Magic Marxie Marxie feet
The Presidents
Presidents Store Display
Presidents Set
Eisenhower card
Click photos for more information.
From the Flubber Gallery collection.
All photos copyright Abby Weissman, 2008
Beginning in the early 1950's, the Louis Marx Toy Company embarked on an ambitious semi-educational series, the Presidents of the United States. The idea for this line may have evolved from Louis Marx's friendship with then President Dwight D. Eisenhower. (Yes, Marx was a Republican).
Marx was already producing detailed plastic representations of notable individuals of both current and past historical importance. These included the great Generals of World War II series, the Queen Elizabeth Coronation set, the Great Canadians, Jesus & the Apostles, and others. Louis Marx even made a figure of himself, which he liked to give to friends and business associates.
The Marx Presidents of the United States series was produced from the Eisenhower administration up to the 1968 Presidential election. During the 1968 election Marx made figures of not only the major party candidates (Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey) but some of the leading contenders, such as Nelson Rockefeller (then-governor of New York), Robert F. Kennedy (NYS Senator) and Ronald Reagan (then-governor of California). Prior to election day Marx created President-series figures of both Richard M. Nixon and Hubert H. Humphrey, hedging his bets over the winner of the election. Nowadays the Humphrey figures still frequently turn up mint in bag on eBay (as well as do most all of the Presidential figures), whereas the other 1968 candidates such as Ronald Reagan, Robert F. Kennedy and Nelson Rockefeller are somewhat harder to find (and more expensive).
What makes all these figures notable today is their excellent sculpting and their uncanny likenesses to their models (in most cases). They were also considered educational toys which taught children about U.S. history and current events. The Presidents, like the Jesus & the Apostles figures, were sold initially in hard white plastic and later were available in handpainted versions.
Like many Marx items, the Presidents were produced in numerous versions. There are four: white unpainted 60mm versions, handpainted 60mm versions (with gold bases), miniature Disneykin-sized white figures, and miniature Disneykin-sized handpainted figures.
The Presidents line was packaged in numerous formats:
  • Long rectangular boxes with six figures to a box, which chronologically comprised the entire series up until Eisenhower.
  • Large Gift Box with a cover and booklet (white unpainted figures)
  • The White House and the U.S. Senate HO scale playsets with snap together buildings and Disneykin-sized white Presidents figures.
  • The supermarket promo with Styrofoam tiered base - includes all painted Presidents up to Nixon (shown above) which was available either by a supermarket in-store campaign (with a new one sold each week) or a mail-in offer.
  • Individually, in small header card bags (painted figures)
  • Small easel backed display card - similar to the miniature Jesus & the Apostles set (not marked Marx)
  • The Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mamie Eisenhower header card (shown above) hails from the mid-1950s. There were two versions of President Eisenhower, one with arms up, and one with arms at side. There are also two versions of the Mamie Eisenhower figure as well. One with arms in front (as whon in the cards pictured above) and the other with an arm up waving a handfercheif. Note: there are also two versions of the General Eisenhower figure from the WWII Generals series, unpainted and painted.)
The Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon figures were added to the line in the 1960s. There was even a Jackie Kennedy figure available in white plastic only. The "Paint Your Own Presidents" display shown above came with only Eisenhower at the top tier initially. On our updated version shown above, the figure of Kennedy was added by Marx after 1960.
This educational tie-in was later exploited even further in the early 1960s with the highly successful Warriors of the World line. The "Warriors" were representations of soldiers and their leaders from the past through the then present. The Warriors line featured Romans, Pirates, the Civil War's Union and Confederates, World War I soldiers (U.S., British, French, German), World War II (British, German, U.S.), cowboys, Indians, and U.S. Cavalry, to name a few. Many are also highly valued by collectors. Warriors were also available as 6-inch figures, again in unpainted and painted version. These large "Warriors" offer the best examples of the Marx factory figure sculptors' work.
Click on a photo (above) for more information, including close-ups photos of the boxes.
More photos of the other numerous box formats and versions will be posted at a later date.

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Website created by FlubberGallery, NYC, USA. All photographs by Abby Weissman unless noted.
All original content copyright The Flubber Gallery, 2008. Contact for information.
Last updated 6.29.08
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