Periquito, the Spanish Felix of Chocolate Cards

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Pam’s Pictorama Post: I considered these quite a find. There were at least another three, but they went high and this was as many as (perhaps more than!) I could afford. It is evident that these were chocolate cards – sort of the Spanish version of Felix meet Bazooka Joe of the 1920’s, and needless to say (all due respect Joe) a heck of a lot better. This Felix doppelganger is pretty charming in his own right, even if he is an knock off. I can only find a passing reference to this series of cards. (Admittedly, I might do better if I read Spanish.) Each one is numbered and the back seems to say there are 25 cards in the series. The one reference I found said there was a total of 48 images. As you can see, I have numbers 9, 13 and 21. I am especially partial to #9 where Faux Felix makes a nice little hammock for himself after seeing the human enjoying one. However, all of them are very charming indeed.

Each card has an explanation of the comic on the back – for those who can’t get the joke on their own I guess. The cat’s name translates to something along the line of Parakeet or Budgie the Mischief Cat. I can’t quite figure out where the bird element comes in, but it may be the limitations of the Google translation. I invite Spanish readers to enlighten me on any of these points.

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Below is a useful thumbnail history from a Spanish site, Tebeosfera, and translated by our friend, Mr. Google:

Series of comic strips featuring the cat “Periquito”, which included translations (probably unlicensed), copies and imitations of the famous character of animation “Felix the Cat” (Felix the Cat) made by several Spanish authors of the Editorial Marco as Regúlez in his own head parakeet (1927) and other publications of the house asRin-tin-tin by authors such as Juan Martinez and Castillo Osete. Subsequently, these cartoons also appear in La Risa in 1950.

In the twenties several collections of character trading cards as dumb cartoons were cartoons, advertising various chocolatiers on the back, as they were also published as Adventures Budgie Cat by Tinez and New Adventures of Periquito Cat by Bofarull.

The name “Jack Budgie” was the most common translation in Spain the popular Felix the cat in the animated short films released in cinemas in the mid-twenties of the twentieth century, which also went on to become the usual nickname followers football club Espanyol (still in force), thanks to the jokes Castanys for satirical football weekly the Xut (1922) and others like the sports Whip (1930), where fans of that team is parodied, calling them ” four cats”. [This piece mystifies me a bit.]

Black Cat editorial also published a similar character named “Jack Periquín” in the Children ‘s Joy (1930).

The site above also has this page of comics which is a much clearer Felix rip off of sorts, sample below. After looking carefully however, it seems that just the logo is the rip-off Felix and the comic is a real one in translation.

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Not in my collection, found at Tebeosfara.com

I have also found this nifty book on Google images which would have held your collection of Periquito cards below.The cards can be found for sale on some Spanish auction sites. I love the fact that he is a bit tubby and he has that extra long tail. He’s like the good living, European cousin of our man.

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Periquito Card Book, not in my collection

I am not sure I understand entirely, but I think the term Gato Periquito is still in use to describe mischievous kitties and therefore if you search on this you will also get a lot of Spanish cat videos and photos of cats getting into all sorts of trouble. As for me, having discovered this kissin’ cousin of my man Felix, you know I will be looking for Gato Periquito toys and other items.

Ho, ho, ho – a Felix Find

Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: In my business (if you can call acquiring things and never selling any a business) it is rare to come across an early stuffed Felix that is really different than those I have seen, and in some ways this magnificent Christmas gift from Kim is one of those. Purchased from a British store I stumbled across online called All You Can Bear located some place in Great Britain, I was immediately very enamored of him. After paying a king’s ransom (thank you Santa Kim!) he arrived in a sizable box shortly after Thanksgiving. Christmas Day finally arrived for this Felix fanatic – and there he is in all his glory! This fellow is larger than I fully absorbed from the listing photos and the design of his tail as a sort of third leg makes him take up considerable space. (This will cause some major reshuffling among the stuffed shelves of our apartment!) He is shown here on Christmas morning, atop of a pile of very fine Deitch art work, complete with Christmas lights.

At first I thought he might be related to the Felix below, one that I have always considered the strangest design and of great curiosity, and that I wrote about in the aptly named post Odd Felix. The one below no longer stands, if indeed he was ever designed to, and the face is different, but there is something similar to our new inhabitant about the design of the body and the ears. It is hard to tell from my photo, but as I mention above, the new Felix uses his tail as a sort of third leg. However, looking at them side-by-side I am less inclined to think their origin is the same. The new Felix is an entirely new design for me.

