Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Rubber Face Rebels pt 1

I wish I had a time machine. I used to see rubber faced mid-century stuffed animals at garage sales all the time when I was a kid for practically nothing...But as a kid, naturally, I didn't want people to think I was a girly man, so I never bought 'em...My loss. Ebay really started taking off right around the same time I stopped giving a shit what people thought of me, and the pool of dirt cheap vintage rubber faces had all but dried up at that point.

There were a lot of companies churning out these things in the 50's and 60's, but probably the most popular, and the most collectible seems to be from The Rushton Company, in Atlanta(1917-1983). Rushton also seems to have an above-average level of quality, especially in the hand painted faces. This Graduation owl came from the same antique booth as those wall plaques Melanie got me for X-mas, with the guy playing guitar, and the girl dancing. It was pretty pricey(not really, compared to what some of 'em go for on Ebay), but I talked it down to a nice price.

This brain damaged wolf is by My Toy. I'm guessing it's from sometime in the Eisenhower administration...when doctors were lobotomizing people left and right to cure mental disorders.

Close up!

This squirrel(?) was buried in a box of junk at an antique store, and picked up for I think $5, if I remember right. It's from Uneeda Doll Company, Brooklyn(1917-1991). Uneeda was a very prolific manufacturer/importer in the 50s-70s. They were one of the first makers of troll dolls in the early 60s, and also made the creepy "Plumpee" baby rubber squeak toys in the later 60's. Come to think of it, there's a certain creepyness to a lot of Uneeda's products, as well as rubber faces in general.

...The Uneeda squirrel was the inspiration for this painting I did.

This duck is another one from My Toy, and was made in 1964, toward the end of the rubber face era. It's got a wind up key in the back, to play a song, but it no longer works, and I have no Idea what song it played.

This skunk is one of my favorites. It's another Rushton...My only other Rushton. I wish the price on these would come down, because they made some REALLY stuff. I saw a wolf they made once that looked just like the old Warner Bros. cartoon wolf...I need one of those! I've used this guy in my art as well. He rules!

My neighbor was giving me funny looks while I took these pictures.

I got all this nifty stuff in the mail the other day from Amber, of the great 'I Heart Everything' blog. amongst all the hand made goodies is a real cool record player card in an envelope made out of used bingo cards, and a bunch of neat stickers...

...and the bottom 2 of these 3 magnets. The Von Dutch flying eyeball magnet was given to me by a local sign maker that made the Sign for the cake shop, after we got in a really long conversation about Ed Roth, Von Dutch, and George Barris...the big three! I've been meaning to send Amber a package in return. It doesn't help that I usually wake up around the time the post office closes for the day...

Until next time..


  1. Them rubber faced dolls are scary a friend of mine used to have 3 monkeys and set them up with knives and displayed them like they where having a monkey knife fight til his girl moved in and made him get rid of them.

  2. haha they're creepy/cute at the same time...the skunk really is the best!

  3. I bet your neighbor was thinking "That man is here" hahaha! The skunk is really wierd and amazing, it looks like it is lettin' go a stinky one and really enjoying it. I didn't get why you were calling the wolf brain dead till the second pic where I saw his tongue...yup braindead. They all look like John K. cartoons. Nice job on the painting too! If you *wanna* send me something, I'd love it if you put your artistic spin on it...I really heart yo' art! Also, I'm going to do a post soon about other blogs that are awesome, I'm going to try to get ya some more followers over here...more folk's gotta see your creepy toys! Have a great weekend!

  4. We'll keep an eye out for the wolf for you ...seeing as how we're in Atlanta and everything. I feel like we see these semi-regularly.

  5. I found this post while trying to find the origins/date of a vintage my toy rubber faced santa claus doll. Your toys are fabulous! I was wondering if you knew anything about the mytoy company itself?

  6. Hi, great collection. I collect lots of stuff too. I have a lot of old rubber faced stufties I bought off of ebay. I have Rushton, gund, knickerbocker, mattel, kamar, my toy, bee jee, etc. It is lots of fun searching for cool old toys. I also have neat old trolls, dolls, jigglers, monchichis, etc. I like your artwork too, keep that up!