Jerry Keychains

From Tom Ladshaw

Saw your blog this morning featuring Fred Anderson's post.  I'm attaching a photo of some of my Jerry keychains along with some variants.
        The authorized Jerry keychains were produced in several different versions..."plain" - with red flocked hair - with brownish flocked hair.  For years I assumed that the ones with the brown flocked hair had simply darkened with time.  Several years ago, I found a wholesale toy catalog with the Jerry keychains listed. I don't have it right at hand or would send a copy of the page.  The keychains were sold two different ways. You could order them in "loose bulk" (for insertion in gum machine capsules, etc.) or carded.  The flocked head keychains were only available carded.  The carded keychains were sold in "assortments"....plain, brown hair, red hair.
        Gressett Novelty Company manufactured the Jerry heads.  On the back of the neck, the keychain has: Paul Winchell's Jerry Mahoney.
        Clearly the Archie Andrews keychains are from a nearly identical mold.  I suspect they were fully authorized by Winchell.... Peter Brough was too upstanding of a businessman to allow someone to pirate toys in his name.  The back of the Archie keychain has: "Archie" Palitoy - Made in England. Palitoy was a major British toy manufacturer of the time and, in fact, was one of the very first British companies post-war that went into manufacturing goods from plastic.
        In the photo are several different versions of the keychains from my collection. Interestingly enough, some of the Jerry cards don't have the "How to Be a Ventriloquist" instructions on the back, though most do.  The Archie card has instructions on the reverse.
        Notice the odd version with the hat.  That one was made in Mexico and the spring to operate it is on the outside of the head!  The "dark" version needs a good polish...it's actually cast from Sterling Silver and was one of an extremely limited number (only 12, I think)!  It works exactly like its plastic counterpart, though with the price of silver today, it's worth far more!


  1. Although long forgotten and completely lost, in the back corners of my mind I remember having one of these.

  2. Hey Tom: Great information and collection. As I purchased mine in 1949 or 1950 could it be that Palitoy licenced the product to the Gressett Novelty Company? Just saying.

    1. Fred... I'd seriously doubt it. The keychain looks far more like Jerry than Archie. Jerry's head is sort of "square", whereas Archie's head is more elongated. Jerry was also known for wearing a bowtie, whereas Archie usually wore his school scarf. What do you think?