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.


Updated: 6 May 2019

Marx Trains value and price guide

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

Item Title Date sold Price
Marx Bunny Express Lithographed Tin Feb 2019 £ 900,00
Very Old Sparkling Streamlined Train Set May 2019 £ 318,00
Postwar Marx O Gauge Train 4 Piece Red Mar 2019 £ 99,96
Original Marx 51350 O Scale Big Rail Feb 2019 £ 38,48
Marx Train Set Engine 4 Cars Shell Apr 2019 £ 11,78

Take a look at all sold Marx Trains items on eBay for a value indication. If you're not sure what you have, you can post your question below.


Do you want to dive into the fascinating world of collectibles, and want to learn about value and identification? Discover more with these price guides on Amazon.

Marx Trains forum (2 comments)

: (first name only)
(will not be displayed/shared)

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.
►reply: 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.