Who else loved Whitman Press-Out Books?

The approaching holidays reminded me of something I had not thought of in a while. In the 70s I would get so excited about upcoming holidays that my mother would seek out things to keep me busy and out of her way. Some of the best things were the Whitman press out and assemble books. I would buy these at the dime store or grocery store. They cost less than a dollar and provided hours of play time for me and would allow my parents to take care of holiday tasks without my constant questions. Whitman offered a large variety of these books including the Rodeo seen here, along with a press out zoo, airport, circus, dinosaur museum, frontier town, shopping mall and many more. The pieces were easy to punch out of the pages and assemble to complete your very own tiny play set. I often would compliment the set with my own additions of Matchbox cars, army men, plastic animals and whatever else I could think of. Whitman also offered the sticker activity books. These had press out stickers that you had to actually lick like a stamp and then apply on the dotted lines in the books.

Thank you Whitman for the hours and hours of entertainment you provided me as a kid. I’m sure lots of parents used these as babysitters just like my parents often did.





I love retro toys, television, movies and just about anything from the 70s and 80s.I frequent flea markets, thrift shops, garage sales and auctions hoping to nab my next pop culture trophy.

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10 thoughts on “Who else loved Whitman Press-Out Books?

  1. These activity books are fantastic!
    A few years ago I wanted to track down a copy of an awesome one I had assembled when I was a kid, THE DINOSAUR MUSEUM.
    On ebay, seeing such a wide variety of press-out (or punch-out) books available, I was hooked! I’ve been collecting them since.
    Anyone have a mint copy of Whitman TINY RESORT for sale?
    Still looking for that one…

  2. mwentworth says:

    I loved this type of activity books, but I think most of the ones I got were by Dover and were thus never for licensed themes but awesome nonetheless.

  3. I never had/saw “books” of these things, but I did have a few of them (though I don’t begin to remember exactly where I got them from. I think they were the back covers of coloring books, or something along those lines).

  4. Loved these press out books – remember having the Western Rodeo one and several others. They were usually short lived at our house – think mom got tired of them scattered all around….. Now looking for scanned in copies of them that I can print on card stock and cut out :)

  5. @derek – Don’t go through all the bother that way!
    Unused, or should I say un-pressed out, copies of Whitman Press-out books are plentiful on ebay and at very reasonable prices (usually, with shipping under $20 each).
    You’d use the equivalent in printer ink reproducing the books yourself!

  6. Atari Adventure Square says:

    Hole-y presstastic good times, plcary-Man! You just brought a paper tidal wave of workshop memories back to my humdrum, unpressed daily reality!

    Yeah, these books were the Virtual Reality of my childhood. No joke.
    Had the Frontier Town, pretty sure. Cuz my folks were Calgary Stampede fans.

    Also had the H.R. Pufnstuf one, which I rediscovered flipping through Ebay.
    Of course *that* one had to be nearly 250 paper dollars.
    Luckily for me, they don’t ship to Canada.

    But yeah, I also think I had Animal Hangups, where you made animal heads to put on your wall as if you were a young Safari hunter in training.
    What initially seemed like a good idea – giving a Disney fan animals to create – would turn out to be something else once you put together the smiling, stuffed heads of hunted anthropomorphic elephants and tigers.

    Anyway, I woulda barely remembered this since, unlike other toys and books of the 60s, these Whitman gems were made to last a few weeks, at most. Once torn, taped, glued and bent beyond recognition, they mulched along with the lettuce bits in the garbage can outside.

    But I’m very glad to get ’em back (if only in my mind’s toychest).

  7. GlenH says:

    I had Tiny City, Tiny Airport, Tiny Train, and I think, Tiny Western Town… and Tiny Indian Village too. As a middle-aged adult, some of my interestest are Cities/Urban Planning/Architecture ; Commerical Airplanes ; I still like steam trains ; and my summer cabin seems to be growing into a themed tiny town with various structures on the drawing board. :)

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