1931 Fisher-Price Woodsy-Wee Circus

Value (2012) | $800$1,200

When it came up at auction, I knew it was an older toy. And I thought, "Well, maybe it's worth something," so I did buy it.

How many years ago did you buy this?

It's about 20, 22 years now.

Wow-- but you didn't collect circus toys.

No, no, I didn't collect many toys at all.

You were there for irons?

I was there for irons, that's what I collect.

That's why your shirt is so nice and neat, no wrinkles. So meanwhile, while you're waiting for the irons this came up?

Yes, and it was in good condition-- at least I thought so.

This toy, the Woodsy-Wee Circus-- just a great title-- was made by the Fisher-Price Toy Company out of East Aurora, New York. Now, what's interesting is they were founded in 1930 which, of course, is the start of the Depression and a horrible time to start a toy business. But Herman Fisher, Irving Price and Helen Shell wanted to make charming, quality litho toys, and that's what they did. In 1931, they came out with their first 16 toys and this was one of them, the Woodsy-Wee Circus. First of all, you have this fabulous litho cover-- wonderful graphics. The box is as much fun as the toy itself. You open up the box, and lookee here, what have we got? We've got a giraffe. We've got a clown. We've got a camel. We've got an elephant. What better way to bring the circus into any child's home? What's amazing about this toy, too, this is original in the box. It basically looks like it was never played with. Now, how much did you pay for this?

I believe it was, like, $65.

Because this is all original and it's in the original box and it's one of the first 16 toys that was made. If this were mint, this would be somewhere between $2,000 and $3,000. In the condition that it's in with the little wear on the clown and the creases here, you're really talking somewhere more in the $1,000 to $1,500 range. But that's still a great return on your investment.

That's surprising.

Thanks so much for bringing the circus into town today.

Thank you.

Appraisal Details

Leila Dunbar Appraisals & Consulting, LLC
Washington, DC
Update (2012)
Appraised value (1998)
Milwaukee, WI (June 20, 1998)

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