Mechanical figure:Charlie McCarthy

Louis Marx & Company1938

The Strong National Museum of Play

The Strong National Museum of Play

"Crazy Cars" typify the humor and charm of toys made by Louis Marx & Company of New York. For nearly three decades (1926-1953) the Marx company produced a multitude of these cars with subjects ranging from the "Komical Kop" to the more familiar Disney characters of Mickey Mouse and Donald Duck. The simple design testifies to Louis Marx's belief that children's toys should be "fun," "familiar," and "surprising." A wind-up mechanism powers the rear wheels while the front wheels pivot in a complete circle. This makes the car dart forward, backward, and in random directions while the driver's head twirls.

This 1938 lithographed-tin Crazy Car is the perfect vehicle for Charlie McCarthy, Edgar Bergen's ventriloquist dummy. The pair made their radio debut a year earlier with the wildly popular "Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy Show," which ran continuously for 15 years. Marx's friendship with Edgar Bergen inspired the company to produce a variety of toys featuring Charlie McCarthy and his lovable--though dim-witted--counterpart, Mortimer Snerd. Walking, drumming, and driving, the whimsical toys brought the joys of popular radio characters to living room floors throughout the country.

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  • Title: Mechanical figure:Charlie McCarthy
  • Creator: Louis Marx & Company
  • Date Created: 1938
  • Location: New York, NY
  • Subject Keywords: Charlie McCarthy
  • Type: Mechanical Toys
  • Medium: lithographed tin, stamped
  • Object ID: 73.1739