Charmayne's Push Puppet Page

Tipsitoff  by Roy Selwyn-Smith

Tipsitoff is another almost but not quite a push puppet. But he is adorable and very interesting and intricate. When the yellow button is pushed down, our wino jumps and flops, stands upright and bends or sits. If you work at it (gently) you can get Tipsitoff's cane to hook the little wire sticking out of his wine bottle. There is not a spring but a rubber band and string which move a pin on the shaft of the lamppost. This pin is through Tipsitoff's hand and controls his movements.

Click on the small pictures for larger ones.

I got my Tipsitoff years ago, broken. Bob repaired him, replacing the internal rubber band which was hard and had disintegrated. Tipsitoff then hung on his lamppost for a long time. Push the button and he would fall down drunk;  if you were not careful, he'd do a flip, too. There is a tiny wire exiting the top of his wine bottle. If you work at it, you can catch it with Tipsitoff's walking stick.

Some time later the rubber band broke again. This time when Bob took him apart, I snapped some photos to show the inside and some of the parts. But I did not take enough photos to actually  show how to repair him.

In 2021, my Tipsitoff needed repairing again and Jane was working on her's, too. My rubber band had disintegrated again. After a struggle, Bob got him fixed. We took more photos and hopefully enough photos to make the process easy when a new rubberband is needed.



Tipsitoff box

The box is a bottomless tube. Tipsitoff slides into it, his base acting as the bottom of the tube. The box states, "AN ATTRACTIVE TOY THAT WILL PROVIDE ENDLESS AMUSEMENT FOR YOUNG AND OLD". 

There is no indication of a manufacturer on his tube but some research in 2021 gleaned the information we feel is correct. Keep reading...

Disassembled Tipsitoff.
inside base
Inside the base.
On the left is the weight for the wine bottle.
In the center is the hole which the lamppost shaft protrudes through. It is permanently attached.
On the right is the green collar which holds the yellow button.
 The metal bottom is a piece of a toilet (W.C.) bowl cleaner can. Wow. That was a surprise! This wording is clue number two that the country of manufacture was Great Britian.
 Clue number one was information from Peter Cole's book "An Unauthourised History of Herald & Britains Plastic Figures", referenced by Worthpoint.
This metal bottom has a hole in it which the green internal collar sticks out of when the toy is all assembled.

metal bottom side view of bottom

Bottom's exterior and a side view


Its recycled!

Tipsitoff's hand closeup  Tips 

Tipsitoff's hand is formed so it will grasp the nail which is through the lamppost.   This nail or pin is his arm support. The pin/nail rests in a slot, covered by a collar and topped with the top of the lamppost.

hole in hand
Now for some repair photos. If you want more information please email me at I wrote out how Bob achieved the repair. His sequence of steps makes it easier. We feel his repair is the correct way to fix Tipsitoff. Both the as-purchased condition of the toy and information by Worthpoint and understanding how he works all say we are correct. He works! Briefly, the center of the string is looped several times around the arm support pin/nail. Then it gets fed through the lampost shaft. One end of the string gets tied to a small rubber band. The other end of the string is tied to the yellow wood cylinder. Then the rubber band is positioned around the cylinder's holder(green) and a hook. No spring is involved.   
thread gets looped
Loop the thread around the pin/nail.
string looped around pin
Here, the string has been looped around the pin/nail and fed through the lamppost. Note:  there is a small piece of transparent tape wrapped around the pin/nail to make Tipsitoff's hand fit properly. It was too loose.
thead inside base
Look closely at the big picture. You can see the threads now under the base, through the lamppost shaft.
rubber band tied
One end of the string is tied securely around the rubber band.
rubber band inside shaft
Pull the rubber band up into the lamppost shaft. Use the other end of the string. Don't pull it completely inside. Be patient. Remember the string is looped around the pin/nail.
string tied to button
Place the yellow button in the green cylinder. Tie the other end of the string to the nail sticking out of the button. To make this easier, rest the nail on the edge of the green cylinder. This photo shows the strings already clipped. Note this is not the final postion of the yellow button within the green collar. Reposition it after you tie the string. The nail rides up and down in the slot.
rubberband around button
Place the bent nail in the base's slot. Stretch the rubber band around the green cylinder and over the hook.

Button stands proud

This photo shows how the button stands high after the string and rubber band are tied, looped and hooked.

Our rubber band was too large. Bob made it smaller with a securely tied string.
all back to hanging around...

My research of Tipsitoff determined this toy was designed, and the figure sculpted, by Roy Selwyn-Smith. Mr. Selwyn-Smith was born in September 1923 in Walton-on-Thames, a market town in Surrey, England. After WWII, Mr. Selwyn-Smith worked for Myer Zang's Modern Packages who, according to Internet information, manuactured the toy in 1948. Mr. Smith also made molds for lead hollow cast figures for Timpo while he worked for Willmore & Sons. He developed the Herald Miniature plastic figures and Britians Swoppets also.
Credit goes to Wikipedia and Worthpoint for information about Mr. Selwyn-Smith and Tipsitoff.



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