Do you remember the chain of Muppet Stuff stores that sold only Muppet related toys and collectables? Jim Henson founded the first store in New York during the 1970s and other locations soon opened across North America. Above is a photo of my visit to the Toronto Muppet Stuff store in 1988. I must have been 15 or 16 years old! I live in Ottawa and was on a family trip to Toronto when we stumbled across this store by chance, so I was quite surprised to see it. My mom snapped the photo. The store was located at 2588 Yonge Street at the corner of Albertus Ave. I was so excited about finding this store that I almost got hit by a car crossing the street to get there! :) Silly Me!
And here is a closer look at the Sesame Street items in the window display...
There are lunch boxes (with a small Snuffleupagus plush toy on top of one), place mats, two large plush Big Birds, a large plush cookie monster wearing a light blue shirt, some Snuffleupagus plush toys and Elmo from the Applause toy line, and a small Hasbro cookie monster plush toy wearing a red T-shirt. I can't make out much else, other than it looks like Big Bird is sitting on a children's slide. Later on in 1988 or 1989 a Muppet Stuff store opened at Bayshore Shopping Centre in Ottawa. I bought a good portion of my collection there!
It's hard to see the faded print, but this is my receipt from the Yonge Street Muppet Stuff store, dated 08/04/88. It confirms the address was 2588 Yonge St. The total shown is for $2.15 for an embroidered Muppet patch, shown below.
This is the embroidered patch that I bought at the Muppet Stuff store in Toronto in 1988 that goes with the receipt shown above. The patch is 3.5 inches high by 4 inches wide.
Here is another Muppet Stuff receipt from the same store on the same day with the total of $1.07. It's for the Animal pin back button shown below.
This small Animal pin is dated 1985. At the top of this page in the photo showing the window store display you can see a white T-shirt above Big Bird that has this same graphic of Animal.
Here is yet another receipt from the Toronto Muppet Stuff store from a different date, 11/12/88. I had bought a plush toy for $26.99 but I can't recall which one. I suspect it may have been the Count hand puppet by Applause, shown below.
Here is a small plastic bag showing the newer logo over a grey Muppet Stuff box.
Here is a medium sized bag showing the newer logo over a white Muppet Stuff box.
Here is a large bag showing the original circular Muppet Stuff logo.
When the Muppet Stuff store opened in Ottawa in 1988 or 1989 I got onto the customer mailing list. Above is a newsletter style flyer that I received through the mail.
Here is the cover of a Christmas card. It's dated 1986 but I received it in the mail in 1989 or 1990.
Here is a 10% off coupon for the Ottawa store, which of course I didn't use because I wanted to keep it for my collection! Silly me! I'm such a Muppet freak!
Here is another 10% off coupon on fancy Muppet Stuff letterhead paper from 1989!
No way I was using this one! :)
And saving the best for last, here is the franchise information sheet that was distributed shortly before the Ottawa store opened! I may have picked this up at the Toronto Muppet Stuff store as the phone number on it has a 416 area code, which is Toronto.
Below are some of the items that I recall were sold at the Muppet Stuff stores in the late 1980s and early 1990s...
Direct Connect large size Muppets plush toys, however they were sold loose without the boxes.
Dakin Gonzo hand puppet (Kermit and Miss Piggy puppets were also made in this series)
Dakin also made a series of Muppet Babies plush toys and puppets that were sold at Muppets Stuff stores.
Applause produced an extensive line of Sesame Street items including plush toys, mini plush, mouth puppets, hand puppets, PVC figures and finger puppets.
Photos and text copyright Mikey Artelle. All rights reserved.