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Object: Toy, ’Buzzy Bee’

This image has Some Rights Reserved. Creative Commons BY-NC-ND Creative Commons BY-NC-ND copyright licence

Title Toy, ’Buzzy Bee’
Production H. E. Ramsey Limited (manufacturer(s)), circa 1943, Auckland
Schlesinger, Maurice (designer)
Materials wood, cardboard, metal, paint, string
Classification toys
Dimensions Overall: 120mm (Height) x 170mm (Length) x 180mm (Width/Depth)
Credit line Gift of Judith Clearwater on behalf of Robin Clearwater, 2012
Registration number GH022590

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.

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Disclaimer: This information was created from historic documentation, and may not necessarily reflect the best available knowledge about the item. Some collection images are created for identification purposes only and may not be of reproduction quality. Some images are not available due to copyright restrictions. If you have information or questions about objects in the collection, contact us using our enquiry form. You can also find out more about Collections Online.