Questor Muppets Take Five

In light of Jim Henson‘s recent 75th anniversary, I thought I’d share a personal pic of some old friends taking a break from playtime.

Muppets Take Five

My buddy Ernie and the incredibly versatile Anything Muppet were two of a series of Muppet toys by Questor that came out in 1973 and brought home the magic of Henson’s imagination.

(Tommy Talker, to the right, was in the ventriloquist biz, and would’ve gladly fit in with Kermit’s televised stage show as a guest performer.)

Also staying at my home at the time were Roosevelt Franklin, then, probably around 1978, Miss Piggy and – perennial favorite with visitors – Animal (the latter two from Fisher-Price).

Some Muppet toys, like Ernie and Miss Piggy, were soft-headed (literally, not figuratively) vinyl and some, like Anything and Animal, had hard plastic flaps to keep the mouth solid as your fingers did the talking motions.
Questor’s Muppets had a white plastic stick with a ring one each end (one small, one large) to grasp and manipulate a Muppet arm with your free hand.

Uniquely, Animal’s eyebrows could be controlled for full character effect.
This, along with an Exorcist-voice approach to his vocalizations, contributed to his success among my elders.

Of all of these felted friends, Anything Muppet was my first, and much beloved, puppet Muppet.
After many facial do-overs, the felted/velcro attachments of his eyes, nose and hair failed to stick, but his fun-loving demeanor belied the faceless mystery of his appearance, so he was my go-to guy for a long time.

These were more than mere toys. It let us Sesame Street viewers take part in the act of Muppet creation.
You had to think like a Muppet to bring them to life.

I still aim to do that as often as I can.

Atari Adventure Square

Some days you wake up with your trusty sword right next to you. Other days the keys are locked in the castle. But the next day is just a reset switch away.

This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Great photo, Atari. There’s something special about these old photos of toys. Now, thanks to digital magic, kids can snap hundreds or thousands of images. But, back only a few decades prior, each picture cost valuable film and money to develop. In this case, it was well worth the effort, having captured Ernie and friends enjoying a reading break.

  2. Atari, that is just a fantastic post. I sadly did not have any of the Muppets toys of my own but I had a cousin that did…all of them…and when we visited I made sure to spend a lot of time with those toys.

    I’ll have to say though…after Poltergeist I wouldn’t have been able to keep Tommy Talker within eye sight. :)

  3. vinvectrex – Finding these old pics was indeed like finding buried treasure. I’d completely forgotten this record of some of my old felted friends and joyfully stumbled upon them while digging through mounds of papers.
    I had the opportunity to use up a roll or two of film on some toys and some (kinda wasted, at the time) pics of my Atari scores on the tv screen.
    Never got around to getting my Pitfall patch, but love having those precious moments captured on film, today.

    VicSage – I gotta admit, TT never stayed in my bedroom, he had a spot in the basement shelves, along with my comic books (which is where he musta got the Comics bug).

  4. My brother and I had one of these Anything Muppets. At one point I made an extra nose out of styrofoam with some velcro stuck on the back of it.

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