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 least as well as anything American Flyer had, while costing a lot less than either.
Marx also produced the 1666, a similar-looking plastic locomotive, that smoked from the sides and the top. Other than that, it’s less desirable than the 666. It’s plastic so it has that disadvantage right away–diecast metal offers a bit more presence, and since metal weighs more, it has more traction, and thus, more pulling power.
The ultimate 2-4-2 Marx locomotive would be a side-smoking 666, and it’s right there in the Greenberg guide, on page 28, valued at a $20 premium over the standard top-smoking configuration. But there’s a problem, at least from a collector’s standpoint. It never came that way from the factory.Read More »The side-smoking Marx 666 locomotive