Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: I realized that I have somewhat neglected toy posts recently. While the blog really was conceived of as mostly for photographs, there seems to be interest in exploring my toy collection a bit and I hope to get through much of it over time. Generally nothing I would rather talk about than toys, so we get a start today with this wonderful Puss ‘n Boots and his pals. There is, as always, a bit of a story.
I spotted this Puss ‘n Boots (or so he was advertised, it is more of a clown costume or Pierrot? I think of him as Puss ‘n Boots however) on eBay and he immediately reminded me of one of my first cat toy purchases, the Halloween cat below.
(A bad photo with Kim’s arm mysteriously holding him aloft. Photo quality here all over the place and I am sorry for that – as many of you already know, we live in a cramped studio apartment and sometimes it is hard to find a place to photograph the larger toys.) I knew he was an early toy and I really liked the look of him. I bid and determined to win him, but I was waiting until closer to the end to bid on him. So certain was I about winning him, that Kim, hard at work on Alias the Cat at the time, included him in the portrait below, ultimately used as the back cover of the comic book and called the picture, Pam Butler and All Her Cats. (The original art for this, hand colored, resides in my office where I get to see it daily!) A bit unprecedented, including a toy that I didn’t yet own, but Kim worked from the listing photo and he looked good in it, see lower right corner.
Then, mysteriously, the listing disappeared and I received a message from eBay that seemed to imply something not quite right with the seller and that the listing was eliminated. Arg! What could I do? Disappointed, I kept the scan in my file and moved on. About six months later – bam! It turned up again under a different seller name. It has certain fade marks on it and although it was a different photo I was sure it was indeed the same, exact cat. Just prior to the Fourth of July weekend, I received an email. Would I be interested in buying the toy outright? The seller said that they had purchased it at a live auction recently to flip and needed the money – they were afraid that with the auction occurring over the holiday weekend it wouldn’t sell. When asked they claimed that they knew nothing of the prior listing on eBay. I took a chance, and here he is! An important part of the family.
These two fellows came into the family more recently. The one on the left being eerily similar to the original cat – but with his tummy buttons permanent and not sewn onto a costume! The other, clearly in the same vein but made a tad later it seems. No maker mark left on these. I have never found any information about them. The whiskers appear to be horse hair or something along those lines, the eyes are glass, nose and mouth appear to be hand stitched. They stand approximately 24″ high – mohair of course. I have to feel, much like our living four footed friends, even toy cats manage to find their rightful families in the end.