Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: I have a deep relationship with both the Aesop’s Fable cartoons and these splendid toys. (For another post on the subject and my collecting mania in general see my earlier post, Mine, all mine…at long last.) When I discovered the cartoons, well into adulthood, I felt as though these were finally the long lost cartoons I had always been looking for. Reel after reel of endless black cats and mice – chasing, charmingly anthropomorphic. I share an example that somehow is a high water mark for me Makin’ ’em Move, In a Cartoon Studio. It is, of course, animator cats, dogs and pigs, slaving away at the drawing table – just like something out of Boulevard of Broken Dreams…one of my favorite Kim Deitch books!
The existence of the toys came to me even later, but I fell hard for them. The promotional photo below was my introduction to them. Not surprisingly, the cat in the polka dot skirt was my first acquisition – The Countess. I bought her in a Hake’s auction (I believe Kim helped on that one – in fact I believe he’s had a hand in helping to purchase virtually all of these. He’s very nice about supporting my habit.) We really paid up. She is pretty pristine. The dog in the red pants (Don the Dog) came off of eBay and I got a pretty good deal. The very hurt one on the lower right (another version of The Countess?) Kim picked up during a visit to San Francisco a few years back. The slightly grimy one in the maroon corduroy, I frankly don’t remember acquiring, although I am thinking it must have also been on eBay – he seems to have been altered and I am not sure who he is – Raffles is my guess.
The good news and the bad news it seems is since people don’t know what these dolls are so one most often just stumbles upon them.
The question I pose for today is – which doll is this new one? It is generally thought that these six were it. But careful study shows he just isn’t one of them – and he’s in pretty pristine condition so I don’t think he’s been altered either. Any thoughts out there in cartoon land?
Lastly, this tidbit I turned up while searching for the new doll. This is an old advertisement for a theater contest giveaway of Aesop’s Fables dolls! Oh lucky people of the past. Evidently the outsized Countess was four feet high and a replica of the doll! Would love to find that some day. As I’m sure you know, I will just keep looking.