As is usually the case with these older toys, it is almost impossible to track down information about the companies that produced them. Most of them are out of business this far past the release dates and even the all-knowing Internet can only tell us so much.
But I did my due diligence with this Disney Goofy Marionette by Madison Ltd. and did come up with some tidbits of interest.
Madison Ltd. produced many of these 11″ marionettes in 1977, including this Goofy and at least Mickey, for sure. I don’t know if Minnie or Donald ever got a version for themselves. But several of the DC Comics superheroes did, such as Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman.
So, although the company may be gone, I did find a picture of their logo:
Each of these marionettes would have come in a cardboard box with a clear window to display the figure within. It seems yellow was the colour of choice for these boxes, at least for the DC characters.
I did also find a few other examples of this Goofy figure online. Some seem more upright than mine, which would make moving him an easier task. I believe that the controller for my marionette was broken at some point and the puppet was restrung. This would account for the hunched over posture of my Goof.
Having played with this marionette for a while, I can’t believe any child would have been able to control it with any measure of success! My performance was more akin to FrankenGoof than Disney’s beloved buffoon. If you have a few minutes, check out my first attempt at puppeteering:
Hmm. I don’t think the Jim Henson crew have anything to worry about!
The back of Goofy’s head tells us it was commissioned by Walt Disney Productions in 1977 and the bottom of his shoes tell us that he was Made in Hong Kong.
The controller allows for three dimensions of movement. First, you can wave the arms and hands side to side. Second, you can (attempt) to make him walk by lifting his feet as you sway the puppet around. And lastly, you can raise his rump and make him jump by pulling a string at the back. The feet and hands levers are marked.
And there you have it. The Goofy marionette that will make you look goofy if you try to use it!