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1970s Sesame Street Puppets

Discussion in 'Sesame Merchandise' started by HerryGrail, Jan 6, 2003.

  1. HerryGrail

    HerryGrail Active Member

    I'm starting this thread so we collectors can share information about the classic Sesame Street puppets released in the 1970's by Child Guidance/Child Horizons/Questor and the Spanish toy company Vicma. Anyone who tracks them on eBay knows that many are highly prized. Here's my list of puppets I know about, organized by character:

    ERNIE and BERT: Released by Child Guidance in 1971 along with Cookie Monster, Oscar, and Big Bird (who was not like the others; see below) in open "stage" boxes that evolved into closed ones. The early, large Ernies and Berts featured plastic eyes attached to the rubber head, while later ones were smaller and had eyes that were raised off of the molded rubber. Also, Bert's eyebrows were furry at first before becoming a painted relief on the rubber head. By the end of the decade, Ernie and Bert had been transformed into all-cloth puppets with pom-pom noses. Both were part of Vicma's mid-decade release, and from photos I've seen, were very similar to the U.S. versions.

    COOKIE MONSTER and OSCAR: The initial U.S. versions featured arms that were connected by an internal string mechanism that included a ring hanging from the bottom of the puppet that could be pulled to bring the arms together in a "hugging" movement. Shortly thereafter this was abandoned and the arms simply stuck out to the sides. Vicma's two puppets were very similar, but Oscar was larger and a bit scarier looking.

    BIG BIRD: When first released, Big Bird was a full-body doll with a hole in the back of his head with a tab you could toggle to open and close his mouth. Later in the decade he evolved into a cloth-and-fur puppet. Vicma didn't release a Big Bird.

    GROVER: Grover was the first of Child Guidance's second wave. He was very elaborate with a rubber head through which nose and eyes protruded from a fur covering. Vicma's Grover, which I've only seen in photos, appears very much like the U.S. version.

    ROOSEVELT FRANKLIN: This puppet featured a rubber head with raised, painted eyes and a tuft of furry hair. His Vicma counterpart appears very similar.

    ANYTHING MUPPET: This purple puppet's head was made of cloth that could accept facial features backed with male-Velcro. Its hands were the same molded rubber as the other "human" ones. His many attachments included orange hair and moustache, eyes, glasses, and a rubber nose.

    COUNT: The Count's all-cloth face and body included the first cloth hands, and his eyes were printed pupil/eyeball stickers affixed to a plastic "lid" base. He also had a green felt collar with no cape. The puppet doesn't look like much without a hand in it, so many photos make it look worse than it actually is. There was no Vicma Count, but there was an exceptional Canadian version that had a rubber face and hands like the other American "human" ones. He also shares their markings. I don't know if this was a Child Guidance/Horizons/Questor product that was simply the "Canadian version," or why this version wasn't released in the U.S. while the inferior cloth one was.

    HERRY MONSTER: The Herry puppet, my own "Grail" (hence my user name!), is obviously a product of the company's wind-down puppet years of the late 1970s, and he received extremely limited release. He has a plain cloth nose and a fur body, but his eyes are very nicely sculpted with raised painted pupils.

    BETTY LOU, PROFESSOR HASTINGS, SHERLOCK HEMLOCK, GUY SMILEY: These are all Vicma releases, and one is more valuable than the next. All have rubber faces with nicely detailed clothing and look like the early style of the U.S. puppets. The Betty Lou and Guy Smiley have the best sculpts, but the Guy Smiley has an orange nose for some reason, and it's usually missing paint from play or from rubbing against the cellophane box window (the Vicma puppets came in full window boxes). The Sherlock and Hastings are lesser sculpts (and Sherlock has yellow painted hair), but they are still wonderful representations of complex second-tier characters. All of the Vicma "human" puppets also have weird, more-human hand sculpts.

