Title / object name
Toy, ’Buzzy Bee’
|Maker ||Role ||Date |
|H. E. Ramsey Limited ||manufacturer(s) ||about 1943 |
|Schlesinger, Maurice ||designer || |
wood, cardboard, metal, paint, string
|Overall ||120 (Height) x 170 (Length) x 180 (Width/Depth) mm|
Gift of Judith Clearwater on behalf of Robin Clearwater, 2012
Wooden Buzzy Bee toys like this are a well known and loved New Zealand made pull along toy. This particular example was given to Robyn Clearwater when he was a baby in 1943.
The first Buzzy Bees were made in about 1940 by Maurice Schlesinger but went out of production in the early 1940s after Maurice became unwell with spinal meningitis. Hec Ramsey, a travelling salesman started producing the Buzzy Bee and Mary Lou doll soon after when he discovered a gap in the market.
The Buzzy Bee has become a classic toy that many New Zealand children have growing up. It is considered to be an icon of kiwi identity and it has featured in museums, on postage stamps, in books, paintings, posters, songs and in a television show.