Toy Box Find: Marx Big Wheel Still In The Box!

One of my all-time favorite toys as a kid was my Big Wheel! I can almost guarantee that a few of you have memories of sliding around on one of these plastic trikes. Marx claimed they were a safe alternative to two-wheel bikes, but we all know that you could get into just as much trouble. The handbrake made 360s a real possibility and nothing felt cooler than sitting low with that big wheel out front! I still dream of riding that thing, so imagine my surprise when I found one that’s still in its original box! Find it here on eBay where you can make an offer.

This is the stuff of childhood dreams. Its equipped with handlebar streamers, rear saddle bag, and a handbrake! Later Big Wheels lost the brake and bag, so this is like finding an optioned out car. The year I outgrew my Big Wheel is burned vividly in my memory. What a sad summer that was! Luckily, I had a little brother who still fit, so I would make him pedal while I rode on the back. This toy wasn’t just for boys either. My wife has a photo of her riding her pink Hot Cycle!

If you’re still not convinced of how awesome these really were, check out the tv commercial above. It’s a shame they don’t make an adult version of these today because I’d love to relive those memories. I’m sure the neighbors would really get a real kick out of watching my son and I head out for an afternoon ride on our Big Wheels!

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Comments

  1. Howard A

    This is a bit odd, featuring this( and you haven’t posted my submission of the ’57 Chevy truck/ manure wagon) but it’s your site, I suppose, and the variety is great. I don’t mean to rip on the author, who clearly is a fan of these, but I never had a Big Wheel. Fact is, we thought they were kind of lame. They were slow, noisy, and kids would always grind the plastic wheels down, making them “clump” down the sidewalk, and were useless “off road”. Can’t deny, the Big Wheel made “Big Wheels” out many Marx executives. I think it was their biggest toy seller of all. But to many, that’s all it was, a toy, and not a real bike.

    4
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      Yeah, you obviously never rode one…

      75
      • Howard A

        I don’t think I ever had a 3 wheeler, besides my sisters conventional AMF 3 wheeler, that we trashed. I did the 2 wheel with training wheels thing right from the start.

        2
      • Traner

        You want an adult Big wheel? type “drift trike” in to You tube. I’m old and fat but I still would…
        https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=8u9aHWDpJxU

        5
      • Billy 007

        I have to agree with the people who don’t understand the allure of a cheap plastic hollow bodied toy with equally plastic wheels….but then again, in the 1970s I was in college, so this toy truly isn’t part of my generation. What I do see here are a lot of happy memories, and that makes me smile. BF makes me smile all the time, thank you for that.

        11
      • YooperMike

        I never rode one but my two little ones sure loved them. We ll lived on a dead end street. Kids had a ball.

    • Don H

      Cheap parents that’s a little harsh.

      5
    • Howard A

      Hey pal, If I wanted a bike, I cut grass and did what ever I could to get my own bike. I don’t remember my parents buying me a bike. It wasn’t they were cheap, it taught me responsibility, and I bought a real bike. And I had anything BUT a lame childhood.

      5
    • glen

      That wasn’t called for, insulting someones parents is not cool.

      4
  2. canadainmarkseh Member

    I never had a big wheels and I don’t feel like I missed out either.

    8
    • Steve R

      My parents wouldn’t let us have one. We lived across the street from a grade school, the opposite side of the street had a sidewalk, not ours. More than once my parents came close to running over kids who would come tearing down the hill hidden by the fence due to the Big Wheel being so low, you couldn’t see them until the last second when backing out of the driveway. My mom hated them, she thought they were a death trap, from her perspective she wasn’t completely wrong.

      Steve R

      7
  3. Matt G

    My brother and I loved our bigwheel. We lived next to a parking lot that only had cars in it on weekends, so we ground down a few sets of wheels on that lot (I remember you could purchase replacement wheels seperately). If you wanted to live dangerously you could take the backrest off completely and ride bareback. I also remember the sticker that said “Weight limit 65 pounds” and how that seemed impossibly far off when I first got it, but then at some point in late grade school I was over the limit. The whole thing was so worn out that when my sister got old enough they bought her a brand new one, but she never cared for it and it sat in our shed collecting dust. I remember thinking at the time, what a waste…

    6
  4. RoKo

    The seller is asking $2500. That’s hilarious. You can get a new big wheel (albeit not exactly the same looking) for less than $100.

