Other Toys

1950?  "Hollywood: Dessins animés tirés des Fables de La Fontaine et Sujets divers."  Animated cinema toy.  F.M. Paris.  €30 from entrepot*d through Ebay, Nov., '23.

This is a most unusual toy.  There are two key elements: a viewing implement and 38 cardboard strips, about 11⅜" x 1˝".  The implement is a sliding wooden frame with a channel perfectly matching the width of the cardboard strips.   Above this channel are perhaps forty plastic or glass rods that refract the images passing below them.  The hoped-for result is that the images, otherwise hard to decipher, become movie loops, showing a repeated action.  Though the package mentions La Fontaine fables, I can find only two that I recognize: GA and LM.  Other strips that take on a life for me are a tightrope walker; a train; and a dog chasing a man.  It is quite possible that I have not mastered the right speed for moving the strips underneath the frame.  I would say that this is a very creative idea that did not quite get worked out fully.

1957? Japanese red tin toy steam locomotive with friction motor, marked "Aesop" at the front both left and right. 9" long and 3.5" high. Marked "EO" and "Made in Japan." $6 from Matt McKeeby, Schenectady, NY, through Ebay, Feb., '00. Click on the image to see the engine larger.

Now this takes a prize! An Aesop locomotive! I gather that this toy comes from the era during which the Japanese were prone to put any symbol on any object and (re)produce it. "D-57" appears beneath the engineer's windows and on the boiler-cover at the front. There a bunny holds flags, perhaps for the tortoise and hare whose heads are pictured above the name "Aesop" on the flag panels on either side of the boiler-cover. Further back on the left side a crow in a cap holds a mouse either by a string or by its tail. On the opposite side a zebra and bear face each other. The engineer is a stork, who has a wing resting leisurely outside the windows on both sides! On the roof above him is a flying bird. In my years of collecting I never dreamed that such a thing existed.

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1989 Children's toy "color TV," with strip-cartoon of TH. Made in Hong Kong. $.99 at Nobbies, Omaha, Dec., '89.

1991 Wolf in Sheep's Clothing. Children's toy from an unknown maker, sold at a Los Angeles flea market. Gift of Margaret Carlson Lytton, Nov., '91.

Movable head and legs. This curious creation may resemble a dog as much as a wolf. Whichever he/she is, the creature did its costume very well!

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2020  Playmobil Set 70621: "Aesop's Fables."  30 pieces, including a story booklet.  Greek texts.  $37.50 from happy*sheriff through Ebay, July, '21.

This is a cute and clever set of figures for presenting seven of Aesop's fables.  The booklet and package texts are all in Greek.  Not for purchase in the USA.  The animals' heads can be raised and lowered.  Human heads can be turned, and arms move up and down.  I had thought that the grown man figure was Aesop; he may be, but he is also the human adult in SS and MSA.