Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Collecting "Zippy The Monkey"

Going Bonkers Learning About "Zippy The Monkey"

Perhaps I should say, I am going bananas trying to figure out who the real "Zippy The Monkey" is?

I'll call this fella "Zippy", but I believe it is safe to say that he is not the REAL Zippy, just a Zippy wannabee or perhaps even a cousin of "Zippy". My first "Zippy" (back in the day) had red suspenders without the clown like pom pom buttons. BUT.....this guy shown in the picture brought back fond memories of my dear "Zippy" and I had to have him when I discovered him at Jeremiah's Antiques & Collectibles in Putnam, CT. a few weeks ago.

This plush toy is marked "Columbia Toy Company". You will find plush "Zippy" style chimps made by many companies.

Howdy Doody "Zippy" Made By Rushton Company

It appears that the chimp with the most value is made by "Rushton Co" in the 195t0s. You will find a hang tag which reads "The Rushton Company, Atlanta, Georgia . You will also find the words "Copyright The Rushton CO, on the bottom of Zippy's the rubber white shoe. You will find so much information about Zippy by visiting

"Zippy" Came In Different Sizes

"Zippy" came in different sizes dressed in red overalls, a yellow shirt with "Zip" across the front and a Howdy Doody hat . I wish I could tell you more, but I am going bonkers getting to the bottom of this Zippy mystery. Zippy was released in the 60s version, 70s issue , and again in the 80's by Dakin Company. I have also seen "Zippy" reproduced and sold at the restaurant chain "Cracker Barrel".

Who Is "Zippy" ?

This is what I know so far....the stuffed chimp was fashioned after "Zippy" the famous 1950s real life television "star". According to the website Zippy The T.V. Chimp Zippy was a real life chimp who made appearances on many of the popular T.V. shows during the 1950s.

Zippy was "discovered" by Bob Smith, "Buffalo Bob" of the long running and famous "Howdy Doody Show" while on vacation in New Orleans. Zippy stole a cherry out of Bob's drink and was rewarded with a five year contract. http://www.zippythetvchimp.com/carole_zippy.htm

Zippy appeared on The Ed Sullivan Show on August 2, 1953. He also was on The Captain Kangaroo Show, Gary Moore and Jackie Gleason Shows.

Photo of the real Zippy courtesy of

C. Dianne Zweig is the author of Hot Kitchen & Home Collectibles of the 30s, 40s, 50s and Hot Cottage Collectibles for Vintage Style Homes. She is also the Editor of I Antique Online an actively growing internet based resource community for people who buy, sell or collect antiques, collectibles and art. You can find Dianne’s fabulous retro and vintage kitchen, home and cottage collectibles at The Collinsville Antiques Company of New Hartford, CT, a 22,000 feet antique emporium with an in-house retro cafĂ©.To read more articles by C. Dianne Zweig click on this link: C. Dianne Zweig’s Blog Kitsch ‘n Stuff Email me at dianne@cdiannezweig.comVisit my website, CDianneZweig.comDianne is a member of:The American Society of Journalists and AuthorsThe Society of Professional Journalists


  1. I had a Zippy too, the one with the red suspenders and white rubber shoes. Yellow top, black legs, rubber face. OK, I still have him. He was my best friend and we had many adventures together. I don't know how many times my mother sewed his shoes back on.
    Later my sister got a newer version, slightly larger, that had the banana in his hand. I have him here as well. And I found a red Zippy at a yard sale, who spent his "life" living at a bar.

  2. I have a zippy that I've never found elsewhere. I was given him in 1952. He had cloth legs and body, black "hair" arms and head, with rubber face, hands and shoes, His pants are blue jean like with suspenders. I lost his shirt years ago. Do you know anything about this Zippy?

  3. I have a zippy how can I send a picture?