All you have to do is whistle!
These are the Merry Music Makers, or as they're more commonly known, the MMM's. Fine, call them whistles, if you must. These great dispensers have been around since the 70's, but were recently discontinued. Let's start with good old Mr. Frog...
Like most of the MMM's there are not too many head Variations, but some cool stems. The one on the left is what I call spineless. No, I don't mean he's a coward. I mean that on the back of his spine he does not have a raised spine like most footed dispensers. Let me back up. Almost all non-footed dispensers will have a small spine going up and down the back and the front of the stem. Almost all footed dispensers will have a raised back spine and a small spine in the front. What's unusual about this dispenser is that he is footed, but does not have a raised spine in back. Here's a close-up...
The stem on the left is that of a normal footed dispenser. The one on the right is spineless. Here's a list of some dispensers that have been seen with this odd stem:
Indian Chief, Mimic Monkey, Smurfette w/ Molded Tongue, Vucko Wolf, Baloo, Mr. Ugly, Cool Cat, Droopy Dog, Rooster, Camel MMM, Clown MMM, Donkey MMM, Duck MMM, Indian MMM, Koala MMM, Dog MMM, Frog MMM, Lamb MMM, Monkey MMM, Panda MMM, Parrot MMM, Pig MMM, Rhino MMM, Rooster MMM, Tiger MMM, Foghorn Leghorn, Henry Hawk, Practical Pig "B", Raven, Dalmatian, Bambi.
Something to look for on the older Clowns is the painted eyes. The newer ones will be stenciled.
The one on the left looks like something I painted.
How about those inner sleeves?
That's gotta hurt!
Another fun one for stems. These will always have the painted eyes.
Starts with "D"
The above are all NF's, but do come on footed stems too. Shown above is Donkey (hee-haw) Austria 3.9 brown and Yugoslavia 3.9 red, Dog (ruff) Austria 3.9 blue and Yugoslavia 3.9 blue, Duck (quack) Austria 2.6 blue and Austria 3.9 blue.
This is an odd sort of Donkey. He's a Donkey of a different color.
Indian can come on 3.9 or 4.9 stems. Different skin tones are fun to look for too.
Lamb, Sheep, Lamb, Sheep?
It's a common myth that MMM's were never sold in the United States. Wrong answer. This would be incorrect as Lamb MMM was sold here in the good old US of A back in the 70's, as were Duck, Pig and Rooster. All were non-footed (NF) back then. The variation to look for with them would be the head color. The ivory being the older and white the more recent issue.
I'm going to let the stem colors on these ones speak for themselves! Absolutely beautiful!!! Sorry, I couldn't keep my mouth shut.
Just like the Panda dispenser, the Panda MMM has an older version with removable eyes (center). But there is more to this then just eyes (you knew that didn't you?). The removable eye Panda dispenser has a "tuft" of hair between his ears. The removable eye Panda MMM does not. You're saying Rob, it looks like the middle Panda does have something sticking out on the top of his head. This is not a tuft of hair. This is just a little residual plastic from the molding process.
Interesting to note the red blower on the Pig far left. Normally the blower will match the head or just be white.
Pictured above are Koala, Tiger, Penguin, Parrot and Rhino. Aren't they funny looking?
Last, but not least...
These are my favorite whistles. They are called Coaches Whistles. The ones shown above are the first series. They are all made in USA and have the 3.8 patent number. Since they were made in the United States of America, we know that they were made in 1978-79 as that's the only time dispensers were made here. The colors on these older ones are great. Somewhat pastelly. What do you mean that's not a word?
Here are the current Coaches Whistles. Not much difference except the addition of feet (1987). Shown are two different Variations of each. The front row are 3.9's (one China and one Hong Kong) and the back are 4.9's (China). See how they reversed the colors between the two? Note the color of the loop (where the string would go if you carried it around your neck) on the red, white and blue one. One is red. On the other it's white. Does this bring about World Peace? No. Earth shattering? Maybe :)
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