All posts tagged marx

How to repair a Marx electrical pickup shoe

Unlike most of its competitors, Marx trains don’t use rollers to engage the center rail for electrical pickup. Instead, Marx utilized a copper shoe that slides along the center rail. It was cheap and effective, but┬áthe increased friction means the shoes wear out much more quickly than rollers do. Indeed, the shoe usually is the […]

Phil Kerpen, net neutrality, and socialism: A post-mortem

I learned the hard way a few weeks ago how net neutrality can be equated with socialism, an argument that puzzles people who work on computer networks for a living and see networking as a big flow of electrons. I think it’s very important that we understand how this happens. Here’s the tactic: Find a […]

Scratchbuilding, Marx-style: Finishing the roof

This is a continuation of something I wrote well over a year ago┬ádetailing how I build Marx-style boxcars out of simple materials. Train season is starting up again soon, so it’s about time I finished this story. Once the box that will become your Marx-style boxcar is dry, it’s time to tend to the roof. […]

The estate find that broke my slump

I wrote a few weeks ago about finding a scarce Marx windup train at an estate sale, but I actually went a good couple of years without finding a train worth buying until recently. The train that broke my slump was at a sale close to home, and I actually didn’t even set out to […]

Finding a connection to my Dad in a suburban St. Louis estate

Yesterday I wrote about my greatest estate sale find ever. Well, the very same month as that one, I found another estate sale featuring a Lionel 1110 locomotive, which happened to be my Dad’s first train. So of course I put that sale on my list. The 1110 wasn’t among Lionel’s finest moments, but I’ll […]

My greatest estate find

If you’ve been reading this blog for a few years, you know I kind of like trains. But my favorite way to buy them isn’t to buy them at a train store. I like to buy them from estates. One week, I spotted a few late-production Marx 6-inch cars and a plastic locomotive in an […]

The Greenberg Marx saga continues: The case of the side-smoking Marx 666 locomotive

One of the best steam locomotives Marx ever made was its unfortunately-named 666. I have heard, but have no way of verifying, that Marx named it that because the locomotive “smoked like the devil.” And, compared to its contemporary offerings from Lionel and American Flyer, it definitely smoked better than anything Lionel had, and at […]

Greenberg Marx errors: The Union Pacific 3824 caboose

Let’s pick up again with another error in the Greenberg Marx Trains Pocket Price Guide: The UP 3824 6-inch caboose. The guide lists the 3824 as a brown and yellow caboose, available on both a black or brown frame, valued at $20 in good condition and $30 in excellent. The description is correct, but the […]

The high-dollar cardboard box

There was one other interesting quote in the Post-Dispatch’s Top 10 collectibles for value this week: 10. Boxes (yes, simple boxes!) For a starter, wooden boxes of all types with and without locking mechanisms, souvenir boxes, tea boxes, cigar boxes, jewelry, knife boxes and the list goes on for value. If you can put something […]

Greenberg Marx errors: The windup 490

I’ve written before about the Greenberg Pocket Price Guide for Marx, and I frequently recommend it, especially to newcomers, because it’s very easy to end up spending $30 on a car that’s only worth $10. I know when starting out we prefer to spend our train money on trains, but by saving you from overpaying, […]