I wonder how many Old Humpty Dumpty stuffed toys are out there.
When I did the designing of Mary Meyer stuffed toys I had a wind-up musical version, a “Shake Me I Chime” version and a soft stuffed version.
Why so many? The first design was a soft, non-musical stuffed toy. It was a popular design for girls and boys. They were made combining Pink plush and Blue felt. This maked the toy acceptable for both girls and boys. The design was introduced in 1969.
Adding a musical mechanism was simple. Just insertd a wind-up musical mechanism playing an infants tune like “Rock-A-Bye Baby” and “Brahms Lullaby” . The musical mechanisms were made in Switzerland and were added creating this musical version. We made sure the key was placed in the back of the toy and stuffing the toy firmly enough so the music box does not turn as key is wound.
This photo showing Humpty Dumpty with large felt eyes was the original creation of 1969. The rayon plush was made by Baxter, Kelly & Faust in their Philadelphia, Pa. mill. The eyes, the Red mouth and Blue collar and hat were felt. Finally a Blue pompon was added as the nose.
In the case of the musical version, a satin ribbon was added saying “I’m A Musical”. This assisted a shopper in purchasing a musical Humpty Dumpty toy on display in a retail store.
The final addition to the Humpty Dumpty family was the “Shake Me – I Chime” version. This was done by adding a small (approximately 2½” long by 1½” in diameter) cylinder containing the mechanism that chimed as the toy is rolled around. These mechanisms required no winding or batteries. They just chimed when moved or rolled around.
The retail prices on Humpty Dumpty was $3.50 for the soft toy, $4.98 for the musical and about $4.50 for the chime toy in the early 1970s.
The final creation of Humpty Dumpty was done in the mid-1970s, when colorful plastic eyes were added and Pink version replaced the original design. In this one the felt hat and collar were Pink along with the plush and the ribbon and the collar became White felt and it became more of a little girl’s toy (see photo) . Was there a Blue version for little boys? I am not sure. Possibly someone reading this will contact me and tell me they have a Blue version.
These design were in the early 1970s – about 40 years ago. Like most people I do not remember everything I did 40 years ago. I did not keep detailed records, so I have to try and reconstruct Mary Meyer’s Humpty Dumpty’s life. They system is not always fool-proof.
If you read this and want to help us reconstruct the history of some of your toys from long ago, contact me – firstname.lastname@example.org .
I helped my Mother and Dad while I was in high school in the late 1940s and came home to Mary Meyer full time in 1955. I’ve been involved in every facet of stuffed toy manufacture from 1955 to 1985. Today I manage halfpriceplush.com, a Mary Meyer website that sells case packs of retired Mary Meyer toys.
How many STUFFED TOYS are there in attics and closets throughout the USA? How many were made by Mary Meyer? I wish I knew.
We have made a lot of kids happy. It all originated with a family, who has been making stuffed animals for 80 years. We love what we do. I hope others love our toys as much as I do.
by Walter Meyer