Tonight we bring you a short video with highlights of the big sale that was held last week at the former site of the Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville, West Virginia. The museum closed its doors on June 30, 2016, but has still been in use to store part of Francis Turner’s massive toy collection. Since so many Marx Toy Collectors where in nearby Wheeling at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum, it made sense for the Turner family to open the doors for a very special sale.
In case you don’t know the history, Francis Turner (seen right) is an avid toy collector who found himself on a mission. He wanted to amass a collection of every toy produced by The Marx Toy Company.
The Marx Toy Company was at one time the largest toy company in the world. Following the retirement of company founder, Louis Marx and the sale of the company to Quaker Oats, the fortunes of the Marx Toy Empire fell, and the company closed its last factory and ceased operations in 1980.
Once Turner came close to achieving his goal, he decided that he needed to share his collection with the public, so he opened a museum in Moundsville. Located just a few miles from the site of one of the largest Marx Toy Factories in Glendale. The Marx Toy Museum was open to the public for more than fifteen years, to the delight of kids and kids at heart, before closing it’s doors last summer.
Financial pressure, a struggling economy and a lack of traffic combined to make operating a physical museum too challenging to continue.
The museum still exists as an online entity, continuing its mission of preserving the legacy of Louis Marx and The Marx Toy Company.
On June 23, 2017, the museum opened its doors again for one night only, as Francis Turner held a massive sale. Everything from common Marx Toys to one-of-a-kind prototypes were sold to die-hard collectors. Francis, who personally priced every item, was swamped all night long and tons of toys traded hands. Basically, you picked up your item, and then you had to ask Francis how much it cost. I even scored a couple of great figures at a bargain price. Some of my high-roller friends walked out with rare prototype figures that they used to only dream of owning.
It was great seeing Francis and The Turner family again, and it was wonderful to see that the museum location is still filled to the brim with terrific Marx Toys. At the sale, it was announced that Mike and Frank from the History Channel program, American Pickers, had recently visited the museum to film an episode which will air in September, and the Museum Board has informed its donors that exciting plans about the future of the museum may be announced soon.
If you’d like a closer look at the still photos included in the above video, along with a few that didn’t make the cut, check out the image bank HERE.
This was all part of a fantastic toy-filled trip that your PopCulteer experienced last weekend. In case you missed my earlier video report, here’s our look at the 19th annual Marx Toy Convention, held last weekend in Wheeling at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum…
PopCult Note: Apologies to Andrew McGrady, whose name we mis-spelled in the above video. With a name like “Panucci” you’d think we’d do a better job of looking out for these things, but we didn’t and now we hang our head in shame.