The PopCulteer
June 16 , 2017

We are in the midst of the summer convention season, and next weekend, June 23 and 24, your PopCulteer will make his annual pilgrimage up to Wheeling for The Marx Toy Convention, which takes place every June at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum.

This is such a fun convention that it will pull your humble correspondent away from the second weekend of Charleston’s FestivALL, but for the last couple of years it seems that the city has managed to become a work of art perfectly well without me.  So Charleston will have to forgive me as we have the rich history of The Marx Toy Company to celebrate up North.

The festivities include tons of vendors selling all manner of Marx Toy Company products. There will be a special section of the dealers area devoted to “JohnnyCon”, the toy convention-within-a-toy convention that famously marked the 50th anniversary of Johnny West a couple of years ago.

The man of the hour, Johnny WestMy main reason for going is JohnnyCon, which is devoted to my collecting passion, Johnny West and the Marx Action Figures. Marx made tons of fantastic collectible toys, like trains, playsets, boardgames, Big Wheels and more, but it’s Johnny West and friends that draw me in.

The Marx Action Figure collecting community is a big, friendly group that is very welcoming and supportive, and is now thriving because of the recent production of new items using original molds and also brand-new custom creations.

For years I’d make the drive up to Wheeling and back and just attend one day of the convention, but a couple of years ago Mrs. PopCulteer and I decided to grab a hotel room and stay for both days, and it was so much fun that we decided to keep doing it, even though we don’t have a holiday weekend to glom onto this year.

Img_4819If you’re wondering what’s so great about The Marx Toy Company, you need to check out some of my previous posts on the subject.  You can find my coverage of Marx Toy Conventions from years past HERE, HERE, and HERE.  For a huge five-part photo essay on The Marx Toy Museum, go HERE. We even shot a Christmas episode of Radio Free Charleston at the late, lamented Marx Toy Museum, which you can see HERE. For a photo essay on Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, go HERE.As you can see, The Marx Toy Company has been a huge part of Popcult.

A pleasant bonus on this trip is that Francis Turner, the owner of the now-closed Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville, will be opening the doors to the shuttered facility for a private sale of rarities from his collection. We will be going to this special event on Friday night.

But the big event on Friday and Saturday happens at Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling, which is very much still an ongoing concern.  Admission is ten dollars per day for adults, five dollars for students.

This year’s schedule:

Friday, June 23

8:00 AM: Registration Desk Opens/SET-UP ONLY.
9:00 AM – 4:00 PM: Marx Toy & Train Collectors Show
11:00 AM: Speaker – TBA (GAME ROOM)
12:00 NOON : Commemorative Group Photo Session (Immediately following 11 AM speaker)
1:00 PM: Speaker – TBA (GAME ROOM)
3:30 PM – 4:30 PM: Toy & Train CUSTOM’s Contest (GAME ROOM)
5:30 PM – 7:00 PM: Marx Pizza Social at the Museum – A great chance to kick back and have an evening of fun with fellow Marx Collectors

Saturday, June 24th

8:00 AM: Registration Desk Opens/SET-UP ONLY.
9:00 AM – 3:00 PM: Marx Toy & Train Collectors Show
12:00 PM: SHOW & TELL – Unusual or Rare Marx Discussion (Bring along your favorite Marx Toy or Train to show off to fellow collectors! Some rather interesting items have been showing up at these sessions!) (GAME ROOM)
3:00 PM – 5:00: PM Pack-up tables/Final Tours of the Museum
5:00 PM: Official Closing of the Marx Show at the Museum

The Marx Toy Convention is one of the two big toy events I look forward to each year, (JoeLanta/ToyLanta being the other) and I hope some of my readers will enjoy hearing about this year’s trip. As for FestivALL, I’m happy to say that the event has grown so large that they don’t really need me to be here to cover it.

That is this week’s PopCulteer. Keep checking back because we have at least two more posts dedicated to WonderFest USA, plus our regular features before we head out next week.