Saturday, May 17, 2014

Toy Collector Mel Birnkrant


(Video link) I paid another visit to Mel Birnkrant's amazing collection of antique comic character toys and made this short video about how he got started collecting.

Disney characters are ® and ©Disney Enterprises, Inc.
During the visit, Mel showed me some of his most precious and wonderful animated toys, including the one he calls "Toothy Mickey," an extremely rare wind-up tin toy that he hasn't operated in more than 20 years. On the video you'll see Mickey turn around as his eyes change and his teeth come out.

There's also a drummer Mickey and a dancing Mickey, and some unpainted wood crank-operated toys by Sonny Hatfield.

I have dreams about all these toys, wonderful, strange dreams that inspire me in new directions as an artist.
-----
Read more on Mel's website about:
Mickey Tin Toys
The unpainted wood animated sculptures of Sonny Hatfield
Little Sammy Sneeze and other one of-a-kind sculptures by Charles Ponstingl
The Bisque Pyramid (with the huge array of small figures)

Previously on GurneyJourney:
Toonerville Trolley Toy
Gus White's Puppets


5 comments:

Robert J. Simone said...

The video is well done, nice lighting throughout. And what a fabulous collection. Wouldn't want to be the one charged with doing the dusting around there, though! Thanks!

Philipe Rios said...

Thank you for these awesome bits of historical information. I hope those dreams come to fruition!

MrCachet said...

Another visit! Great video, James, and Mel's storytelling to go with it.

Paul Kuchuki said...

Mel is an amazing human being. He and his wife Eunice were one of my first employers and they opened up my universe. He was the first person to show me that you could make a living by doing what made you happy and you didn't have to fit into the molds other people had created for you. They changed my life. Thank you again.

Barbara said...

Great video. I love Mel's thoughts. Thanks for the peek in the door.