Marx trains were made by the popular American manufacturer of toy trains founded in 1919 by brothers Louis and David Marx. They usually sold their trains cheaper than competitors Lionel and American Flyer, making it popular with those who couldn't afford those expensive brands.

Marx trains

Joy Line trains

Marx toy trains production started in 1934 with the purchase of Joy Line trains. Marx is one of the most popular names among antique toy train collectors.

Louis Marx

Louis, born in Brooklyn, NY, in 1896, began working for F. J. Strauss at the age of sixteen. Strauss was a toy manufacturer that produced for the Abraham & Strauss Department Stores. By the time he was twenty he became manager due to his energy and enthusiasm. But in 1919, Louis had some disagreements with Strauss and decided to venture out on his own. He established his own firm, Louis Marx & Co. in New York at 200 Fifth Avenue but started with virtually nothing. No money, no machinery, no products, no patents, or customers. Luckily he had determination and motivation. He immediately started contacting toy producers to make toys that he himself designed.

Marx company

After a couple of years, his brother David joined him. Louis had the management, marketing and designing skills, and operations was done by David. Their company grew into the world's biggest manufacturer of toys. They imprinted their boxes with the slogan, 'One of the many Marx toys, have you all of them?' The firm's logo had the letters 'MAR' in a circle with a large X through it, which resembled a model railway crossing sign. Because of this, some people misidentify them their toys as 'Mar' toys.

Train sets

Marx trains included HO scale and 'O' scale toy trains and buildings from tinplate. Their cheaper toys were readily available in variety stores. The more expensive and larger toys were more common for catalog retailers such as for example Sears and Montgomery Ward.

Toy train collectors

The Marx toy company may be largely forgotten nowadays, except by tin toy collectors, some toys remain well known and popular.

Links

Updated: 6 May 2019

Marx Trains value and price guide

What's your 'Marx Trains' worth? Here are some recently sold items (Australia).

Picture Title Date Sold for
Htf Marx Nyc 20th Century Stream Line 08/2019 AU $735.24
Collectable Marx Locos And Tender And 07/2019 AU $130.00
Marx O Gauge Locomotive And Tender 08/2019 AU $100.00
Marx O Gauge Tinplate Assortment 2 09/2019 AU $55.86
C22 Black 22 Gauge Cloth Covered Wire 09/2019 AU $61.76

See all sold items for more prices.

Books

Looking for books on building layouts or model trains? Find these books on model railroad on Amazon.

Marx Trains forum

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Comments (4)

Aileen - June 2, 2019
I have a Marx toy train I'm not sure if engine is Marx but everything is in origonial box and the instructions say xmas 1939 with trax and Marx transformer. what is this worth, I also have accessories, not sure if Marx or Lionel?
Hi, try this page Marx trains 1930s to see if you can find a set like yours.

Anna - May 21, 2019
My friend bought a MARX HO nr.64667 circa (she thinks) 1953 Auto Circuit Breaker Locomotive, Caboose, 2 cars plastic. Still in the box very good condition. She looking to see what she has and it today value.
Take a look here, maybe you can find your friends set in the listings.

Howie - December 29, 2018
red engine new york central carriges 8886 stream line steam type. also has glendale depot circuit breaker lampost and other extras. red mercury on engine

Chuck - November 21, 2018
Some time ago I was given my great uncles Marx train set nr.9923 all tin cars. He only set it up at Christmas and they never had children so it was not played with. It's in the original box with all the original compartments.
You've got a nice set there! You can either keep it - and only set it up with Christmas ;-) or sell it on eBay for around 100-150 USD. See also: Marx 9923.