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The Curious Case of the Toy Ballet Dancer

Even if you’re not a toy collector, I’ll almost guarantee you’ve seen a Marx toy at some point in your life.  Marx was one of the most successful American toy makers of all time. Spanning across most of the 20th century, his company produced scores of toys in almost all categories. 

This particular toy, the Ballet Dancer, is quite unusual however. The piece is a bit of mystery, but seems to have a consensus of 1939/1940 being the date of introduction. It functions as a dolled up spinning top, or gyro toy.  You use the rip cord to engage the internal weight and off she goes spinning on her “tip toes.”
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Hubley Ahrens Fox Sold

We recently had a visitor wanting to see the Opamerica Toy Collection.  While picking toys at the 49th street flea market in St Pete, Florida, I came across another avid toy collector.  We seemed to share common interest in collecting vintage toys… ours in tinplate… his in cast iron.  After an engaging discussion we agreed to share our knowledge and meet to review some of prized possessions. On the appointed day this collector showed up and was quite amazed at the amount of toys and “other stuff” that we have accumulated over the years.

While looking over our lower shelves Ed Sanford ( the collector) spied a cast iron toy he could not resist owning.  After a brief negotiation Ed became the proud owner of a rather rare 11″ Hubley Ahrens Fox Fire Pumper which he wanted to feature on his new website ( ).