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The two cabins included in the Rifleman set were downsized tin litho cabins that had been included in Fort Apache and Roy Rogers Ranch and probably other playsets. The only thing special to this set is that the hard plastic porch and chimney are in a light gray.

   

 

 

This is the first appearance of the Marx 54mm cowboys in the pages of Drbred's Playset Page. I grew up playing with these cowboys because they were in my childhood playset, Wagon Train. There are nine poses of Marx cowboys. In this set, the cowboys are in a beautiful flat color gray and red-brown.

   

 

 

What I like about the Marx cowboys is that they represent a wide range of activities. Most manufacturers' cowboy figures are all shooting poses. Marx's poses can be used in many situations. I like to categorize these cowboys into three areas: lawmen, outlaws, and cowpokes.

Two of the poses have tin stars on their chests. The two lawmen are interesting. The standing lawman looks just like John Wayne! The other lawman is one of the two mounted poses. I usually made him the Texas Ranger when I was playing with him as a kid.

    

 

    

 

 One is obviously an outlaw due to the bandana mask that he has covering his face. He is carrying a looted strongbox and pointing his gun at the stage driver. The length of his gun arm has always bothered me. It seems out of proportion to his body and other arm.

 

 Three of the figures carry items that identify them as men working with cattle. One pose is a seated wagon driver. 

    

 

    

 

   

 

 

The most dynamic pose, and my favorite as a kid, is the cowboy aiming two pistols. He could be a good guy, or he could be a gunfighter.

 The last pose is a cowboy that carries a rifle, but it is cradled in his arms. His facial features are unusual in that he appears a little slow witted. As a kid, I always portrayed this cowboy as the incompetent deputy who was guarding the jail when the lynch mob showed up, or as the expendable guard to the outlaws' hideout.  

Several other things are notable about the Marx cowboys. There are a  wide range of facial features and expressions. Also the western wear seems to recall the type of hats and gear worn by cowboys in the early silent westerns and the early 1930-40's western serials and movies. The cowboy hats worn are usually pointed and of the "ten gallon" variety that give the cowboys a quaint appearance. This is not a criticism of the sculpts, but an observation. One final observation, is that none of the cowboys are sighting or firing a rifle. Most figure sets usually have the standard "standing/firing" pose. I think it is to Marx's credit that they opted for more unusual poses.

 

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