Here is a back view of Mickey to show the snaps on his shirt. Other Disney characters available in this series include Donald Duck, Goofy, Mini Mouse, Pinocchio, and Dumbo.
Hanna-Barbera Characters, 7 inch figures (unknown manufacturer), 1980 - 1982
Update June 2017: Below are images that I found online of the Fred Flintstone figure and the Yogi Bear Bank from Canada's Wonderland. The Yogi bank was found at the following link and is valued at $60: http://www.gasolinealleyantiques.com/cartoon/dakins.htm
Inspector Gadget, 12 inch doll by Galoob, 1983
Here he is with his feet and neck pushed back into place. This specific doll was purchased at Toy City which used to be at Westgate Mall, here in Ottawa, ON. My mom bought it for me, I think it was a birthday present. I recall that I had kept the box for a while but eventually it got thrown out which is too bad. This doll mint in the box is worth $200 to $250. Luckily I didn't loose any of the pieces for mine, so it's still worth at least $100. I certainly would never sell it for less than that, if I ever did sell it, which I wouldn't! :)
Robot arm with umbrella.
Robot arm with hammer.
Helicopter blades and handles
Here's Gadget without his jacket, which is quite detailed. There are two plastic snaps inside the jacket to keep it closed, and no less than TEN white buttons sewn on! The belt has Velcro at the end to keep it closed, and a small plastic belt buckle for detail.
Get Along Gang, 6 inch and 12 inch dolls by Tomy Toys, 1984
The Get Along Gang is probably best known for their cartoon series from the mid 1980s. They made their debut as greeting card characters created by American Greetings and later gained enough popularity for a 13 episode animated series. Although I didn't watch the TV show I've always liked the rockin' theme song that was created by Mike Piccirillo. In fact, this is one of my favourite TV theme songs. It's a very upbeat and uplifting tune that I find myself humming from time to time out of habit, and have been doing so since the 80's!
The funny thing about the design for Montgomery is that he has a dog's nose. A real moose doesn't have a black nose at the end of its mussel, as seen above, it just has nostrils. Though for a cartoon character it does look more aesthetic to add the black nose, in fact it's such an expected design style for animation that Montgomery would look quite odd without it.
Another interesting thing about the design of Montgomery Moose is that his sweater bears a striking similarity to the one worn by "Moose" on the popular 1970's TV Ontario children's show Cucumber. The program originally aired in the mid 1970's and continued to be shown many times as reruns through to the mid 1980's. As such, Moose and Beaver (shown above) were among TVO's star characters for a full decade! TVO's Moose wore a green shirt with a yellow "M" and stripes on the arms, while Montgomery's shirt is blue with the same yellow details (though only one stripe on each arm instead of two). According to Wikipedia the Get Along Gang was created in 1983 which, regardless if it was intentional or not, makes this a very clear case of copyright infringement! Both characters also happen to live in a clubhouse and hang out with a beaver. Considering the millions that were likely made from the licencing of the Get Along Gang, I wonder if TVO ever attempted any legal action in this regard? The pilot for the animated series was also produced by a Canadian company, just sayin'!
The three male characters (Montgomery, Bingo, and Zipper) all share the same torso and legs which have sculpted on pants and shoes that don't come off. The female characters have the same bodies as well, which allow for all of their clothes and shoes to be removable. The shoes are often missing from loose figures. Three of the female characters (Dotty, Lolly, and Flora) have painted on socks. Bingo has a plastic beaver tail attached to his backside, and Zipper has a cat tail, which makes the tail-less Montgomery unique from the other two male figures. For the ladies only two of the six dolls have tails, Flora has a plastic fox tail and Lolly has a squirrel tail. All nine dolls in the set have the same arms. Even though these dolls are jointed at the hips so that they can be posed in a sitting position, due to the shape of the bodies and legs, the figures are not balanced to sit upright on their own. Instead they need to lean against something.
