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.


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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.