VENTRILOQUIST TOY FIGURES


ANY QUESTIONS?
CONTACT ARLIE

 


Read Arlie's

TOY GUIDE

(originally printed in eBay Guides)

Also Available is Arlie's

GUIDE to REPAIRING TOY VENTRILOQUIST FIGURES
 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

Archie Andrews - Archie Andrews was produced by Palitoy.  He hails from the U.K.  Peter Brough was a ventriloquist and creator of Archie Andrews.  This is actually a small figure, about 15".

Billy Baloney -  This is PeeWee Herman's friend from the show, "PeeWee's Playhouse" (or as this figure is simply known around my house ... "PigBoy").  These were made by Matchbox (yes, the little toy car makers) in 1988.  The head is on a stick that has a control to move the eyes back and forth.  A lightly padded set of clothes with feet and hands attached, is mounted to the head. There is a lever on the stick that when you push in, it closes his mouth.  The stick is made for medium to small hands, which is hard to hold for larger hands, but it was made for kids.  I am forced to admit to using one of these to practice with, especially on trips, because it is small and packs well.  Basically it is a head on a stick with clothes sewn to the head as a cover for your hand.  The clothes roll over the head for packing.  I do not know much about the original character, but the size of this figure makes this a wonderful ventriloquist practice item.

Bozo - 30"  Bozo is easy to identify with his white face and red yarn hair.  Some of us remember him and his show from our childhood.  It will probably say Larry Harmon Pictures on his neck.  Bozo is still in production and offered by the Goldberger company.

Charlie McCarthy - 30"  Charlie McCarthy was Edgar Bergen's main ventriloquist figure.  This figure is made to represent that character, the loveable 12 year old boy.  Identifying Charlie is fairly easy.  Look for the monocle slots over and under the right eye.  This is where the clear plastic monocle slides in front of the eye.  Charlie parts his hair on the left.  As for the hair color, well it varies.  I have models with black hair, gray hair, and brown hair, all of them originally painted that way at the factory.  Basically, it is always a dark color.  Charlie is still in production and available new.  You can also buy new replacement parts, such as the monocle, hat, etc...  Due to the name recognition, people will list a figure as Charlie just because it is a vent figure.  This is the same problem that occurs with Jerry Mahoney and Danny O'Day.

Danny O'Day (1) - 24"  This figure is modeled after the vent figure created by ventriloquist Jimmy Nelson. He has the string coming out of the back of the neck like most of the others listed.  These were sold during the 60's. The head on this model is similar to the head on the next model.

Danny O'Day (2) - 28"-30"  This figure has the string coming out of the back of the neck like most of the others listed.  This version  is still in production.  Notice that Danny parts his hair on the right hand side.  Most other figures part on the left.  More important, notice the big clump of hair combed down in front on the left side.  This makes Danny stand out and easy to tell apart.  Once you know what he looks like, that covers it for Danny. 

Danny O'Day (3) - 32"  semi-pro   This model has the head on a stick and a hollow chest.  The figure is 32".  The head is actually quite larger than the head on Danny O'Day 1.  The stick allows you to move the head and the mouth moves by pulling a string.  This model was introduced in 1967.

Dopey - Dopey was a composition figure produced during the 1930's by Ideal.  They were
licensed from Walt Disney and came dressed just like the figure from the movies.   The one pictured is a 1938 version.  The mouth was worked by a string out the back of the neck so you could make Dopey "repeat all of his memorable lines" from the Snow White movie.

Emmett Kelly Jr. - 30"  Emmett Kelly Jr played the hobo clown "Willie".  The Emmet Kelly Jr. figure is a recreation of this classic character.  The Horsman Company also offers an Emmet Kelly Jr figure that is similar.  The way to tell the difference is the hat.  The Juro/Eegee/Goldberger model has a hat molded to the head.  It is not removable.  The face has flesh tones and the classic black beard and white-painted mouth.  The Horsman version does not have a molded on hat, it's hat was cloth and removable.  Also, there are not any flesh tones on the face.  The face is painted white, with the black beard added. The Goldberger Co. still produces the Emmett Kelly Jr figure in it's Celebrity Line.  The picture below shows both figures side by side for comparison.  Both figures are wonderful in their own right.

