One of our vintage toy specialties is character toys dating from 1920s-1950s. most of the characters are the popular ones such as; popeye, charlie mccarthy, mickey mouse, pluto, felix the cat, buck rogers and we just sold a rube goldberg “boob mcnutt” wind up. the toys are nicely displayed at the toy shows and elicit a lot of interest and compliments even from other toy dealers. This rare and attractive little orphan annie pull toy does not attract a lot of attention though. it must be the character.
the toy is wood, about 14″ long. the creator’s name, Harold Gray, appears on the toy’s leg and it’s all original including the pull string. no-one seems to know anything about it and it’s not mentioned in any toy catalogue. the only reference to this toy i could find was a 1925 trade ad (see attachment) by “Live Long Toys”, 845 So. Wabash Avenue, Chicago, Illinois (predates zip codes). the ad pictures a Little Orphan Annie doll, the character is the same design as ours, and shows a “Skeezix” pull toy on the same base as ours. our Little Orphan Annie pull toy was undoubtedly made by Live Long Toys. our toy may have been a prototype, but in any event it appears to be the only one known.
this convoluted comment was intended to simply wonder why the Little Orphan Annie character wasn’t more popular compared to other characters.
With as much as I heard about her as a kid, I would think that Orphan Annie was as popular as those other characters. And I would definitely think that a pull toy that was this rare, especially if just a prototype, would go for big bucks. It’s just a matter of some Orphan Annie collector walking by your booth and going nuts for it to have a big sale.
I never read the Orphan Annie comic strip and the musical killed any chance of me going ape for her. But I did have a vintage Orphan Annie doll that I absolutely loved and still have somewhere.
I love pull toys.
Are you kidding me! I would snatch this right up. This image of Annie always killed me and I’ve never even seen the play or film.
Great research with that killer vintage ad.
I own one wooden pull toy.
This is so cute!! And amazing that it is so rare and such nice condition.
I have to note that my grandfather, a mechanic and huge Gasoline Alley fan, always called me “Skeezix,” hehe.