Marx Playsets remain among the most popular toy soldier sets in the vintage toy soldier market today. These playsets from the Louis Marx Company appeared in the 1950's and were available up until the 1970's when the company fell into disarray after it was sold off upon Marx's retirement. Collecting Marx toy soldiers and playsets has been a popular hobby ever since.
If you're in your 40's like me or if you're older, you probably remember perusing Christmas catalogs for the Marx playsets. One year I got a Civil War Marx Playset that I treasured for years. Marx Playsets had great details, such as wounded soldiers, stretchers, cannons that fired and spring loaded buildings that would blow up.
Marx sets were usually war related from various periods such as the American Civil War, WWII and medieval times. However, there were also Marx western playsets that were quite popular as well. The highly details Marx playsets allowed kids to setup their own miniature battlefields and have fun creating pretended battles. These sets were great fun to play with either by yourself or with friends. When you were a kid did you do your own gruesome sound effects? I did.
Marx playsets during their heyday were mostly plastic with some metal parts. The toy soldiers themselves were a soft plastic while accessories like buildings, cannons, and so forth were either hard plastic or metal. Often a plastic terrain sheet was included with the set for a more realistic look. Marx originally sold toys made of metal before WWII but they switched to plastic after the war as a cost cutting move.
Collecting Marx playsets is a fun hobby for those of us who remember them from their childhood and for younger people with a taste for the nostalgic. There are even reissues being sold today, some that even use the original molds, but vintage Marx toy soldiers and accessories are what are considered valuable to serious collectors.