There have also been reissues of these reproduction figures in playsets, some similar to the originals and others wholly made up - one such is a Last of the Mohicans set based on the 1992 movie! one retail outlet I know I've seen some of these in is the large toy soldier and military miniatures shop located on Steinwehr Avenue near the National Cemetery at Gettysburg.
The Marx Toy Factory didn't burn down. It's still here I live about a quarter mile from it. I actually worked there one summer during my college days. The building are being used by an oil manufacturing co. nowdays
 
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#13
*Since my separate thread on Louis Marx' playsets has already disappeared, I'll post the relevant parts of it here as well:

View attachment 214659
This time of year always reminds me of my very favorite November birthday and December Christmas presents - the wonderful playsets made by the Louis Marx Company in west Virginia! The "historical" ones were always my favorite, though I also had Prehistoric dinosaurs, a gas station (with working elevator!), freight terminal (my dad was a truck driver), Captain Space Solar Port (the space stuff was all in the future in the 1950's), etc., etc. But of course my most treasured were The Battle of the Blue and the Gray, Fort Apache, and Davy Crockett at the Alamo, in no particular order. As you can see, I also saved the relevant pages from the Sears & Roebuck Wish Book, reproduced here. Both pages above and below are from after Christmas 1960 when there were *NEW* figures added for the Civil War Centennial. (I had one from 1959 so just HAD to have one with the new figures too!)

Note the inevitable increase in prices for these, plus the fact they were merchandised differently over the years - in 1956 when Walt Disney's Davy Crockett - King of the Wild Frontier was all the rage on television, there were "official" Marx sets bearing the names of both Walt and his gold mine; later, it was enough to have simply Alamo sets so as to not have to pay those pesky licensing fees! I'm sure that many older members here remember these and like myself were inspired by them to actually want to learn about the war and other historical events - I owe them a great deal of gratitude.

View attachment 214660

Sadly, the backlash and protests against the Vietnam War caused the decline and eventual fall of these so-called "war toys", but for a time Marx through Sears and their chief competitor Montgomery Ward's found a way around that by emphasizing their "historical" value; above and below are pages touting Sears' Heritage Play Sets from the 1970's. In the descriptions for some reason they've confused the figure of Jefferson Davis, instead describing him as Sherman, no doubt to his posthumous dismay!

For completionists like myself, here are some additional Sears ads that do not include Battle of the Blue and the Gray; the one below is the oldest, dating from the 1950's:
View attachment 214661

Marx was always updating the sets, adding new figures and/or accessories; note the difference in the cavalrymen and Indians in these two different Fort Apache sets; the one below dates from 1972 and shows more of their Heritage line, including a plastic White House and all the Presidents to date:

View attachment 214663
Sadly, the backlash and protests against the Vietnam War caused the decline and eventual fall of these so-called "war toys", but for a time Marx through Sears and their chief competitor Montgomery Ward's found a way around that by emphasizing their "historical" value; above and below are pages touting Sears' Heritage Play Sets from the 1970's. In the descriptions for some reason they've confused the figure of Jefferson Davis, instead describing him as Sherman, no doubt to his posthumous dismay!
Hah !
1545349848929.png



I also had these exact Sears Sons of Liberty & Fort Apache sets.
I didn't have The Alamo, but I did inherit a handful of Mexican Infantry from what was left of an older cousin's 1950's version of that set.

Back then, everyone was producing some version of Fort Apache.

I still think Marx turned out the best product.
 

TomV71

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#14
I was a kid in the 70's. (Born in '71) I dont remember these though, except the settings from comics, but I did have a bunch of those Britains CW figures with light green baseplates which was very common and popular here. They are still at my parents place somewhere, so I will look them up.
I still collect CW figures, but mostly those expensive Conte and Britain painted and boxed sets you find on ebay.

As a note, my 14 year old son have picked up this old hobby, and are making stop motion videos with plastic army men and post on youtube. Mostly WWII though, but I am glad these old hobbies are continued to newer generations.
 
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donna

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#15
I have the flag set. I purchased mine from the United Daughters of the Confederacy.

Also had the cowboy set. I loved all things about cowboys and Indians when I was little. My Dad gave me a cowgirl outfit one Christmas. Also got my rocking horse. I would dress up all the time and ride the horse. Brings back many memories.
 

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