Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

The Marx Toy Convention Was A Hit!

The man of the hour, Johnny West

The man of the hour, Johnny West

The PopCult Toybox

One week ago your PopCulteer was enjoying one of the best toy convention experiences of his life. Today we bring you photo and video to show you the highlights of The Marx Toy Convention (including “JohnnyCon”) from Wheeling and Moundsville.

First, Scott Stewart walks us through the “50 Years of Johnny West” exhibit at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia. Learn about fifty years of one of the country’s most memorable action figures, Johnny West, and The Best of the West toy line. Recorded June 20, 2015

Scott has a special page devoted to Johnny West’s 50th Anniversary up at his site, and it’s well worth checking out. His exhibit will be on display at the Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum until the end of the year.

photo by Mykol Blackwell

In honor of the 50th Anniversary of Marx Toy Company’s famous action figure, Johnny West, a new, Limted Edition Johnny West figure was made. This 2015 version of America’s Moveable Cowboy sported brand-new colors and was sanctioned by the current rights holders, making it an official celebratory figure, created from the original molds. Distribution was handled by James Wozniak of Classic Recasts.

Las Vegas artist, Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, came up with the idea of revisiting a previous collaborative project of hers, a photographic journey that followed a vintage Johnny West around the country, which he travelled via the Post Office. “Johnny Hits The Road” has been on exhibit at The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville since 2004.

For “Vacation Time,” rather than mailing one Johnny West figure around the country, Suzanne had collectors take their new 50th Anniversary Johnny West figures to their local landmarks, and compiled their photos into the slideshow you see here. The pictures are amusing, touching and most of all, fun. We invite you to join in on Johnny West’s 50th birthday celebration.

“Vacation Time” made its debut at The Marx Toy Museum on June 20, 2015.

Now it’s time for more photos of the wonders of the 2015 Marx Toy Convention. A special note: I have to apologize to James Wozniak, who had a fantastic display of great Marx repro toys for sale. Every time I walked by his table I started buying stuff and forgot to take pictures. However, I did get some good photos of everything else…

The starting point, the first cabinet of the "Johnny West at 50" exhibit at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

The starting point: the first part of the “Johnny West at 50” exhibit at Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum

Newer iterations of Johnny West

Newer iterations of Johnny West

Rainbow Johnnies

Rainbow Johnnies

Gotta show Thunderbolt some love

Gotta show Thunderbolt some love

Dealers had tons of stuff all over Kruger Street

Dealers had tons of stuff all over Kruger Street

Tom Heaton, of Vintage Toy Room and Johnny West book fame, brought in plenty of other classic toys

Tom Heaton, of Vintage Toy Room and Johnny West book fame, brought in plenty of other classic toys

Scott Stewart's display...in part

Scott Stewart’s display…in part

Some of Scott Stewart's offerings

Some more of Scott Stewart’s offerings

The Dollar Bins from CXR Ranch/Terri Coop

Some of the Dollar Bins from CXR /Terri Coop

Supercollector, Dave Roth (right) gettng ready to cut a deal

Supercollector, Dave Roth (right) gettng ready to cut a deal

Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, Terri Coop and Scott Stewart, holding court in the Johnny West room

Suzanne Hackett-Morgan, Terri Coop and Scott Stewart, holding court in the Johnny West room

The original "Johnny Hits The Road" project from 2004, at The Marx Toy Museum

The original “Johnny Hits The Road” project from 2004, at The Marx Toy Museum

Saturday evening, the action moved to The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville. Seen here: Jason Turner, Francis Turner, Dave Roth, Suzanne Hackett-Morgan

Saturday evening, the action moved to The Marx Toy Museum in Moundsville. Seen here: Jason Turner, Francis Turner, Dave Roth, Suzanne Hackett-Morgan

More of the crowd in the diner at The Marx Toy Museum

More of the crowd in the diner at The Marx Toy Museum

Grayson and Lee Bolling show off their custom Johnny West playset, based on a never-produced Marx set

Grayson and Lee Bolling show off their custom Johnny West playset, based on a never-produced Marx set

The custom box graphics

The custom box graphics

Chief Cherokee, Johnny West, Jane West and Flick and Flack, their dogs, in playset form

Chief Cherokee, Johnny West, Jane West and Flick and Flack, their dogs, in playset form

Tom Heaton, with Jason Turner

Tom Heaton, with Jason Turner

Part of the top-secret video of the saga of the April Dancer mold

Part of the top-secret video of the saga of the April Dancer mold

We leave you with a panoramic photo of many of us Marx Toy Convention attendees having dinner at TJ's Sports Bar in Wheeling.

We leave you with a panoramic photo of many of us Marx Toy Convention attendees having dinner at TJ’s Sports Bar in Wheeling. Swiped from Scott Stewart’s site

That’s not quite it for our coverage. We have tons of photos from Kruger Street and The Marx Toy Museum that you will see in the coming weeks. Next Saturday I’ll post photos of my haul from the convention. Needless to say, we had a blast, and can’t wait until next year.

 

6 Comments

  1. Scott Stewart

    Great article as usually Rudy! It was great having you around! See ya in JoeLanta 2016

  2. Robert Reese

    What an awesome event and group of people. I regret not being able to make the event in person but am proud to have my photos included in the slideshow.
    I grew up with Johnny West and am a proud collector today. It’s a lot of fun collecting Marx Johnny West but most of all it is a blast sharing with these people you’ve included in your article. They are all wonderful people who share the same passion.
    I’m honored to be a part of this group !
    Go Johnny Go,
    Robert Reese ‘New York State’

  3. Steven R. Blum

    Thanks Rudy Awesome!!!!!

  4. Paul Gruendler

    It was really cool meeting all of you Best of the Best of the West Collectors and getting my very own 50th Johnny handed to me by super-seller Jim Wozniak!

  5. David L. King

    I grew up in the 1960s and loved the Marx toy sets . I have started collecting them and would like to know when the next Marx Toy Convention will be. I am interested in buying original toy sets and would like to get on any mailing list with information about anything Marx.

  6. rudy panucci

    If you contact the folks at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum, I’m sure they’ll be happy to keep you up to date on the next show. The Marx convention happens in June. I’m not sure what the exact date is.

    http://toyandtrain.com/

    You may also want to join the Marx Action Figure Facebook Group:

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/1453773658225182/

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