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-- Spoon Sitters --

-- © 2003 by Topher -- Updated 2010 --


Spoon Sitters are sometimes referred to as Bowl Hangers, Breakfast Buddies, Spoon Hangers, Spoon Riders, and Spoon Sliders. However, there really is a big difference between Spoon Sitters (Spoon Hangers, Spoon Riders, and Spoon Sliders) and the original Breakfast Buddies (Bowl Hangers). Spoon Sitters are small molded hard plastic vinyl figurines which can slide onto the handle of your spoon. Breakfast Buddies hang onto the side of your cereal bowl. Later Breakfast Buddies combined both features.

Spoonmen Spoon Sitters
We believe one piece molded Spoon Sitters were introduced by Nabisco in 1959. They were designed by John Walworth. Boxes of Nabisco "Spoon Size" Shredded Wheat Juniors featured one of three Spoonmen available in "six out-of-this-world colors": red, pinkish white, chocolate brown, green, yellow, and blue. They were 1.625" to 2" in height. Munchy, Crunchy, and Spoon-size where collectively known as the Spoonmen. Munchy had three rows of buttons, Crunchy had only two rows of buttons, and Spoon-size (the little guy) had one row of buttons.
3 SpoonmenShredded Wheat FrontShredded Wheat Back

Buffalo Bee and Jolly Clown Breakfast Buddy
Nabisco also gets credit for the first Breakfast Buddy. They offered two 2.25" bowl hangers in 1961. Buffalo Bee came in boxes of Wheat Honeys, while Jolly Clown was free inside Rice Honeys. They came in only two translucent colors: red and yellow. We understand any other colors are non-cereal knockoffs (including a green and a blue Buffalo Bee we recently saw for sale on eBay in August 2003).

Red Buffalo Bee Wheat Honeys FrontWheat Honeys Back Red Jolly Clown

Cowboy Spoon Slider
Cowboy Spoon SliderThis cowboy represents another spoon sitter idea from John Walworth. His boots were attachments to an otherwise one-piece molded body. We call him a Spoon Slider, simply because instructions and a diagram were molded onto his back which read "SLIDE ON SPOON". He came in green. According to Dan Goodsell, of Tick Tock Toys, this spoon slider (and his spaceman counterpart) were prizes inside Cracker Jack, not cereal boxes, sometime in the 1960's. If you can provide the year of this item, please email us.

Winnie-the-Pooh Breakfast Buddies / Winnie-the-Pooh Pals
In 1965, Nabisco combined the Spoon Sitter under-bottom slot with the Breakfast Buddy bowl hanger arms when they created a very popular series of Winnie-the-Pooh Breakfast Buddies (see image, below left) issued in connection with Walt Disney's 1965 movie "Winnie-the-Pooh and the Blustery Day". One of seven buddies: Winnie-the-Pooh, Christopher Robin, Piglet, Eeyore, Kanga (with Roo in pouch), Rabbit, and Owl were free inside boxes of Rice Honeys and Wheat Honeys. They measure 1.75" to 2.5" in height and were originally available in only 5 colors: red, blue, yellow, orange and green. There was apparently a USA and a Canadian issue.

7 Pooh Spoon Sitters Wheat Honeys FrontWheat Honeys Back
3 Pooh Pals
Rice Honeys FrontRice Honeys Back Rice Honeys FrontRice Honeys Back

There appears to be some mystery as to when, where, and why variations were created. One thought is that the knockoff versions were manufactured in the 1970's and used as prizes in gumball machines or carnivals.

Colors
We have confirmed that a multitude of colors including translucent red, opaque red, dark green, olive green, turquoise, purple, light blue, dark blue, translucent yellow, opaque yellow, dark gold, opaque pinkish white, opaque orange, and translucent orange were created. Many of these are knockoffs however.

Material
Some were made of a hard plastic. Others were made with a softer, more flexible rubbery material. Our current knowledge is that only the hard-plastic characters are genuine. The rubbery characters are apparently non-cereal knockoffs.

Markings
By and large, the hard plastic characters are crafted with much greater detail and have a circular tattoo stamped into their bellies which reads: "Walt Disney Productions" with a copyright © in the middle, plus the date: "1964" directly below the circle. The rubbery figures appear to have used similar molds, but deep holes can be found on their backs where the material was injected into the molds. They are less detailed and more susceptible to being poorly trimmed. The rubbery Pooh figurine has a raised "B" on his belly, just above where the tattoo appears on the hard plastic Pooh. Our current knowledge is that only the copyright-stamped characters are legitimate.

If you can share any additional information, please email us.

Winnie-the-Pooh Characters - England Issue
Evidence suggests that England apparently issued a series of Winnie-the-Pooh spoon sitters, circa 1970, which included all of the characters from the USA set issued by Nabisco plus Tigger. In additon to bowl hugging and spoon sitting, this series had a hole up their bottom for use as a pencil topper. Tigger is known to have been issued in Light Blue, Orange, and Yellow. Other colors are highly likely.

Tigger Spoonsitter
Knockoffs
The following figurines are examples of knockoffs that were not prizes inside cereal boxes. Although the knockoffs were the same size as the original figurines, they were generally manufactured in different colors, materials, and in less detail, than the originals. Knockoffs are often poorly trimmed as well.
Pooh Knockoffs Front
Pooh Knockoffs Back
Winnie-the-Pooh (front and back) Knockoffs

Buffalo Bee Knockoff Front
Buffalo Bee
Knockoff
Walt Disney Characters - Canadian Issue
Canadian Walt Disney bowl hangers / spoon sitters / pencil toppers included Mickey Mouse, Pluto, Figaro, Geppeto, Pinocchio, Donald Duck, Jiminy Cricket, Goofy (not shown) and J.W. Foulfellow (a fox, not shown). Yellow, blue, orange and red are four confirmed colors. They measure approximately 1.625" to 2.125" in height. We understand that only the hard plastic figures are legitimate, while the rubbery figures are apparently non-cereal knockoffs. You can see that these figures are also "Pencil Toppers" given the hole running up through their body which allows the figurine to be secured to the top of your pencil. The Pinochio series displays a small "© WALT DISNEY PROD." imprint, while the Mickey Mouse series displays an even smaller © (date) WALT DISNEY PRODUCTIONS" imprint.

Disney Canadian Spoonsitters Front
Disney Canadian Spoonsitters Back

What Are The Figurines Worth?
The Spoonmen and Winnie-the-Pooh characters are highly collectable. Hake's 2nd Edition Price Guide to Character Toys values the Spoonmen at $50 to $60 each, Buffalo Bee and Jolly Clown at $20 each, and the Winnie-the-Pooh characters at $12 each, in Near Mint condition. Scott Bruce placed values at $25, $10, and $15 each respectively. August 2003 auctions on eBay saw closing bid prices of $81 for a blue Crunchy, $91 for pinkish Munchy, $10 for a green (possible knockoff) Buffalo Bee, and a complete set of 7 yellow Winnie-the-Pooh buddies sold for $36. The Canadian Issue Disney Characters sell for $1.00 to $5.00 each on eBay.

What's Next?
We would love to see Kellogg's, General Mills, Post and Quaker Oats include the 1965 style buddies, molded into their current stable of cereal characters, as prizes "free inside" boxes of their cereals. Tony the Tiger, Trix Rabbit, Sugar Bear, and Cap'n Crunch would be highly prized indeed!

Can You Provide Additional Information Or Images?
If you can provide any additional information or images for this page, please email us.

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Cereal Box Images
Cereal box images are courtesy of Tick Tock Toys. They have a large cereal box archive, along with other fun collectables.



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