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In the early 1950s, Robert L. Marx ran a successful smoking pipe company, Marxman Pipes. One day, a man came to him with a patent for an airplane with rotating wings. Marx recognized that the design would never make a successful airplane but thought it would be a great kite. To the original design, Marx added a small wooden fishing rod and reel and the Skyro-plane box proclaimed "Fish in the sky as well as the sea." The toy proved to be a novelty success and was promoted at places such as Coney Island and Jones Beach where demonstrations made it immediately appealing to kids. In the air, it looked like a sleek silver airplane and the noise of its rotating wings sounded like a motor. At hockey games at Madison Square Garden, the players used Skyro-planes for aerial dogfights. The toy was also featured in a 1952 Judy Holliday movie called "The Marrying Kind." In the film, a sidewalk vendor is selling the Skyro-plane for 65 cents, although the actual retail price at the time was closer to $3 (the front of this box has $2.98 written in pencil). Marx filed a suit against Columbia Pictures but lost the case since it was determined that the fictional price had not been set with any malice. Ultimately, the fad ran its course and, although Marx offered Super and Junior variants of the original Skyro-plane, it eventually disappeared from the marketplace.

  • Manufacturer: Marxman Skyro-plane Distributors
  • Material: printed cardboard | wood | metal
  • Origin: New York, NY
  • Object ID: 115.2799
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