Pam’s Pictorama Post: I never understood the importance of Pluto until we got a very nice disk of early Mickey Mouse cartoons issued a few years ago. (In fact I think I had Pluto and Goofy somewhat merged in my mind – what was Goofy all about anyway?) As Kim says, Pluto appears in the series and there is a whole new life to it. Suddenly I became a Pluto fan! Still, that doesn’t mean I meant to go out and start collecting Pluto toys. However, not long after, when I saw this hot Dean’s Rag Company Pluto go on auction (Morphys I think, maybe Hake’s) a few years ago I decided that I would scoop it up if I could get it for the right price – and here we are. Pluto, a lesser Disney character, was a bargain and now mine.

In the second photo I wanted to show his wonderful label on the bottom side – Dean’s Rag Company always does a nice job with that – and you get to see his paw pads and the nice leather collar he wears this way. He is a very well constructed toy and there is something very Pluto about him – the magic of the folks at Deans, in my opinion one of the greatest toy makers ever. Founded in 1903 Dean’s has been in continuous operation ever since, although they make only teddy bears today.  Their first product was cloth books, marketed with a hygienic toy label. I scooped the following quote from talking about Dean’s:

Pollocks Dictionary of English Dolls, The colours were fast, the produce certified as hygienic. The pages could be washed without damage, and sucked with impunity: perfect, in fact, for children who, in the words of the rag book’s originator, “wear their food and eat their clothes”.

The other Pluto came into my collection in an interesting way. I was watching American Pickers and Frank found one on a pick. As I occasionally do when there’s a really cool toy on their show, I looked it up on eBay and that night there was this nice, if slightly battered, example. Bam! On a whim, he was mine. He does rollover – somewhat laboriously in his case, and I do like to return to my wind-up toy roots occasionally.

Last, but not least, I have included an example of a 1931 Pluto and Mickey cartoon.  Enjoy!

Starting Small with Mice


Pam’s Pictorama Toy Post:  Of course what is a cat collection without –  mice! This wonderful bunch of little Mickeys (and one Minnie) is courtesy of Britain’s Dean’s Rag Book Company – the greatest maker of the off model Mickey Mouse that I know of.  It was (is) a large company and I have to believe they had the license to Mickey, but that leaves us scratching our head about why he came out so wonderfully toothy and terrifying! Whatever did Walt think?

These were purchased at auction – I think three from Hake’s and one from Morphy’s, but I could be wrong. Definitely not eBay however, although there are usually some to be found for sale there.  They are delightful. The smaller ones are about four inches in length.  Don’t know what that little orange prison-type suit is on the second one in – the shorts are the more typical outfit.  It appears to be original to him however.

I have been told that these are “jazzers” – little, light figures with wire legs that you could put on the arm of your (wind-up) phonograph and they would gently bounce along as the record played.  Don’t try this at home kids – has to be hell on your 78’s!