Thursday, May 8, 2014

A Tale of Two Tow Trucks

  Thursday, May 8, 2014
Sunny and warm , but seasonally cool.

A Tale of Two Tow Trucks

  I saw two nice tow trucks that Ron Michaud from Maine had sold  and decided to compare the two. Ron always seems to have very nice old toys up for sale, and like all the people that help me out, I really appreciate his help. I decided to compare the 2 toys because Mr. Marx had at one time worked for Ferdinand Strauss.

I don't have the dates of manufacture of these 2 toys, but they look similar as to the type of tow truck that they were modelled from. What I'd like to comment on, is the nature of the construction and lithography of the toys. I had once read that the Marx company once had used discard metal from other companies to make their toys. As such, perhaps there was either a shortage of materials or they could save money in this manner. Of course the paint or printing was on the inside.

When you start to compare the 2 toys, you can see (in my opinion) that more money would have been spent on the Ferdinand Strauss toy.

1. There is more lithography on the Strauss as compared with more solid colour painting.

2. The Strauss toy is painted all over and more thoroughly. look at the underside photos to compare.
The Marx toy has extensive surface rust.

3. The wind-up mechanism is covered on the Strauss toy, compared with the Marx toy.
I don't know if that was for safety or cosmetic appearance, but this would of course cost more in labour and materials.

4. The Marx toy  has 6 wheels, while the Strauss toy has 4.
However, the Strauss toy  had the better lithography (more colours)and is finished on the inside. 

5. The Marx toy has small hubcaps on the wheels.

6. The Strauss toy is larger in size.

7. The Strauss toy has more extensive design which would have required more cutting and shaping on the large presses of the time.

I don't know what the original costs of the toys were at the time. And both companies were quite successful. In the end, the Marx company outlasted the Ferdinad Struass company, and at one time Mr. Marx even made the time magazine cover. His company at one time was making almost 1 in 4 toys made in the U.S.A. So although the Marx toy company toys might have been less costly both in production and at the marketplace, the company certainly would have been on the top 50 toy manufacturers of the last century.

Thanks for dropping by,
and as always, 
have a great part of the day,
wherever you may be.

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