Mikey's Muppet Memorabilia Museum

Mikey's Muppet Memorabilia Museum

Muppets 1990-1999

The continuing saga of the Muppet Show gang!

This awesome PVC figure of Kermit in a leather jacket with his motorcycle was made in 1990 by Presents. Shown below are two other figures that are part of this series: Fozzie as the Soda Jerk, and Animal with a guitar. (It's weird that they gave the drummer of the Muppet Show band a guitar, but even weirder that they show him playing it... if Animal ever got hold of a guitar he would likely just smash it!) Unfortunately the Animal figure does not stay standing up on it's own. PVC figures of Miss Piggy, Gonzo, and Rowlf were also included in this collection.

 

In 1990 Mattel made this "Learn to Dress Kermit". This doll has a plastic head and is wearing a fireman's outfit. Below is a better view of his hat which has a K on it and is part of the plastic head. A Miss Piggy doll was also made as part of this set. She is dressed in a nurses outfit.

Above is a set of ceramic magnets from 1990 made by Presents. Each one has a round magnet glued onto the back.

This is the Life magazine from July 1990 about the death of Jim Henson. A very sad and unexpected turn of events. Unfortunately I never had the honour of meeting my idol. Jim Henson was unquestionably a creative genius, a remarkable businessman, and a very talented puppeteer.

Here are two issues of People Weekly magazine which also published articles about the death of Jim Henson. Unfortunately these magazines are somewhat sensationalized (at least I think they are). Sammy Davis Jr. passed away on the same day as Jim Henson (May 16th, 1990) and was featured on the cover of the following weeks issue, May 29 1990. That issue also includes an article about Jim Henson, who was later featured on the cover of the following issue, June 18, 1990.

 Animal plush toy from the Muppet Vision 3D gift shop at Disney MGM Studios. Made in the early 1990s. They did a nice job on Animal's shirt, which is detailed to look like his shirt from The Muppet Show.

Above is the T-Shirt I bought at the Muppet Vision 3D gift shop at Disney MGM Studios in the early 1990s. This is an awesome Kermit logo which is printed on a Froot of the Loom shirt.

This Kermit mug is made by Dakin in the early 1990s. I think this may have been a stand alone piece that was not part of a series.

Also in the early 1990s, I was given these Kermit Slippers for my collection as a joke gift. I'm not sure what company made them, I'll have to check the tag next time I'm going though the boxes of Muppet stuff! Oddly enough, as bad as these are there have been several different companies to have produced similar Kermit slippers over the years. It would be a collection in itself to find them all. These ones are extra weird because Kermit's eyes are looking up, instead of forward, and the slippers have arms which is uncommon.
 
A Miss Piggy mirror on the original card, made by Kid Care in 1991.
 
Here is a Muppets Doodler Kit from 1991 made by Great Stuff.  It comes with a large fold out, perforated poster made up of six different colouring pictures. The kit came with markers, which are missing from this one.

In 1991 four Muppet Pez dispensers were made, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie and Gonzo. The first wave of Muppet Pez included Kermit with a red bow-tie on a red dispenser stem, Miss Piggy on a pink stem, and Fozzie on a dark yellow stem. I have not yet seen Gonzo on anything other than a blue stem. (Update March 2016: Since posting this in 2011 I've seen a Gonzo Pez with an orange stem.)

Later in the 1990s the Muppet Pez were reissued with Kermit with red bow-tie on a green stem, Miss Piggy on a purple stem, and Fozzie on a yellow stem. Gonzo was the same as before.
 

Then in the late 1990s or early 2000s, the four characters were re-released on illustrated Muppet packaging, shown above, and at this point Kermit and Miss Piggy were re-sculpted. Kermit now had his collar and Miss Piggy had more hair and taller ears. Gonzo and Fozzie stayed the same, however Gonzo now had a slightly darker blue dispenser.

