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[REV 25-NOV-2014]

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Zany Puppets: 1955

Zany Puppets: 1955

Columbus, Ga., circa 1955. "Toys for Christmas." Starring Zany Puppets, a Transogram "Disneyland" board game, Patrician phonograph, Permoplast clay and "Trophy Hunt" target game. 4x5 negative from the News Archive. View full size.

On Shorpy:
Today's Top 5

Zany puppet

Oh wow, I had the puppet she is holding. I too remember the smell of the plastic the puppet heads were made of.

$50.00 worth?

I realize that 1955 incomes and expenses were a small fraction of what they are today, but I believe that at the time you could buy everything in this picture for about $50. If you've looked at toy catalogs and TV ads today, toy manufacturers think nothing of putting prices on their individual toys of $100.00 and up, even more on some electronics and computer novelties (that is what I paid for a single toy Unicorn for my little grand daughter at Christmas).

What a Shame

We don't see the word "ZANY" so much any more...of course, we don't see those puppets either - except maybe on "The Simpsons."

Lo-Fi Phonograph

The Patrician phonograph was acoustic, not electronic. It only used electricity to turn the record, not to amplify the sound.

I know this is going to hurt

I remember the puppets, and know we had one or two in the house in La Grange, 20 miles (?) west of Chicago back then.

I was able to use the skates when other sibs were not using them, and to this day remember KNOWING it was going to hurt when I fell backwards to thunk my pumpkin on the concrete. It did. Made a scary sound, too. The skate wheels on the concrete vibrated as the wheels went over the finished surface with its small imperfections. Your feet would tingle as you skated, and for a while after you took the skates off. You would also have trouble walking normally for a bit without wheels. Shoes just didn't roll as well.

There was always a 'kerchunk' when you rode over the anti-crack grooves every 3 feet or so. It helped to have one foot ahead of the other and transfer weight to that foot as you passed over. I don't remember the name 60 years on, but the contractor that put in the sidewalks embedded his company name and the date (1923?) at the end of each section of sidewalk.

I may still have a skate key around here somewhere.

Mystery model

The model looks familiar, like a TV actress. I wonder who it was? Also, given that her eyes are nearly closed (like she blinked), I'm guessing this particular shot didn't make it into the paper.

Too young to cuss

If I tried them now, cussing would definitely be involved.

Those skates bring back some unpleasant memories for me. How I made it through childhood without a broken ankle using those things amazes me. They would detach from the shoe almost every time I hit a raised seam in the sidewalk.

Pretty Good Christmas Morning Haul

For a boy anyway. But can you imagine finding all those puppets under the tree!

Trophy Hunt

Thanks for jogging the memory, John Howard. My brother and I had welts all over the place from these pistols.


And aenthal thinks the model's eyes are strange. I really don't like this hand puppet at all. But I do remember the smell of that kind of plastic.

Trophy Hunt

I had that as a kid. A cogged-wheel/ratchet where the hammer could be rotated and 6 rubberbands hooked between that and the front of the gun.

Presto! You had a 6-shooter to annoy your little sister with. Forget the targets, they were lame.

Giving You the Evil Eye

There is something really strange about that model's eyes. Can't imagine News Photo used this shot for the final ad.

[Photos in the News Photo Archive were taken for newspaper articles, not ads. - Dave]

SHORPY OLD PHOTO ARCHIVE | History in HD is a vintage photo archive featuring thousands of high-definition images from the 1850s to 1960s. (Available as fine-art prints from the Shorpy Archive.) The site is named after Shorpy Higginbotham, a teenage coal miner who lived 100 years ago.

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