While we’re discussing Marx values, I might as well go ahead and write about Marx caboose values too. It’s only a matter of time before someone will want that information too.
Cabooses are much like any other Marx train. The most common Marx cabooses are worth around $10. There are a couple dozen Marx cabooses worth more than that.
General guidance on the value of Marx cabooses
Generally speaking, a 4-wheel plastic Marx caboose is usually worth a little less than $10. A 4-wheel tin Marx caboose is worth around $10. An 8-wheel plastic or tin Marx caboose is usually worth around $15.
Those are prices for typical items in typical condition. By typical I mean used, but not abused. It can have slight flaws and still get that kind of money. If it’s missing parts, or it’s beat up, it’ll go for less. If it’s in exceptional condition, it can go for more. But by exceptional condition, I mean it looks brand new, or very close to it.
Cabooses are prone to roof damage, since they’re usually the last car in a train and the most likely to fall off a table in the event of a derailment. You can straighten the corner of a tin caboose roof with minimal damage, but plastic corners are prone to fall off. A rare caboose with a busted corner doesn’t become worthless, but it loses significant value.
Parts value of Marx cabooses
A beat-up caboose or one missing parts still has value, but if it’s a common item, we’re talking parts value at that point. A hobbyist will have to come up with replacement parts from another car in order to complete one. I’ve certainly used parts from incomplete common cabooses to complete a rarer one.
Generally speaking, the wheels, axles, couplers, and frames are all worth around a dollar apiece. The body is worth a dollar or two. The more complex the car, the higher its parts value will be.
If you’re a hobbyist, save the parts that are useful to you. If you’re a reseller, you’ll have to decide if it makes more sense to maintain a stock of parts, or if it makes sense to sell parts in lots. Assortments of useful parts will sell. Don’t expect to get much selling a dozen caboose bodies as a lot, but wheels, couplers, trucks, and frames sell well.
Noteworthy Marx cabooses
If you need a comprehensive list of every single Marx caboose and its value, that’s what price guides are for. If you’re going to deal in trains, having a price guide is indispensable. It’ll take 2-3 purchases for it to pay for itself if you use it correctly. I’ll cover the highlights.
234 Army caboose
The plastic Army caboose with the traditional cupola in olive drab is worth around $25.
C-350 Monon plastic caboose
The red 4-wheel Monon plastic caboose is worth around $30 in nice condition. The 8-wheel variant, which came in red or brown, is worth about $35.
X-467 Rocket Computing Center caboose
The 4-wheel plastic Rocket Computing Center caboose is worth about $50 in nice condition. The 8-wheel version is worth about the same. Like its military-themed trains, Marx’s space-themed trains are always worth looking for.
504 B&O plastic blue caboose
The 4-wheel plastic B&O caboose is rare, and worth around $200 in nice condition.
C504-518 B&O Caboose
The blue 7-inch B&O caboose came in 14 different number variations, They’re worth around $50.
556 New York Central
This may be the most common Marx 6-inch car in existence. The 4-wheel version is worth around $10 and the 8-wheel version around $20, so it’s normally nothing to get excited about. Marx did produce an illuminated version of this caboose from 1939-42, and if done from the factory, it commands a value of $100. But be careful, as many hobbyists have illuminated their cabooses over the years. The easiest way to tell a factory illuminated version is to look at the windows. A genuine factory version has strips of window glazing attached behind the windows via two small brass eyelets.
586 Rock Island work caboose
The Rock Island work caboose is worth about $40.
C-635 New Haven caboose
The 8-wheel plastic New Haven caboose came in brown or black. It’s worth about $30.
643 Western Pacific caboose
The green bay-window Western Pacific caboose is a real find at $125. It was only made in 1973.
956 Seaboard Air Lines
This green and yellow 6-inch caboose is worth around $50 in typical condition. It dates to 1955-56, which accounts for its scarcity.
966-980 Kansas City Southern caboose
The 7-inch Kansas City Southern caboose in red, yellow and black came in 15 numbers, from 966-980, and is another one the books typically get wrong. The 7-inch KCS cabooses typically sell for around $100, similar to their 6-inch counterpart.
969 plastic Kansas City Southern caboose
The red 4-wheel plastic Kansas City Southern caboose is worth about $60 in nice condition. The 8-wheel version seems to be a bit more common and is worth about $50.
1500 Rio Grande caboose
The Rio Grande caboose was only made in 1974, and commands a premium price of $90 due to its scarcity. Contrary to what some Lionel know-it-alls say sometimes on forums, yes, 1974 was a great year for Marx, or at least, the very last one.
2130 Army work caboose
The 8-wheel plastic Army work caboose is worth $45. If you remember nothing else, remember that Marx’s Army trains are popular.
2225 Santa Fe bay window caboose
The Marx 2225 8-wheel bay window caboose lettered for Santa Fe is worth around $30. The bay window-style cabooses are less common than the more traditional variants.
2366 Canadian Pacific caboose
The plastic 2366 Canadian Pacific caboose is worth around $70.
3824 Union Pacific caboose
This is one the books frequently get wrong. The common version of this 6-inch caboose with a black frame is worth around $10 and was in production 20 years. The scarcer version with a brown frame, only made from 1951-54, is worth around $25. I’ve covered the 3824 in more detail previously.
The plastic 8-wheel bay-window caboose with the same number is worth $75, and the work caboose with the same number is worth $50.
3855 Monon caboose
The gray, red and white 7-inch 3855 Monon caboose is worth about $30.
3900 plastic Union Pacific caboose
The yellow plastic Union Pacific caboose is worth more than its tin counterparts, at about $40, whether 4- or 8-wheel. The orange or brown versions are worth around $10.
4586 UP work caboose
The 4586 UP work caboose is worth about $35.
4589 NYC track cleaning caboose
The 4589 track cleaning caboose lettered for the New York Central is worth around $50. There are better ways to clean your track, but track cleaning cars are uncommon enough to make nice collectibles.
5563 Kansas City Southern Caboose
The colorful red, yellow and black KCS 6-inch caboose sells for around $100 in nice condition when one turns up. It was only in production from 1957-59.
17858 Rock Island caboose
The red 4-wheel or brown 8-wheel plastic Rock Island caboose is worth about $20, a slight premium over the most common plastic cabooses. The bay-window version with the same number is worth $65.
20102 NYC caboose
This is another caboose normally not worth getting excited about. But like the 556, Marx did produce a 6-inch illuminated version of this caboose in very small quantities, and if done from the factory, it commands a value over $100. The easiest way to tell a factory illuminated version is to look at the windows. A genuine factory version has strips of window glazing attached behind the windows via two small brass eyelets.
31055 Monon caboose
The gray, red and black Monon six-inch caboose is worth around $40 in typical condition. Advanced Marx collectors aren’t certain of the production years, but estimate it from 1955-57.
691521 Mickey Mouse caboose
Marx’s Disney train is sought after by both toy and Disney collectors. The Mickey Mouse caboose is worth about $100.
Unnumbered Marlines caboose
Marx also made an unnumbered caboose, in red, lettered for Marlines. The Marlines caboose is worth $50 in nice condition.