Okay, I guess you can tell by now that I like these 6 inch dolls and want to collect them all! LOL! :) In the least, I'd like to add Bingo and Zipper to my collection!
This 6 inch doll series was very well made with the exception of Woolma Lamb. She is wearing a completely different outfit from all of her other appearances, including the other toy lines that were produced at the same time as this doll, which is quite odd. The Woolma doll is dressed in a yellow long sleeve shirt with navy blue tights and yellow shoes rather than the yellow dress she is supposed to be wearing. This is the only time any of the Get Along Gang characters was marketed wearing an outfit that did not match with the continuity of their specific design. My guess as to why the clothes were changed is that Woolma's body is supposed to be covered in fluffy wool, like a lamb, but the plastic doll body is just flat and smooth. Rather than have to sculpt a new body just for this one character, her clothes were likely changed to cover her body up instead.
Some of the Get Along Gang PVC figures next to the Clubhouse Caboose playset.
The figures in the PVC series include two differently posed figures for each of the six main characters, which accounts for 12 of the 22 figures, with the remaining 10 being:
Flora Fox (female)
Beatrice Bear (female)
Lolly Squirrel (female)
Braker Turtle (male)
Rocco Rabbit (male)
Rudyard Lion (male)
Hocus Hair (female)
Pocus Possum (male)
And two male villains:
Leland Lizard (Catchum's side kick)
In addition to the 6 inch dolls and PVC figures, Tomy Toys simultaneously produced a series of 12 inch plush toys based on the six main Get Along Gang characters. The two villains, Catchum Crocodile and Leland Lizard, were later added to the collection for a total of eight 12 inch dolls. Above is the 12 inch plush toy of Montgomery Moose next to the 6 inch doll. All of the plush toys in this series were sold wearing a pair of blue plastic roller skates with red wheels (shown below), which are missing from the one I have. All of the clothes for the plush toys are removable, in Montgomery's case his shirt, pants, shoes, and the roller skates. The skates fit overtop of the removable shoes. I'm also missing a shoe, so the 6 inch doll is a nice distraction from the bare foot! :)
An example of one of the plastic roller skates.
A pair of these skates came with each of the 12 inch plush toys.
The bottom of the left shoe for the 12 inch plush toy has a nice vinyl decal showing the style of illustration used on the greeting cards, along with the name of the character. The shoe is stitched onto the plush toy at the back heal, so it doesn't come off unless you snip the stitch first. The right shoe (shown below) doesn't have a decal on the bottom, instead it has a decal on the side that says "The Get Along Gang", making both shoes unique to this toy line. Several different Get Along Gang coffee mugs were also produced with the greeting card style artwork on them.
The right shoe with the text logo on the side.
In addition to the toys, Marvel Comics produced a series of Get Along Gang comic books under their Star Comics brand that was targeted to younger kids. Volume 1 has just 6 issues, which were published bi-monthly from May 1985 to March 1986. I have issues #3 and #4, shown above. In Europe however, Marvel UK published a weekly comic that lasted 92 issues!
Snoopy, 8 inch doll by Another Determined Production, possibly from 1984
Here is a very awesome Snoopy doll with moveable arms and legs, fabric ears and tail, and a loose black plastic collar. I found him at a nostalgia show in the 1990's wearing only the green pants shown. I've pictured Snoopy next to the Mego 8 inch Spider-Man for size comparison.
Here is Snoopy without the green pants.
A side view to show the shape of Snoopy's snout and body.
This Snoopy doll has a black spot on his back and a fabric tail.
I haven't been able to find any images of this Snoopy doll in original packaging online, so I don't have any "hard evidence" for a date that this doll was made. The bottom of the right foot is marked "© 1958, 1966 United Feature / Syndicate, Inc. / ANOTHER DETERMINED / PRODUCTION/ KOREA" however I'm doubtful that this doll is from 1966, and here's why...
