The PopCult Toybox

Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum, photo by Mark Wolfe

Ah, June, that special time of year when an older man’s fancy turns toward the toys of his youth, or something.

In years past, June has meant two trips up North to Wheeling to take in MEGO Meet and The Marx Toy Convention, but this year Wheeling bade farewell to MEGO Meet, which has scampered off to Skokie Illinois where they had their fun a couple of weekends ago. However, we still have the rich history of The Marx Toy Company to celebrate and that is coming up this weekend.

The 50th Anniversary Johnny West

This year, for the first time, your PopCulteer and his lovely wife will attend both days of the Marx Toy Convention and partake of the full convention, which takes place at Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum in Wheeling, with after hours events on Saturday at The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville. On Friday night we will celebrate the life of Noah Coop, the brilliant toy customizer who passed away last October.

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 “JohnnyCon”, the toy convention-within-a-toy convention that will mark the 50th anniversary of Johnny West. Also marking Johnny West’s golden anniversary is a huge exhibit on the top floor of the museum, curated by Scott Stewart, who will also be speaking on the history of Johnny West.

The full intinery of this year’s Marx Toy Convention at Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum is as follows:


9:00 AM – 4:00 PM Marx Toy & Train Collectors Show

11:00 AM Speaker – John Twarog (GAME ROOM)

12:00 PM Commemorative Group Photo Session (Immediately following John Twarog)

1:00 PM Speaker – Scott Stewart (GAME ROOM)

3:30 PM – 4:30 PM Johnny West/Marx Toy & Train Auction (must be present to bid) (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


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

Lee Harrah and Mark Wolfe invade The Marx Toy Museum

Lee Harrah and Mark Wolfe invade The Marx Toy Museum

While all this is going on at Kruger Street in Wheeling, just a few miles down the road, The Marx Toy Museum is also holding events:

Marx Toy Museum’s Annual Celebration of Marx and MEMBERS DAY!

June 19th & 20th, 2015

The Marx Toy Museum continues the tradition of an Annual Celebration of Marx in conjunction with the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum’s 17th Annual Marx Convention to be held the weekend of June 19th & 20th!!! The Marx Toy Museum encouraged all visitors to take advantage of the itinerary, workshops, and swap-meets available through the convention and has schedule events accordingly to create a packed weekend of fun and excitement for Marx enthusiasts.

Don’t Miss This Opportunity to See Both Museums in One Great Weekend!

Marx Toy Museum Hours & Itinerary

Friday, June 19th & Saturday, June 20th – Annual Celebration of Marx!

The Marx Toy Museum will be open to the public from 11 am until 5 pm – normal admission rates apply. The Marx Toy Museum will have a “Marx Toy Demonstration” at 2 pm and 4 pm on both Friday and Saturday. All are welcome to attend.

Saturday, June 20th – After Hours MEMBERS DAY Event!!! From 5 pm to 8 pm
Available ONLY to Active Marx Toy Museum Members – MTM Membership is available at the door!

5:00 pm to 6:00 pm: In appreciation for your support, the MTM Grille will provide hamburgers and complimentary menu for all Members. A small token of appreciation for your continued support of the MTM

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm: Museum curator, Francis Turner, is opening the vault to dig deeper into the history of Marx and toy production process. Members will have access to some of the rare artifacts, one-of-a-kind documents, original factory PL books, playset parts lists, and albums of factory photos & unique stories that you will only hear from the Marx Toy Museum.

Suzanne Hackett-Morgan will present a slideshow sequel to the “Travellin’ Johnny” exhibit from ten years ago. This time, collectors who purchased the new 50th Anniversary Johnny West took pictures in their hometowns, showing off Johnny in new locations. The Charleston, West Virginia photos were taken by Mark Wolfe.

The museum will present an encore viewing of “The MARX OF TIME” — the RARE FILM shot in 1953 around the Marx family’s Scarsdale mansion, on the occasion of Louis Marx’s 57th birthday. The hour-long, professionally photographed, ‘home movie’ was commissioned by Mrs. Idella Marx, will be shown at the museum ONLY during the “MEMBERS ONLY” event. Please note: The film is a ‘work print,’ and as such, has no audio portion; none the less, shares a ‘snapshot’ of the lifestyle of the Toy King.

It all adds up to an amazing weekend, jam-packed with cool toy nostalgia, good times and reconnecting with friends, some of whom we haven’t seen for some time. It’s open to the public and fun for the whole family, so you might want to consider making the drive up for one or both days. You can expect to read about this show next week, right here in PopCult.