1930s “WANNA BUY A DUCK” Wind Up MARX TOY – Joe Penner Radio Star


Availability: 1 in stock


For sale is the 1930s iconic “WANNA BUY A DUCK” Wind Up MARX TOY. This toy is one of the best Marx tin wind-up toys ever visualized and created. Joe Penner and his duck Goo Goo of “Wanna Buy a Duck” fame. When wound Penner walks with his duck and basket; hat goes up and down; and his cigar moves from side to side. This lithographic toy for sale is in overall great condition. The toy is missing the hat. The toy winds and when held off the ground the legs, cigar, and hat peg all move as intended. The toy does not work well enough to move when placed on the ground. The toy measures about 8 inches tall. A top notch collectible toy.

This vintage wind up toy was inspired by Radio Star comedian Joe Penner’s catch phrase “Wanna Buy a Duck?” He struggled along in vaudeville for years without distinguishing himself as a dialect comedian. Gradually he developed a character with the power to amuse by offering to sell preposterous articles, “Wanna buy a [something or other].” Through experimentation, he learned that he got the biggest laugh by saying “Wanna buy a duck?” He was able to milk this shtick for a couple of years in vaudeville, then introduced it on radio on Rudy Vallee’s July 13, 1933 Radio Program for Fleichmann’s Yeast show. This show made the “Wanna Buy a Duck” catch phrase a national sensation. After a couple of years of this, though, no one wanted to buy the duck anymore. Joe Penner died in 1941 at the age of 36.

Louis Marx founded the MARX toy company in 1919. By 1922, both Louis and his brother David Marx were millionaires. Unlike most companies, Marx’s revenues grew during the Great Depression. By the 1950s, Marx was the largest toy manufacturer in the world. Marx ceased its business in 1978.


Weight 3 lbs
Dimensions 12 × 11 × 11 in