Friday, January 9, 2009

Disney Chalkware Figures

Chalkware figures were cast in gypsum and given out as carnival game prizes. These became popular in the great depression and lasted well into the 1940s, when they were eventually replaced by stuffed animals. Often, these prizes were shockingly offensive by todays standards; nudes, ethnic stereotypes, and even Klansmen are common examples. However, celebrities and cartoon characters were among the most popular choices.

Today, I am presenting the three Disney ones in my collection: two variations of Donald and a Pinocchio. These figures are around 14" tall, unmarked and presumably unlicensed. They are believed to have come from the late '30s, and in Pinocchio's case, the early '40s. As you can probably gather from the images, most of these figures were made as cheaply as possible. Although poorly cast and painted in a slapdash manner, they have held up well over the years. There is glitter on the bowties of Pinocchio and the green-shirted Donald, but they didn't bother to paint Pinocchio's back!

In addition to other a few other popular characters of the time such as Popeye, several other chalkware Disney characters are known to exist. The other most common ones are probably from the film Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs. If anyone out there has any more photos or information on these, I would love to see!


  1. I have a Chalk Jiminy Cricket Figurine 3 1/2" tall with 194?-cant read the last #. With WDP following the date & a copy right symbol (c in a circle)before the date. I was wondering if where i might be able to get a value for it. I have pics to send if anyone knows more about this little guy.

  2. Here is my Jiminy Cricket. looks as someone has re-painted him.