Sunday, November 5, 2017

Snow White in Playthings Magazine

In 1902, Robert McCready and Henry Nathan started Playthings magazine. It would become the premier trade journal of the toy industry. The monthly periodical covered the latest toys and novelties, department store display trends, and the annual Toy Fair Trade Show preview in New York. It contained hundreds of ads from various toy manufacturers and dozens of articles related to the toy trade. Published by McCready Publishing Co. of NYC.

With the massive success of Snow White in theatres during the picture's premiere run, Disney's merchandising man, Kay Kamen, made sure it was featured often in the magazine. Although we haven't yet found all of the issues from 1938, in the ones we do have, Snow White dominates the front covers.

These early editions are rare and quite difficult to come by today. Most of the following images were generously shared by Matt of Random Neat Stuff and also by the William Stillman Collection.

January 1938 / 1938 Toy Fair Trade Show Issue / March 1938

April 1938 (front cover not yet found) - miscellaneous Snow White ad pages

Additional pages via gdawg.

May 1938

June 1938 / July 1938 - similar cover designs promoting the 4th Annual Walt Disney Character Merchandise Catalogue issued by Kay Kamen

June 1938 - miscellaneous Snow White pages

Classified ads:
June 1938 images via Antique Toy Archive.

November 1938 / December 1938


In 1939, most of the front covers featured Pinocchio. Yet, we did come across one where Snow White and the dwarfs were included. And of course there would have still been plenty of Snow White ads and write-ups inside other issues.

March 1939

September 1939 - Snow White store displays from xmas 1938

  • B. Peck Co. in Lewiston, ME

  • Crowley Milner & Co. Detroit, MI


Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs did appear in later editions of the magazine too, particularly during theatrical re-release years.

January 1952

June 1967 (full-page ad)

In 2010, Playthings was incorporated into Gifts & Decorative Accessories magazine and also became available in a digital format.

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