Tuesday, November 17, 2015

1960s Disneykin Figures by Marx

What are Disneykins?
Disneykins are a brand of miniature hand painted plastic figures manufactured by the Marx Toy Company from 1961 to 1973. They are known for their unique packaging formats, detailed figures and great store displays. SOURCE: DISNEYKINS.COM

In 1961, Louis Marx & Company transitioned from their soft plastic Walt Disney's Television Playhouse figures of the 1950s to the smaller, harder plastic and hand-painted Disneykins. Same molds, just smaller, but more of them. They would become quite popular.

The first Disneykin series consisted of 34 figures, including Snow White and all of the Seven Dwarfs. Each came with a seal that read, "© "Walt Disney Productions - Hong Kong." Snow stands about 1.5" high, the dwarfs 1". Original retail was 15¢ each or eight for a dollar.



Comparison image via jpjcandyland.



Inside the packages were folded papers listing the available characters. Because Marx would market the figures in a myriad of ways, you could find different lists depending on when they were produced. Here's two examples, the second displays two separate illustrations of both Snow White and Dopey.

Product lists via disneykins.com + sodagrad.


The paint job varied widely, sometimes appearing to be not all that adept. Although, others could be quite nice.


Set images courtesy of Rick Payne via dadric's attic.




Additional images courtesy of Eric Johns of Marx Lane.



Disneykins were sold in a wide variety of ways, from small individual boxes to multi-character packages, to complete sets and even a couple free-standing shelving cabinets. The 1961 wholesale catalog from Supplee-Biddle-Steltz Company pictured a few of the store displays and retail sets that were available.

Ad image via gdawg.



Individual boxes. The front panel was either yellow, blue, or white depending on when they were issued.





Box images via shaunsgoodies.



Set of Eight - Open Face Pink Boxes. 32 of 34 original first series figures were also sold in four separate "sub" groups of eight in individual open-face boxes. Snow and the dwarfs made up one of these groups. The set was wrapped in plastic with the boxes displayed in front of a paperboard backer card and with a header card along the top. Original retail $1.00/set of eight.




Pictured on the reverse side of the backer card are the other three sub "collections" in this series.


Pink Box images via corgijr + theantmanltd.



Other Sets of Eight. The 32 figures were also sold in other packages of eight featuring the individual closed-faced boxes. (Both yellow and blue boxes have been seen mixed in the same sets.) These were attached directly to the paperboard backer card and were not wrapped in plastic.

[Photo not yet found.]



Yellow Gift Box. Complete first series of 34.

Gift box images via Heritage Auctions + chanman157.



TV Scenes. Colorful shadowboxes that simulated television screens. One character would be featured along with a few props and a painted background. Snow White came with a table and two stools. Dopey with two beds. Each box sold for 29¢ or four for a $1.00.

Dopey TV box via californiagirls.



Play Sets. These were larger than the TV Scene boxes and included more characters and props. Snow White and the dwarfs came with a dining table, stools, and a fireplace. Retail 98¢ per box.





Playset images courtesy of the Michael Filippello Collection.



Snow White Boxed Set. Includes the eight characters, a table, stools, water pump and bucket.





Cabinets. Two different shelving units were issued. Snow White and Dopey were included in the smaller set; the entire first series came with the larger one.


Cabinet images courtesy of The Flubber Gallery/Disneykins.com.



Pink Gift Box. A second series of 34 figures was released with more characters, though no additions were made to the Snow White group.

Pink box courtesy of the Flubber Gallery.



Both series continued to be sold separately as well as in various combinations of packaging schemes together. The See & Play Disney Castle is one example where Snow and the dwarfs join Sleeping Beauty and others from the second series.




A rare variation of the Disneys Castle box was recently seen on ebay.

Rare castle images via stripeypig.



Blister Pack on card. In 1971, Marx combined some of the first series characters with the second, releasing 48 figures total in packages of eight. The Snow White gang were all together in one pack.



Inside each package was a paper list of the 48.

Blister Pack images via stripeypig.



Store Displays. 1961 first series Disneyland Castle, TV Scenes, and Play Sets.


Display images courtesy of The Flubber Gallery/Disneykins.com.



With so many packaging combinations and displays, researching these figures can be a bit mind-boggling. Luckily for us, there are a couple great sites where we can learn more. Check out Disneykins.com as well as Marx Lane. Both are excellent Disneykin resources.

14 comments:

  1. My brother and I had Disneykins! I remember we got them by filling out the mail order form on the back of gelatin packages (I can't remember the brand, but I'm pretty sure it wasn't Jell-O). We also got one of the play sets of Disneykins in the Character Shop (now the Star Trader) at Disneyland. I still have some of them, but we never had any of the characters from Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

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    1. That's right Tokyo! It was on the back of Royal Gelatin packages. Got a post coming up in just a few days with them.

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  2. Oh, and there were often order forms for sets of Disneykins inside comic books. I'll have to look through some of my old comics to see if I can find one of the ads.

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    1. Also got another post on the comic book ads. They date from the early 1970s. :)

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  3. Oh thanks....I wanted to say Royal Gelatin, but then I started to doubt if that was really the name. And if the comic book ads were from the early seventies, then it must have been my parent's comic books rather than mine! ;-)

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  4. Great post! I didn't realize there were that many variations on packaging. Thanks!

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    1. Thanks 1937 Fan. There were even more packaging schemes than this. It's amazing how Marx was able to keep selling the same figures in so many different ways.

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  5. Can anyone tell me anything about the Disneykin in this Ebay auction? I have never seen it before.

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  6. Oops, better put in the web address:http://www.ebay.com/itm/Marx-Disneykins-TV-Scenes-Pinocchio-/391322057347?hash=item5b1c9cba83:g:H1gAAOSwGWNUW-pO

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    1. Wow! I can't say that I've seen this particular Disneykin with the donkey ears. Very cool

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  7. Sometime in 1960 I passed by Coopey's Corner on Surf Avenue & W30th st. in Coney Island one morning and I looked in his window and there they were. I was enchanted w them the moment I saw them and I wanted them all.

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  8. Sometime in 1960 I passed by Coopey's Corner on Surf Avenue & W30th st. in Coney Island one morning and I looked in his window and there they were. I was enchanted w them the moment I saw them and I wanted them all.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Sometime in 1960 I passed by Coopey's Corner on Surf Avenue & W30th st. in Coney Island one morning and I looked in his window and there they were. I was enchanted w them the moment I saw them and I wanted them all.

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    1. There is something alluring about them, isn't there? They're just painting pieces of plastic, but nonetheless, they sure do hold a lot of good childhood memories for a whole lot of people. :)

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