The re-sculpted Muppet Pez series was also released in clear wrappers, shown above. This Fozzie Bear is the same mold as before but the face is painted differently. It has a red nose instead of a pink nose, dark brown eyebrows instead of light brown, and the eyes are also different. In 2012, as a promotion for The Muppets new movie, Pez re-released a third version of Kermit and Miss Piggy Pez (new head sculpts) in new packaging, and added Animal to the collection. Initially, Fozzie and Gonzo were not included in the new series. A new Fozzie Pez has since been added, and there have been several packaging variations of the new series including different card artwork and clear wrappers similar to those shown above. At some point during all of this (I'm assuming before 2012) Kermit, Piggy, Fozzie and Gonzo were made in Giant Pez format, as well as mini Pez.
 
Here is a very well done Kermit doll by Child Dimensions in 1992. Like the Fisher-Price Kermit, this doll has Velcro at the hands and feet (on the back of the wrists and leg). The box is nicely designed as well. Miss Piggy was also made for this set, and is shown on the back of the box, below.


The following year in 1993 Child Dimensions offered this funny Kermit wearing a blue summer outfit. The thing in his pocket comes out and is attached by a string. I'm not sure what it is. The blue hat is attached to his head. I don't know if a matching Miss Piggy was made to go with this Kermit.

Here is an awesome book, "Jim Henson the Works" written by Christopher Finch and published by Random House in 1993. This book is a "must have" item for Muppet and Jim Henson fans! It expands on the 1981 book "Of Muppets and Men", that was also written by Finch.

This plastic Kermit plate and bowl were made in 1993 by Zak Designs. I'm missing the cup that goes with this set.

Here is "Film Review" magazine from January 1993 which promotes the movie "A Muppet Christmas Carol". 
This is a 1994 promotional badge for the direct to VHS video production Muppet Classic Theater. This was made for employees of video stores to wear.

Here is a softcover book If You Were Kermit" published in 1994 by Muppet Press/Merigold Press (Golden Books). It features several of the Muppet Show characters.
 
 In 1995 a series of Muppet Parodies T-shirts was produced. I have several in my collection which I bought in New York. Above is "Too Late with Kermit Letterfrog" which has a top ten list on the back of the shirt. Below is the original hang tag.

 


In 1995 the Muppets were cross licensed with the NHL as part of a major marketing campaign by Canadian McDonald's restaurants. Four very well made and detailed NHL Muppets plush toys were sold at McDonald's in conjunction with a sticker game contest that was very much like the occasional Monopoly game promotions. The Miss Piggy and Animal plush toys have plastic heads, while Kermit and Fozzie have fabric heads with plastic eyes and helmets. All four plush toys came with a removable plastic hockey stick. As Fozzie is the goalie he has a unique goalie stick. I've never seen this much detail go into a McDonald's promotional toy before or since. The names of each character were even sewn onto their hockey jersey. A back view of the plush toys is shown below.

Unfortunately, despite the quality and detail, McDonald's restaurants ended up clearing out these plush toys for some time well after the promotion was finished. I don't know if this was because of a lack of consumer interest or if McDonalds over produced the toys by ordering too many, therefore flooding the market. These were commonly found at second hand stores for quite awhile in the late 90s and early 2000s, but today they are not so easy to find. I'm glad to have them in the collection. These NHL Muppets are some of the better Muppet plush toys to have been made. Animal is my favourite of the series. It's nice that they gave him the extra detail of "torn" edges on his clothes to match his character. I have a second set of all of these in the original unopened baggies as well.


Here is the NHL Muppets contest game board flyer (front and back) that was given out free at Canadian McDonalds restaurants in 1995. Each NHL team logo was re-imagined with one of five Muppet characters incorporated into the design (Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie, Animal or Gonzo). These logos were made available on stickers that were randomly attached to drinking cups and fries packages. A prize was won if a specific row of NHL Muppet stickers was filled in on the game board. Below is the game board that I filled in, with only one sticker missing in each row. Darn it, so close!
As you can see in the bottom row on the game board, one of the prizes was an "NHL Muppet Melton and Suede Jacket". These were limited to 1000 prizes.

