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The Playset


When Marx released the Rifleman Ranch playset in 1959, the company was at the height of its playset prowess and toy making ability. The flat color soft plastic that was used for the figures at this time was the best that Marx ever did. It was the time where Marx always produced the character figures of their playsets in a beautiful cream color. Also, the sculptors used by Marx were extremely skilled in creating the likenesses of the various personalities in 54mm figures. The character figures of Lucas McCain and his son Mark McCain are no exception. The figures look just like their real-life counterparts.









I understand that a lot of the Marx 54mm Lucas McCain figures have a casting defect on the front of the figure due to problems related to the complicated sculpture of the figure and the release from the mold. I have never seen this.

The Mark McCain figure is shown carrying a rifle in the Montgomery Wards catalog ad, but all the Mark figures released in the Rifleman playsets had no rifle. In recent years, this mystery was explained by the fact that the figure was originally intended to have a rifle, but Marx changed its mind, altered the mold, and issued the figure without the rifle. I do know that some early "test shots" of the Mark figure had the rifle, so maybe one or two of these figures do exist.

There was one other "character figure" included in this set, and that was a small cream 1892 Rifleman rifle. This piece is harder to find than the character figures of Lucas and Mark. When it is found, the lever is gone. Apparently, Marx included this little rifle so that kids could "work" the action of the gun. Being soft plastic, the lever didn't last long.

The final unique piece to this playset is the Rifleman Ranch gate, which has the Rifleman name and Rifleman rifle heat stamped on the plastic.