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Marble Kings

Speed Racer

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cool! like the MK's. i wouldn't necessarily call any of those a "bengal". here's one i have, i like the yellow to be very distinct.


as for the other three...don't really know of names, look like somewhat blended tri-colored rainbows. if you like MK's you should take a peek at my gallery pics!


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  • 2 weeks later...

Thank you Bubba and thanks Steph!! They are really beautiful, especially in hand. My pix just do not show it very well but a few do have the contrasting yellow separate from the orange as you describe. In fact, the color ranges are so unique that no two are alike and when they are grouped into one pile, and you can see all the different hues, especially in the orange, they really are impressive. I normally do not collect the MK's, but these have opened my eyes. Happy New Year everyone! ~R

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  • 2 years later...

I collect MKs exclusivly. Does anyone know of a publication or posted definitions that could help us identify from what decade ...1940, 1950, 1960 ....1990, 2000+ that a marble king was made?

I read in Marble Alans website that a 1940-1950 MK had a patch, ribbon, ribbon, patch pattern and that later Mks had only patch , ribbon, patch. That was bery helpfulin identifying the first Mks but after that it is very difficult. colors help but it would be helpful to have a MK color map for the decades as well as aMK pattern map.

I know that the early Mks had the oxblood sharp pattern on top /bottom...that is a help to identify.

I had understood that "vintage" was up to 50 years old and "antique" was 50+ years. some sellers have called 1940-1950 Mks Vintage and some sellers have called 1990 MKs Vintage ...I don't think most know from what decade/ 1940-2012 they have.

and ...why are MK patch, ribbon, ribbon,patch blue/green dragonflys so hard to find...the blends and hybreds seem pretty abundant.

Any help on this.?...thanks,

Dave from Iowa

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Hi Dave. Interesting questions.

The Marble King company was incorporated in 1949. The first Marble King factory used to be an Alley factory. To the best of my knowledge they started making what we recognize as Marble King marbles in the mid-50's. They sold leftover Alleys and possibly Peltiers and some Japanese cat's eyes until they started making their own marbles.

That's my initial contribution. Plus I'll move this into the general chat area so more will see.

A little extra info and stray thoughts:

American Machine-Made Marbles has some good Marble King history in it.

The patch and ribbon style started in the 1950's. In the AMMM book, Roger Howdyshell is quoted as saying that they started veneering marbles in 1956-1957 and ended in 1965. So that's when the traditional patch and ribbons such as the classic bumblebee would have ended.

But some of the later though still collectible marbles like the "newer" hercules and "newer" green hornet still had a patch and ribbon look and I think they were made in the late 60's or early 70's. I would fudge and consider the collectible Marble Kings from the early 1970's to be "vintage".

Old style Hercules, compliments of Speed Racer (presumed 1956 - 1965)


Later Hercules (presumed late 60's or early 70's)


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I believe the one Steph has marked as the Older style was actually the second version of MK rainbows. The first showed very distinct patch ribbon patch with very minimal blending straight edges and very opaque distinct colors on the white base. The MKs with oxblood also appear to be type 2s. A study and book on MKs would be very nice to have.

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Thanks for the info!! that helps ...... I'll check my library of marble books for the AMMM.

I know it's impossible to catalogue every MK marble. However, Marble Alan made a good effort to show all the MK classics he was aware of. Per your input,.......... it seems like there is a group of 1949- 1965 classics that have distinct colors and sharp lines . IE: spiderman, watermelon, dragonfly, green hornet, girl scout , cub scout, tiger, hercules ,.... and a few more I can't remember. They seem the most illusive and get a higher price than all other MKs . Then there are the blended and hybreds of that era that apparently were rejects and now are also now part of a regular basic MK collection. some are quite beautiful and command a decent price .....and some are beautiful...... but are so plentiful, don't get a decent price.

........and then there are the experimental MKs that are like impossible to find.

and then there are the Berry Pinks that are apparently not plentiful.... but are not expensive either..... go figure......

Anything after 1965 seems to be very common and are sold in groups of 10 and 20 for under $10. Many of those are very pretty marbles and make a great display.

As I am old (65) I collect the old( 1949-1965) for the most part........... but have upon occasion bought a really sharp contemporary group of MKs

I wonder if there are any records anywhere that would show us how mwny of the 1949-1965 marbles were made ?

Sounds like a great disertation for a PhD student..." A comprehensive historical look at the evoution, production and collection of Marble King marbles".

Thanks again for the info!!

Does anyone know a MK marble plant worker from the 1949-1965 era that might have additional info???

Dave from Iowa

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Don, Is right on the money. It will include some of what you ask, Some of how they were made and lots of pics of very pretty MKs.The exact records since the fire are all still kept, but I do not know if they will be opened for this or any book. Cross your fingers.

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