Video Library - Reviews

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These videos are part of the CTCS library collection and have been reviewed by G. Ron Blair. CTCS members who wish to borrow any of the videos may do so by contacting the librarian at any monthly meeting or by phone at
(905) 272-5597.

Marx Toys
duration 60 min
An interesting video which opens with the real life story of Louis Marx, the great toy manufacturer. Initially black & white photos are used to illustrate the importance of the Marx Toy Company. Its founder, Louis Marx, was a true giant of the world toy industry which he entered in 1919. This portion of the video gives the viewer a real insight into Marx the man and his company.

The second portion of the video takes you into the Marx factory situated in Glen Dale, West Virginia. Interesting footage of the factory and some truly excellent shots of the Marx tinplate toy manufacturing operation are presented in a very easily viewed manner. The final segment of this video consists of about a dozen Marx TV Commercials from the 1950's and 60's for the "Big Soo", "Space Ranger", "Big Rail", and other well known Marx products are shown.

Overall an interesting video, especially the historical introduction and production plant scenes. Recommended viewing for all collectors of Marx toys.

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Train Buff's Dream Tape
2 parts - 60 min total
Part 1: Toccata for Toy Trains

This is not just a video about model railways, but rather about "real toy trains" - mostly old toys in cast iron and tinplate.

Station scenes include German items and a Lehmann autobus as well as really cute moving pedestrians, bands and passengers. Excellent close-up shots of train wheels, signals, gears and the inside of cabs.

Part 2: Pacific 231

This is an essay based on the symphony by Arthur Honnegar. The video is used to create the atmosphere of French Railways in 1949. Some excellent views of railway track, scenery, bridges and close-ups of steam running gear. However, at times the music is too loud and the motion too fast. Almosat made me glad when the locomotive stopped.

Following the above sequence, the video presents a brief look at an "O" guage model railroad claimed to be the largest in the world. The setup has been worked on for over 25 years and it is still not fully completed.

Next the video covers a "Railrod Story", which deals with some of the history of U.S. Railroads before switching to a model railroad layout fashioned on a U.S. based layout.

Finally the viewer is presented with "Choo-Choo Living", a series of cartoons with accompanying railroad songs and tunes.

A curious mixture of railroad memorabilia, some good .. some poor. But well worth a look if you are a real or model railroad afficionado.

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Mechanical Toys & Automata
from the Margaret Strong Museum Collection
duration 10 min
This video should bring back memories for several CTCS members who visited the Margaret Strong Museum a few years ago. This is a short video, but it is crammed with information on many mechanical toys grouped into tpyes such as: pull toys, American clockwork, walking toys, spring driven toys and space toys.

A very interesting video showing the various ingeneous actions/motions that have been incorporated into various toys over the years. This video will be enjoyed by automata colletors. Its only drawback is the choice of not so tuneful music which this reviewer found to be agravating. On the bright side its only a 10 min video so one can bear the agravation.

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Mr. Robot/Gear Robot
duration 40 min
Lots of interest in this video for robot collectors. Everything imaginable in robot "trickery" from robots with moving pictures inside a small screen to chest opening or chest shaking robots and lots of flashing lights. Other examples noted were space vehicles with great looking spacement, an AC Cobra space vehicle, spacemen that lok more like dep sea divers due to the air cylinders on their backs, and of course all spacemen have the de-rigeur fancy space zappers.

The photography is really good with excellent view shots of these interesting toys and the accompanying narration is very informative. This Japanses made video is well worth a look.

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