Snoopy Plastic Figurine by Schleich

Snoopy has a had quite the career. When not sleeping atop his doghouse he takes to the skies in his Sopwith Camel to do battle with the Red Baron. Now that’s exciting, but especially for a dog!

We’d better have a look at this prestigious pooch:

Snoopy Standing Tall

Always on top of something!

Charles M. Shultz created the Peanuts comic strip which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward. And although the star of the strip was good ‘ol Charlie Brown, it was his dog that really rose to the top.

Snoopy Side

Classic Profile

Snoopy joined the comic strip two days in on October 4th, 1950.

Snoopy Profile

Snoopy is a loyal, innocent, imaginative and good-natured beagle who is prone to imagining fantasy lives, including being an author, a college student known as “Joe Cool” and a World War I Royal Flying Ace.

Snoopy Sopwith Camel

Sopwith Camel

The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It had been developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and would become one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War.

Snoopy is perhaps best known for his fighter ace persona, wearing an aviator’s helmet and goggles and a scarf.

Snoopy Headgear

This little PVC (plastic) figurine was produced by the Schleich company and is a current release available in stores now.

Snoopy Label

Schleich was founded by Friedrich Schleich in 1935. Its figurines were first released in the 1950s with the development, production and marketing of comic figurines such as Snoopy and The Smurfs. In the early 1980’s they added animal figurines and Muppet characters to their range of products.

So is Fighter Ace Snoopy your favorite, or is Joe Cool more your speed? Either way, you have to agree this is one canny canine!

Thumper or Miss Bunny: A Figurine Investigation

So most cartoon bunnies look alike. Male or female, they all look alike. So what do animators do to differentiate one from another? Sometimes they will use color changes, size, or most often eye lashes. We will consider some of these techniques and others to determine if the ceramic figurine we have in this post is Thumper or his girlfriend, Miss Bunny.

Before we get into our investigation, let’s have a look at the suspect:

Thumper Front

Suspect: Bucktoothed and Cute

CLUE No. 1

When we purchased this figurine the Seller gave us a card that was given to him when he himself obtained it. Such provenance is often helpful in determining exactly what an object is. Take a look:

Thumper Card

After some research we were able to determine that these ceramic figurines, made by Evan K. Shaw Pottery, were indeed produced in the early 1940’s. But we were still unconvinced that what we had was ‘Thumper’s Girl’.

We began our investigation by checking the Internet for other examples of the piece to see what online Sellers were claiming it was. Some said ‘Thumper’ while others said ‘Miss Bunny’, or ‘Bixbi’, as some Disney fans have named her (she is not given a name in the original movie).

We also found other small ceramic figurines that were definitely depicting a female bunny, that were brown, and posed differently than ours. It was this figurine that was consistently called ‘Miss Bunny’ and not the version we have. So we now had a majority consensus.

But our figurine could still be another version of Miss Bunny, as some were claiming.

CLUE No. 2

Next we need to consider the color of the piece. Let’s have another look at it:

Thumper LeftThumper Right

Brown Fur

This is a confusing clue, but stay with us. Thumper, in the movie Bambi, was gray, not brown. So we could arbitrarily pronounce this character to be Miss Bunny, who was brown, based solely on that parameter. However, pottery companies were notorious for going off-model when creating their pieces, getting features and colors wrong more often than not. It wasn’t until later that Disney started to tighten up on its demands for standardization of its character merchandise.

So this clue is inconclusive.

CLUE NO. 3

Eyelashes have been the stereotypical way of depicting a female character in the world of animation since the beginning of the medium. Our figurine has three short upward eyelashes, and not the multiple swept-back lashes of a female character.

CLUE NO. 4

Sometimes, if you know the character well enough, you can recognize them by body language. Of course, in the case of a sculpture, this technique will depend on the artist portraying such characteristics in his artistry.

Thumper Back

Thumper was very expressive with his ears. Many times he would have one ear up with the other ear down. This was a way of distinguishing him from his many brothers and sisters in the film.

The ceramic figurine we have exhibits this trait.

CLUE NO. 5

Lastly, we checked the figurine for any markings that could help us to identify it.

Thumper Bottom

No such luck!

Ceramic figurines are either stamped with black ink, engraved, or sport a sticker, usually on the bottom of the piece. This example has none of these markings, so no help there for our investigation.

