Mikey's Muppet Memorabilia Museum

Mikey's Muppet Memorabilia Museum

Sesame Street: 1990-1999

 
Milton Bradley/Hasbro continued to produce many Sesame Street puzzles during the 1990s. The above puzzle showing Oscar, Grover, Little Bird and Big Bird has copyright dates 1989 and 1990.

This Milton Bradley/Hasbro puzzle shows Betty Lou, Ernie, Cookie Monster and Bert. It has copyright dates 1990 and 1991.  
  
In the early 1990s Chef Boyardee produced two types of canned Sesame Street pasta. The "Tomato and Meat Sauce" can had pasta shaped like Big Bird and Elmo, while the "Mini Meatballs in Tomato Sauce" had Ernie and Bert pasta shapes. Below is the other side of the can label showing the French text. The label says "Prepared for Canadian Home Products Ltd."


Both cans have lids printed in full colour that show Ernie, Bert, Big Bird and Elmo. I thought this was quite remarkable detail for a can that is intended to be thrown away. I mean, what kind of a weirdo would save a Chef Boyardee can!!! ;)
 
This is a pack of Sesame Street trading cards made by Idolmaker Inc in 1992. They were printed in Montreal, Canada. Each pack has ten cards, mostly with photos of the Sesame characters, though some have illustrations. I just bought one pack though in retrospect it would have been nice to collect the entire set of these. The back of the wrapper says that there are 100 cards in the collection.
 
In Dec 1993 my Aunt took me to see Sesame Street Live. I have quite a few souvenirs from this show in my collection. Above is a child size canvas bag with the Sesame Street Live logo.

 Here is a pendant showing the Sesame gang including Elmo who was still a new character at the time. This originally came with a thin wooden rod.

There were also pendants shaped like different characters, including Bert and Ernie. I don't recall what other characters were available. Again, these were originally sold with wooden rods.

 Here is the poster which I still have up on the door of my puppet workshop. The Big Bird costume used in the Sesame Street Live shows is essentially identical to the one used on the TV show, and all of the character's mouth movements are synchronized to the dialogue. I have no idea how they see out of those costumes!

Words cannot express the awesomeness of this item. It's a Big Bird flashlight with the Sesame Street Live logo on the handle. Big Bird's head lights up like a night-light. I was thrilled with this when I got it and sadly I still am. It has an innate cheesy quality that just makes me smile. And it has a switch on it too!  

Here is the program for the show that I saw "Sleeping Birdie". The VEE Corporation produces the Sesame Street Live shows, and has been touring live costumed character shows for several decades. Dozens of different shows based on Sesame Street have been produced since the 1970s. Each one is a full all-new story with the Sesame characters that includes several songs, dancing, scenery changes and even some original characters created just for the story. For example, this show had an alien named "Tee Hee" and another alien who was "The Yellow Queen". The original voices for each of the characters are also used for the soundtrack. I recall this was quite an impressive production.

Here is my original Sesame Street Live ticket dated Dec 28, 1993 with the show time of 12:00pm.

These Sesame Street cars were made by Tyco in 1993. The figures are hard plastic just like the cars, rather than PVC. The cars are hollow and larger than the cars from the Hasbro Playskool series of the 1980s.

These two toys were also made by Illco. The figures are soft, hollow rubber and about the size of a PVC figure. The items they are attached to are hard plastic. Grover in the boat is a tub toy that came in a set with two other Sesame figures in boats, and a playset that attached to the side of a tub. It had a slide for the boats to zoom down into the water. The Elmo toy is a baby/toddler toy that rocks back and forth. I've shown a front view below.


