Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A Great Canadian Story

Wednesday,December 10, 2014
Overcast, snowing and cool

A Great Canadian Story

  Today's post started out with Mr. Alvin Shier, a Canadian writer in several Canadian publications. Alvin introduced himself  by saying that he writes a toy column titled "Pollution Free Motoring" in the Canadian Publication "Old Autos".  He wanted to know if I knew if I knew pif any information about the Lil' Beaver Toy Company besides what one finds on the Internet.  When he first mentioned Lil' Beaver, What came immediately to mind was the famous Canadina Wrestelt by that name.Lil' Beaver used to be on TV in the 1950's with all of the other famous American and Canadian Wrestlers at that time. Television at that time was in black and one and there were 4 channels - 3 American and 1 Canadian CBC.

  That sounded like a post idea, so I wrote Alvin back and said that I'd search. I did find some "bits and pieces',here and there,but no story - yet!  If you go to the  Canadian Museum of History
(Musée Canadien de L'histoire), you can find the name mentioned, and also see a few Lil' Beaver toys, and a bit of history.  All I could find at the site was the mention of Lincoln toys ( another Canadian toy company). After Lincoln Toys closed down, some of their toy designs were continued through a series of several companies,on of then being Lil' Beaver. The original logo belongs to Irwin Toys (Toronto, Canada) but the Museum doesn't mention if Irwin actually manufactured the Lil' Beaver Toys.*         *Information paraphrased from the Canadian History Museum

  My next idea was to go to ebay and Liveauctioneers. Most sellers on ebay and Liveauctioneers will usually include a brief history of the company, but again I couldn't find anything - not even a toy! Of course, if I keep searching on ebay , one will eventually appear!

  And then an idea came into my head,and I said to myself (Just like those old V-8 vegetable juice drink commercials), "Now why didn't I think of this before?". "Look for Canadian toys on Kijiji".
For those who don't know,Kijiji is (I think) a Canadian company that provides free advertising for people wanting to sell all kinds of items. It's of course "buyer beware, and you're advised to meet in public areas, and note at your home. Personally, I've had very good experiences both in buying and selling, and have met people at Tim Horton's , the iconic Canadian coffee shop, established in 1967.

  I couldn't find and Lil' Beaver toys in Montreal,so I got another idea - search west, staring with Ontario, and going westerly. Eventually, I found a nice toy in Winnipeg,Manitoba.

  I have to interject here,and provide you with a mini-story that I used to not believe until it happened to me. Most people in the world (no disrespect intended) don't know much about Canada. Even I don't! Canadian history,when I was a kid was boring, and even today it still is. The great part is that we have been a peaceful country for our short history, and I can't argue with that.

  So here's the mini-story that actually happened to me. I met someone a few years ago,and the conversation turns to Canada,and the person says "Do you know such and such person in Vancouver,British Columbia?". I didn't, and had to tell the person that Vancouver is  3,052 miles or 4,912 Kilometres. The next time you meet a Canadian, eh, ask then if they ever hear this story or if it happened to them.

   Back to the toys

I wrote to a Kijiji seller in Winnipeg, Manitoba  (1135 miles or 1826 Kilometres), and he answers with exuberation. Mr. David  Gledhill wrote to say that he'd be very happy to be a guest on my blog. He's a contractor,but also happens to sell toys and comic books. What I liked about David is that he takes fine photographs. Not everyone on Kijiji takes the time to photography their merchandise, and provide more than one image. However, David took 8 fine photographs and large-sized as well. So below is the first Lil' Beaver toy that I found.

I did my usual minor whitening effect to present the toy,but David deserves all the kudos for the quality of the images. If you look at the photos in Google Blogger's slide format,you'll see the Lil' Beaver decal. As for the toy, it was probably made in the 1960's (an educated guess) and is not so old ( I had to say that, as I am 66 and don't feel old!). However, I think it's in better shape than I am. I keep saying that I have to start exercising!

The toy is in great shape and works well (please read the description).

I hope you didn't mind my long-winded story today or mentioning  Canada 15 times in this post.
Canadians are supposedly described as being very reserved and quite about our country,unlike our Southern neighbour - USA. 

You'd think that after all this time, we would have got out of our shyness, being so close to America!

I promise that for tomorrow, the post will be about toys with minimal diversions or stories!

Thanks for dropping by, and as always,
have a great part of the day or night,
wherever you may be,

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