Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: I have done much blogging about some of my more obscure Felix items (with more to come!) and this puppet is another. There are many items I pay up for, but my constant combing occasionally pays dividends with an item that is great and that no one else seems to want. This was one of those. I have never seen another puppet exactly like this it, and I bought it for a nominal amount uncontested on eBay many years ago. It interests me that the Steiff Felix puppet goes for a fortune and this little guy didn’t even earn a nibble. My good fortune.
I assume this is mostly likely one of those East London Toy Factory Felix toys that I wrote about last year. He most definitely has a handmade, slightly less than professional appeal. He is awkward to use – I realized this when trying to take his photo on my hand – and isn’t balanced quite right for ease of movement.
He is very endearing however and he instantly became a favorite of mine. I have not found an optimum way to display him. He hangs out with the other Felix dolls on the shelves, just folded in half. I like to take him down one in a while though – he looks well loved, and despite his flaws he was clearly a much loved and well used toy, which in turn was well preserved these many, many years. Thank you British child somewhere!
Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post: This Schoenhut Felix is very common, but I like the size and heft of mine. He is about eight inches high, and he came to me in an unusual way. I received a call from an acquaintance of Kim’s who was traveling, in Florida I believe, who said he saw an old Felix in a store and asked if he should buy it for me. I have never taken a chance on such a blind acquisition before, but on that day I rolled the dice and I got this guy for a great price.
Even all these years after his heyday, this Felix toy is virtually ubiquitous as old toys go. They frequently appear in photos with children, often with babies. I do not have any in my collection, because I prefer the more idiosyncratic stuffed toys. The wooden ones are widely available, although not especially inexpensive, in a variety of sizes and some variation. Felix is posable, although this one has started to grow fragile and like so many you see, the twine that holds him together is threatening to break. I believe that somewhere, for a large sum of money, you can have them restrung. I imagine new they were relatively indestructible however.
The extreme popularity of this toy is somewhat mystifying for me. He is a hard wooden toy, not cuddly. While he is nicely posable, it is hard to imagine that explaining his fascination for kids. Frankly, this fellow mostly looks good on a shelf like mine – among his kind and ken – dozens of different variations. In fact, Felix’s vast allure over many decades is hard to explain – even for devoted fans like myself. However, the ongoing appeal of Felix cannot be denied. Below is a photo of a small toy of more recent vintage (I believe I acquired him in the 1980’s, long, long before my collection was even a twinkle in my eye) which is also very popular. A small variation on the Schoenhut theme which I give for your consideration.