Civil War Toys – Marx Warriors of the World

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.

To read more on these vintage Marx figures, click here and here.

Categories: Civil War toys | 6 Comments

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6 thoughts on “Civil War Toys – Marx Warriors of the World

  1. adam

    I remember them. When they first came out 61 or 62? I recall they were advertised on TV for $.19 each but I can remember finding them at Kresgages for $.10 for years later. I found out later that they were cast in soft plastic prior to being released as painted figures. They were sold out of the “bins” at 5 and 10 cent stores. The names and stories were loosly related to real people or it appears were just made up. I rememeber finding most of the 8 pirate names in historic books.

  2. Jeff Pritchard

    I had a lot of them when I was a kid. Strange but I don’t ever remember buying any, Either I was too young to remember or my parents bought them for me. But most weekend mornings for several years my little brother and I were up early picking “teams” of the Warriors. Once we had our team selected we would set them up on the floor and take turns rolling marbles at them and the guy with the last Warrior standing was the winner! Neither one of us ever wanted Brown Bart…. he was the cowboy who had his hands in the air surrendering… because he had to be a coward! The Roman Tiberius was considered valuable because he had a nice wide base and was harder to knock down.


  3. Dom

    Great story to find your old Marx warriors of the world. My brother and I used to buy them for 10 cents each in the early 1960s growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Can anyone tell me if there are any ‘knock-offs’ of these figures on the market I should watch-out for when buying? And if so, how can you tell if the figure, card and box are original? By original, I’m looking for the warriors of the world from the early 1960s.

    I do know for example that some warriors of the world are painted different colours as I have a Bjorni with a blue outfit and another Bjorni with a light brown outfit. Is one of these original and one a knock-off? And other than eBay, where might be the best place to buy original warriors of the world?

  4. Erwin Sell

    The WOW Marx series are belong to many molds, some molds end in HK where old MARX factories were and these figures painted, the above series were produced in mid 50s first not painted in soft plastic sold in US, then painted sold in Germany 1956-1959.By 60s they start coming painted from HK in individual cases or long full set boxes with General Grant or General Lee, also Lincoln in typical pedestal charter poses.
    Some sets like ACW,AWR,Viking,indians,cowboys and pirates had been reissued or recast from same mold.
    You may buy if any left here as not longer recast ,recast were made in mid 90s from molds at HK Rado FACILITY
    The main US seller with more stock left is in this link
    ATS toy soldiers

    Best regards..

  5. Erwin Sell

    you may read more here…

  6. Dom

    Thanks for the information Erwin!

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