Here are all of the extra stickers that I ended up with. The one on the bottom right corner is an instant win sticker for a Nestle Crunch chocolate bar that I never redeemed. So technically I did win something!

I figured that as this NHL Muppets promotion was available in Canada only I would go all out and save as much stuff as I could! So here we go....
These are the McDonalds NHL Muppets medium and large drinking cups. There were four different styles, two purple Western Conference cups (Central Division and Pacific Division), and two aqua (teal?) Eastern Conference cups (Northeast Division and Atlantic Division). Each style had a medium and large version, so there were a total of 8 cups in all. I'm missing the Atlantic Division cup, but have the other three in the large size. I only have Pacific and Northeast Division cups in the medium size, though I'm glad to have the cup with the Ottawa Senators on it (with Miss Piggy on the logo).

Here's a closer look at how the stickers were attached to the cups.


There were four different McDonalds NHL Muppets fries containers, here is the front and back of the Animal container. Below is a closer view of how the stickers were attached.

The Miss Piggy McDonalds NHL Muppets fries container, front and back.

The Kermit McDonalds NHL Muppets fries container, front and back.


The Fozzie Bear McDonalds NHL Muppets fries container, front and back.

McDonald's staff also wore NHL Muppets promotional pins. There were four different pins, Kermit, Miss Piggy, Animal and Fozzie. I only have the Fozzie pin as they were not supposed to be given out to the public, but one of the employees thought it was interesting that I collected Muppets and gave me theirs. There was also a very cool large cardboard store display for the NHL Muppets plush toys, but unfortunately that was out of the question.


 Of course, there were also paper place-mats advertising the plush toys, so I saved one. Above is the front and back.

And lastly the paper bag! Front and back view.

I also have this Kermit McDonalds sticker from 1995 which I assume was given out during the NHL Muppets promotion, but it shows Kermit skiing, so I'm not certain where this fits in. Above is the front and back view.

Here are two children's books based on the movie Muppet Treasure Island. The book with the purple boarder was published by Muppet Press/Grosset & Dunlap in 1996. The other book was published by Muppet Press/Golden Books in 1995.

This is a small PVC figure made by Applause. It doesn't have a date on it but is likely from 1995 or 1996. According to the Muppet Central website only two figures were made for this set: Kermit and Miss Piggy. 

The Muppets appeared at McDonalds once again in 1996 to promote The Muppets Treasure Island movie. Four tub toys were made featuring Miss Piggy, Kermit, Fozzie, and Gonzo.

This is a French copy of an activity booklet that was a free give away at McDonalds as part of the Muppet Treasure Island promotion. It is dated 1996 on the cover but the copyright date on the back cover is 1995. A photo of Kermit appears on the front cover at the bottom right corner. The Muppet characters only appearance in the booklet is for a maze, shown below. All the other activities in the booklet involve the McDonalds characters in a pirate theme.


 Here is the front and back of a paper bag from McDonalds promoting The Muppets Treasure Island.

A set of three Soakie bubble bath containers were issued in 1996 based on the Muppet Treasure Island movie. The set included Miss Piggy (shown above), Kermit and Fozzie. The heads twist off as the container lids.
 

Here is an Ottawa Sun TV Guide for March 3rd to 9th, 1996. I love this photo of Kermit, it is a perfect image of him. Often in posed Muppet photos from the 1990s Kermit's face looked like it was stuffed too much. This one is just right! I'd love to have a poster of this photo.


Milton Bradley, which had made all of the original Muppet Show children's puzzles in the late 1970s, continued making Muppet puzzles in the mid to late 1990s.



