I own a lot of Scrappy products. A bizarre number of Scrappy products. And until recently, they’ve all had something in common: They were made several decades before I was born. Come to think of it, I think most date from a few years before my parents were born. Scrappy may still be protected by copyright, but his owner, Sony Columbia, has shown absolutely no interest in merchandising the little guy.
I would have wagered that the era of the Scrappy toy was long gone and wasn’t coming back. Until I found and bought a new Scrappy pull toy.
Yes, it’s a replica–of a wonderful 1930s Scrappy pull toy, which I’m pleased to say I own. That’s the two of them in the above photo. Which one’s old and which one’s new? You might guess that the brightly-colored, beautiful one on the left was the replica, and the scruffy, faded one on the right was the oldie. But nope–the replica is the junior-sized version on the right.
It’s a reasonable facsimile, but not perfect: Scrappy’s head is misshapen and they’ve unaccountably flipped Yippy around. The xylophone doesn’t have real bars, and Margy’s skirt–tragically–is printed rather than real.
Oh, and the manufacturer eliminated the Columbia copyright message on Scrappy’s left shoe. Which is probably evidence that this is a bootlegged product, or at least one produced by someone who thinks Scrappy is in the public domain.
The replicator definitely tried to make the toy look aged–note the battered paint on the wheels–but it’s also not as well-made as the original In fact, the paper cutout with Scrappy printed on it is starting to peel away on one side. My old one, on the other hand, has survived in remarkably good shape.
Here’s the oddest thing about this toy other than the fact it exists at all: I bought it at the gift shop at San Francisco’s wonderful new Walt Disney Family Museum. I’m not sure if its proprietors think Scrappy was a Disney character, or are paying respect to Dick Huemer, or what. Maybe they’re just cheerfully oblivious.
I just know it was a little thrill to plunk down my money for this. Let the Scrappy renaissance–complete with DVD box set–begin right now…