As a kid, I used to love going to the S. S. Kresge’s discount store in the city near where I grew up. The store was a treasure trove of all kinds of exciting things for a young lad, including an extensive candy counter on top of which often were boxes of baseball cards, World War II cards, Davy Crockett, etc. The food counter was a special treat; sometimes my family would eat at Kresge’s during our once-a-week trips into town.
By far my favorite memory is the toy section.
And its two chief attractions were the little Transogram statues of major league baseball players (which I still have) and the huge bins of ten-cent Marx Warriors of the World.
I recently found some of my old toy soldiers tucked into a large storage box of duplicate baseball cards.
Ah, the memories!
One small box in the card container felt too light to contain sports cards, so I opened it. To my surprise and delight, here were my old Marx Warriors of the World figures!
The figures came with a sports card-like small card illustrating the figure, with a brief “biography” on the back. Almost all represented fictional characters, although General James Longstreet, of course, depicted (rather poorly) an actual person.
Marx sold these figures at discount stores across the country. The boxes advertised that the soldiers were “hand painted by artists.” Each figure is approximately 2.5 inches in height and are made from hard plastic. They were made primarily for display, and not for play like Marx’s Blue & Gray playset figures, which were of a much softer plastic.
Anyone remember buying these Marx WOW figures in your hometown five-and-dime store? They were shipped from Hong Kong across the ocean to American distributors and finally to the retail stores. Other sets included British, World War II, Romans, Cowboys & Indians, American Revolution, West Point, World War I, Pirates, and others.
There were six poses for the Union soldiers and seven for the Rebels, if I am not mistaken. They were also available in boxed sets which included painted figures of Grant or Lee, respectively.