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Legends of Glen Dale

15-Jul-2011


Glen Dale, West Virginia is famous for two things – producing some of the most memorable toys in toy history – Marx toys…and country music singer and song writer – Brad Paisley.
 

Marx toys were produced from 1919 to 1980.  During the 1950’s and 60’s, Louis Marx & Co. became the “largest toy manufacturer in the world,” with over one-third of all toys in the United States being Marx toys.  Marx toys represent some of the most popular toys throughout history, including the Big Wheel, Johnny West, Rock’em Sock’em Robots, Fort Apache playsets, the wind-up Merrymakers, Jocko the Climbing Monkey, and so many more.

Paisley debuted as the 1999 CMA Top New Male Vocalist and has received the CMA Top Male Vocalist for the past five years.  Paisley was awarded 2010 Entertainer of the Year and now has 16 singles which have topped the chart at #1 including Whiskey Lullaby, Celebrity, Ticks, Mud on the Tires, and most recently, Old Alabama. 

While Marx dominates the toy industry of past decades, Paisley is a leader in today’s music industry....  So where would you expect the paths of iconic Marx toys and music giant Paisley to intersect? 

Well, let’s just say they met in the street – the streets of Glen Dale, West Virginia at the Annual Marx Big Wheel Race.  Born in 1972, Paisley was just the age to participate in the Big Wheel races held in Glen Dale each year. 

With Paisley being a resident of Glen Dale with friends and family members working at the Marx factory, Brad had a variety of Marx toys to play with throughout his childhood.

In April 2011, parents Doug and Sandy Paisley stumbled upon those childhood toys, but unlike most parents who pitched these worn playthings to the garbage, the Paisleys knew the perfect location to retire their son’s toys of years past – the Marx Toy Museum. 

The Marx Toy Museum currently displays the Brad Paisley toy collection in just the condition he left them – with “a little mud on the tires.”  In addition to his toy trucks, the collection includes a  diorama of a Civil War battle scene created as a 5th grade history project and the original, now autographed, Marx t-shirt Paisley received for participating in one of the Big Wheel races in the 1970’s.  

Behind every toy is a good story and the Marx Toy Museum is excited to be able to share this story with its visitors.  So plan your trip to the Marx Toy Museum and keep playing that Old Alabama!  

 Brad Paisley's Big Wheel

 

 

 

 

 

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