Thursday, May 28, 2009

Lakeside Smokey the Bear bendie

Smokey the Bear. It's hard to believe this guy didn't have a TV show or something when you look at all the merchandise that's been produced with his image over the years. I guess it just goes to show how far a character can go towards promoting a public service message. Forest fires? Not for me.

This little gem was produced by Lakeside in 1967. I'm sure not many people will care about seeing this toy but it was a favorite of mine as a little squirt in the very early 70s. He's a classic bendie; about 6 inches tall, rubber over wire armature, down-and-dirty paint scheme, funny little holes on the back, etc. I seem to remember owning a few of these bendie Smokeys as they would get lost or break from time to time. My strongest memory of this bendie involves a hardware store in Aberdeen, South Dakota and a barrel. This particular hardware store was literally selling these, loose, out of a barrel. It was a "barrel of fun" (boo) getting to dig through, what seemed like, hundreds and hundreds of bendie Smokeys.

I think there was also a carded version that came with a shovel. Don't quote me on that, though.

Anyone else remember this guy?


  1. I'm pretty sure I had one when I was a kid. I remember the wires poking out of his arms.

  2. Yeah I am pretty sure I had one too but one I remember playing with the most was made out of plastic and his arms moved.

    We even had a record, with a comic, that told the story about Smokey and how he got his name.

    "He can find a fire before it starts to flame that's why they call him Smokey that is how he got his name."

  3. I loved bendies as a kid and had tons of them (although I don't recall owning a Smokey.)

    One in particular I recall owning was a camel - and the camel had a weiner and scrotum - albeit not thoroughly detailed - but there and unmistakable nonetheless.

    I currently have a little plastic bull from the same era which would have come in one of those bags of plastic animals and although he's a cartoony bull he also has his dangly bits.

    Wow, this reply took an awkward turn real fast, didn't it?

  4. Uh...gee, Bubba...where were you buying your bendies? ;)

    I had a bunch of bendies as a kid, too. I've got a few more to feature in posts in the future. No camel parts here, tho. I stay away from the "Bendy Stores" on the other side of the tracks. Heh, heh.

  5. So cool, Smokey is part of our culture, and to think that he does belong to TV ads and not an actual character of Hannah-Barbera or something like that.

  6. I still have mine too. He is a bit chewed up and a wire is poking out of his armpit. I lost his shovel many years ago. I see m to remember it was yellow.

  7. he was my best friend when i was little, and yes, mine had a red plastic shovel that fit in his hand.

  8. It’s so cool, Smokey is my best friend when I was young.