Smethport Web – by Nathan Muller
Smethport toy inventor Jim Herzog, best known for creating Wooly Willy, narrates this promotional video for the magnetic drawing sets Dapper Dan, Pattie Petite, and Doodle Poodle.
The video was produced in the early 1960s as a TV advertisement, but aired only a few times because of the high cost and limited coverage.
This copy, made years ago, has no sound track and the lighting fades in and out. These impairments were probably due to a combination of factors, including media degradation, synchronization problems, and lack of technical proficiency during the copy process.
Jim’s narration provides a good approximation of the original sound track’s content and the video provides a glimpse into how toy advertisements looked “back in the day”.
Look for this: the video shows an automated Dapper Dan that was used for storefront windows and in-store toy displays!
Bonus Content: Jim talks more about the advertisement and provides some history about the magnetic drawing market and how Wooly Willy almost failed because the chain stores thought it was too ugly. He also tells a great Dapper Dan story about the toy’s amazing impact on a hospitalized child. Listen here »