What Is It? June 2015

whatisit_june15

 Our friends, Dixie and Larry Kilborn,  provided last month’s What Is It. Devoted collectors, Dixie and Larry have several wonderful collections. One is a toy collection which includes these cute little fellows.

They are Ramp Walkers. These fun little characters waddle down a ramp. They can be raced or just walk alone. There have been many manufacturers of this traditional toy sometimes found as a folk toy. The big push for them was with the Marx brothers who produced them primarily in the 50′s and 60′s. http://artoftoys.com/product/1950-marx-dachshund-ramp-walker/

Louis Marx and Company was an American toy manufacturer from 1919 to 1978. Founded in 1919 in New York City by Louis Marx and his brother David Marx, the company’s basic aim was to “give the customer more toy for less money,” and stressed that “quality is not     negotiable”–two values that made the company highly successful.
A note from Dixie says, “Hi, Peggy! We found a website that tells a bit about ramp walkers:  http://artoftoys.com/blog/2014/09/05/ramp-walkers/

It gives the name of several manufacturers, Marx being the top one.  Also, we found quite a long list of ramp walkers for sale on eBay.  Type in  “ramp walker toy” in the search space.  That will take you to a listing of 200+ ramp walkers, a few have descriptions, many do not.

The one you have a picture of is called ‘Hap & Hop.’ It was made by Marx.
Hope this helps.

Dixie (and Larry)

Some other manufacturers of this simple but fun toy were Fun World, Dolls Inc, Ohio Art, Educational Toys and Gantoy of England. Wilson Walkies were made with two legged cardboard body and stood 4 1/2” tall.

There are 3 common sizes of plastic ramp walkers – small, approx 1-1 1/2” medium, approx 2 3/4 – 3” and large, approx 4-5” tall. There are a lot of variations and values with Disney and Comic book characters demanding more.
Reference O’Briens 12th Ed Collecting Toys by Karen O’Brien is a good source for photos and pricing guide.

The art of RAMPING 1. find a hard flat surface for a ramp; 2.raise the ramp approx. 1 inch for every foot; 3. Put your Ramp Walker at the top and let him go – A new way to bet the farm!

No one identified the ramp walkers but we sure had fun sharing them with you.

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