Thursday, 13 March 2014

Vintage Apple money box with worm... Circa 1970's - 1980's

I remember when I was about 6 years old, sitting with a giant apple on my lap and offering it all my pennies so that the worm that live inside would pop out and take the money off me, for years I thought I must have imagine it as everybody I asked had never heard of one and certainly never had this toy / money box in their childhoods, until one day on Ebay...

Photo from Ebay Listing.

I found one in America and yayness upon yayness I managed to grab it... for it's age it was in perfect condition and playing with it takes me right back to my childhood, so of course it's one of my favourite treasures!

                                            Vintage Apple Worm Bank with its original box.
                                            Plastic and metal wind-up Toy made in Hong Kong.
                                            The apple bank measures approx: 4" high x 4" wide.
                                            The box measures approx. 4 1/4" x 4 1/4" x 4 1/4".

The bank has a wind-up mechanism, the key to this is attached to the mechanism via a small hole towards the back of the apple, (see photo below) - which is great as it cannot get lost.

                    After winding, you place a small coin on top of the little red button and wait...

Once this button is pressed it activates the mechanism for the worm, after a little clockwork whirring noise has been made, the worm appears...

His little legs ( yep, Mr. Wormy has legs!?) anyhoo, they catch onto the sides of your coin and take it back inside the bank, where it drops down and can be collected another time... or if you're anything like me, you'll take it back out and keep making "Mr. Wormy" eat the same coin over and over!

Mr. Wormy  in motion

If you turn the apple over, and turn the small circle in the bottom centre you can access all the stored money inside, this is incredibly easy to do as it was designed with small hands in mind.

The only information I can find on The Apple Bank is what is written on the side of the box:

 Made in Hong Kong.  No. 9041 (c) J.S., N.Y..

However ,while on my quest to find more, I found this cute little video so now you can see for yourself what he looks like in action...

Or you can watch it here if you prefer:


If any of you remember this toy, or have any information on it, please drop me a line in the comments section below, cheers x


Jen said...

Herbie, Thank you so much for posting this! We had this in the late 1970s -- the thing I remember the most about it was the sound it made. It was starting to drive me crazy because I could only vaguely remember the apple and maybe a worm but could not remember how it all went together. Every so often when the cat is playing and shows his sharpy teeth, I get a memory of the sound of that toy and thought I was going batty. But now seeing the worm and its fangs the association makes sense!

This was a hilarious toy and I enjoyed it so much as a kid. Thank you for coloring in that memory!

Herbie Hopkins said...


Hello Jen,
I'm so glad I was able to save your sanity! lol
My memories of this money box were very vague too, I must have been about 5 when I had mine and like you I'd began to think I imagined it so to save my brain from hurting I went on a mad search, it took months, but I finally found one and for sale too, and at a good price the only problem I had was trying to keep my excitement in check while I waited for him (Mr. Wormy) to arrive from America...
My Son thought I'd lost it as when he finally did I spent ages playing with it, squealing like a child and generally reliving my childhood!
:P H x

Nance Maint3 said...

My grandma has the one I fed when I was a kid.