Here are some fuzzy 8 inch Honker plush toys made by Applause in 1992-93. The pink one has a 25th anniversary hangtag and was sold at Muppet Stuff stores. The copyright date on the back of the tag is 1993. The blue Honker has a different tag with a copyright date of 1992 on the back. In addition to these, Applause made green, orange, and purple Honkers as part of this 8 inch plush series. While these were in production, Applause also offered 13 inch plush Honkers in at least two different colours, purple and green, which are easily distinguished because they have an open mouth. (The mouth is not shaped like a Muppet mouth, it's just a sewn on piece of fabric shaped to look like a mouth. See the Telly plush toy below for a similar example). A Honker hand puppet was also made using purple fur. From the photos that I've seen of the puppet, it looks like the head is stuffed rather than having a moving Muppet style mouth.

Here are all of the Honkers plush toys that I have in my collection. Joining the Applause Honkers are the original Hasbro 9 inch plush toys from 1983.
 
Applause produced this smaller sized, 13 inch Grover doll in 1993 (above left). I've shown it next to the Knickerbocker Super Grover for comparison, as they are both about the same size.
 
Here is an awesome plush toy of Oscar's girlfriend Grundgetta Grouch, made by Applause and sold at the Muppet Stuff stores. It's 13 inches tall (8 inches sitting) and is very soft and squishy the way a stuffed toy should be. This is the first plush toy ever to be made of Grundgetta, and I have yet to see any others. I also haven't seen any other merchandise based on the character. Her shirt is removable and says her name on it. The hangtag has a 25th anniversary logo with a 1993 copyright date but the tag on the back of the doll says 1994.

Grundgetta is a funny character that I really like a lot more than most of the other characters being used on Sesame Street these days. No offence intended to any of the puppeteers but Murray, Baby Bear, Abby, Zoe, Rosita and especially Stinky the Plant (!) are all very bland compared to Grundgetta. It's especially odd that they don't use Grundgetta as Sesame Street has always had fewer female Muppet characters. Abby, Zoe and Rosita were added to the show for that reason, so it's puzzling why they don't include Grundgetta too. She's such a great character and very funny. Her chemistry with Oscar is awesome and I really enjoy watching them throw grouchy insults of affection at each other.

Here are some Twiddle Bugs made by Applause in 1993. They have the same 25th anniversary logo on the hangtags as Grundgetta, and are the same size (13 inches tall) but much thinner. These were each sold separately at Muppet Stuff stores and are likely the very first Twiddle Bug plush toys to be made. Applause also made some PVC figures of the Twiddle bugs around the same time. I have one of them which I'll post here eventually.

 Here is the Applause plush toy of Rosita from 1993 that was sold at Muppet Stuff stores. It's 11 inches tall (7.5 inches sitting). This one has a different image on the hang tag showing the classic Sesame gang. This was the first plush toy of this character and has the wings on her arms, which the character no longer has.

Applause also made the first plush toy of Telly. There is no date on the tag or doll but I bought this one at the Muppet Stuff store in the early 1990s. It's 12 inches tall (9 inches sitting). Telly was later included in the Sesame Beanie doll collection by Hasbro/Playskool, which I'll post here eventually.

Note: The Muppet Wiki site states that a Telly doll was made by Knickerbocker in 1986. The site provides a photo of the doll which looks identical to this Applause Telly doll only the black dots on the eyes are much smaller. I've seen pictures of items posted in the wrong place on the Muppet Wiki site before (such as the Tara Toy Bert finger puppet posted on the Applause finger puppets page) so I'm a bit cautious with the info on that site. It's very possible that Knickerbocker made the first Telly, but until I see one for myself (with a Knickerbocker tag attached) I'm sticking with this Applause doll as being the first plush toy of Telly.

And last, here is a 12 inch doll of Prairie Dawn made by Applause (8 inches sitting). This one is missing the hangtag and doesn't have a date on it, but I bought it at the Muppet Stuff store in the early 1990s. It's quite different from the other Sesame plush toys that Applause made at the time. It's made with a flat cotton fabric and the face is printed similar to Knickerbocker's series of Sesame rag dolls from the 1970s. The doll also has a thin moulded plastic hat covered with fabric, similar to how Dakin made their plush Baby Miss Piggy's face and the Doozer hand puppet's face. (The doll doesn't stand up on it's own, I have it resting against the wall in these pictures.) Applause also made a Betty Lou doll using the same printed fabric for the face.

