Thursday, 25 October 2012

Vintage 1976 Gnomes Forest Gnome by Knickerbocker

So my last post... the same seller had some other cute and kitsch items I couldn't help admiring, I'll start with the Gnomes!

I have always adored the book this "Forest Gnome" is based on, or should I say, the cover alludes too, namely - Gnomes by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet.

Knickerbocker Toy Co, No. 0143

From Gnomes, illustrations by Rien Poortliet,

©1976 Unieboek, B.V.

Made in Taiwan, Printed in USA

I love the kitschness of this little guy and I love love love the box with it's Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet's illustrations, and would most likely buy it too, if it wasn't for the fact that "Tom Clark does these gnomes better, and should really have been the one to use these illustrations to advertise his Gnomes, which much more closely resemble the book's illustrations than this little guy by "Knickerbocker".

...And because of this, it makes me feel that at £28+ and postage on top, it seems to me to be a tad over-priced.

The "Gnome" itself is obviously soft bodied except for his face, and I can't help wondering if he even has a bottom half to his face, under that beard?!

 I guess the point of that is to be able to knock out as many as possible, quickly and cheaply, but in doing so it of course diminishes the quality to some degree.

To my mind he looks much better inside the box than without, once outside I can't help feeling, he would be so much better had be been pose-able, but I guess this is just a matter of taste and weirdly I do actually like the little guy!!

 The back of the box more closely resembles the book by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet.

And I love the detailing along the spine of the box too, it would look just as good in a bookshelf alongside the Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet book, as it would sitting face forward on a shelf . I also like the cut-away section in the front for viewing the little gnome, especially as it is cut "Gnome - Shape" but again, they've missed a trick as being a soft bodied figure, he does not stand up straight and as a consequence does not fit the shape as exactly as he would do if his legs were more solid, although this could just be a result of his having been removed from the packaging binding.

After trying to find extra information on this item, I have come up with more images, turns out I was right about the binding, if he'd have never been removed from his box he would fit the shape perfectly, and look so much better.

One of the great things about the figure is that he is the exact size as the "Book illustration" used to decorate the front,back and sides of the box itself. The Gnomes Book by Wil Huygen and Rien Poortvliet state the Gnomes True Height, without cap as being 15 cm or  6 inches!

The back of the box states:  Stuffed/plush body, soft vinyl head.

All new material, colored shredded clippings, shredded polyurethane foam, synthetic fibers and shredded cellulose fibers. conforms to Safety Standards.

If left as bought, he is actually suspended slightly off the ground inside the box, with his legs held in place by a cardboard "leg clasp" which is cut out of the back of the inner packaging and pushed forward to hold his feet, this brings him level with the "feet" section of the cut out viewing pane from the front of the box.

His body is held in place with a cable tie which passes through the back of the box, around his neck and is secured behind the cardboard inner sleeve.

Hopefully, one day I will be lucky enough to get one of these little guys, boxed, unopened =]