There are three other very similar dolls to this one. The easiest way to tell all of these apart is the loose black plastic collar that the Snoopy shown above is wearing. Knickerbocker did an extensive series of dress up dolls in the 1970s called Snoopy and Belle. The dolls for that series have similar fabric ears but do not have a collar, and the bodies are taller and slimmer than this Snoopy. The mouth is also drawn differently, being more of an evenly drawn line, while the above Snoopy has a "sketched" looking mouth.
I have also seen a Knickerbocker version with essentially the same body as the doll shown above, but the collar is red plastic, and the head is quite different with the ears being sculpted and painted as part of the head. The nose is also much lower on Snoopy's snout. This doll is marked "©1958, 1966 United Features Synd" on the bottom of the foot with the Knickerbocker logo. It has an older look to the style of the head, so I suspect that it is the original doll that started this line of dress up dolls. The "Determined" company may have just used the body from this earlier Knickerbocker doll and made a new head for it. That's my theory anyway.
More recently, in 2015 the Tonner doll company produced similar Snoopy dolls, however the hands are quite different, with the right hand in a fist, plus the eyes are thinner lines, and the mouth has a different "sketched" line shape.
According to the website linked below, the "Determined" Snoopy doll series has six different outfits. The doll for each is the same, only the outfit is different. The outfits are: Golfing, Tennis, Baseball, Roller-skating, Sailor, and Cassette player. The green pants on my Snoopy seem to be from the Golfing outfit. Unfortunately there are no photos of the dolls in original packaging, but the author of the blog listed these Snoopy's as being made in 1984. Here is the link:
To make this more confusing, the same blog also has a post showing the above Snoopy doll along with a doll of Belle as a Bride and Groom set (so this is the seventh outfit for Snoopy and the second of three Belle dolls, not counting her outfits):
Popeye, 18 inch (estimate) dolls by presents, 1985
In the mid 1980's Presents did a remarkable job marketing several collections of larger sized dolls based on comic strip and cartoon characters. The dolls were all made in the same style incorporating plastic heads, hands and shoes with detailed clothes and stuffed bodies. The clothing was made as separate pieces that were sewn in place over top of the doll's body. Buttons, snaps and belts could be undone and the clothing removed, however the feet or hands for these dolls are generally too big to completely remove the clothes. The plastic shoes were flocked to provide a plush effect. Most of the dolls were sold with white metal doll stands which are often missing.
Above are three of the dolls from an extensive series based on Popeye. Shown here is Popeye, Olive Oyl, and the baby Swee' Pea. They even gave Popeye some "smoke" in his pipe by gluing some synthetic stuffing to the inside! It's not surprising that this well made doll series became so popular in it's day.
Additional dolls in the Popeye series include Brutus (who is essentially the same character as Bluto), Wimpy with a hamburger in his hand, Poopdeck Pappy (Popeye's dad), Sea Hag, and Eugene the Jeep. Pappy is essentially the same as the Popeye doll but with a white flocked beard and a different coloured outfit. The Sea Hag reuses the same hands and feet as Olive Oyl, while Brutus and Wimpy shared the same feet. Eugene the Jeep is the only plush toy in the set and is made with short fake fur.
The Popeye series of dolls proved to be so popular that a second smaller sized series of dolls was made using the same format and design as the larger dolls. The smaller series included Popeye, Olive Oyl, Swee' Pea, Brutus and Wimpy. This smaller series was not as well proportioned as the larger set, as some of the heads are too small. Hand puppets of Popeye, Olive Oyl and Swee' Pea were also made using the larger sized doll heads.
Conservation tip: When displaying or storing the Sea Hag doll keep her black fabric outfit from contacting the plastic surface of other dolls as the black dye can transfer leaving a stain on the plastic. This happened to the face of a talking doll that I especially liked, which really sucks! As punishment I banished the Sea Hag from my collection and sold her at a nostalgia show! :) Another tip is to store Olive Oyl with a clear baggie over her head to keep her rooted doll hair from getting messy.
