Monday, February 23, 2009

Magic Key to Children's Fairyland

This was the first Talking Storybook Key patented by Bruce Sedley (see patent links on side bar) used at the Children's Fairyland in Oakland's Lake Merritt Park. The first keys were gold and came in a Magic Key box, along with a tag listing the 15 Fairyland Storybooks. Click each picture to see close-ups.

This crown-top key later was issued in other colors, including yellow & blue as shown. Have you seen other colors?


qwiklight said...

This is a great post!

glaze said...

This is a great site, I have not seen an original Fairyland Key in as great condition as shown. I have numerous keys through the years and this is a wonderful display of some great history.

leontiev said...

Thanks for sharing your feedback glaze! Based on the condition of the original Fairyland Key, I suspect it was never used, as it is in pristine condition.

Check out Qwiklight's extensive collection of Fairyland Keys to see the array of colored keys issued over the years (see sidebar link).

Would love to see your collection glaze as well!

glenn_baker said...

Wow, I've never seen an original key!
I used to be a Fairyland Personality when I was little, performing at the Emerald City Stage.
I actually have a golden (yet plastic) key they issued for the 50th anniversary gala last year as a gift for the Personalities over the years. I still use it whenever I visit!

leontiev said...

What fun memories you must have glenn-baker of being in the limelight on the Emerald City Stage as a Fairyland Personality!! Isn't it wonderful that you can use the same crown-top key whenever you visit, albeit 5 months or 5 years?!

Anonymous said...

I still have my talking storybook key from the Detroit Zoo.

KLG said...

I have worked at Children's Fairyland on and off for twenty years. I am currently employed there, and I have a collection of lost magic keys. It is a wonderful place.

lookingformagickey said...

Hi, do you know where I might be able to find a yellow Fairyland key from the mid to late 70's? Thank you

Mark Lyons said...

Here is a site devoted to various zoo keys, Storyland and Fairytale Town keys.

Please add some pictures of your rare keys

Anthony Bennett said... you perhaps know where I might be able to obtain a key in the box?

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.