134. “HO scale Japan! Japan, by Marx.”

The episode:Prince of Space,” ep. 816

The riff: The first part of the riff is delivered by Crow, and the second line by Servo, as the camera slowly swoops in on a fake-looking Japanese countryside.

The explanation: HO scale is a term that is known to any model railroader as the most popular size ratio for comparing the electric locomotives to real ones. True HO scale is roughly 1 to 87, which is to say the models are perfectly accurate reproductions that are one eighty-seventh the size. This is important because all the other details on a model train layout such as buildings, cars, people and trees also need to be in HO scale to keep the perspective looking correct. Meanwhile, “Marx” is a shortened version of Louis Marx and Company, a longtime toy manufacturer that went out of business in 1978. They were known for their model train pieces and their slogan: “One of the many Marx toys, have you all of them?”

Novelty factor: I’ve done enough feature stories in my day about model railroaders to know all about HO scale.

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3 thoughts on “134. “HO scale Japan! Japan, by Marx.”

  1. Marx had the coolest toys! They did a LOT more than trains. They were the original inventors of the Big Wheel among many others. Its funny, when I got my full size Tom Servo earlier this year, I had a repeated urge to flip him over and look for the Marx brand. Also look for Transogram toys. If you were a kid in the 60’s and early 70’s these were names that meant fun.

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