Presents also made five additional comic strip character dolls series at the same time as their Popeye series, including:
- Archie (Archie, Jughead, Betty, Veronica and Reggie.)
- Beetle Baily (Beetle Baily wearing a grey helmet and Sarge. Several toy companies, such as Sugar Loaf in the late 1990s and Toy Works, have made similar dolls with plastic heads based on Beetle Bailey. These sets include additional characters such as General Halftrack and Miss Buxley.)
- Blondie (Blondie and Dagwood)
- Dennis the Menace (Dennis, Margaret, and Joey. Apparently their dog Ruff was not made as I have yet to find one from this set.)
- Hi and Lois (Hi, Lois, Trixie, and Dawg)
Collectors who are interested in variations might be interested to know that there is a version of this doll that doesn't have the black lines above the eyeball (where the white part of the eye is).
Disney plush dolls, 10 inch dolls by Applause, early 1990s
Applause also produced a nice series of Aladdin plush dolls in the early 1990's, likely 1992 when the movie was in theatres. Here is Prince Aladdin in his white wedding outfit and Abu the Monkey (a hand puppet of Abu was also made). Both have plastic heads, and Aladdin has plastic hands. His hat is removable. I've also seen an Aladdin from this series that is wearing the city outfit (purple vest and white pants). That doll has the upper half of the body in plastic, and only the legs are stuffed. Other characters in the series include the Genie (10 inch and 16 inch dolls were available, and there is a version of the Genie doll with a tuxedo front piece attached as part of the body, as well as a doll-like hand puppet), three Princess Jasmine dolls in different outfits (her white wedding outfit, the more common light blue two piece outfit, and a purple outfit), Rajah the Tiger, lago the Parrot (a hand puppet of lago was also made), and the villain Jafar with a removable staff. All 12 of these dolls and the three hand puppets were done in the same style with plastic heads and stuffed bodies. Finger puppets of Aladdin and Jasmine were also made in addition to a series of PVC figures. Below are closer views of the faces for Aladdin and Abu.
Disney's Aladdin, 12 inch doll by Mattel, 1992
Above is Aladdin which came with his Prince outfit and his city outfit. I found this doll second hand so I'm missing the fabric boots, the lamp, and the plastic figure of Abu the Monkey.
Disney's Peter Pan, 10 inch doll by Mattel, 1997
This Peter Pan doll came with strings to be hung up across a room so that the doll could "fly". The plastic feather in his hat is shaped like a hook to glide along the string.
Quest for Camelot, 12 inch doll by Hasbro, 1997
The other flaw is with Garrett's hair. I bought this doll new from the store when it went on clearance, so I'm the original owner. When I took the doll out of the box I noticed that the doll's hair was cut very unevenly on one side. He's supposed to have long hair, but the left side of his head has short, badly cut hair as compared with the right side. This really ruined the doll for me, which is too bad as it's quite a nice doll otherwise. I like having this guy in my collection, but I've rarely taken it out of the box over the years because of the messed up hair.
Here's a back view of Garrett's uneven hair cut, the result of a production flaw.
Hasbro made Garrett with the same doll body as their New Kids on the Block dolls, only the legs and briefs are coloured blue.
A closer look at the figure of Ayden the falcon.
Here is Garrett in his original box, more or less the way he came packed.
The back of the box shows Garrett in a slightly different coloured costume, and shows other dolls that are available.
The box also has Garrett's background story in three different languages.
Kayley is the only other 12 inch doll that was made.
The rest of the dolls in the series are plush toys of the creatures.
Maya & Miguel, 13 inch plush doll by Scholastic/SideKicks, 2005
Here's a back view of the doll which is quite funny as it has such a big head!
Here is what the animated characters look like as shown on the hang tag. To see more visit the PBS website: http://pbskids.org/mayaandmiguel/english/friends/index.html
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Text and photos © Mike Artelle 2011, 2018