Here is a 10 inch tall hard plastic Bert doll with fabric clothes and the original hangtag, made by Applause in 1995. The doll's head, arms and legs can be posed, and the shirt has an opening at the back that stays closed with Velcro. The shoes are painted on.

This Bert doll seems to be somewhat rare to find, as does the matching Ernie doll that was also made, however that certainly doesn't mean that these dolls are incredibly valuable and are worth hundreds of dollars. I bought this one new in the late 1990s at Shoppers Drug Mart. As you can see from the price stickers on the hang tag, the doll was originally priced at $20 but was reduced to $10. As these dolls are not in demand by collectors I doubt that the price has changed much since then. That being said, I find these Applause Bert and Ernie dolls are among the nicer Sesame collectables to have been made. If I had to pick only a few items to keep from my Sesame collection this Bert doll would be one of them.

This is a plastic figural Mug of Grover's mug. (Wasn't that clever of me!) It was made by Applause in 1995. Other Sesame characters in this series are: Big Bird, Ernie, Oscar, Cookie Monster, Zoe, and Elmo. Applause also made similar plastic mugs based on Muppet Show characters, Kermit, Miss Piggy and Animal. Below is a side view to show the handle.

  
(Photo coming soon!)
 
In 1995 the fate of the world was forever altered with the dawn of Tickle Me Elmo!!!! The craze that this doll caused is still very well known and needs no explanation....but I'll give you one anyways! During the Christmas season in 1995 Tickle Me Elmo became the hot, trendy, must-have item for parents to give as a gift to their kids. Whether kids actually wanted one as badly as that is debatable. Parents actually fought with each other in toy stores to get one of these toys for their own kid! It's a sad world we live in at times. Elmo helped teach that lesson of greed to all of us... or at least some of us! I found this one second hand, abandoned in a thrift shop in the late 1990's only a few years after the trend had passed, when nobody cared about Elmo's laughter anymore. Poor little Elmo. At least his sacrifice made a few people in the toy industry stinking rich. Made by Tyco in 1995, Tickle Me Elmo is a talking doll that plays about five different tracks of the character's voice laughing and saying "That tickles" when his tummy is pressed. After a while the doll begins to vibrate as the laugher continues playing. Tickle Me Elmo is without a doubt the most popular talking doll in the history of mass-produced toys.
 
This is a 10.5 inch Elmo doll made by Tyco in 1995. It's made in a similar style and size as the classic Knickerbocker, and later Hasbro/Playskool, Ernie and Bert dolls.
 
In 1996 Tyco produced a series of 6 inch Sesame plush toys with plastic heads. The set includes Big Bird (shown above), Ernie, Grover and Elmo. Each character is wearing a shirt with overalls and a hat is sculpted as part of the head. Grover and Big Bird have very round heads. 


In the 1990's Tyco produced a series of small Sesame Street tub toys that were sold as a set in a box with a floating playset base. All the toys fit onto the base like a puzzle. Shown above are two of the figures from the set, Elmo in a boat and Ernie in a tire tube. The other three figures included Big Bird on a tire tube, Bert in a boat, and Cookie Monster on a raft. The figures themselves are hollow and made of rubber that is somewhat flexible, while the item they are attached to is hard plastic. They do not have any markings.
 
In 1997 Applause made this small 7 inch "Bean Bag" doll of Grover. The torso section is filled with beans while the head, arms and legs are filled with soft polyester stuffing. This toy was made as part of a series that included Ernie, Elmo and Cookie Monster. Big Bird was added in 1998. The head for the Ernie doll in this set is a flat illustrated rag doll style.
 
In 1998 Fisher-Price produced a series of Sesame Street toy cars that were similar in style to the Hasbro/Playskool series from the 1980s. Above is the Count in the Countmobile, all minty and new in the original package.
 