In the early 1990s Eden Gift produced a series of Kermit the Frog plush toys which they later expanded to include Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and Gonzo (see the picture of Gonzo below). These were all very well made, high quality collectables that were sold in greeting card stores and FAO Schwarz in New York. Above is a "bendable" plush doll, which has wire in the arms and legs for posing. I find this to be the nicest Kermit plush toy ever made. Similar Kermit dolls were later made by other companies but this is the original.

This is the Kermit puppet made by Eden Gift at the same time as the above Kermit doll. Both plush toys are the same size, however the puppet doesn't have wire in the arms and legs so they are floppy. (I added the rod to Kermit's arm in the above photo) This is an awesome Kermit puppet!

This is the original tag that came with the Eden Gift Kermit puppet. The bendable Kermit doll has a similar tag. The top tag is for the Christmas Kermit doll shown below.

This Eden Gift Kermit plush toy is larger than the bendable Kermit doll and doesn't have any wire in the arms and legs. I was fortunate enough to visit the Muppet Workshop in New York during the mid 1990s, and saw the real Kermit. The head on this Christmas Kermit doll is essentially the same size as the real Kermit, but the body is still much smaller.


Here is the musical Kermit doll by Eden Gift. It is much smaller than all the others and has a wind up key on its back. The doll plays a music box version of Rainbow Connection as it tilts its head side to side. I bought this one at FAO Schwarz in New York.


Here are the three different sizes of the Eden Gift Kermits. At left is the bendable doll, the musical doll is in the middle, and the large Christmas doll is on the right.


Above is the Eden Gift Gonzo plush toy from the early to mid 1990s. It's quite large and very well made. It matches the size of the Christmas Kermit doll shown above.

I bought this small plush bendy Kermit in the 1990s or early 2000s however I forget which company it was made by. I cut the manufactures tag off of the back, which is something that I rarely do, so unfortunately I have no info for this one. It may have been made by either Eden Gift or Applause.

UPDATE: Muppet Fan RollerScrapper kindly posted a note on this blog page to confirm that this Kermit was produced by Applause. Thanks for the info!
 
In the mid to late 1990s Applause produced a wide rage of Muppet collectables under the banner "Kermit Collection".There were four ceramic mugs, as shown on the box. I only have the Kermit from this set. I've seen the Miss Piggy mug on e-bay once and have never seen the others. I find this Kermit mug to be very nicely sculpted and detailed.

This standard Kermit Mug is also by Applause and is part of the Kermit Collection from the mid to late 1990s.  Both sides of the mug have the same design.

Here is a talking Kermit the Frog push toy made by Applause in 1998, sold as part of the "Kermit Collection". It is very similar to the Eden Gift Kermit dolls made in the early 1990s, seen above. The difference between the two, in addition to this one being slightly larger and brighter green, is that the Eden Gift version has very thin and longer lines on Kermit's eyes as compared with the eyes on this doll. Applause also made a non-talking version of Kermit that looks just like this doll, though I don't know if it's the same size.


Here are two rare bendy figures of Animal and Kermit with key chains, from the "Kermit Collection" by Applause. These are the only characters made for this set.

This is a plastic penny bank (I can't call it a piggy bank because it's not Miss Piggy!) that applause made in the 1990s as part of "The Kermit Collection".

Applause also made a series of three PVC figures in 1996. I`m not certain if they are officially part of the "The Kermit Collection" or not. The third figure that I'm missing shows Kermit sitting on a rock with water around it.

Here is a very cool magnetic plush Gonzo made sometime in the late 1990s or early 2000s by Junior Toys as part of the Kermit Collection. Gonzo is about 6 or 7 inches tall and was sold on a card. There are magnets in Gonzo's hands and feet. The back of the card is shown above. A friend bought this Gonzo for me while vacationing in Europe. There is also a Kermit and Animal in this series which are shown on the back of the card.

Here is a Golden Books sticker book from 1997 based on the Muppets Tonight TV series. I haven't seen very much merchandise related to Muppets Tonight, so this one is interesting to me for that reason. There were three other Muppet activity books made in this series, but this is the only one that was based on the TV show.