    13
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      The price may not be realistic, but it’s most definitely worth more than a new one.

      15
  5. GeaHead Engineer

    Jesse, I share your nostalgia for these things. Maybe one needs to be of a particular age or demographic. These were most fun while spinning them out with that that rear brake. Unfortunately it didn’t take long to wear right through the hollow plastic tires.

    Maybe that’s the root of my later automotive misadventures, particularly in the snow…

    – John

    13
  6. Troy s

    For a six year old this was it, all of us kids in my neighborhood probably had our first “drag race” on one of these things, and yes we were noisy. Just not as noisy as Bill down the street firing up his ’63 Galaxie drag car, full boogie 427 SOHC with open headers, talk about loud!!
    Nothin’ but memories.

    15
  7. Rodney - GSM

    “Big wheel keep on turning
    Proud Mary keep on burning
    And we’re rolling, rolling
    Rolling on the river”

    (Tina Turner had one…)

    7
  8. MH

    Boy you guys missed out on some of your childhood for sure. I have great memories of riding big wheels with my brother and all the neighborhood kids. We took ours off jumps, great times.

    25
  9. Jack M.

    I grew up in a working class neighbourhood. Nobody rode Big Wheels or had training wheels on their bikes. We went straight from three wheelers to two wheel bikes. I still have the scars to prove it.

    11
  10. Alexander

    There’s a bar in Baltimore, Max’s Taphouse, that holds an annual Maryland Brewers Big Wheel Race where the breweries each find an old Big Wheel (or similar ride, at the judgment of the bar), “trick” them out with anything from logo stickers to a CO2-jet “assist” system as brewery promos, and race them in a chaotic double-lap race around a square outside the pub, with the smallest employee or friend they can find driving them.

    https://www.facebook.com/events/316640655478400/

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d0BktZIIL24

    6
  11. Classic Steel

    Did they find the kid in the barn locked
    up with the toy?
    Do we need to kick start a real barn find for them?

    How is this a barn find ?

    Hey what’s next “barns found for cool weddings “ ????

    1
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      This thing has sat unused in someone’s garage for almost 50 years. How’s it not a barn find?

      36
      • brian crowe

        It seems that a lot of the guys here are just grumpy old men. This is a great barn find and I enjoyed it very much. It brought back a lot of good memories. Thanks

        43
      • Crazyhawk

        I wore the front wheel completely down to nothing on my Big Wheel and my awesome dad went out and got me another. The greatest, most fun toy I ever owned, well except for my Challenger now. We slid around home made race tracks and it felt like we were going 100mph. This Big Wheel looks like the first version and the most cool. I love it when an oddball barnfind pops up sometimes. Thanks Jesse!!!!!

        13
      • Howard A

        I’m not a grumpy old man, dagnabit. It’s just my back is sore and my teeth hurt. I remember as the front wheel wore down, they got slower and slower,, no match for my Schwinn 20 incher that I eventually made into my own Sting Ray. Lame childhood? No way.
        And for the record, any post that generates these kind of stories is a good post in my book. It”s why I’m a member

        9
      • Little Cars

        Ugh. I dunno. Why Jesse? If I wanted another boomer to go trolling on eBay and Craiglist for something other than full size cars I would be okay with your inclusion of this on the daily feed. But I believe nostalgia has taken ahold of your keyboard if you think a boxed artifact like this does anything but take up another photo block on BF. Honestly, if you thought someone else really wanted this toy they would have already found the listing. Maybe I am harboring my resentment for never having one when they were ubiquitous at Toys R Us (remember them?) and Western Auto (remember them?).

      • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

        Look around. Everything on here is about nostalgia!

        6
      • glen

        It’s your website, post whatever you feel like. No one has any say in the matter.Keep up the good work, thanks.

        4
      • leiniedude leiniedude Member

        I like the auto salad stuff that comes through here, It is easy to skip what you are not interested in. I like this story and the hot wheel ones when they show up. Automobilia is part of the show and I like it. I would like to see more, gas pumps, old car crap. And Howard is not a grumpy old man. Heading to the fridge for a Leinies and going to watch Perry Mason, Alfred Hitchcock then the Fugitive. And relax. Life is short.

        6
  12. RoughDiamond

    While pricing this Big Wheel at $2,500, someone may have been smoking a Big Joint. You could still buy these a couple of years ago in reproductions, one made in the USA and one in China. I purchased one for my Grandson and it was like the original minus the brake. I taught him how to slide it with the best of them.