The back of the card shows the other cars in the collection. Note that the text is in eight different languages! These toy cars were mass produced in large quantities and sold all over the world, so they are not rare by any means. Included in this series are: Big Bird in mail truck, Telly in bulldozer, Ernie in a cement truck, Baby Bear in a truck,  Elmo in a train, Elmo in a dump truck, Grover in a helicopter, Ernie in a car, Cookie Monster in a bus, Cookie Monster in an airplane, Big Bird in a fire truck, and Oscar in a garbage truck.
 
Along with their toy cars, Fisher-Price also produced a series of Sesame Street "Take Along Huggers" plush toys in 1998. Above is Oscar, Grover and Ernie. These toys are essentially clip on figures. When the tummy is squeezed the arms open and can be clipped onto something. The dolls range in size from 6 to 7 inches tall. Their heads are sewn on facing to the right.
 
Here's another item from 1998, the Sesame Street "Valentine Bonus Pack with 40 cards" includes "self-inking rolling stamper" and a pencil. The kit was produced by The Paper Magic Group Inc.
 
These two Elmo dolls don't have dates on them so I'm assuming they are from the 1990's due to the style of the toys and the fact that Elmo became very popular in the 90's. The larger Elmo is 13 inches tall and is wearing a funky outfit. He has a shiny red shirt, white pants with a pattern of stars and heart shapes. The tops of his feet are blue and white strips while the bottom has white fabric with several rubber like dots. His legs are sewn across the knee so that they can bend like a rag doll. This is a very strange looking Elmo doll, but that's what I like about it! Unfortunately the tag was removed by the previous owner so I have no information for it. The smaller Elmo is 9.5 inches tall and has a similar style/design and fur fabric as the Applause Sesame Street plush toys, however the tag says Sony Creative Products Inc. There's no date on the tag.
 
On the left is a very small 5.5 inch plush keychain toy of Elmo for which I have no information, so I'm just assuming it's from the 1990's. However, I suspect this item was made by Applause as the mouth is similar to the style Applause used for some of their Sesame plush toys. This toy has a zipper on the back with a belt like loop, and a key ring. The back view showing the zipper is below. It also has tiny plastic eyes and is slightly larger than the Mini Sesame Beans Elmo plush toy made in 2002, shown above for size comparison. The mini beans Elmo has the same sized eyes made out of fabric. (More info about the Mini Sesame Beans is provided on the "Sesame Street: 2000 to 2010" page of this blog).
 
 
Ernie and Bert Christmas decorations by Kurt S. Adler Inc. These were sold in clear plastic bags with a cardboard section at the top (seen above). Big Bird, Elmo, Oscar, Grover and Cookie Monster were also available in this series. There is no date on the packaging, but they were made in the 1990s. I bought these two at a craft store. The packaging has price tags that say "Multi-Crafts $3.49". These were all recently (2015 or 2016) reissued but painted with different colours (for example Bert has a red tie instead of white with red stripes, Ernie is in a blue box instead of green, etc.).
  
 
This is a pair of adult sized Oscar the Grouch socks! Several pictures of Oscar are woven into the fabric of the socks along with the copyright information, which says "© Henson". I believe they were made in the 1990's. There's very little information on the hang tag, which gives the distributor location as Toronto, Canada, but no company name. They were made in Taiwan but there's no manufacturer name either. A nice picture of Big Bird is shown on the tag along with the Sesame Street logo but no copyright info for the producer of the show, CTW, which is quite odd for a Sesame Street item prior to 2000. Below, I've shown how the socks were originally attached to the tag.
 
 
These Sesame Street blocks were produced as baby toys in the 1990's. They were made using a solid foam shape covered with printed cotton fabric. I found these three blocks second hand so there may have been others in the set. Most of the main characters are represented with these three blocks though, so I might only be missing one block if any. (Weather or not I'm missing some marbles for collecting all of this stuff is another story!) All of the manufacturers tags have been cut off so I have no information about these, but I suspect they were made by Tyco. The character Rosita is depicted on one of them with her bat wings which would date these blocks to being made between 1991 when the character debuted on the TV show, and 1999 as I found these in the late 1990's. From 2004 onward the Rosita Muppet no longer had wings. (These dates are from the Muppet Wiki page about Rosita). In my opinion the blocks are most likely from the early 1990's when the character was new, as this was when most of the merchandise for Rosita was made in order to promote the new Muppet.
 
