Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Playing With Yogi

Remember that cartoon “Scooter Looter” (March 1959), when Yogi Bear stole a Jellystone Park scooter then couldn’t figure out how to control it?

That apparently inspired Louis Marx and Co. (the makers of Rock ‘Em, Sock ‘Em Robots, you’ll recall) to manufacture a Yogi Bear friction scooter toy. Reader Gordon Robson in the U.K. owns one of them and sent some pictures for you to see it. Yogi looks more in shock than anything else. It appears judging by the cover of the box that it may have been available in more than one colour.

And, look, Boo Boo! No hands! (Insert you own Yogi Bear-type rhyme here).



Somehow, Augie Doggie and Doggie Daddy from the Quick Draw McGraw Show ended up on the box. It would appear Yogi’s run over one of the miserable meeces and is going for the other.


This came out in 1963. The previous year, Marx started making a Jellystone Park playset (conveniently, it was just in time for Christmas). I gather it had a flat cardboard surface, like a board game, with a river and other things drawn on it where you could place the characters. You’ll notice Yakky Doodle, Fibber Fox and Alfie Gator, along with Cindy Bear and Ranger Smith, plus a beaver and a pile of other animals. Suggested retail price: $5.29 (according to the Los Angeles Times, Nov. 22, 1962).


A few close-ups.



The great thing about a toy like this is you could be pretend to be Warren Foster and Daws Butler, and create your own little live-action Yogi Bear “cartoon.” I suppose people today have fan fiction that kind of serves the same purpose, but this seems like a lot more fun.

5 comments:

  1. I could be wrong, but I believe Yogi was the first character that Marx used on a scooter, but he wasn't the last. Marx had quite a few cartoon characters on scooters, and even Marvel superheroes like Thor and Spider-Man. I had two Yogi scooters in the early and mid-'60s, and both scooters were yellow - I've never seen Yogi on another colour of scooter. I therefore wonder if the 'yellow' stamp on the box was merely to avoid buyers wondering why the scooter's colour didn't match the illo on the box, 'though it's more natural to assume that they came in different colours. The photos are of the third Yogi & scooter that I was lucky enough to obtain a couple of so years ago - after hoping to find one for around 45 years. I've also got a few of the figures from the playset, although I didn't have them as a kid. Marx produced these figures in two sizes for different purposes I believe, as I've got Yogi & Boo Boo each in a small and larger size.

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  2. You can also play Kelloggs executive, and turn down Fibber and Alfy's respective (and much deserved) spin-off cartoons, while Yakky (looking rather demented here), mocks them unmercifully.

    Let me add, Marx did a GREAT job designing those figures.

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  3. You could also hum the "Scooter Looter" stock music, which stopped being used a few years before and imitate the famed HB so0und effects SC.

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  4. “The great thing about a toy like this is you could be pretend to be Warren Foster and Daws Butler, and create your own little live-action Yogi Bear “cartoon.” I suppose people today have fan fiction that kind of serves the same purpose, but this seems like a lot more fun.”

    I had the Jellystone playset – and yes indeed, it was a LOT more fun releasing my inner Warren and Daws with these wonderful toys!

    A Snagglepuss figure was also part of the set. As I recall, I particularly enjoyed the Fibber and Alfie figures, making my best efforts to replicate their voices. (Alfie? They really included him? Wow!) Oddly, there was no Chopper figure, so either Yogi had to step in to protect his little ducky co-star… Or Fibber and Alfie would simply run afoul of the mono-chromatic plastic beavers and wildcats!

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  5. I got the Marx Jellystone Park , Yogi playset many Christmas's ago. I had a lot of fun with it.

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