Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Bruce Sedley's Aura (1925-2012)

Imagine one remarkable person touching the lives of millions of people with the invention of his novelty keys used at Fairyland and zoos across the country -- that is Bruce Sedley. In describing his dapper puppet friend, Bruce remarks on his biography page that King Fuddle "..has inspired love and affection in all that have had contact with him... It is my wish that he continue to entertain and meet people and spread his aura into their lives..."

Bruce Sedley's aura lives on in every child who clasps their Fairyland Magic Key with excitement and anticipation and smiles with accomplishment and glee as the Talking Storybook tells its secret tale. His legacy endures each and every time we use a zoo key to unlock the mysteries and greatness of the zoo animals that share their daily lives with us.

Here's to a lovely man who will always be inspirational and who's spirit will continue to infect our daily lives with genuine smiles, hearty laughter and fun memories. The angels are dancing with you and all of the animals -- including the human ones -- are jumping up and down for you!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

The Skipper and the Millionth Key

According to blog friend & Empress of Novelty Keys Qwiklight, the 50th Anniversary of the Storybook Boxes at Oakland Children's Fairyland the last weekend of August was quite the bash! Bruce Sedley - aka the Skipper - and his dapper puppet friend King Fuddle handed out the millionth Magic Key to one golden child on Puppet Day.

Photos courtesy of Qwiklight

And, who was that golden child?
A very shy Alejandro Flores, peering up at the Millionth Key behind his mother.Little does he know that THAT electric metallic blue key is the Holy Grail of all Magic Keys, most coveted by novelty key collectors.


CONGRATULATIONS Alejandro!!!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

The Millionth Magic Key

This weekend is Talking Storybook Weekend at the Oakland Children's Fairyland and Bruce Sedley - the Skipper himself - will be there August 29th & 30th to celebrate Puppet Day and the 53rd Annual Puppet Fair.

Celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the Storybook Boxes, the Skipper will present one child with the millionth Magic Key on Puppet Day. To read more about the Skipper's return to Fairyland, check out Martin Snapp's column.


IMAGINE a million Magic Keys over 50 years!
IMAGINE being the golden child who is presented with the millionth Magic Key!

Would love to hear from those who share in this momentous occassion.

According to fellow blogger headexplodie, the Talking Storybooks were updated with a new design at the beginning of 2009 in preparation for this 50th Anniversary celebration. The Talking Storybooks have a new box design as well as new audio playback systems.

Do you have a photo of the new Talking Storybooks that you'd like to share here?

Special thanks to blog follower Qwiklight and fellow blogger/artist Headexplodie for sharing this information!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Talking Storybooks

The Talking Storybook boxes are the stalwart storytellers of Children's Fairyland in Oakland, California.

Above 2007 photo courtesy of Erica J. Loh

Though the inside audio playback and speaker devices have been updated and replaced over the years, the exterior boxes remained true to Bruce Sedley's original 1962 patent schema. That is, until 2009, when the Talking Storybooks received a facelift in anticipation of the Talking Storybooks 50th Anniversary celebration.

Sedley's design-patented Talking Storybooks also were installed at the San Francisco Zoo from 1959 through the 1960s, but were replaced later by other "Talking Storybook" devices.

The only exterior difference between the original Fairyland Storybooks and the original San Francisco Zoo Storybooks was a small metal sign attached to the top of the box (partial view only) that provided instructions for using your 50-cent lifetime Trunkey.

Special thanks to fellow blogger & artist Headexplodie for her information on this post!

Zoo Keys

Novelty plastic keys used in Talking Storybooks at zoos, parks and other exhibits. Children's entertainer and puppeteer Bruce "Skipper" Sedley invented the original tape-recorded-playback Talking Storybooks with their novelty keys in the early 1950s.

In 1958, Talking Storybooks operated by the Magic Key to Fairyland were installed at Children's Fairyland in Oakland's Lake Merritt Park. The familiar elephant-shaped key – Trunkey the Elephant – was created the following year for the San Francisco Zoo, and has been used at zoos & parks across America since the 1960s.