Sunday, July 7, 2013

Happy Beatles Birthdays!

                                                                                                                                                 7 July, 2013
 Happy birthday Paul,(belated) and Ringo!
  I have had a busy few weeks, as I said last time. I had been planning a two part post covering some of my Beatles dolls and figures, starting on Paul McCartney's 71st birthday on the 18th of last month, and continuing with Ringo Starr's 73rd birthday today. Since I am so far behind, part one is going to be today, and part two will be coming sometime soon...I hope. In any case, happy birthday guys!

    The oldest Beatles toys in my collection  are these two guys.

The short chubby fella was made by Remco in 1964. He's an actual licensed Beatles doll. The little guy is actually a cake decorating figure made by Gay-Gem. He's unlicensed, but is obviously meant to be a Beatle, or at least cash in on their popularity. He has John Lennon's singing stance and seen closeup, if it weren't for the bad paint job, he would actually resemble John.I found some pictures of this set online. The bass drum says Go Go Swingers instead of Beatles, but they have a left handed bass player with a Hofner bass, and two guitarists, one of which is this guy. Similar enough that these days they'd get sued.

   I got the Remco Paul in a box of more 'serious' dolls at a doll auction. I promptly sold one of the dolls, which paid for the box, so Paul was free. He's a little discoloured, but he does have his bass.The cake topper came in a bag of vintage cake decorations at a yard sale. Unfortunately none of his band mates were in the bag with him.

  Skipping ahead a lot of years we have these guys. 

Unfortunately, I only have the Paul and Ringo of this 2004 series by Macfarlane. I love the look of the animated Beatles. I used to watch the cartoon as a kid and my sister and I had a couple of the inflatable dolls. I think we had Paul and Ringo,but my Mom threw them out years ago, so who knows? (She tended to throw out inflatable toys as soon as the air leaked out,even if it was just natural flattening from the course of time and not a hole.) There was a cool set of the four Beatles with an alligator too. (Sounds weird, but strange things were always chasing them in the cartoon.)
   Then there are these guys.
   They were also made by McFarlane. Yellow Submarine isn't my favourite Beatles thing,but these are pretty neat. There are loads of other YS Beatles and other characters from the movie,and I think I have the other two guys in this particular series, but I couldn't possibly buy all of them. I got these for Christmas I believe, from my ever spoiling husband.
  This is a strange little fellow I found recently.

 Apparently he's a redo of a vintage model by Hawk. He's in the same style as Weird-ohs and Rat Finks, which always make me think of Mad Magazine. Here's a close up from the back of the package.
  He's obviously meant to be a parody of The Beatles, or at least bands of that era. He is so gruesome that even my Beatles loving oldest daughter wouldn't take the extra I bought for her!
These are by Applause.
   I love the instruments.There is a Sgt. Pepper set too,(also have those),but I wanted these way more. In fact, I have wanted them ever since they first came out in the 80's. A friend drove me an hour to see them because she knew I would love them, but I couldn't justify spending $100.00 on dolls! (I'm still that way! Maybe even worse now that I have been an at home mom for years without an income I could wastefully spend with no one but me to answer to!) In a way, I almost wish I had bought them then because they came with a cool cardboard drum kit. I bought a Ringo from this set at a doll show a couple of years ago. He was a bit dingy and the lady didn't know who he was. She charged me $5, so even dingy he was worth it. I washed him carefully and improved him a little. I figured If I was lucky I could find the others to add eventually. I tried to search for the set every now and then.One day I randomly searched online and found a set for an amazing Buy It Now of about $45 with free shipping! I immediately bought it and later sold my lonely Ringo for almost that amount! I think this made the set end up costing me $17.00! (And that's including the $5 I spent on the Ringo in the first place.) Now THAT I can buy and not feel too guilty about. I also told my husband to include them as part of my Christmas gifts, but he refused to wrap them because I bought them myself. (The nerve!)
There was also a set of very similar, but slightly smaller dolls made by Sugar Loaf. I think Sugar Loaf supplied toys for claw machines. The only one I have is the John.

  These dolls are a bit shorter than the Applause dolls, have no guitars as far as I know,and are made of cheaper fabrics.(Maybe you can't tell, but John's hair has turned a nasty shade of green and his arm has fallen off. No fear. I have it and will repair him sooner or later.As for his boots, they're very like the Applause dolls' boots,and are probably with the arm...) Supposedly this set is pretty hard to find. For some unknown reason John came wearing a red wooden drum on a ribbon around his neck. (I removed that!) Poor guy must have had an identity crisis, or was desperately trying to start a 'John is also Ringo' rumour, to paraphrase "All You Need is Cash". I got him at a thrift store for a quarter I think. He looks a lot like the Applause John. He may actually be a better likeness!

He's smaller though, so maybe he could be young John.
  Well, that's it for this time. Stayed tuned for part two. If I manage to round up the rest of my figures I'll be posting it soon!
Update: If you're interested in The Beatles check out my post 'Exactly What constitutes a Doll? Happy Birthday Paul McCartney and How to Meet a Beatle'.


  1. I just found this. I have 3 Sugar Loaf dolls: John, George and Ringo. I've been trying to find Paul, but have been unsuccessful. I don't think they made a Paul doll. Not only that, but they billed Ringo as John and John as Ringo, or at least the instruments they came with did not go with the right doll. What I mean is, John had drumsticks and a small drum, while Ringo had the guitar. So either Sugar Loaf called them by their right names and gave them the wrong instruments, or John was Ringo and Ringo was John. And the guitar was a tiny acoustic, not like the nice Rickenbacker style one the Applause dolls have.

    1. You and I aren't the only ones to have a Sugarloaf john who had a drum instead of a guitar. I read about another one. They must have made them all that way. He's definitely john though. Look at that face.The Sugarloaf dolls are much more cheaply made than the Applause dolls, in that their clothing and accessories are made of inferior materials. Apparently less care was taken to get the details right too. I have seen a complete set, so they did make a Paul. The Sugarloaf dolls are harder to find than the Applause. Good luck finding your Paul.


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