(part of a series on the advertising character toys of German shoe maker Salamander AG)
Piping der Zwerg – I can only assume it’s not pronounced “Piping,” as in “who’d like a plate of piping hot dwarf?” but “Pipping.”
Further, though “zwerg” translates roughly to “dwarf” in English, I really think the little bugger is more gnome-like – but who am I to nitpick? Dwarf, Gnome, Brownie, Creepy Little Dude – it’s all the same in the long run.
That’s right, my toy collecting hobby has come to the point that I now own a gnome. Allow me to paraphrase the fellow who started me down this path of German shoe-character madness: “I wasn’t really all that thrilled about owning a gnome but, having received it, this toy is actually pretty cool – a standout in the group.” I concur.
Piping is the last of a group of six vinyl toys I’ve been collecting and profiling on this blog that originated as marketing props for German shoe manufacturer, Salamander AG.
According to the shoe manufacturer’s manufactured folklore for their werbefiguren (advertising characters), Piping is the elder of the group; conservative, cautious, but prone to “tinkering.”
There’s a euphemism, if I ever heard one. “Tinkering,” indeed …
The vinyl stands 11 inches tall from the heels of his tan oxfords to the disturbingly bulbous protuberance ineffectively obscured by his skin-tight, red hat. Is that a greasy ponytail wadded up under there or is Piping sporting a craniopagus, parasitic twin? *shudder*
The toy has lots of nice sculpting detail: a patch on the knee, an unappealing, oldster’s tucchus crease, irregular and bushy chin-curtain, fanciful scalp tuft, and manic expression. Something about this toy’s eyes: as if, lonely and hungry, he’s just stumbled upon a particularly disturbing erotic cake and no one’s around to stop him …
And that’s it: the true end of my rambling on Salamander AG and their unexpected (by me, at least) vinyl toys; a strange but welcome addition to my collection.