Sticker, Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, paper, made by Summit Souvenirs, Bankstown, Australia, 1969
This sticker can be used to illustrate themes relating to childhood, television and the family. It exemplifies an early instance of merchandising based on an Australian television production.
'Skippy', a television series created by Lee Robinson and Dennis Hill, was produced from 1967 to 1969 for the Nine Network by Fauna Productions and Norfolk International Pictures. The 91 episodes of the half hour series originally aired in Australia from 1968 to 1970. By the end of 1969 Skippy was reportedly screened in 80 countries - more than any other TV show in the world. Its success spawned books, toys, other merchandise and even a feature film called 'Skippy and the Intruders' (1969).
'Skippy' told the adventures of a young boy and his intelligent pet kangaroo who typically saved the day when trouble came to Waratah National Park. The program starred Ed Devereaux as Ranger Matt Hammond, Garry Pankhurst as Sonny Hammond, Liza Goddard as Clarissa 'Clancy' Merrick, Ken James as Mark Hammond and Tony Bonner as Ranger Jerry King.
Skippy even made live appearances 'in person'. In fact several kangaroos played the role on screen. Kangaroo paws on sticks were used for close-ups of Skippy when she performed human tasks such as dialing a telephone, unlatching a door, driving a car or playing the piano. The distinctive 'clicking sound' of Skippy's speech (made by Lee Robinson) was instantly recognisable to several generations of Australians, as was Eric Jupp's banjo-based theme song.
This sticker is one of a pair which was made by Summit Souvenirs Pty. Ltd. in Bankstown, NSW, Australia in 1969.
The Skippy Club sticker came from a collection of over 3000 toys accumulated by Barry Woodley of Sydney. Unlike the other items in his collection, the Skippy Club magazine, stickers and tickets belonged to and were used by Woodley as a child. Woodley began collecting seriously at the age of 17. He was consistent in his approach, collecting only toy vehicles and robots licensed from television, film and other media such as comic books, that were in mint condition and in their original packaging. Woodley collected for his own pleasure and did not open the toys or play with them.
Woodley remembers obtaining the magazine: 'I got the Skippy Club magazine on the opening day at Skippy Park [in 1969]. I put it away and it almost got lost. The tickets and stickers are not from the opening day.' The items were obtained by Barry Woodley around 1969. They were sold with the rest of the Woodley collection by Goodman's auctioneers in 2002.