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Very Unusual Felix in Pictorama Collection, Pams-Pictorama.com

 

One of the reasons I love to collect these toys is that every single one of them ended up with a different expression and this makes them very human for me. After learning that many of those toys, made in London, were hand assembled by women (a blog post of mine I keep going back to myself, East London Toy Factory, Ltd.) it makes sense. It is what has always charmed me most about these guys and this one beguiled me immediately from his listing page. He looks as if he is about to begin a great oration – hand (paw?) held aloft. Or, from another angle, like he has a crazy secret or really off-color joke which is cracking him up and that he can barely keep to himself. Hmm – Felix, what could that be?

 

A Very Felix Christmas

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Card not in my collection

 

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: Christmas is hard on our heels and how better to roll up our sleeves than these two amazing photos of epic toy hauls under a glittering tinsel-wrapped Christmas tree? (That’s back when tinsel had some heft and you would reuse it each year – and the cat always wanted to eat it, but that is true of tinsel today too.) Unjust as life can be at times, I was beat out for one of these cards on eBay so they have now gone their separate ways after all these years and I am pleased that at least this electronic record keeps them united. Admittedly, I put a slightly higher bid on the one I purchased as Felix plays a larger role, and I thought the composition was marginally better.

At first I thought that these were two different children and even that one might be a boy, but looking at them for a bit I have decided that it is the same little girl in both. The bonanza of toys has been arranged differently and as I mentioned, Felix gets more of a close up portrait shot in mine. The little girl also seems more engaged with her loot in my photo too. Kim speculated that the toys and scene are all props which is sort of heartbreaking if true. How could they possibly plunk a child down among all that and then yank her away? Oh no! Talk about childhood trauma. I prefer to believe that these were taken post gift opening at home.

I believe our man here is a Schuco Yes No Felix and you could move his tail and his arms (and maybe head?) would move. I came close to purchasing one earlier this year, although he no longer has his movement. (A toy-minded friend told me that it was silly not to buy him since he personally hadn’t moved the arms on his Yes No Felix in years and I was unlikely to miss it.) Perhaps I will find him under my tree one day.

The patina of photo tricks notwithstanding, the sense of childhood wonder on Christmas morning is well captured. Although my memories of childhood Christmas tend to blend together a bit, certain bits and pieces of memories do stand out – my first bike one year (pink and white with a basket), a house for Barbie another, the acquisition of Squeaky the stuffed dog. (I cover some of this in my prior posts found at A Girl and Her Toys and Felix on an Outing.) While my parents have always been big on reading (I swear my younger brother was so frustrated by how much reading went on in our house that as a pre-schooler he memorized the books read to him in a form of faux-reading, and then immediately mastered the skill upon entering school; he was reading the New York Times in no time) so books were always a part of Christmas. However, my folks were not overly intellectual about toys and were easily maneuvered into purchasing us all sorts of indulgent toys of the day. I had an Easy Bake oven and my Barbies lead a very upper middle class life with clothes, homes and cars. They dated GI Joe as well as Ken and a strange doctor doll. And of course there were stuffed animals – as recently examined in Toy Cat. We had racing cars and trains – even before Edward was born. My father did not discriminate. All this to say, I am not someone who collects toys because she was deprived as a child.

Here I am with Squeaky, a photo I have shown before. Although I remember my father taking photos every Christmas morning, I do not have any others at hand. A Merry Christmas to all and let the Christmas toys begin! I know I am hoping for a certain Felix toy this Christmas myself…

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A very little Pam and Squeaky the Dog on Christmas morning, Pams-Pictorama.com

 

Merry Christmas from Deitch Studio

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The 2016 Deitch Studio Pictorama card revealed!

 

Pam’s Pictorama Bonus Post: It’s that time of the year – that most wonderful season of all! Here is this year’s contribution to the holidays co-authored by Kim and I as usual. This year, for better or worse, Kim let me have my head and it is perhaps a tad more Butler than Deitch. 2016 was a tough year and being curled up in bed with the kitties, reading (me on my iPad and Kim with a volume which has its own meaning – to be revealed in his upcoming book) seemed like the only sane place to end the year!