In 1998 Applause made the small Animal plush toy shown above on the left (with the dark blue Applause tag on his hand) as part of the Kermit Collection. For the first time, Animal is wearing a white T-shirt. This plush toy is a bendy figure with wires in the arms and legs. In the late 1990s or early 2000s, a similar Animal plush toy in a white T-shirt was made by Nanco in various sizes, from those shown above to a jumbo size (about four feet tall!). Despite these being give away prizes at exhibitions and fairs, they are very well made. In truth, I find these Nanco toys to be the best Animal plush toys ever, with exception to the Fisher-Price Animal puppet. I like the fact that they included a chain around his neck, this had never been done before. They are also very soft as a plush toy should be. FYI: The Applause Animal is standing on it's own, while the two Nanco Animals are on doll stands to hold them up.


Here are the Nanco Kermit plush toys, which are bendy figures with wire in the arms and legs. As with Animal, jumbo size Kermit was also made.


Nanco also made Slinky Pets of both Kermit and Animal. Here are the two different sizes for Kermit.

In 1999 Burger King sold a selection of Muppet toys based on the Muppets From Space movie. I have Miss Piggy, Rizzo and the Muppet bus with Kermit on top. According to the Muppet Central website, the other toys in this set are a plush Animal head and Gonzo in his spaceship.

In 1999, Wendy's also made a series of Muppet toys based on Muppets From Space. I have the plush Kermit key chain and Gonzo in a spaceship. The Muppet Central website shows the remaining toys in the set are another version of the Muppet bus, a "voice changer", and an activity book.
 
Here is "Kermit's Pad" from the late 1990's. It's a small pad of notepaper in a book styled box.

 Here's one of the best Muppet collectables from the 1990s, the 3D Chess Set. It was made in 1999 by A La Carte and sold in a cardboard box (shown above) as part of the Kermit Collection. This version of the chess set has a board that folds in half. The set was later repackaged and sold in a rather nice looking tin container with a chess board that folded twice (into four sections).

 Here are the PVC chess pieces still in the box. The same figures were used for each player with the only difference on most pieces being the colour of the base was yellow or dark red. The horses were also painted different colours (grey or black) and Rizzo's coat was also changed (red or dark blue). I found this made it a bit tricky to actually play the game as the bases are not that big compared to the rest of the figure, which made it hard to keep track of where your pieces were. In any case, the figures for this chess set are awesome and certainly make it worth while to own.

Here's the chess board set up with all the game pieces.

The PVC figures are all very well done. Here is Miss Piggy as the Queen, Kermit as King, and Fozzie as a bishop.

Here's Waldorf and Statler as the castles (the instruction booklet gets their names mixed up!), and Swedish Chef as a bishop.

 
The horses with Animal and Gonzo.

And last, the pawn is Rizzo with a pizza.

Though it would have likely been to expensive to produce, I think it would have been neat to have different characters on each side of the chess set. For example, one team could have been the Electric Mayhem band with Janice as the Queen, Floyd as King, Rowlf and Dr.Teeth as bishops, Animal and Zoot on the horses, Bunsen and Beaker as the castles, and Muppaphone puff ball Muppets as the pawns. Then the other team would be the same as what's already shown except with Scooter on the horse in place of Animal, and chickens for pawns.


Photos and text © Mike Artelle, 2010, 2013

4 comments:

  1. I'm pretty certain that cloth bendy Kermit is from Applause. I still have the one I won in a claw machine, most likely in the late 90's.

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    1. Hi RollerScrapper
      Thanks for the info! I've updated the text for Kermit. Not sure why I cut that tag off!?!

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  2. Mike, I have one of the NHL Muppet jackets from McDonald's. It's an adult large, like new. Any idea what it would be worth? Thanks Angela

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    1. Hi Very cool that you have one of those jackets! Sorry, I have no idea about the value. If there is a vintage/retro clothing store in your area perhaps they could help?

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