Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Smoking Monkeys! Oh My!

This last weekend I stumbled upon the missing link to a collectible that I have had for years!  Whom out there has ever heard of a Smoking Monkey?

 These handsome ceramic figures were picked up from a thrift store years ago, and as I remember I felt like they were expensive at the time (probably like $8 for the pair, lols).  I bought them for their stunning orange glaze and mod styling.  Also, I have a thing for monkeys!  I had always wondered what the little tiny hole in their mouths was for and thought it was even weirder that one of them had what looked like paper stuck in his mouth-hole.  Oh well, who cared they were so cool!  I kept them as one of my "Crown Jewel" collectibles, something too cool to ever part with

Flash forward several years to the awesome AttaBoy Vintage Shop & Swap event.  I traded some of my trinkets for a store display card of some really cool "Smoking Monkey" toys.


I thought these were too darn cool to pass up and reeeeaally wanted to test them out but I could never bring myself to open them up and destroy the full card.  



Now, double flash forward to last weekend, where I found the missing ingredient:  a box of 50 year old "safety matches" that looked an awful lot like the tiny paper "cigarettes" that my plastic monkeys have.

Yup, these little guys!  Now, add in the fact that when I was checking out at the sale, the guy running it noticed the old junk I was picking out and said jokingly, "You know you need these smoking monkey cigarettes"...to which I replied, totally seriously "What!  I have smoking monkeys at home!"  So yeah, I got the "cigarettes" and couldn't wait to try them out. 

When I got home, it took a while to dawn on my that the orange ceramic monkeys were probably meant to be smoking monkeys too,  so my friend Ray and I tested one of the 50 year old "cigarettes" and deemed them safe enough to stick in a monkeys mouth!  So, without futher ado...I give you all...
SMOKING MONKEYS!

 Look at all that smoke!

The "cigarettes" are some kind of plastic looking wick wrapped in paper.  They burn kind of quickly and smoke the whole time.  They actually look like the monkeys are puffing on them and producing smoke rings!

 He looks so calm and relaxed now

Someone needs to ash! 

Since it was hard to photograph the actual smoking effect, I took a quick video!



So, this may be the coolest most un-safe vintage toy I have ever seen!  Not only does it allow children to play with matches, it is a choking hazard, smells toxic and to top it all off makes smoking look super fun!  

Political correctness aside, I cannot tell you how thrilled I was to discover these!  I just want to do it over and over again but I'll have to ration my "monkey smokes" until I can find some more online!  Does anyone out there remember having these as a kid?  I wish I did! 

27 comments:

  1. we sell these at the vintage toy store where i work :) i think we're out now though...

    ReplyDelete
  2. So funny! Now I want bubble gum cigarettes....monkey see, monkey do!

    ReplyDelete
  3. *lol* OMG! Those smoking monkeys are amazing & quite awsome too.
    I am glad you found them their ciggies.. they musta been going through serious withdrawls after all these years.

    ReplyDelete
  4. O' smoking monkeys
    blow it out your pur-sed lips
    Ur 2 cool 4 skool!

    ReplyDelete
  5. you should SO fix the laying down money a tiny cocktail and find a little chair to set him in!(there's a method to this madness) I bet if you did and tool a picture from behind he would look like a Monkey version of "Don Draper" from Mad Men! Amber those are SOOOO cool haha!

    ReplyDelete
  6. Kool post. Is that monkey smoking a Camel?

    ReplyDelete
  7. Mick, nice thought! It totally would look like Don Draper! Mad Monkeys!

    ReplyDelete
  8. HAHAA! Oh Amber, I loved the video especially.
    Too funny! Too cool! I've never seen ceramic smoking monkeys! What a pair!

    ReplyDelete
  9. SO. COOL. Look how cool they look! Blase, French, totally smoking. Monkeys. I can't believe the divine vintage providence that reunited those monkeys to their smokes. Those guiys well deserve their place of honor!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. MELISSA SHERIDAN 884-6544November 7, 2011 at 8:02 PM

    OMG SOMEONE PLEASE PLEASE HELP ME FIND HOW TO BUY THESE, MY MOM HAS HAD A BLACK PAIR FOR 30 YEARS AND I WOULD LOVE TO GET HER SOME ANY TIPS ON WHERE I CAN FIND THESE OR WHAT WEBSITE???????? HELP THANKS
    MELISSA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      Delete
    2. Have u had luck finding any smoking monkies?? Please let me kno at kom816@gmail.com
      I have one to sale.. The one sitting with his elbow on knee.. Contact me for phone number and pix
      Delete

      Delete
  11. SORRY AREA CODE 250

    ReplyDelete
  12. Holy Crap! I had these as a kid in the early 70s. I also had a really cool, smoking skeleton. I definitely wouldn't have passed these up either. What a great find.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Oh my god...those are CRAZY but in a really good way. Consider me clued in. I have never seen these before.

    ReplyDelete
  14. I still have my smoking monkey (blue) with two cigs left. I am waiting for a concept to pop in my head and photograph the little guy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Excellent, I also had them as a kid!

    ReplyDelete
  16. I have a pair of the same monkeys that my Grandmother made in a ceramics shop back in '79. I also have a set of figurines that have been in my family for at least 50 years that smoke the same cigarettes. Can't find the smokes anywhere though. Did find some of the plastic smoking monkeys with cigs on ebay, but they were too expensive for me.

    ReplyDelete
  17. We have had one beside the computer for a long time. It is painted brown, black and white with pink lips. A real cutie. I'm so glad to find the history of where this little guy came from.

    ReplyDelete
  18. My Dad had a pair of these Smoking Monkeys and they were a blue ceramic pair, one laying on his side while the other was sitting just like in the first picture. I think he got these from the Philippines from what I remember and that the cigarettes could be mail-ordered from there. I hope this help's anyone who is looking to update their pair of Smoking Monkeys.

    ReplyDelete
  19. YES! I have the cigaretes, but no monkeys anymore. grandma and mom used to make ceramics and I remember these. I have been looking for a mold for years...

    ReplyDelete
  20. I have real vintage smoking monkeys made of wood from japan! im lookng to sell..

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My figurines also have red gems for eyes and I also have the ciggs..

      Delete
  21. I have the 2 monkeys and about 10 cigs....need more cigs too....there has got to be a big stash somewhere.....The search is on.

    ReplyDelete
  22. I used Google search ...said find cigs for ceramic smoking monkeys...found a site that sells them...vintage ville...in japan

    ReplyDelete
  23. I have seen some just like these on Etsy, just different colors.

    ReplyDelete

I Heart Comments too!