Tuesday, June 5, 2012

COLLECTION #245: Vintage Circus Toys

I think it's kind of sad that the circus has become a quaint relic of our distant past: and politically incorrect to boot. Animal rights activists, clown-aphobics, and sophisticates have changed 'the Circus' to 'Cirque', and although the new modern Cirque is amazing, colorful, and hip, I believe that something has been lost from our culture. There was a time in America, when the mention of the word 'circus' brought joy and excitement to every child. From the giant Ringling Brothers to small rag-tag circuses, it didn't matter. When the circus came to town, it was a momentous occasion indeed. Today, when the word 'clown' is mentioned, many people can only think of the demonic clowns of the movies. I never heard of anyone who was afraid of clowns when I was little.  (Ok, not everyone loved Bozo, but generally clowns brought squeals of glee, not people running from the room in fear!)  I do have quite a few clowns in my clown collection, I've only added a few here. You can see the rest of them here.

I rarely editorialize on my daily collection feature, so I will stop now!  I think that circus toys are wonderful, colorful, and fun, and I'm glad I have quite a few playthings that celebrate this unique entertainment genre.

The Fisher-Price Circus (some parts missing) from 1963. One of the great circus toys!

From the F-P Circus

From the F-P Circus

Fisher-Price Jalopy toy, fun circus clown with his balloon-tire vehicle. From 1966.

Fisher-Price Jingle Elephant (This is a Toy Fest F-P reproduction from 1993)

I love the cute circus record, and the Rolly clown with the chiming bells inside. Both from the '50s

I love the old beanbag clown toys. When I worked at Mattel back in the '90s, a friend at work had a vintage clown I loved. I found some old quilt scraps, and had the samplemakers make me a copy of hers. I love it!  You can see more of my clown toys here. 

Ring Toss game made by Transogram, early '50s.

Squeaky the Clown, Fisher-Price reproduction Toy Fest Toy from 1995

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