It’s time to play catch up here in PopCult. It’s been six weeks since the Marx Toy Convention happened at The Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, and while I posted a video last Sunday, I still need to get this photo essay up for your enjoyment.

And be advised that I’m putting this together while there is a ton of breaking news out of SDCC about both Captain Action and Marty Abrams’ revival of MEGO. We’ll post about those later today, after some dust settles. But now, it’s Marx Time.

Also note that, during the Marx Toy Convention, Francis Turner held an open house at the now-closed Marx Toy Museum in nearby Moundsville. We’ll tell you about that side-trip and post some video this Sunday. Today we’re going to look at the Marx Toy Convention.

It was a fun trip. Mel and I left Thursday afternoon and arrived at our hotel (after a depressing final visit to the Toys R Us in St. Clairsville, Ohio) and found our way to Dave Roth’s room to mingle with our fellow die-hard Johnny West collectors. I hadn’t planned to shoot video or take many photos this time around, but so many folks asked about it that I changed my mind and that eventually became the video I posted last weekend. The Johnny West collecting community is such a fun group of people from diverse walks, and socializing is as much of an attraction at this convention as the toys are.

While hanging out in the makeshift hanging-out area (the hotel was undergoing renovations, and our normal courtyard with the firepit was unavailable), I was able to pick up my “Ghost” Chief Cherokee (seen left), which was part of a very limited run produced by Terry Ryder and Buck Maas. That’s going to have a special place in my collection. Less than a dozen were made.

Terry and Buck created a new mold off of a vintage (first issue) Chief Cherokee, and cast him in clear material. He’s done in the spirit of Buck’s earlier “Ghost” Johnny West, which I am also lucky enough to have. With these new molds, Terry and Buck plan to make some more Chiefs, using body colors that haven’t been used before. You’ll see one of them later in this batch of photos.

While editing the photos, it hit me that I have enough images for at least one bonus photo essay sometime in the future, so stay tuned. This was all I could fit in here today due to the new image limitations here at the blog. And apologies for the odd layout. Those same limitations make the site glitch a bit when I post more than five images, so some of them aren’t quite centered and the spacing is a tad askew.

The really cool news at this show, which I have mentioned here in PopCult previously, is that Scott Stewart of Stewart’s Attic, teamed up with James Wozniak of Classic Recasts and Dave Johnson to create a new line of Johnny West action figures using newly recast and vintage bodies, plus a mix of recast and custom heads. We will have our long-delayed reviews of those next week, along with reviews of some very limited figures that Scott produced with Tom Heaton of The Vintage Toy Room.

Thse reviews will be in PopCult next week. Right now, let’s dive in to the photos…



People happily paying to get in and see the wonders of the Marx Toy Convention.

Mrs. and Mr. PopCulteer, on the main floor of the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, in front of the running train exhibit. Mel is actually responsible for a lot of the images you see here because she shot much of the video, and I used a lot of screen grabs. So, hooray for my beautiful wife!

Now we’re going to head downstairs, for some random shots of the floor of the convention, presented without captions so that I can get this posted quicker…





This would be Loo, the mascot and friendly museum kitty at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum.

Marx chronicler and master of The Vintage Toy Room, Tom Heaton, and super-collector and customizer Terry Ryder, getting in place for the group photo.

An historical moment: Professor Jim Fuller, of History Channel fame, introduced by yours truly to John “Sham Voodoo” Estep, of Defectors, Clownhole and RFC theme song fame.

Marx customizers extraodinaire, Lee and Grayson Bowling, with this year’s stunner, the Johnny West version of Mount Rushmore.

Professor Jim with his first-of-its-kind tealish Chief Cherokee. He was so happy with this figure from Terry and Buck that you couldn’t get that smile off his face with a sandblaster.


More people arriving for the photo.


An alternate angle of the group photo, with probably a little less than half of the attendees who were at the convention on Friday. Lots of folks didn’t want to leave the convention floor to stand in the heat.

That is this photo essay.  There will probably be another one of these pop up in a few weeks because I have so many shots left over. Unfortunately, a few years ago they did some tinkering with the inner workings here at PopCult, and if I post too many pictures in one post, they all disappear down some digital rabbit hole. We will have another PopCult post today with the latest news about Captain Action and MEGO from San Diego.