Brandon asks, “I was given this ‘snoopy’ from my grandfather who flew for the US Air Force in World War II. Based on what stories he told me before he passed away, I believe this is at least 50+ years old. It’s made of leather, and old fabric for the ears, eyes, mouth, tongue and scarf. The only marking on it is a small tag that says ‘Made in Japan’ on the bottom. I have never seen anything like it and I was wondering if you knew anything about it or a value?”
Thanks for sharing your Snoopy Doll with us, Brandon! Unfortunately, this is what collectors call “unlicensed”. Businesses wanted to cash in on Snoopy’s popularity without having to pay for the rights to his image. There are many of examples of black and white dogs that are easily mistaken for Snoopy. The easiest way to tell if an item is licensed is by the copyright. If a Snoopy item says Copyright United Feature Syndicate (UFS) 1958, then it’s the geniune article.
So, what is Brandon’s Snoopy Dog? Luckily, I have a few more clues. In 1957, the President of Dakin toys was sent a train set. For some odd reason, they used small velveteen animals as packing material. The President liked them and ordered more. This is how Dream Pets were born. By the end of 1979 there were over 2,000 different Dream Pets characters. Twenty-four of the characters were re-issued in 2004. View a few favorites here…
Like any popular toy, there were copy-cats being made. Luckily, I rescued some of these dolls from my aunts a few years back, so I have an example to share (see photo below). A few of them say “Made in Japan” only on their tags and may be from the same factory as Brandon’s Snoopy.
A licensed version of a Snoopy dream-pets-copy-cat was released by Determined Productions in 1971 (See below, middle). It uses similar velveteen fabric, felt feature and sawdust stuffing as the original Dream Pets.
For clues to when Brandon’s Snoopy Doll was produced, we turn again to Peanuts. The Snoopy WWI Flying Ace character was introduced into the Peanuts Comic strip in 1966. Therefore, this doll was most likely produced sometime after that. If the goggles aren’t original to the piece, it’s possible the doll was produced earlier than 1966.
Finally, the value. Without knowing its real origins, I would look to the current Dream Pets and their copy-cats. The current market for most animal dolls from this era is around $5-20 depending on rarity and condition. The real value of Brandon’s Snoopy is the memories of his Grandfather he brings back.
If anyone has any clues or information on Brandon’s Snoopy Leather Doll, let us know!
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