    8
    • Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

      The price may not be realistic, but if you wanted to collect something, would you want originals or cheap knockoffs?

      16
  13. JimmyJ

    Had friends with them and I found the novelty wore out fast.
    I liked the ‘green machine’ better!

    10
    • Jeffro

      Green Machines were like rusty Porsche’s today…out of my parents price range

      4
  14. 65GTO

    They do make an adult version as my neighbor has one. http://bigwheelrally.com/store/adult.htm

    He is in his late 20’s and has fun with his. I’m in my 50’s and I don’t think I could crawl out of it.

    6
  15. Sunbeamdon

    Geez- I paid less for my three wheel walker (oops – I’m lying – don’t yet need one). Our kids loved (destroyed two) growing up! And congrats to the lady that raised them – she’s suffered through my hobby for exactly 57 years today!

    7
  16. Coventrycat

    Just put that unridden Big Wheel in the trunk of the 23 mile Grand National hooked up to that 17 hour boat and charge admission to your own car porn peep show.

    12
  17. Jesse Mortensen Jesse Mortensen Staff

    Collecting toys may seem silly to some of you, but remember that there are people out there who think it’s just as silly to collect old cars. Toys like Big Wheels, Schwinn Krates, and Hot Wheels are what got many of us into cars. Some of you must be too “grown up” to realize that.

    18
    • LAB3

      By the time the Big Wheel hit the market I was already too tall & too heavy to ride one. This gives me reason enough to hate them and anyone who likes them!

      4
      • Michael

        I was too big when they came out as well.

        1
    • DB

      I have some of my original Hot Wheels with the red line tires, even have some medallions with the tab never bent over. Never had a Big Wheel, though.

      2
  18. ticketgeorge

    One of the grouchiest posts to date. Lighten up people.

    24
  19. leiniedude leiniedude Member

    I am not sure when these came along. Our gang all had trikes and then 2 wheelers. And not a poor neighborhood. At 63, maybe it came along a little later in my youth. It does look like fun in the tv commercial. Glad they do not make an adult version, I would have to source an engine.

    3
  20. KawiVulc

    I was just on the edge, age/weight-wise, could have went either way except that we lived on a dirt road & had a steep gravel driveway… and my folks were wise enough to realize that going around in circles in the garage would have gotten old pretty quick. That said, there is nothing, zip, zilch in my childhood I’d drop $2,500 on – as far as toys go, anyway… my Dad’s ’73 Apollo is a whole ‘nother ballgame. But that’s just me.

    2
  21. Chebby Member

    Come on this is a fun listing!

    I had one in the early 70s exactly like the one for sale. It’s an early one too, look at the sixties-style rear tires versus the fat ones in the commercial. These were super fun! That red plastic body would fade to light pink from sitting outside and as someone mentioned, the front wheels would get a flat spot from doing front skids, as your feet would always lock up the pedals in the same place. Once your wheel got flat enough there would be a hole in it due to the hollow interior.

    If you’re really hankering for vintage, this one is 1/3 the ask:

    https://www.ebay.com/i/253770215690?chn=ps

    6
  22. grant

    Holy $h!t bananas. I think I want this more than anything else I’ve seen on the site so far. And I want a Model T and a Model A like nobody’s business. This though. Man. I wore out 3 of these between 1979 and 1983-ish. Rode them until the front wheel split along the mold seam. $2500 is crack pipe money but I guess you have to throw a number out there somewhere and good luck finding another one that’s basically NOS.
    As a note to Josh and Jessie, they DO make an adult version, but it just somehow isn’t the same.

    7
  23. CanuckCarGuy

    We all nurtured our fascination with vehicles in some manner during our youth…as much as I wanted a Big Wheel, luxuries like this weren’t an option as a kid. I cut my car enthusiast teeth with Matchbox, Corgi and Hot Wheels as they were in the budget… some of what I see on Barn Finds, I’ve only ever seen before in my ‘miniature’ car collection; this site brings back great memories for me, keep up the great work Barn Finds.

    7
  24. Rudy C

    there is a company that makes adult sized Big Wheels, there is even a company that let’s you rent one for the day during RAGBRAI. We love watching middle aged men attempt to ride them for an entire day of RAGBRAI…I’m sure it sounded like fun until they reach the first hill!

