Last week's League of Extraordinary Bloggers topic was "Cowboys" and I dropped a picture into that post of a cowboy Big Bird and a horse. I dropped a hint that there was more to come featuring that particular duo, and indeed, this is where that hint is finally payed off. I bet you were DYING TO KNOW. So be warned. Regular readers of this blog may have noticed my Muppets-but-mostly-Sesame-Street-obsession and have chosen to politely ignore it. This is one of THOSE posts.
I picked up this Sesame Street farm set for 2.99 at Goodwill. It has a manufacturer's stamp of "Illco" but there's no production or copyright date so at first I had no idea when these were produced. I felt like they were at least late 80's early 90's or possibly more recent, but not by too much. I didn't think they were much older either, due to the detail of the figures.
Here's everything that came with the set. When I Googled Illco and Sesame Street, I got an article from the Muppet Wiki specifically about this farm set, which gave me the most information I could find anywhere about the set (this image is from their wiki):
Indeed manufactured in the early 90's it apparently originally came with a tractor, a milk canister some fencing, a few bales of hay, a winch on the loft to lift the bales, and a trough for the animals. What you see here is what I got. All of the characters and animals are still in the set, which is the important thing.
Here we have Grover, Ernie, and Bert, all dressed for farm work in their overalls. Grover has a bucket of seed, possibly to feed chickens or to plant. Ernie's holding a potato and a carrot. Bert is holding a bloody cleaver behind his back for slaughtering the animals. Hey. It's a farm.
One of the best pieces in this set is Barkley, even though he is only included as a puppy. I have no Barkley figures in my collection at this point, so any port in a storm. These are the compromises one must make when desperately wanting a plastic figurine of a Muppet dog. He's pretty cute, though he's got a weird lump of plastic that he sits on instead of a flat surface. I almost imagine his base fitting into something else in the set, though if that's the case, it's something that is missing from the set I found.
Hey! These pardner's look pretty familiar! Here's cowboy Big Bird and the horse I desperately wish I could call Buster. In fact, why the heck did that not happen? Why not make him a darker shade of brown? And while we're on the subject, why is there not a Forgetful Jones figure in this set? Why the hate Illco?
Here we have a pig and a sheep. They are definitely done in a muppet "style" but I can't even pretend they represent any prominent characters on the show. Here we have some examples of Muppet farm animals from Sesame street (Images from the Muppet Wiki)
The sheep is unlike any kind of sheep that ever appeared on Sesame Street. The pig is more similar in style... and here I am debating the style of Sesame Street Muppets and some farm animals I found at Goodwill. Riveting stuff folks. Keep following!
Another figure that if I squint and tilt my head a bit I can pretend is an actual Sesame Street character is this cow. Definitely done in a clear Sesame Street style, this cow is more than a little reminiscent of Gladys the Cow of Sesame Street fame:
Here are some other examples of Sesame street cows and oh my god I'm doing it again please help me stop someone please.
Here are the wagon and truck that were included in the set. It irritates me that the truck doesn't hook up to the wagon. The wagaon was clearly only designed to be pulled by the tractor... but some frikkin' versatility would have been nice, Illco. Wow... and I thought I would have nothing to say about a plastic wagon and truck.
Here's the whole gang again! I'm pretty impressed with the lot of them, all together. And while I probably won't display the farmhouse due to it's sheer size, I will most definitely be sticking all these awesome little guys up somewhere. (Look, see? I made it LOOK like the truck is pulling the wagon... wouldn't that have been nice Illco? Wouldn't that have been nice? Yes. Yes it would have been.)
There's more where this set came from oddly enough, because I found another Illco Sesame Street set at the very same time I found this one. But I'll be doing a separate post on it somewhere down the road.
That's it for today folks, but I'll be back soon with more Goodwill Goodies! Until then, Happy Hunting!