Sunday, July 18, 2010


A carded Herry Monster just showed up on eBay! Third one I've ever seen.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

About those Hand Puppets

Update: The collector in the post below is selling off a bunch of these rare foreign puppets. Check em out!

Here's some amazing pictures of a fellow collector's collection. David says he thinks he has all of the puppets produced commercially during the 70's era. Including the various Vicma puppets, you can see the wonderful Guy Smiley (how I wished they had made a finger puppet for him!) Sherlock Hemlock and Prairie Dawn! Then from Lili Ledy, Paco and Abelardo hand puppets! Trult rare gems and all of them are great representations of the real puppets. My favorite is the rubber headed Count from Canada. David mentions that as a kid her remembers having a Roosevelt Franklin finger puppet with glued on staright hair (Topper style) rather than the curly rooted hair. If so, it must be a very short-lived variation from Topper! I'm adding David's comments below. Thanks, David!

Over the years I've gone a little crazy with the "rarer" ones...I have about
eight Herrys now and several of the Vicmas in boxes. The Vicmas in
particular show up all the time now on eBay...what went for $300 back then
goes for $30 now. I've watched their value decrease over the years, so for
now they're just waiting for the next big wave of interest, I guess.

On the finger puppet side, I also have Salesman and Sherlock finger puppets
that look closer to the American ones than the Vicmas you posted. It's as
though someone made a mold of the American versions and cast them roughly in
one piece. The insides are weird a cone rather than following the
exterior contours. I haven't seen the ones you posted before.

One thing I haven't seen for a while is the Roosevelt Franklin without the
curly hair...when I was a kid I had all of them, and I know he had a tuft of
hair like the Topper ones. I hated when they went to curly hair on him and
the Ernie and Bert.

The Guy Smiley is a pretty ready commodity on eBay these days. I would
really love to know the story on the Canadian Count. He has the same style
of hands as the Ernie puppet, so I assume it's a Questor/Child Guidance
puppet, but I just don't know why they put him out as vinyl in Canada but
plush in the U.S. I've always had a soft spot for that plush Count puppet,
just because I remember seeing him for the first time in JC Penneys and
buying him with my own money...I must have been about eleven. For some
reason, a lot of those Counts have crazy hair, but mine had the nice
slicked-back type. (The one that first showed up in the Penneys catalog,
maybe a prototype, had fur hair, as you can see from the attached. For some
reason I can only find a small version, but you can see the difference.) The
Canadian Count has a weird neck situation going on that I've never been able
to figure out...but the sculpt is awesome. It would be great to see the
packaging for that one. (As you know, not too long after the plush Count
came out they went plush on the Ernie and Bert, too.)

As for the Grover puppet, I remember it being hard to find one that didn't
have a problem with the upper lip meeting the fur correctly. The best one
I've found from a design standpoint is pictured on the left end of one of my
curio photos (I attached a crop)...I think it's the Vicma version
(surprisingly), and it's definitely different from the one I grew up with.
(On your 1979 Child Guidance catalog page, it looks like the Grover has that
same lip problem, and the Count is the crazy-hair version. I actually like
those first plush Ernie and Bert puppets. For some reason Roosevelt stayed
vinyl; maybe they knew he was being phased out. I've also never seen a Herry
as full and furry as that, and with that much of his eyebrows.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Sean's Third Birthday Sesame Street SCORE

My friend Sean just uploaded this amazing home video of his third birthday in 1975. Bert and Ernie handpupets, an Oscar Finger Puppet and a Grover book are just some of the treats in this birthday loot!

Monday, January 5, 2009

The 3 That Got Away

One of the reasons it took me so long to put my website together and publish it was the remote possibility that a few of the rarest Holy Grail SSFPs might surface. I was wary of broadcasting this obsession with the world and possibly creating new collectors competing with me on auctions. Ironically, it was just days after uploading the site that the impossible happened. Three of the rarest packaged SSFPs surfaced from the same seller on eBay: Roosevelt Franklin, Sherlock Hemlock and The Salesman.

