Saturday, March 12, 2011

Marx - "Best of the West" - Johnny West!

It's Saturday and time for another rummage through "Unca Jeffy's Toy Box"!

This trip is actually the reason that I started doing these rummage-explorations. After seeing KW's post on his great diverse blog here, I had a penchant for digging for my own collection of Marx Toys "Best of the West". They weren't called "action figures back then...they were just fun toys.

As I dug through my trunks of toys, I recognized the "custom carrying case" shoe box my figures were stored in and my heart jumped...


...take a gander at 'em. Hours, days, weeks of my childhood, preserved as if in amber...


...pay no attention to the guy on the far left. He wasn't intended by the toy makers to go with the others. But he was in my young imagination. His name is "Mike Hazard" I believe, and once belonged to my big brother Mike. We'll get to him in a few weeks.


Here's how OCDed I am. The original brochures which came with the figures...


..."A handy guide to the complete collection! "Best of the West" - by Marx!


The star of the collection Johnny West...and Jane West (the girl toy...ewwwwwwwww)


..."Sheriff Garrett" and "Renegade Sam Cobra" (he's in that thar boox, too!)...


..."General Custer" and "Capt. Tom Maddox" (and he's in the box too!)...


..."Fighting Geronimo", "Chief Cherokee" (also in Unca Jeffy's Toy Box) and "Fighting Eagle"...


..."Covered Wagon and Horse" and "Buckboard and Horse"...


..."Thunderbolt" and "Storm Cloud Pinto"! Note that all figures made of "solid poly plastic", vinyl faces and hands and best of all, wagons and animals of "high impact styrene"! A petrolium based wet dream!...


..."Comanche Horse" and "Buckskin Horse"...


..."Pancho Horse", "Jay West" and "Jamie West"...


..."Janice West", "Josie West" and "Princess Wild Flower"...


...ahhhhhhh if I could only have them all. Even the girl toys would be neat to have.
As I said, my heart jumped when the memories flooded back to me. Imagine my horror when I found...


I knew Johnny's right hand was missing (thank my nephew Skip when we were kids for that...grrrrrrr), but apparently through the years of storage, the plastic clip on Johnny's hip decompsed and let go of the high tension spring that held the hips in place.

Sigh!

This is what a close-up autopsy would show...


"Oh, the pain! Someone shoot me NOW!!!", said Johnny.


..."But I must go on. I've fought for too many years to give up at something like this.", resolved the tough rancher. "Who needs a right hand and two legs? Not me!"

And that's what makes Johnny West cool. Hell, they named a whole direction after him!

A stolid faced man, ready to meet new challenges!


I haven't unpacked the whole shoe box yet, I'm hoping to find more accessories, but for now here's what Johnny still has in his arsenal!

His hat, kerchief, vest and chaps are all here. Though the soft plastic snaps that held the kerchief and chaps in place are long worn out from use...


...I'm afraid to remove his spurs for that very reason.


...Got a frying pan, coffee pot, coffee mug and canteen for nourishment...


...and his gun belt, knife and rifle are here. I'll be digging for his gun, though the soft plastic buckle of his belt is worn. :(


He's got his money box with 2 of the 3 bags of gold still here (I'm digging) and a branding iron...


Impressively enough, he even has his own brand. "W" for West!
um...or it's probably "M" for Marx.


Keep playing, cowpokes. Like Woody told us in "Toy Story 2", a toy's not happy in a box. A toy needs to be played with.

Talk to you soon.

9 comments:

Lysdexicuss said...

A-W-E-S-O-M-E-! I am so jealous. My Mom sold all my 'Action Figure' toys at a yard-sale when I was on vacation, and I was still only 12 years old ! ARGH ! I have never forgiven her. That Geronimo appeals to the rebel within me. He was only 5 feet tall in real life, so the scale of the figure is a bit off, not that he would mind being taller. KW is gonna flip when he sees this post~!

Marco said...

You suck! You still have all the toys I did when I was a youngin'

Jeff Overturf said...

It was kind of heartbreaking to see what rough shape my toys were in. I think in the back of my mind I thought I would pull them out and they'd be as fresh as when they were new.

Go ahead a be jealous though, boys...I'm glad I got 'em, beat up or not!

KW said...

Gasp! You saved it all! This makes my day. I wish I had the sense to do that back then. You are lucky too, I think if any of them had to break Johnny is the easiest to replace.

http://cgi.ebay.com/JOHNNY-WEST-MARX-VINTAGE-ACTION-FIGURE-TOY-/250785689069?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item3a63fdeded#ht_500wt_1156

That Sam Cobra figure is the coolest of them all. He's like the James Bond of the old West with his secret gun-in-the-pool-ball and belt buckle gun. He just plain looks the coolest too.

Jeff Overturf said...

I'm glad you like 'em KW. Thanks for making me remember I had them, too.

I'm a-feared Chief Comanchee got quite the beating too, more on that next Saturday, but "Renegade Sam Cobra" made the time travel trip from my childhood relatively unschathed!

J. Simmons said...

As a fan of westerns in general, this is pretty cool. Seeing toys like these makes me wonder what kind of adventures they get into!

Jeff Overturf said...

Thanks for stopping by J., and an interesting observation. Being as how this was a toy NOT based on a TV show or movie or anything else, I remember my young mind being able to run rampant in the adventures I had. That may be a key as to why they're so fondly remembered.

Anonymous said...

Awesome collection

My best friend that lived across the street had these toys and I loved playing with them. They were so different from our Barbies and had such cool accessories.
Looking at your pic's brought back such wonderful childhood memories...thanks♥

Jeff Overturf said...

Thanks for sharing your memories, too Anony! This is a series of toys that you don't hear much about, but I remember days, weeks, even whole summers that were filled with happy times playing with these!

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