Cookie and Blackie figure prominently in the spot they pretty much hold in real life at the foot of the bed. Blackie likes to curl up behind my knees, a bit higher than shown here. Cookie is usually at my feet – on her own pillow no less. This is a perch that came into fashion while I was recovering from foot surgery and had to sleep with my leg elevated all night. Cookie decided that the pillow should stay for her benefit. C&B keep us on a fairly regular schedule and Blackie is in charge of waking us up with his gentle cold wet nose kisses (quite) early in the morning. Kim is usually the first up and the feeder of them – they know I can sleep through almost anything and therefore am a bad bet. The other morning I woke in the middle of the night feeling stiff and strangely leaden and wondered what on earth was wrong – as I went to turn over I discovered that both the kits were sound asleep on top of me!

As I indicated above, Kim is reading a book that turns out to be a Deitch studio special and I am reading one of my Moving Picture Girls or Grace Harlowe series books on my iPad. (As chronicled in Grace Harlowe, the Automobile Girls and Moving Picture Girls Novels post of a few weeks ago.) Sorry the toys, which live at the foot and side of the bed, and the many piles of books, Kim’s side of the bed, didn’t make it into the picture, but they would complete the image of the Deitch-Butler clan at home in reality.

You can count on the fact that this is where we will ring in 2017 – cats, books and all, maybe a silent western playing on the tiny television which is also crammed into a room almost no bigger than our futon!

Merry Christmas and every best wish for a peaceful and happy New Year!

 

Flat Felix Photo Finale, Installment 3

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Pictorama Collection, Pams-Pictorama.com

Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: As of the writing of this post, this third photo postcard of someone posing with a full size two dimensional Felix is the last in my collection. The Felix in this one bears a remarkable resemblance to the second one I wrote about – a variation on the tongue out, lascivious looking Felix. (If you missed the December 10 post it is here Blackpool, Felix Cutout Continued). As I predicted in that post, it makes for a very strange photo with a child. This little girl seems either dumbfounded or, more likely, terrified of him. She is holding the end of his tail in a rather unconvinced fashion – you can just imagine someone telling her to hold onto him, and his tail being the closest and safest seeming piece to hold onto. Scrawled on the back in fairly childish handwriting is the name, Margaret Bettell-Wilkinson.

If you look carefully, an entire amusement park has been painted into the background. There is something which resembles the base of the Eiffel Tower, although maybe they were just aiming for some sort of ride. There is a Ferris wheel and these sort of exhibition hall style buildings – I wonder if this was a specific park they were painting? Perhaps the one the photo studio was in or near. There is that fence with its very forced perspective as well and whatever went on below and above it which is too dark to tell.

The little girl, Margaret we will assume, could be considered a bit woebegone under any circumstances although to some degree as you look at early photos of children, if they are not really dressed up they tend to look tatty by our standards today. I think people in general had fewer clothes and kids wore them hard. This little girl does have a nice beret on and a sporty coat. I think it is her skinny, bare legs and droopy socks, combined with her effort to put some space between her and Felix, that makes her look at bit sad. Fair to say, at least in this context, Margaret is just not a Felix fan!

While one might think that perhaps photos where people are not at their happiest or best do not end up being saved, this just isn’t true. We all know this. Oddly, we hang onto all the photos of our loved ones in the end. A photo of someone, a pet, or something else you care about is hard to throw out even if they look funny or it is a bit blurry. It is even hard to delete these on your phone – where you know all those photos are piling up and you get constant warnings about storage being full. This is a fortunate part of human nature for the photo collector like myself, but the bane of the organized and the squeezed for space. Still, once a photo was made into an object like this wonderful postcard, you could never throw it out – even when your now 35 year old daughter comes home and says you should get rid of that thing. I am so very relieved no one listened.

Christmas Greetings From All

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Pam’s Pictorama Photo Post: This photo caught my attention for a certain kind of crystal clear beauty and atmosphere. It is timeless and I was somewhat surprised to realize it was sent on Christmas Day, all the way back in 1909. The message, in a clear beautiful hand, reads, Christmas Greetings from all at “560 Beech.” It is not signed however and it is addressed to Mrs. Harry S. Additon, Dover, New Hampshire. It was sent from Manchester, New Hampshire (I believe, although the state is a bit hard to read where the stamp is canceled) and sent at 12M – midnight? Midday?

It looks like a lovely porch and we are ready to have a look out the telescope and curl up in the chair with a good book. No sign of winter either (there is snow out my New York City window as I write this mid-December) and the evergreens are no indicator as to the time of year. Of course, just because this was mailed on December 25 doesn’t mean it wasn’t taken earlier in the year, and we can’t be sure. Kitty seems very relaxed on his perch for winter in New Hampshire however. (And yes, in 1909 it appears you could mail something on December 25!)

