Viewer collection: Bob Abdou's Puppet and Pop Culture Collection

They call him "Mr. Puppet" for good reason.

Apr. 12, 2019

Image: Bob Abdou / Mr. Puppet

Bob Abdou is known as Mr. Puppet for good reason. For starters, he's a ventriloquist with more than two decades of experience, having performed more than 6,500 shows. He also happens to collect hundreds of puppets. "Being a full-time ventriloquist puppeteer, I have vintage Charlie McCarthey, Paul Winchell and Jimmy Nelson memorabilia," Abdou tells us.

But his incredible collection does not stop there. As you will see, Abdou, who started collecting in 1996, has collections devoted to the Beatles, the Fonz, the Flintstones, Batman, Spider-Man and much more.

There's just one major criterion: "Our toy collection is vintage character and cartoon toys only before 1981. E.T. is our cut off. In 1981, TV life changed, MTV started, toys got bar codes, and toys were produced in the millions."

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1. Pop Culture Memorabilia

"I started my collection in 1996. In my new apartment, I had an old toy from a thrift store. When I had friends come over and they saw this toy, they put on the biggest smile. They told me the back stories of how much they loved their old toys. I realized then that if one toy could bring such happiness to my friends, then I'll get more."

2. Howdy Doody

"So one toy became two, two became four, and now I have over 4,000 toys displayed in my home."

3. The Beatles

"We have vintage Beatles, Monkees, Banana Splits, Beany & Cecil (my favorite)…"

4. Happy Days Fonzie Merchandize

"…a huge Fonzie and Welcome Back, Kotter collection…" 

5. Spider-Man

"…vintage Spider-Man…"

6. Batman

"…Superman, Batman…"

7. Boxed Hand Puppets

"…a huge Mattel pull-string talking puppets, Muppets…"

8. Soupy Sales

"…Soupy Sales (he came to our wedding)…"

9. The Flintstones

"…The Flintstones, Yogi Bear, Popeye, Underdog, Captain Kangaroo, Kukla Fran and Ollie, Thunderbirds, Dick Tracy…"

10. Flintstones Pinball Machine

11. Partridge Family Costume

"My most prized possessions are twos things — 1) an actual Partridge Family child's shirt sold at stores with the original tag, 2) A Junior Mints candy box from 1974. On the back are the offers for the Fonzie doll and frisbee. The reason this box is prized by me is… who saved a small candy box from 1974??"

12. Puppets

13. Sesame Street

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JimRash 48 months ago
Bob, great collection! Yep, my cut-off is 1985, there's plenty of vintage stuff to be had...
ArtPalomba 52 months ago
Proud to say that I know this man and he's a friend!! What a collection! :-)

GamesIsMe 63 months ago
This collection is stupendous and makes me want to start buying stuff again after swearing off a few years ago. He is breaking his one rule for Batman if the toy can't be after 1981 (unless he meant the character). I can see something from the 1989 film and another from the 1992 animated series. I would take them out. For someone really into those things, they stick out like sore thumbs.
springlove 63 months ago
This is amazing awesome. Thank you. Happy Easter 🐰🐇🐣 2019
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