Marx trains

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: 15 November 2019

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Marx Trains value and price guide

What's your Marx Trains worth in 2021? Here are some recently sold items.

Item Title Date Price
marx crooks tender tales of wells fargo 8 wheel Marx Crooks Tender Tales Of Wells Fargo 8 Wheel 09/2021 £25.26
marx no 0217 track activated railroad crossing w ob o Marx No 0217 Track Activated Railroad Crossing W Ob O 09/2021 £5.24
marx ho scale new haven 1621 diesel switcher locomotive Marx Ho Scale New Haven 1621 Diesel Switcher Locomotive 09/2021 £21.64
black marx 3552 gondola tin litho o gauge 8 wheel Black Marx 3552 Gondola Tin Litho O Gauge 8 Wheel 09/2021 £9.02
marx 54 mm pioneers wagon train fort apache playsets Marx 54 Mm Pioneers Wagon Train Fort Apache Playsets 09/2021 £14.43
no pictureSee all sold items on eBay for more prices10/2021£-.--

Marx Trains forum

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Comments (7)
Will - December 24, 2020
I have this joy line train and the wheels are broken all but this one. Would you know where I might buy wheels that would fit this joy line train? They are spoked but that would not be needed. Also it is only for display so the wheels could be anything that matched or 4 of them. The wheel measure 1 1/2 inch on large side and 1 1/4 inch on small side with 1/8 inch hole. Let me know if you can help or send me to a place I could get. Thanks Will
Difficult to find these parts... You could have a look here: Marx Joy Line or maybe there are some Facebook groups with collectors who might have spare parts.
Heather - January 26, 2020
I have prototypes that Mr marx had his artists paint . they have Girard , Pa w the model no. and 12/10/1947 on several . I would like to know what their worth is . No one seems to know anything or will not help. I have been online to try to find something to no avail. Thanks so much , Heather
Hi Heather, this is really difficult to estimate, and I'm afraid I'm not an expert in this field. You could contact auction houses which are specialized in antique toys which you can find on Google, for example Gildings.
Del - December 8, 2019
I recently purchased a 413A Switchman's Tower w/black base, black tower, silver ladder, red lithographed bldg. Does anyone know the production year? I understand that a tower w/a green lithographed bldg. was also produced with the same production number. What's the difference.
Not sure, but you could try this page and read the descriptions in the listings shown, maybe the sellers know more: Marx Trains Switchman.
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.