Emmett Kelly Jr. - 24" This is Horsman's version of the wonderful character "Willie" the hobo clown created by Emmett Kelly Jr.   The Emmett Kelly figure is also made by Eegee/Goldberger.  The easy was to tell the difference is the hats.  The Eegee model has the hat molded on while the Horsman version came with a removable cloth hat.  Also, the Horsman version is a smaller figure. 

Groucho Marx - 30"  The cigar chomping, wise cracking member of the Marx brothers.  Groucho is easy to recognize as he is an icon of comedy.  He is still in production and readily available.  Glasses and cigar are available as replacement parts.

Hayley O'Hara - 28" This was advertised as Danny O'Day's girlfriend. No other figure looks remotely like her. Orange short hair cut straight across, above the shoulders. The hair was molded as part of the head. In some respects, she sort of resembled Danny in the face. Juro originally made these to get more girls to buy their vent figures. Hayley did not sell well
and her production run was ended.

Howdy Doody (1)  -26"  This is the show marionette character of the 1950's.  Not really a ventriloquist figure in the show, Buffalo Bob and other cast members provided the voice of Howdy.  His actions, including his mouth, were operated by strings in the show.  Howdy is known for his red hair and freckles.  Those features, as well as the big center flip of hair up front on top of the head help make him recognizable.  The only problem is that due to the popularity of Howdy Doody and the name recognition, some people may call any puppet or vent figure Howdy Doody (same as occurs with Charlie Mahoney, Danny O'Day, and Jerry Mahoney).  Howdy is still in production and available in the Goldberger Celebrity Line.

Howdy Doody (2) -  There were several different size figures offered by Ideal.  These figures were available prior to Howdy's appearance with Eegee/Goldberger.  These look like the Howdy Doody we recognize.   They were more like dolls, being fully stuffed in the arms and legs, and not as flexible as vent figures.  They were made for the Howdy Doody Show crowd (Marketing being very Alive and Well in the 50's and 60's) instead of the ventriloquist crowd.  A recent Ideal figure has been remade from the original 1951 mold, but not a 'kids' toy at $100 retail.

Jerry Mahoney (1) - 24"   This is the "composition" Jerry available during the 50's and the early 60's.  His hands are usually plastic but may be composition as well.  These were replaced by plastic Jerry Mahoney (2) in the 60s. 

  

Jerry Mahoney (2) - 24" This model has a plastic head and plastic hands. It is exactly like Jerry Mahoney (1) in facial appearance. In 1966, Paul Winchell ended his contract with Juro because he believed he could do a better job and have a more realistic reproduction of Jerry Mahoney. That ended the Juro Jerry Mahoney's.

 

Jerry Mahoney (3) - 32"  This is a semi-pro figure that has the head mounted on a stick.  The head is plastic.  The body cavity is hollow and allows you to stick your hand in the back and control the head/mouth.  This model was originally offered in the mid-fifties. Note- This picture shows the lock of hair that turns down on the right side of Jerry's head.  It is a small lock of hair, not a big group of hair like Danny O'Day's, which turns down on the left side of Danny's head.  Also note that the eyes appear to look straight ahead in this model but are actually looking slightly to the side.

  

Jerry Mahoney (4) - 32"  This was the deluxe version of the above Jerry Mahoney, with moving eyes in addition to the moving mouth.  This model is rarely a victim of confusion.  The moving eyes set this model apart.  It is similar to the Jerry Mahoney (3) but has 2 strings on the stick instead of one string (extra string to control the eyes).  The eyes often did not work very well.

Jerry Mahoney (5) - 24"  Paul Winchell marketed Jerry Mahoney's himself after he ended his contract with Juro about 1960.  These models should have a Paul Winchell copyright mark on the neck (not Juro) and the date.  I include this model here under Juro only for the reader's ease of use.  The hair is definitely orange/red, the eyes look off to the side.  To me, the figure looks more like the 'real' Jerry of that era as seen in the shows. 