    So that's all I know...do you know more? What do I have wrong? Please share, and let's put together a history of some of the greatest collectibles of all time!
  2. zanimum

    zanimum Well-Known Member

    Cool, I saw Ernie in an antique store once, didn't know about the whole line.

    Do you know of any links/pics?

  3. Erine81981

    Erine81981 Well-Known Member

    HerryGrail, I am making a collectors guide and all of Sesame Street stuff. I was wondering if I could use what you have wrote? I thought I could use it for the discripsion for the ideams.
  4. nono

    nono Active Member

    vicma´s puppets

    Hello i write from Spain, my english is not very good ,so i hope you understand me, i write becouse i am a collector of vicma spanish puppets from 1976 and i have one big bird from this year, i want to show you some pictures of it but i don´t know how to do it, if somebody can tell me i will do it, thank you friends!;)
  5. Tim

    Tim Well-Known Member

    I have (and still have) all the original puppets mentioned up to the "Anything Muppet". The quality went downhill real fast on them after that. The boxes were especially colo since you could cut them up into "T.V. sets" and Oscar's turned into a working trash can!
  6. Muppet Matt

    Muppet Matt Well-Known Member

    I FOUND THE ERNIE AT A THRIFT STORE ONCE AND DIDN'T BUY IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I'm so MAD at myself!!! :mad: :mad: :mad:
  7. Kevin the Frog

    Kevin the Frog Well-Known Member

    I have Ernie, Bert, cookie monster, oscar, one of the big birds, Roosevelt Franklin and Grover. I would love to have Count or any of the rare Vicma puppets, but Count usually goes for big bucks on ebay and the vicma puppets rarely appear. I have several different bert and ernies from throughout the years, and of course all the muppet show puppets. Eight years of collecting on ebay. Help me!

    Great post.
  8. nono

    nono Active Member

    Hello, i have the Count ,from Child Guidance toy, and other puppets from vicma
  9. xmasfraggle

    xmasfraggle Member

    If anyone is interested their are Vicma puppets Hastings and Trudy (betty lou) I beleive..On ebay right now...go check it out..going for cheap.....
  10. nono

    nono Active Member

    sherlock hemlock and Count von Count very cheap on ebay
  11. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Wasnt there a website that showed photos of all those old puppets. Or, are they under the Collectibles version of this website?
  12. Pino

    Pino Well-Known Member

    Maybe you can put this information on Muppet Wiki..... I mean there is a article about it but not as detailed as you just discribed!
  13. nono

    nono Active Member

  14. Kiki

    Kiki Well-Known Member

    I have that puppet!! :excited: I *think*...
  15. xmasfraggle

    xmasfraggle Member

    which puppet?
  16. nono

    nono Active Member

    Hello friends! i write from Spain , i am a collector of sesame street vicma puppets and i have some to sell ,they are :

    -Felipe sonrisas (guy smiley) new mint condition with original box

    -Trudy (betty lou) mint condition with original box

    -Big Bird (very hard to find) mint condition with original box

    If you are interested in one or all of them you can write to me and make me

    an offer, nonorico66@hotmail .com Thank you very much friends!:
  17. nono

    nono Active Member

    Hello friends! i write from Spain , i am a collector of sesame street vicma puppets and i have some to sell ,they are :

    -Felipe sonrisas (guy smiley) new mint condition with original box

    -Trudy (betty lou) mint condition with original box

    -Toccata (very hard to find) mint condition with original box

    If you are interested in one or all of them you can write to me and make me

    an offer, nonorico66@hotmail .com Thank you very much friends!:
  18. Pino

    Pino Well-Known Member

    I also have a Toccata for sale... new but the box went lost after moving...
    Anyone interested? Mail me ok?
    Greetings Paul
    ps postage in holland to USA is arround 7 euros
  19. nono

    nono Active Member

    Hello Pino, how are you! i am interested in Toccata, how much do you want for it?
  20. Pino

    Pino Well-Known Member

    Well the box isnt there nymore but he is still in new condition.. you can mail me at sesameplanet@chello.nl to discus the price further ok?

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