Friday, November 11, 2011

Treasures from my parents' basement

Greetings from California!

It's been more than two decades since I moved out of my parents' house, but evidence of my occupancy remains. Here are a few treasures that I unearthed from my parents' basement today.

First up is an early 1970's Marx Best od the West buckboard. This originally belonged to my older sister.
These are the horses that went with the buckboard. 
Stormcloud is wearing one of the earliest BCS bridles. The browband is made from a grocery store twist tie decorated with a marker. His bit is made from hand twisted wire.
Buckskin's tack is designed to help him hold his head up. The "SSS" on the breastplate stands for Something Special Stables.
This jump set is a little more modern--I'm guessing early 1980's?
Not all the jumps remain and the original water jump was replaced with a handmade version. 
This horse has a box stall. Literally. It's a stall made from a box.
Even as a kid, I liked my horses to wear clothes. Because he is a stallion, Star Spangled
has a blanket and a neck sweat.
Nearly all my horses had their own blankets...
each with their name written on the inside of the shoulder. 
I'm still digging.  Who knows what treasures I will find next?


  1. What memories your post brought back for me! I had that same buckboard-long since gone, and two of those 3 Johnnie West horses(they are long gone too). Stormcloud was my favorite and i still love pintos to this day :) I also made blankets for all my horses also in my stable colors of navy with white trim and i embroidered their names on the shoulders of their blankets. Thanks for bringing back such great memories :)

  2. I remember all of those items, I had most of them too! Want to hear something funny? I was raised as a Catholic, and for my First Communion, instead of giving me a rosary like most kids got as a little present, my mom gave me the Marx buckboard wagon. I'm sure I was much happier with that ;-)

  3. I can't stand it... WE had the buckboard, and the Pally, and the bay with the moveable neck. I say "we" because I think these items were given to my younger brother during his cowboy phase. You can take a wild guess as to who played with them more, though. :-) I think I have two Marx horses left. One is a greyish-dunnish guy that I hand-painted with black model paint to be a Pinto (fug-ly) and the other is the Pally, but I'll have to look. The buckboard has long since disappeared, unfortunately.

    And you people with your fancy blankets! Gadzooks, my models were lucky if they had Kleenex fastened with tape for leg wraps. I certainly never advanced to the custom blanket level (or to making much tack). I had no idea such dedication existed... now I feel rather guilty on behalf of my childhood models. :-) Oh, well, they didn't suffer from lack of love or playtime so I guess that's okay.

  4. that's so cool that you have found stuff that you played with as a child!! I love long lost treasures!! had to laugh at the blankets, I made rugs for all my Schleich horses a few years back (when I was about 10, so about 5 years ago) but yours make mine look EXTREMELY shabby! lol! mine was just a piece of fabric cut out with a hole cut in the front part so it could slip over the horse's heads!!

    and RiderWriter, you reminded me of when I used to get little bits of toilet paper and sellotape them round the horses legs!! oh some of the stuff I used to do to my horses!! Not sure what I was doing, but one of mine ended up with nail polish all over it!! I can remember doing it too, just not what I was thinking!!

  5. As a toy horse collector I greatly enjoyed your review!
    I`m stuck to the toy horses with my custom tack passion, but now profit from more know-how to create them the realistic tack they deserve as well.

    Greetings from frosty Germany,


  6. Thank you SO much for this post! a friend of mine collects any and everything that has even a vague horse shape, and she recently picked up the palomino in the first picture second- hand. She asked me to make tack for him and to clean him up a bit, and we have had the hardest time identifying him, due to the fact that we're newer (and younger) collectors. Thanks so much for making my day and helping to identify our horse.

  7. You guys who had the buckboard (me too), did your horse have wheels in the hooves? Mine did.

    The two Marx horses I have left (the palomino and the black one) are at my mother's house and available for the grandchildren to play with.

    Of course my palomino now has pinto spots and the black is held together with (black) electrical tape and sports a yarn tail.

    I got rid of the tack when we moved to Colorado, along with the one intact (bay) horse and the riders. Ah, well.

  8. Now that you mention it, I think one of ours did have wheels in his feet. They were largely useless to us since we played in the family room on carpet. I'm still in awe of Jenn's solution to that dratted moveable neck on the bay- the "permanently grazing" pose was really annoying! I don't know what genius at Marx thought that was a good idea.

    It's funny, I can just feel and smell the rubbery plastic harness pieces for those horses. I remember using pieces of Tinkertoy for replacement buckboard shafts when we broke them. Some of the harness pieces were chewed up by our long-suffering guinea pig. He spent time riding in the wagon and hanging out in makeshift corrals with the horses. Those were the days.... I swear, a lot modern children just do not have a clue when it comes to entertaining themselves without electronics. It's pretty sad.

  9. None of my Marx horses have wheels in the feet. To be honest, the palomino in the picture wasn't part of the original set. He came along much, much later. I don't think he ever even had a name.

    I didn't have enough time to go through boxes looking for specific horses. If I had, the palomino would have cast aside in favor of "Comanche." He was also a palomino but he had the jointed legs and head. There was also a Pancho "pony" who was closer to traditional size.

    I think it's funny that so many of us had that buckboard. It must have been a popular 1970's era toy!

  10. That is a lot of rugs lol I love the jumps I wish I could get them now