Jerry Mahoney (Dark Hair) -  There are Jerry figures that with dark hair. These are usually the 24" Jerry (#2) and the 32" semi-pro version (#3). Why they have dark hair instead of orange involves several explanations/theories. One explanation given is that Juro used whatever paint they had to finish spraying figures before reloading the sprayer with red. Another possibility is that with the end of the contract with Winchell, Juro had 24" heads left over as well. The hair of these were painted black and they were sold, usually with the red jacket and tan pants that Little Ricky wore. Due to the similarity in clothing, most of the dark haired 24" Jerrys were probably sold around the time of release of Little Ricky (1967), and after the Jerry contract ended.


 

Jolly Jim -  24" Manufactured by Palitoy in Great Britain, this figure looks very similar to Jerry Mahoney. The figure was available with hair in black or red, and with a solid body or a hollow body with head stick. Jolly Jims were made of a hard plastic and were not imported for sale in the US at the time. Jolly Jim is often confused with Jerry Mahoney. Trying to differentiate Jolly Jim from Jerry Mahoney can be problematic because they seem to look just alike. Jerry Mahoneys were made of a vinyl plastic and not the hard plastic used in Jolly Jim. Jolly Jim actually had shoes for feet, made of a plastic material, not cloth feet like Jerry Mahoney. The clothes are different as well, such as the stitching around the edge of the jacket for Jolly Jim.

Knucklehead Smiff  (1) - Knucklehead Smiff is the creation of Paul Winchell.  This is Jerry Mahoney's sidekick.  Jerry kept talking about his friend "Knucklehead Smiff" and the fans wanted to see the character.  The demand became so great that Paul Winchell actually had to create the character to meet fan demand.  Juro briefly made these until 1960. 

Knucklehead Smiff (2) -  24"  - Paul Winchell decided to end his contract with Juro because he believed he could make a more realistic version of Jerry and Knucklehead Smiff.  The figure shown here was marketed by Paul Winchell in 1966 and was primarily only available on the West Coast.  The neck on this figure is stamped copyright Paul Winchell 1966.  It was the companion model to the Jerry Mahoney (5) model mentioned above.

Lester (Juro original) - 30"  This is the original Lester offered by Juro in the late 60's, early 70's.  Lester is based on the wonderful character created by Willie Tyler.  Willie Tyler and Lester were extremely popular during that time frame.  This is a one-of-a-kind black male figure with molded short black curly hair.  Even it's successor, the other Lester, is so different that it can not be confused with this figure.  This Lester looks more like the Lester character that Willie Tyler created.  The 1st Lester was replaced by the following Lester in 1973.  To keep them separate, I note this one as Lester (Juro) and the following one as Lester (Eegee) as the original Lester was a Juro product and the 2nd Lester had Eegee copyright marks on the neck.

Lester (Eegee) -26" This is the second Lester to be offered, replacing the one listed above. It was first offered in 1973 and has an Eegee copyright on the neck. This is a black male figure with sewn-in curly black hair. Actually, this is a Howdy Doody head that is colored black and has sewn-in black hair instead of the molded-on red hair that Howdy has. If you pull the curly hair back a little, you can see Howdy's molded hair marks. It's a shame this version did not look as much like Lester as the other did. The later clothes, paint, and style changes helped make the character look better. This version of Lester is still in production and available from the Goldberger Celebrity Line.

 

Little Ricky - 24" This model was introduced in 1966/67. It was sold into the early seventies. You may see a Juro copyright on the neck. Little Ricky is often confused with Jerry Mahoney. It is easy to notice the difference as the eyes point forward and the hair is brown. Some people get Little Ricky confused with Danny O'Day. It is quite easy to look at the hair and tell the difference. Danny O'Day has hair that turns down (onto the forehead) on the left side, whereas, Little Ricky has a very well kept hair style that combs up and back on the left.

Max Headroom -  Some of you may remember Max Headroom as a spokesman of MTV in the mid/late 1980's and later he had a 30 minute show.  He was made by Chrysalis Visual Programming in the late 80's.  This is a head and shoulder figure that is more of a remembrance of the show instead of a useable figure (in the traditional style... but useable as a head in a box figure, maybe - Clinton Detweiler's idea).

Mickey Mouse - 32"  The loveable Mouse that build the House of Disney.  This is an easy one to spot.  Horsman made Mickey Mouse in a semi-pro type setup, with the head on a stick.  There is a plastic body cavity and arms/legs that clip on to the body.  The same body set-up is used for Moe and Simon Sez, which are also the same semi-pro type set-up.  Mickey copyrights start in 1973.  He is a large character due to the ears.