I gasped loudly when they came up on my screen, loudly enough that my wife was worried something was wrong. Then I explained to her what it was and she was very concerned because she knew this could mean serious money. How much? Not sure. I always tend to overestimate, but I had to put down large snipe bids on all of them. $250 each should do it. This was once in a lifetime, possibly. Very crisp examples of incredibly rare toys. I had never seen them before in 5 years of daily searching online and had only recently even learned what company made them and what the packages looked like thanks to catalog images (see above).

When I first started this collection I was single and had few obligations beyond rent on a junior one-bedroom apartment. I was also coming out of a serious packaged Mego collecting spree, which meant I had no perspective whatsoever. After dropping hundreds or even thousands on Megos I didn't blink an eye at picking up SSFPs. There was a time you couldn't win any eBay auctions, packaged or loose, because of me. But times have changed. With a wife, a baby, a house payment and an uncertain economic future I couldn't simply pull out the elephant gun and set a snipe bid so high that no one could beat me.

Still. $250 each? I honestly figured I'd win them going away. Maybe they'd top out at a hundred bucks.

Well, turns out there ARE people who are as crazy about these as I am and they didn't need me to tell them how precious these three examples were because I came in THIRD! Utterly heartbreaking...They sold for about $350 each. Whoever won them knew what they were doing and I imagine and hope that they set their snipe bid even higher. $500 each maybe? Lord knows if I was as free with my money as I used to be I might have done the same. But honestly, I was shocked they went so high.

So congrats to you, mystery collector. I'd love to see your collection sometime, I imagine it must be pretty great. It certainly is now.

Ernie Captured in the WILD

I have never in my life actually found a SSFP at a toy show or flea market until yesterday. The monthly Alameda County Antiques and Collectibles Show brought me this PERFECT example of a Topper Ernie for a mere $2.00. What a thrill to find an old friend! And with such fluffy hair and not a scratch in the paint. It looks like it may be a good year after all...Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Seriously, am I really going to BLOG about this?

Howdy, folks. I'm Scott C Adams, artist and toy geek with another overblown website about toys I like. I am launching World's Greatest Sesame Street Finger Puppets today.

I have been obsessed with collecting for several years now and this site is the fruit of that obsession. I got my first SSFP for Christmas 1972 (yep, that's me to the left in the Pooh jammies), a Topper Cookie Monster and soon had the whole set. I carried them with me everywhere. A whole TV show your coat pocket, you can't go wrong.

A few things about this website. First, World's Greatest Sesame Street Finger Puppets is my own name for this line of toys. I am originally a Mego collector, and Mego collectors use the phrase World's Greatest (Super Heroes, Super Knights, Super Pirates, pants, bicycle, coffee mug, what have you) for everything. Rightfully, these could be called Child Guidance Sesame Street Finger Puppets as CG was the main producer of them, but as you will see, the original maker was Topper/Educational Toys and it is they who truly made the best Sesame Street finger puppets. So, WGSSFPs it is!

This is a VERY narrowly defined site. Sesame Street was a merchandising juggernaut from the very start and there are tons of great toys from the 1970s that deserve a thorough archive, including the famous hand puppets that accompanied this line. But I set out to collect these because it was a finite line, it had limits. I don't collect any other Sesame Street stuff. I have a few pieces here and there but I quickly put an end to it. The hand puppets, the miniatures, the puzzles, games, cookie jars. No. Not in my house. I have enough stuff that nobody cares about but me. As you can tell by the site, though, there's more than enough to keep me busy. There are many discoveries yet to be made and more than a few impossible holy grails to find. Yet they don't take up a lot of space and are generally pretty affordable.

Anyway. I think I've made the point that I'm insane and unbalanced. Welcome. Happy collecting!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Coming soon!