File puptcrit/puptcrit.0810, message 43

Date: Sat, 04 Oct 2008 16:32:20 GMT
Subject: [Puptcrit] Topo Gigio

Ed Sullivan wrapped up Topo rights for U..S. TV.  When the owners of the rights to the Sullivan TV show first  began to issue videotapes for the marketplace, they had trouble locating Maria Perego, who at that time was living in South America. So far as I know, eventually they found her.

 In Mexico, Topo had his own TV show, and years ago I could watch him in Spanish on Canal 34, Los Angeles which was a rebroadcast from Mexico City

There was a Topo movie,  set in a circus which played for about 2 weeks at Christmastime and disappeared. In the shadows you could make out shapes of two or three puppeteers operating him.
That was mid 1960s.

In 1965 I bought small squeeze toys of Topo in Europe, showing him in different soccer team colors.

 A bit later, in the U.S.A. there were Topo cookie jars sold at Save-On drugstores which came in two or three color combos---I got the last two color choices at the Studio City store.  They were on sale for a very short time---perhaps a single shipment. I have seen photos of them in cookie jar collectible books.

It would not surprise me if Andy Warhol had any in his kitsch collection.

Earlier this year in the Old Plaza area of Los Angeles, a celebration of local artist Leo Politi was held. Before his death, he did kids' books about L.A. Chinatown and Olvera Street. After the Politi event, I walked across the Plaza to Olvera Street before heading home, and was surprised to find two versions of a battery-operated TOPO GIGIO for about $15 each---each sang in Spanish when you pressed his hand. He came in many different outfits. I have not been back to Olvera Street yet since that visit, so don't know if they still sell the Topos.

In West Hollywood a short time later, I found an animated PINOCCHIO in a Russian shop which operated similarly to Topo. He talked in Russian.

Both toys were made in China. 

There may be TOPO DVDs floating about.


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