CONCLUSION:

We believe this figurine to be Thumper. And here’s why:

  • General consensus gathered from Internet Sellers
  • Frequency of wrong use of color for Disney characters by manufacturers
  • Eyelashes are consistent with male characters
  • Body language, specifically the ears, is consistent with the character

We hope the techniques of this detailed investigation will help you to identify your treasured pieces of merchandise!

Walt Disney’s THE GREMLINS Figurine Boxed Set

Gremlins, another movie that never was. Sometimes Walt Disney would team with another visionary and work on a joint project, sometimes for years, only to shelve or scrap the project. Destino with Salvador Dali was one such project. And the Gremlins with Roald Dahl was another.

Roald Dahl

The Author c.1954

The Gremlins is a children’s book that was written by Roald Dahl and published in 1943. It was Dahl’s first children’s book, and was written for Walt Disney Productions, as a promotional device for a planned feature-length animated. With Dahl’s assistance, a series of gremlin characters were developed, and while pre-production had begun, the film project was eventually abandoned, in part because the studio could not establish the precise rights of the “gremlin” story. Warner Brothers used similar characters in some of their cartoons, and the military used the Gremlins as mascots for many of their divisions.

I have a reprint of the book. I also have a Life Savers page ad featuring the characters. And now I have this great little PVC figurine set:

Gremlins Figurines 1

Gremlins Figurines 2

Little stinkers are damaging their own box!

Gremlins Figurines 3     Gremlins Figurines 4

All sides of the box has artwork

Gremlins Figurines 5

It’s truly a shame that this idea never made it into production. The playful and mischievous characters would have made for a great feature, and subsequent Shorts.

Gremlins Figurines 6

Let’s have a closer look at the figures:

Gremlins Figurines 7

Gremlins Figurines 8

Gremlins Figurines 9

I don’t quite know why the box says ‘Gremlin Jamface’ as there are three distinct characters inside.

In September 2006, Dark Horse Comics published The Gremlins: The Lost Walt Disney Production, a faithfully restored and updated version of The Gremlins including an introduction by acclaimed film historian Leonard Maltin. This is the edition of the book that I have.

The PVC figurine set featured in this post was produced in 2007 for Walt Disney Productions by Dark Horse Comics using their Dark Horse Deluxe branding.

NOTE: If there are any spelling mistakes or historical inaccuracies in this post… I blame the Gremlins!

Who Likes Donald Duck and his Sweet Disposition?

Mickey Mouse may have gotten his own club, complete with Mouseketeers, but Donald Duck certainly got his share of admiration! There was even a time when his popularity eclipsed his mousey cousin, appearing in more Disney films than any other character.

And he even got his own song. The Donald Duck song was the theme for his cartoons from 1947 to 1959. Today, it stands as the official theme song for Donald Duck. Here are the lyrics:

Who’s got the sweetest disposition? One guess — guess who! Who never never starts an argument? (Woman: Hmmmm?) Who never shows a bit of temperament? Who’s never wrong but always right? (Donald: Yeah?) Who’d never dream of starting a fight? (Donald: That so?!) Who gets stuck with all the bad luck? No one… (Donald quacks angrily) but Donald Duck! (Donald: Yeah!)

So in honor of our feisty little fowl, I thought I’d share a few of the figurines of him that I’ve collected over the years:

Figurine Donald +

Who’s got the sweetest disposition indeed!

Figurine Donald Duck w Hose +     Figurine Donald Fishing +

Many figurines depict Donald in one fix or another

Figurine Donald Music Drummer +     Figurine Donald OJ +

Figurine Donald Music Fiddle +     Figurine Donald Music Sax +

These early figures show Donald’s musical side

Figurine Donald PVC +

Music just makes Donald do the Hornpipe

The hornpipe is any of several dance forms played and danced in Britain, Scotland, and Ireland from the late 17th century until the present day. It is said that hornpipe as a dance began around the 16th century on English sailing vessels. Movements were those familiar to sailors of that time: “Looking out to sea” with the right hand to the forehead, then the left, lurching as in heavy weather, and giving the occasional rhythmic tug to their britches both fore and aft.

Donald’s first appearance was in The Wise Little Hen (1934), but it was his second appearance in Orphan’s Benefit that introduced him as a temperamental comic foil to Mickey Mouse. The great Clarence Nash (December 7, 1904 – February 20, 1985) developed and supplied his signature voice for almost 50 years.

Our last figurine shows Donald in just one of the many roles he’s played over the years:

Figurine Donald Crossing Guard +

Donald says it’s time to stop!