    2
  25. RJ

    July 1986

    5
  26. Fordguy1972

    Toy collecting is a big business with many serious collectors with deep pockets. Try putting a full original Smith-Miller collection together, or find a first edition Barbie in her original box or build an early Tonka truck collection. Bring lots of money! I’ve sold many early Tonkas, some for over $1,000; believe me, there are thousands of folks world-wide who will part with serious cash for what they want.

    Go price new Smith-Millers, most START at $1,000 and go up from there. Toy vehicle collecting is huge, I’m sure many Barn Finds readers have some vintage toy cars and trucks to go with their particular automotive interest. I’ve made a lot of money with old toys and it’s a business that just keeps on growing. Heck, it helps support my old car habit very nicely, thank you!

    $2,500 seem like a lot for an original toy in it’s original box? My answer to that is “Here’s $2,500; go find one.”
    Thanks, Barn Finds, for this post; I wouldn’t mind seeing more like it.

    11
  27. Nick

    Cool, I had one of these, probably in the late 1970s.

    4
  28. Pete

    My Dad sold the boxes to Marx for the Big Wheel. We gave some to our neighbors kids. a really cool ride.

    3
  29. george

    My Dad sold the boxes for these to Marx. I was a little to old and to big too ride one, but he gave some to our neighbors kids and they rode them around all the time with big smiles on there faces. Jesse, thanks for posting this, it brings back alot of good memories.

    4
    • Howard A

      Um, george? Do you know Pete^^^?

      10
  30. Nick P

    Rock On! We all had these and ruled the streets in our suburban subdivision. Quite the posse back in the day. In hindsight, maybe we should have had matching biker jackets to show our colors! Cool find.

    4
  31. Mark

    Anyone remember the melon smashing Gallagher’s custom big wheel?

    1
  32. Kenneth Carney

    My kid sister had one too. I got the dubious honor of assembling it when
    she got it Christmas Day, 1972. But
    that was okay with me though as I’d
    just got a brand new starter set of
    Craftsman tools from Mom and Dad
    and I was just itching to try them out!
    Besides building her Big Wheel, I also got the job of putting together a Barbie County campervan, and the doll house
    too. Afterwards, we went to Aunt Vivian’s
    for Christmas dinner. While waiting, I put
    together 2 more big wheels! My tools and I were sure busy that day! Great times for sure, gone but not forgotten.

    6
  33. Geoff

    I had a few of these. One just like this (wore out the rear tires after a series of powerslides), a Dukes of Hazard edition (dropped the rear axle riding it down the stairs – I wonder where I got that idea from? “yeee haw!”), and one Knight Rider edition equipped with a battery-operated squirt-gun in the handlebars! These were endless fun. Now I just race vintage rally cars for entertainment.

    3
    • Matt

      I went through 2 Knight Rider big wheels, I don’t remember the squirt gun though. Maybe my parents took that off so that I wouldn’t squirt them, haha. Good memories!

      1
  34. JamestownMike

    I had one of these when I was 6 years old in 1974. Probably had it for a year or two. Mine didn’t have the brake or saddle bag. It was by far, one of my all time favorite toys! I rode it so much the wheels were starting to wear thru. Not paying much attention, I parked it by some trash cans while I was playing. The trash guys obviously thought it was trash, threw it in the back of the garbage truck and cycled the smasher. It happened so quickly, I didn’t have much time to react……..until the point I watched it get CRUSHED in the back of the garbage truck! I cried SO LOUD and ran all the way home! I remember a woman asking me, are you okay little boy? When I got home, my Mom thought I was hurt really bad………my crying reply was, “MY BIG WHEEL!!!!” I was traumatized! I was getting too big for another Big Wheel, so my parents got me a two wheel bike with training wheels, which I quickly mastered. Such GREAT memories!

    7
  35. OIL SLICK

    I wore out three of these between 1969 and 70. My dad bought me my first and couldn’t get me off of it. The first ones didn’t have the brakes either. Later on he bought my sis a Crazy Wheel. Thanks for the memories

    2
  36. Jay E.

