In 1963 Marx released a "Custer's Last Stand" playset that was only available through Sears. There were no figures or accessories that were new to this playset. The only unusual thing was the colors of figures and wagons included. Somehow, when I was a kid, I never realized this set existed, even though I'm sure I devoured the Sears wishbook as Christmas approached that year. I can only figure it didn't capture my imagination back then. However, when I started collecting Marx playsets as an adult, there was just something about those powder blue, reverse color confederates that only appeared in this one short lived set, that overcame all reason. I spent from fifteen to thirty bucks per figure to put a set of those "flip flop Rebs" together...and I never could find an intact flagbearer. I long ago sold that put-together original set, but I replaced it with a set that is far, far superior, if far far less valuable, than the original. In this set all my favorite cavalry figures and all my favorite Indian figures mix it up...all dressed up in those great Marx colors.
Some of these pictures are linked to larger versions of the picture for those with wide screen monitors. Give 'em a click and see what happens.
Recently on the Marx Playsets Yahoo Group, people have been sharing what their favorite figures were. Two of my favorites were the standing firing Yank and the standing firing Reb. I remember that the Reb was "Johnny Yuma" and the Yank was "Gabe". (Does anybody know if there was a "Gabe" character on the old "The Rebel" TV series?). They were best friends and I always liked to pair them up for Indian battles. It didn't matter a bit back then that one was gray and the other blue or that they were using muskets instead of carbines. Here they stand shoulder to shoulder once again as they did so many times when I was a kid...but this time they are color coordinated!.
As a kid I always really liked the Marx running pony. As an adult, I think it looks like a grey hound in drag. In this picture you can see my attempt to make that pony look to my adult eyes like it looked in the imagination tinted eyes of my younger incarnation. You can also see the "Chicken Bone" chief made dynamic. The Marx Indian figures are so well sculpted, but really, they are in a bunch of goofy poses. Yet none of that mattered to me as a kid.
How many different manufacturers' figures can you count in this picture?
Another of my favorite figures was the Marx mounted Indian Chief. He'd always sit up on the high ground with his 'flagspear' (I know now it's a coup stick) and give directions to the warriors below. It never bothered me that he is sort of a dull pose. In this picture you can see how I finally made an action hero out of him. You can also see how well the BMC character figures match up with the Marx figures in terms of sculpting. Putting them on horses helps, though.
Britains Deetail Indians Marxized!
Ok...so maybe I can do better...
I figured since I paid so much for this figure, I better use him,
And I always liked multiple colors of indians...
Wave "Bye Bye" George.