12/17/14

Cecil Disguise Kit (Mattel, 1962)

I guess technically, the full title of this item would be "Lovable, Plush Cecil and his Disguise Kit."  This is another of the stellar Mattel products made to support the 1962 cartoon series, and once again, Mattel designers exceed expectations.  This is definitely one of my favorite Beany & Cecil items (well, Cecil item, to be fair).
Inside the box is a wonderful plush Cecil, along with piles of costume pieces that can be used by creative kids in a variety of ways.  Kind of a dress-up doll for the cooler kids, and a toy that would appeal to both genders...back when we acknowledged things like that, of course.
And here is what's included! A ton of stuff...hats, a black cape with a collar that can be reversed, a black beard/wig, a large blonde swatch that can be hair (or a mane), a metal sherrif's star (that pins on), a set of tusks, two different sets of teeth, a large moustache, glasses, a grass skirt (!), a garland of flowers, and a button-up vest! Oh, and Cecil really does have a tail, I inadvertently kept the cartoon's running joke going, there.
Also, as the back of the box implies, there is a heavy wire inside of the plush Cecil, which would allow some posability.  Interestingly, the box mentions 18 as the number of disguises, but only 17 are shown, scattered all around the box artwork.  Let's look at them now!
1) Judge (a popular choice in any kid's pantomime, of course); 2) Hula Dancer (a little Bugs Bunny cross-dressing going on, there); 3) Pirate; 4) Sherrif; 5) Walrus (!);
6) Cannibal (Oh dear! OH dear...the less said the better); 7) Bandit; 8) Granny; 9) Indian (Oh dear again...but you know, it hardly works here...there's no way to even get the grass skirt to do that, because it ties on!);
10) Lion; 11) Dishonest John (villain of both the TIME FOR BEANY puppet show and BEANY & CECIL cartoon series);
12) Devil (woah, there, "What are you doing in there, Johnny?" "Nothin' Ma, just talking to the Devil!"); 13) Auntie (..."auntie"?);
14) Horse; 15) Cowboy (just never at the same time);
16) Super Cecil (this actually refers to something that would happen in the original cartoon, so points for that...but apparently the only item my set is missing is the triangular "S" insignia, I guess.  Of course, it would be easily reproducable, thanks to the artwork here), and finally, 17) Farmer.
So there you have it; everything you need to turn your Cecil into a variety of things: some creative, some delicately offensive to various races.
Definitely one of my favorite vintage collectibles! And at the top of my Beany & Cecil list. Way to go, Mattel!

1 comment:

Christopher Sobieniak said...

Oh, and Cecil really does have a tail, I inadvertently kept the cartoon's running joke going, there.

Thank goodness, we do not need to be spoiled in our modern internet 'anything goes' junkie culture!