There is nothing like a good porch for sitting on. My grandmother had a splendid one and it is probably the only porch I have had the pleasure of spending any real amount of time on. It was deep and shaded, and the heavy wooden chairs rocked. There was a small table had a red basket made of a thin woody material placed in the middle of it – perhaps with a pumpkin or holding some gourds in the fall. The arms of the chairs were big enough to hold a sweating, heavy glass of ice tea (for the adults) or sweet lemonade (mostly for the kids). There was a bird in the large, old, leafy trees which provided additional shade on a hot summer day, and an old tree stump that held a potted geranium. A whirligig too, but in all fairness I can’t remember if you could see him saw his wood from there or if he was around the other side of the house. That porch was a universe to small kids like me and my sister circa 1970 or so.

My grandmother’s house was on the corner lot of a fairly busy street in a small town, several towns over from where we lived. It was the house my mother grew up in, for the most part anyway, there  having been another when she was very little. (She showed us that house and a candy store had opened in it – fascinating!) My grandmother’s was a neighborhood that still had sidewalks, entirely residential and people did walk by and sometimes they would say hello, mostly not. The back porch was a place where my grandmother could see everything going on in her neighborhood and be seen. There was sometimes a wave from her neighbors, especially her friend Elaine on the opposite corner, across the street. She was a stout woman and she’d say how big we kids were getting. It was the kind of porch that made you more or less the unofficial mayor of your neighborhood, news central.

The porch in this photo is a more private one – shaded like my grandmother’s, but out in the country. This one is for communing with nature and contemplating it, watching birds at their business and spotting the occasional fox or badger, daydreaming. It is a country porch, not a suburban one. Both have their own charms. Funny how it has made me think of long ago summer and fall, but not Christmas and winter. Not yet!

 

 

Let the Toys Begin!

Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: With Christmas rapidly approaching we at Pictorama are focused, as we so often are, on toys. Today is this splendid pedal car and nice, extra large, jointed Schoenhut Felix which appear to be the property of the toddler labeled Paul Shirley. There is no date and no writing on the photo, except the name near the top.

In some ways this is a timeless photo – or at least considering the toys within a certain period of time, between about 1925 and 1940’s. (Although the type of photo print places this firmly in the latter decade.) It is an extraordinary pedal car owned by Master Shirley. Built solidly like a tank, this toy car looks like it might weigh in at the poundage of a real car today. There is a vague farm vehicle utilitarian design about it. Felix is atop – helping to direct the operation no doubt. Despite the somewhat down at the heels nature of the yard shown, this is a pretty lucky kid toy-wise. One has to imagine that this was an expensive toy car – although I might also consider that it was home constructed. Is that possible? Quite a feat for someone if true, well beyond the average soap derby model.

Was Felix a favorite toy I wonder – or did he end up perched there for other reasons? There is a motometer or hood ornament on this car – sadly it does not appear to be the Felix model – the Felix toy makes me think of it. I have included a very nice example here from a Hake’s sale below in case you are not familiar with this item – I have never had the chance to buy one with nice paint on it like this. I do dream of living in a time when cars were decorated with Felix however – talk about jolly!

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Felix hood ornament, not in my collection

 

As children we all seem addicted to movement and locomotion at an early age. Funny that as tots we immediately want scooters, tricycles, bikes, roller skates, ice skates, sleds and toy cars. Why is that? Nothing like the sight of a bike under the Christmas tree or with a birthday bow to wind you up. We love the movement and speed – a taste of independence perhaps. You started dreaming of the adventures you’d have the moment you saw them. Paul actually seems a bit young and overwhelmed by his toy good fortune – or at least indifferent.

I have a vague memory of a bright red trike early on, but my purple and white two wheeler is the one I really remember. Never owned roller skates, they were not in fashion then I guess. I have very fond memory of sleds, first a wooden one with runners and later a metal one, a sort of flexible flyer, that especially pleased me. Sadly we lived near the ocean where snow did not accumulate and we rarely had very good sledding. We made up for it however with bodies of water that frequently froze for skating – a small pond near our house that froze easily, as well as two rivers that also occasionally froze for our ice skating pleasure. I hope Paul grew to love his toy car over time – not to mention his nice Felix toy – and remembered them both fondly.