Moe - 30"  This is Moe Howard of the "Three Stooges" fame.  I think I speak for most Stooge fans when I say I wish Horsman had completed the set with a Larry and Curly figure as well (alright.. maybe a "Shemp" for you non-purist Stooge fans.... but just to prevent hate mail... BUT definitely NO "Joe" figure).  Moe can throw people for a loop who do not know who he is and they will list him with some funny names, just guessing who he is supposed to be.

Mortimer Snerd - 30"  Mortimer is Charlie McCarthy's sidekick and another Edgar Bergen creation.  Mortimer is a not too bright, country-bumpkin type of character.  Sometimes people may think of Mortimer as the Red Skeleton creation "Clem Kadiddle Hopper".   Mortimer is one of the few characters with orange-red hair, like Jerry Mahoney's, but those two are rarely confused for obvious reasons.  Mortimer is also one of the few "goofy" looking characters.  He is still being produced and is readily available.

Oliver Hardy - 24"   Part of the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy, Oliver Hardy is an icon of comedy.  Together with Stan, they were a comedy force through the 20th century.  "Ollie" is still available from Goldberger in their Celebrity Line.

Otis O'Brien -  Otis is the most commonly found ventriloquist figure which was made by Uneeda.  Uneeda is known for mostly making dolls, but they did make several vent type figures.  Unfortunately, the history of these has been lost by the company and is known only by collectors.  Otis is the most commonly found.  I will be posting other examples later, but more research (and figure cleaning) is required.  Other Uneeda figures are not "rare" because they are not listed, Otis is listed because he is the most common.

Parlanchin -  Mr. Parlanchin is from the 70's and he hails from the Spain. He is made of a thin plastic. His head is on a hollow pole with controls for the mouth and the closing of the
eyes. He was produced by Cremeal along with several other figures in that series, such as Peter Patter. 'Parlanchin' is Spanish and basically translates to "talkive" or other adjectives we would use to express for one who talks a great deal. Thus, he is Mr. Talkitive, a poor translation but it helps understand the meaning of his name.

PeeWee Herman - PeeWee Herman of PeeWee's Playhouse.  PeeWee Herman was made by Matchbox.  The figure was offered in 1988.  His friend Bill Baloney is also available as a vent figure.  PeeWee's talking chair, "Chairy", is available as a puppet with a switch to operate the moving eyes.

Peter Patter - Peter Patter hails from the Spain. He appears to be quite similar to Mr. Parlanchin (same head/body setup), however the faces appear different. He is also produced by Cremeal of the same light plastic and operates the same way.

Raggedy Ann - Raggedy Ann was offered as a vent figure by the Bobbs Merrill Co.  These figures seem to be just like the Raggedy Ann dolls but with the addition of a ventriloquist style head, with the head in the classic Raggedy Ann style of course.

Simon Sez - 30"  This figure looks very similar to Willie Talk.  However, Simon Sez is much larger and has the semi-pro type set-up that Moe and Mickey Mouse have.  Simon Sez will look like a bigger Willie Talk head mounted on a plastic stick set-up.  Sometimes you will see a Simon Sez/Willie Talk figure pictured but the name may not be correct and you are wondering if it is Willie Talk or Simon Sez in the picture.  Obviously if the head is shown seperate of the body and the head is on a stick as described above, it is Simon Sez.  But if both heads are attached to the body, the two models are very similar.  The way to tell the difference is to look at the hair line on the ears.  Willie Talk has his whole ear showing.  Simon Sez has the top part of the ear covered with hair (the hair is molded on the ear, combed back).

Slappy - 30"  Slappy is the Vampire looking ventriloquist dummy from the R.L. Stine Goosebump books.  Although the books are for teens, they are well written and enjoyable for us "much older" teens.   They can all be read in a day or two.  Look for Slappy in the three book set called "Goosebumps Monster Edition #2".  It contains the novels #7, #31, and #40.  These are "Night of the Living Dummy", II, and III.  There is also Goosebumps Series 2000 "Slappy's Nightmare", among others.  Slappy is the most recent addition to the Goldberger line and is still in production.

