These are my ruminations on life, design, and the pursuit of happiness…

A Doggone Fine Fisher Price Collection

My husband Dave and I came across a display of Fisher Price toys in an antique mall in Massachusetts while on our honeymoon. That day we bought one, that week we bought two, and the collection was born!

Fisher-Price was founded in 1930, in the shadow of the Great Depression. Herman Fisher, Irving Price and Helen Schelle combined their diverse manufacturing and retailing experience to create 16 wooden toys that they introduced at the International Toy Fair in New York City. The whimsical nature and magical surprises of those first toys quickly caught on and became the hallmarks of Fisher-Price.
I am lucky enough to have this awesome article, printed in the 1939 Mechanics Illustrated, about the inventor of some of Fisher Price’s first mechanical toys. It features the original 1938 Snoopy Sniffer (FP#180) on the cover. (My Snoopy Sniffer is shown above.) He measures 16.5”L x 5.5”L x 7”W.

Snoopy Sniffer was the first of Fisher Price’s long dogs. He was followed in 1940 by Woofy Wowser (FP#700) 15”L x 6.25”H x 3.75”W

Snoopy Sniffer was remodeled in 1955, then again in 1958 with the 13.5”L x 4.5”H x 4”W model shown below.
Fisher price had many smaller dogs. In my collection are the 1945 Merrie Mutt (FP#473), who plays the xylophone as you pull him.
He measures 7.5”L x 8”H x 4”W

In 1951 Butch the Pup (FP#333) was born, measuring 6”L x 4.75”H x 2.5”W

Nosey Pup (FP#445) came out in 1956, and has an awesome nose that moves in and out and up and down as he is pulled along. He measures 6”L x 4”H x 4”W

Wiggy Woofer (FP#640) debuted in 1957, measuring 8.5”L x 5”H x 3.25”W. Wiggy’s ears are attached to his wheels, so his head moves side to side as he is pulled.
In 1961 Playful Puppy (FP#625) also had his ears attached to his wheels. He measures 6”L x 4.75”H x 2.75”W.
In 1963 his ears were updated from black to blue. (FP#626) Having a wood shoe dangling from his mouth, when he is pulled he appears to play and shake it up.
That is it for my Pups. My collection only includes pre 1964 toys, and I don’t have everything in my collection, but it gives you an idea of the great graphics the Fisher Price company was known for.
Maybe next I’ll show you my Ponies!


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    greta said...

    I love this collection! Vintage Fisher Price toys are the best. I often look on ebay to find deals on some, but mostly they go for top dollar now. When ever I do find one I am always so happy. We just got a great pull toy station wagon. It has all 3 little people and the dog. It is proudly displayed in our living room.
    I can’t wait to see the rest of your collection.

    October 3, 2009 at 7:42 am
    wendy said...

    Thanks Greta! I look forward to showing off the rest, they make a great happy display in our house!

    October 4, 2009 at 9:30 am