Marx's toys included tinplate buildings, toy soldiers, toy dinosaurs, mechanical toys, toy guns, and O scale toy trains. Although now largely forgotten by the general public, the Big Wheel ride-on pedal toy, which was introduced in 1969 and became one of the most popular toys of the 1970s.
Founded in 1919 in New York City by Louis Marx and his brother David Marx, the company's basic policies were "Give the customer more toy for less money," and "Quality is not negotiable," which made the company highly successful. Unlike most companies, Marx's revenues grew during the Great Depression, and Marx was the largest toy manufacturer in the world by the 1950s. In a 1955 article, Time Magazine proclaimed Louis Marx "the Toy King." Marx was the initial inductee in the Toy Hall of Fame, and his plaque proclaimed him "The Henry Ford of the toy industry."
In 1972, Marx sold his company to the Quaker Oats Company for $52 million and retired at the age of 76. Quaker owned the Fisher-Price brand, but struggled with Marx, selling the company just three years later to the British conglomerate Dunbee-Combex. The combined company, known as Dunbee-Combex-Marx, struggled as well, and in 1978 the Marx brand disappeared. Dunbee-Combex-Marx filed for bankruptcy in 1980.
The rights to some of Marx's toys are now owned by other companies, and some of its designs, including the original Big Wheel design and many of Marx's trains, are still in production. The original Marx toys are highly regarded by collectors.