 
 
 
Photos and Text © Mike Artelle

16 comments:

  1. Hi!

    Great collection you have! When surfing the net to find any information about my giant Ernie doll I came along this blog.
    I hope you can help me. I have a huge Ernie doll (150 cm). I can't find any information about this doll on the internet. On the tag still attached to doll it says Copyright Sesame Workshop. Do you perhaps know more about this one or do you know where I might find more info? I put some pictures on my blog. Here's a link to see the doll:

    http://dedoelekes.blogspot.nl/

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Wow! That is the biggest Ernie doll (plush toy) I've ever seen!!! I never knew that doll even existed before now so unfortunately I don't think I can be much help, though if the tag says Sesame Workshop then I would think it's a more recent item from within the last ten years or so (2000-2013). I wonder if a giant Bert doll was made to go with it, or any other Sesame characters in that size? Ernie must have his own chair at your place! Sorry I'm not much help, but thanks for letting me know about another awesome Sesame collectable, he's huge!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello
      I don't know if you are going to read this , you message is already from 2013 and I'm only found this page today. But I own three of these Ernie dolls The Formula 1 in't that rare but I also have a pilot and a santa , all the same sice as on the picture

      Delete
    2. I also noticed now that the one one the blog is the one I bought =)

      Delete
  3. Hi I have several tyco pvc figures from 1998 including two headed monster and baby Natasha on a rocking horse. I want to sell them and have no idea of value. Any help would be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm not aware of what the values are for those specific PVC figures, however at nostalgia shows I've seen the general price for PVC figures of any type range from 3 to 5 dollars. Hope that helps.

      Delete
  4. I have been trying to find info about a display stand I just acquired. Made by Applause, with a CTW Sesame Street sign. Four feet long, 2 feet wide, over 4 ft tall. Made of plastic. Looks like a school bus, with wheels inside for rolling it around. Made of hard plastic. Cannot find anything anywhere.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hello 11swampy Sorry, it doesn't sound familiar to me.

      Delete
  5. I have a plush Ernie (about 14'') made in 1995. Would you happen to know what company he could have been made by? His tag is worn off because I played with him so much as a kid. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Unfortunately without a photo I wouldn't have a clue. There were so many different companies making Sesame plush toys in the 1990's that it's hard to determine which one just from the size and year. Sorry I couldn't be more help. Can you could describe it more or add a link to a photo?

      Delete
    2. I found a link to one just like it.
      https://www.etsy.com/listing/266860171/1995-ernie-sesame-street-stuffed-doll?ga_order=most_relevant&ga_search_type=all&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_search_query=sesame%20street%20doll&ref=sr_gallery_10

      Delete
    3. I'm not familiar with that specific Ernie doll but it looks like something Tyco would have made. Another possibility is Hasbro under their Playskool brand, but if I was betting on this I'd go with Tyco. The tag wasn't very visible but it seemed there was green text on it, so that would be a Tyco toy as Hasbro used blue text. Hopefully someday you'll find another image of it with a close up of the tag to confirm one way or the other. Sorry I can't be more help, there's so many Ernie plush toys it can be tricky to identify them. This is certainly a cute one though! All the best.

      Delete
  6. Also an Oscar was made as Kurt Adler ornament for Xmas.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for the info Leon. I've updated the text! :)

      Delete
  7. I have that same Grover mug and I have an Illco toy of Big Bird in a seaplane

    ReplyDelete
  8. Hi Muppetmaster
    I love your online alias! The Applause Sesame mugs certainly are cool! I keep my eye out for them whenever I go to a flea market or thrift shop. It would be fun to get more of them. I have one of those Big Bird planes too but mine doesn't work anymore. Sounds like you have quite the Muppet collection going! Awesome!

    ReplyDelete