    Sometime prior to the Big Wheel my Dad took a standard kids trike, flipped it upside down, put the steering post in backwards and mounted the seat on the other side. Somehow it all worked and we had a “big wheel” style trike. Wish I had a photo. BUT, it wasn’t a big wheel because it wouldn’t SLIDE, Big Wheels were awesome! They instantly made every other pedal car obsolete and you weren’t one of the cool kids unless you had one.
    $2500.00, wow, and an additional $150.00 shipping??? Similar new is $60.00 including shipping…

    1
  37. Madmatt

    I was born in 68..,I had several of these..when real young.
    I always wore the tires thru,from spinning and sliding them.
    My dad ,who is 80..,still laughs about me sliding it sideways
    out of our driveway at about 3-4 years old,he couldn’t believe
    that I had figured out how to drift/slide at that age,,I think it
    came naturally…haha…then after that came “the green machine”
    I don’t have as fond of memories on that,but it was cool.
    What a neat find..! I wish kids today could/would experience
    the freedom ,that was just everyday fun back then..!!

    3
  38. Saul

    If you cut the Big Wheel’s plastic front tire all the way around it’s radius, you have a new old stock steering wheel cover for the Model AA Doodlebug! ha ha I grew up with Schwinn Sting Rays with drag slicks and no streamers. When these Big Wheels came out within months they would show up in some neighbor’s yard sale with the front “fork” split in two or the rear slicks completely gone.

    1
  39. Jerry

    It always amazes me how a simple post can conjure up so much feedback. Most responses were positive, however there are always those few guys that have to prove how how big their d**k is. Calm down and put it in your pants.
    I got my first big wheel when I was 5, in ’69. It didn’t have the hand brake, so I did everything with the big wheel. It made very long skid marks! When our street would flood, I would jump it off the curb into the water. Oh yeah, bareback style.

    3
  40. KevinLee

    Wow! Lots of comments on this thread. Well, I’ll add one more. My parents were not cheap, just financially challenged hard workers. Dad drove a trash truck when his own trucking company went under. He found a big wheel, what was left of it, in a dumpster and brought it home. We all took turns riding it until the front fork fell off. Didn’t slow us down in the least. We looped a rope through the hole on the front yoke, then tied it to the sissy bar of big brother’s Schwinn Stingray. Well, that’s when the mayhem ensued, him pulling each one of us as fast as he could peddle. Usually lasting until a sharp corner which would always cause a whipeout! A lotta of Bactine was sprayed, and a lotta Band-Aids we’re dispensed that summer. The best!

    2
  41. Wrong Way

    OMW, JESSIE! You is just a youngin! LMAO, I was being hounded by my very young son to get one of these before they were ever released! What great memories!

    2
  42. Alfred

    I can’t believe how many responses this big wheel generated. Lol

    3
    • GearHead Engineer

      Agreed! This post has brought out more comments than a Ford Fiesta!

      – John

      2
      • brian crowe

        That’s not hard to do. lol

        2
  43. David Miraglia

    Had one back in the late 1960’s. Never grew bored of it, before I graduated to Tricycles and bikes

    1
  44. Mark

    I remember how loud those hollow plastic wheels were on the sidewalk and how kids rode them until the wheels split open. Lol. I had a Stellar Mini bike by 11 and skipped over the big wheel for my 2.5 hp tecumpseh machine….

    1
  45. P T Cheshire

    I was too old for the Big Wheel but I found my Mattel Vrrooom bike engine in my folks attic when I cleaned the house out a few years ago. Drives my wife nuts because I put it on the table and fire it up for the memories. :)

    5
  46. Poncho

    Yup. I went thru three of them. Rode them til the wheels wore through, front forks broke at the connection to the frame (triple tree area). Had the ones with the hand brake. definitely got my parents money worth out of them. Wanted another but parents said I was too big. Then wanted a ‘Mean Green Machine’ that had the dual handles that steered the rear axles. But unfortunately I was told I was too big for that too. I was bummed about that for a while. As far as collecting toys…I just bought two vintage metal pedal cars. A Ford Mustang and a Murray Dude Wagon. A coworker had a Dude Wagon with a gas powered motor driving the rear wheels and he showed me the black and white pic with him in it. Definitely a link between toys and hot-rodding there.

    • Miguel Member

      Poncho, pedal cars are easier to store.

  47. theGasHole

    Wow I can tell the weather is getting colder by the intensifying grouch level. Sure this isn’t for everyone, but when was the last time you saw a NIB Big Wheels? We loved these as kids growing up in the 80’s in Montana…..we’re yet old enough to have a motorcycle or get serious hurt on a 3 wheeler ATV. Brings back a lot of fun memories.

    1

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