Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: This little fellow is one of my favorite and most inspired impulse buys. I bought him for a song when he was put up for auction with very little, if any, information. It was several years before I learned that his name is Oskar and that he was produced by Teddy Hermann, a German toy company. He is about 8″ high and he is a natty and roguish presence on the cat shelf. Kim and I have often speculated that you tend to find Oskar routinely in compromising positions with the other stuffed cats, no matter what shelf you put him on.
I suspect he might be somewhat incomplete when it comes to accessories, especially when I compare him to his younger cousin below. (Although they both look like they would always be up for a night of drinking and carousing – how often can you say that about a toy?) He is unlike any of my other cat toys. He has a head made of composition, mohair body and a hand-knit appearing sweater – the photo of his back is dark but you can see the little heart sewn onto his bottom. However, like my Felix toys, it is a bit hard to imagine buying Oskar for your child. He is, in my opinion, an adult toy.
This photo from an old eBay (May 2010) listing I found in the Google picture file serves to confirm my feeling. According to the listing, he was made in the 1950’s as a promotional item for the Frankfurter Illustrierte Journal. He has a rubber face, as opposed to composition, a jauntier sweater and that cheerful neckerchief. He’s also fluffier. I do wonder if my Oskar was also a promotional item – makes sense – although why a weekly German picture paper (as described on German Wikipedia) would be giving away Oskar as a promotion remains an interesting mystery. My kind of paper I guess.
Postscript: Some amazing and very interesting information about Oskar and the Frankfurter Illustrierte Journal via a German Facebook friend, Joachim Trinkwitz. I have copied it below. Mr. Google seems willing to translate…
Joachim Trinkwitz “why a weekly German picture paper (as described on German Wikipedia) would be giving away Oskar as a promotion remains an interesting mystery” – because that’s Oskar der Familienvater (the family man), a german newspaper comic strip character from the 1950s. His creator, the cartoonist Carl Fischer AKA Cefischer, actually lost both his arms in WW II, but learned to draw with his mouth and got very popular and successful in West Germany. But nowadays, he’s completely forgotten …Joachim Trinkwitz Oskar has a Wikipedia page indeed:http://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oskar_(Comic), as well as his creator. Lambiek’s Comiclopedia has some information in English, and a few pictures:http://www.lambiek.net/artists/c/cefischer.htmOskar ist die bekannteste Comicfigur des deutschen Zeichners Cefischer. Die Geschichten von Oskar und seiner Familie erschienen von 1952 bis 1962 in der Frankfurter Illustrierten und wurden während dieser Zeit und auch danach in Buchform nachgedruckt.DE.WIKIPEDIA.ORG