Meet Tommy Holbrook: Inside the Collection

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We're not clowning around with this seriously massive collection dedicated to Bozo the Clown.

Jun. 30, 2024

We're not clowning around with this collection! 

The famous song says, "Send in the clowns," but Tommy Holbrook has already done the job. Over the course of his life, he has assembled enough Bozo the Clown memorabilia, merchandise, costumes and props to fill a clown car. 

Tommy has literally written the book on Bozo the Clown history and is an expert on his favorite funny guy. He looks at his collection as a way to escape and dive into something he is passionate about. 

Tommy shows off treasures that include a colorful but fragile Bozo spin-a-wheel, the one-of-a-kind costume of Boston's legendary Bozo, and a vintage makeup kit with an instruction booklet that would be every Bozo's dream.

Check out this massive Bozo the Clown collection! Let us know which version of Bozo you grew up with in the comments below.

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1. Bozo Squeeze-Me Doll

This vintage Bozo the Clown collectible is the Oak Squeeze-Me Doll. Here at Collector's Call, we're all about the box, and this box is a rare one to see! 

The graphics, colors, box and doll quality are all Bozo-approved. (It even says so right on the box!)

Tommy found this item around 30 years ago at a toy shop. It has become an important piece of his collection ever since. 

This doll is hard to find today; our expert had only found one other doll for sale, and it was nowhere near as good condition. 

It was only around $4 when it originally sold in stores, but today this doll would be worth around $150.

Tommy really squeezed a great value out of this iconic Bozo the Clown doll.

2. Bozo Spin-A-Wheel

This is a Bozo the Clown Spin-A-Wheel! This silly and interactive piece is exactly the type of fun Bozo the Clown represented. 

According to Tommy, only two other Spin-A-Wheels have surfaced since he acquired this rare item. 

He found it online and purchased it for a price that is nowhere near what it's worth today.

The original ad for Bozo's Spin-A-Wheel was also included in his collection. Tommy likes to keep the ads because they add to the overall value, provide a date for the piece and most often tell a story.

There are no bends, breaks, or discoloration on this piece. According to our expert, it's a great example of paper marketing related to Bozo.

Our expert valued this item at $600.

3. Bozo Grand Prize Game

Tommy's wall-to-wall collection is larger than Bozo the Clown's shoe size! 

This is the famous Bozo Grand Prize Game, as seen on TV, manufactured by Tarco.

The toy originated in the 1970s and became well-known as a game on the TV series. Players line up six buckets, stand behind the line and aim.

Contestants won prizes based on the number of buckets they scored in. Everyone wanted to win! 

According to our expert, many variations of this classic Bozo the Clown game were produced, and they aren't uncommon to see today. 

Tommy didn't have one of these growing up, but he is glad to have it now. Tommy is the true winner of Bozo's Grand Prize Game. 

Our expert valued this classic game at $50, but the real value is in Bozo's memory. 

4. Bozo Record and Turntable

This a Bozo the Clown dealer-only piece that was distributed in record stores and other sales outlets. 

You couldn't find this version in stores, which added to its overall value. It's from the 1950s, so it holds even more value due to its age. It's about as old as Bozo the Clown himself! 

According to Tommy, when the record player is on, the graphic on the front lights up. It's just as colorful as Bozo was.

This is one of the most important pieces in his collection because the records are how Bozo was born. 

Our expert valued these items together at $700. It's truly one of the best treasures in his entire Bozo the Clown collection! 

5. Bozo the Clown Makeup Kit

This is a very special makeup kit that only a Bozo could love!

When a new Bozo was hired, this makeup kit would become an essential part of the actor's costume. 

Tommy got this piece from Fred Rice, who worked with Capitol Records around 1947, and was the producer of this makeup kit. 

Because Bozo was franchised nationwide, many different actors owned variations of the famous clown costume, but Bozo's makeup and hair remained the same no matter who was playing the part. 

According to our expert, this makeup kit is incredibly valuable because the closer a collector can get to the actor, the rarer it becomes.  

Our expert valued this piece at $700. 

6. Boston's Bozo the Clown Screen-Used Costume

This iconic clown costume originally belonged to Boston's Bozo the Clown, Frank Avruch. His version of Bozo was very popular among fans and was the first clown in syndication. 

While Tommy owns a few different clown costumes, Frank's costume is one of his all-time favorites. It comes with the nose, shoes, hair and other accessories. 

Although Tommy has never worn this iconic fit, he still clowns around anyway! 

Our expert valued this costume at $30,000. Despite the price, he would never sell it because it's one of the most important pieces in Bozo the Clown history!

7. The total value of Tommy's Bozo the Clown collection:

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5 Comments

dmirarh 16 days ago
Good episode, fine looking Lisa... Oh yeah...
Runeshaper 18 days ago
Cool beans. This is probably the lowest $ value collection I've seen on the show, but it's the inner value that really counts. I totally get that.
Bapa1 18 days ago
Interesting show, it's amazing what people will collect. We had a Bozo tv show down here in SoFL in the late 60's thru early 70's. I was on it several times.
KawiVulc 18 days ago
Nice episode. The collector seemed much more normal than some of them...
Bml 18 days ago
I'm so sad this episode with Bozo got preempted by baseball game.
I received a Bozo stuffed doll in 1962 and still have it to this day. Wish there was a re-run.
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