Stan Laurel - 26"   The other half of the comedy team of Laurel and Hardy, Stan is well known for his "I'm sorry Ollie" whine.  Together they were in many movies, cartoons, and about all forms of print media.  Stan is still in production in the Goldberger Celebrity Line.

Susie Sez - 22"  Susie Sez was introduced in 1982 as part of the Goldberger lineup.  Her neck has an Eegee copyright on it.  She is the smallest of the Juro/Eegee/Goldberger figures.  She originally came dressed as a country girl with a hat and a dress.  She has what is called "sleep eyes" that close when you lay her down.  Interesting, her legs and arms are covered in a fabric that is blue with white lines.  It appears to be clothes or pajamas and is a great improvement over the plain white they had used for covering all those years.  With this cloth, the dress left her arms "bare" but they still looked clothed.

Tessie Talk - 18"  You will see several versions of Tessie Talk.  One has long red hair and another has short light brown hair.  Both are Tessie Talk.  This figure is more of a real doll that any of the other figures.  The body, legs, and arms are all made of hard plastic.  If it was not for the moving mouth controlled by the classic string out the back of the neck, you might pass this by as just any other regular doll.  Due to the hard limbs, she is not as pose able as the other figures.  However she can stand quite well on her own.  The hard limbs also make her harder to position and use her as a vent figure, if you wanted to use her for that purpose.  She is the most doll-like of all the vent "toy" figures.

Tommy Talker -  Tommy Talker was made by Regal. It was marketed mainly in Canada and was not widely available in the US, except near the northern border. He has blue eyes, blondish hair, and a Regal copyright on the neck. In reality, this is a 1968 Charlie
McCarthy head without the slots for the monocle above and below the right eye. The early Charlie McCarthy heads (1968 trademark) are slimmer through the temple areas and not as rounded as the current version. Juro licensed the rights to Regal to produce these for sale in Canada.

Velvel -   24"  This figure is made to represent the character created by Ricky Layne.  It was his ventriloquist figure he created in the 50's.  Velvel was a Yiddish character and was made from one of the popular Willie Talk figures that were available at the time.  They were popular ventriloquist pair during the mid-1950's and 60's, when this figure was offered by Juro.

W.C. Fields - 30"  W.C. Fields can be heard sparring with Charlie McCarthy on many of the old recordings of Edgar Bergan and Charlie McCarthy.  These are available on CD and worth having, especially because of this great comedian.  He also appeared in a movie with Charlie and Edgar.  The well known comedian W. C. Fields was introduced as a vent figure in 1980.  Older versions will  bear an Eegee 1980 copyright on his neck.  W.C. Fields came with a removeable straw hat.  His well-known gin blossumed big nose is a recognizable part of the figure.

Willie Talk - 23"  Willie Talk has been around for a very long time.  Prior to being made in the current form we are familiar with, the name belonged to a figure that was a composite-type figure quite popular in the 30's, and 40's.  That Willie Talk is in a different style of figure (and collection), so he will not be covered here.  But as a ventriloquist toy, the name had been around prior to this version by Horsman.  Horsman produced Willie Talk in great numbers, and even produced a dark skinned version.  Willie Talk was still produced into the eighties.  As mentioned in the Simon Sez section, Willie Talk looks similar to Simon Sez, but is much smaller and does not come from Horsman in the semi-pro set-up.  He is readily available on eBay, and even in the semi-pro set-up.


 

 


 

 

 


 

Learn the Secrets of Ventriloquism

 

 

 

 

 


 

Home - Appraisal Service - Forum - Articles of Interest - Figure (Dummy) Collection - Dan's Bio
 Tribute to Ventriloquism - Ventriloquist in the News - Ventriloquist Marketplace - Marketplace Store  VentSpace Gallery  - What's New - Blog - Email Newsletter - Contact Us

 

 

Tell a Friend
About Us!

Click Here
 

 


This website is protect by WebLockPro

Protect YOUR website with WebLockPro

More Information

 

Copyright 2006-2010 Dan Willinger -Ventriloquist Central

 

Site Created & Maintained by Steve Hurst - SteveHurstWebsite.com