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Scarey Ann Collections
by Gene Metcalf

Joanne Cubbs Collection:
Joanne is an art curator who has organized exhibitions at leading museums around the United States. A specialist in contemporary and “outsider” art, she is particularly drawn to aesthetic objects that somehow break with convention or push the limits of accepted artistic and social practice. Captivated by Scarey Anns’ quirky, unusual appearance and the fact that they appear to question traditional gender stereotypes, Joanne began collecting Scarey Anns around 2010.
 

Steve Mayo Collection:
Steve started collecting things at the age of twelve, and in about 2012 turned his attention to old toys. As a safety advisor for a number of major American manufacturing and governmental entities, he traveled extensively around the United States. On his travels, he searched out old toys which he stashed in storage lockers all over the country. Although he collects widely, Steve is especially interested in wooden toys and pull toys made in the twenties through the forties, and he has discovered many Scarey Ann dolls. In addition to being a source for many other Scarey Ann collectors, Steve has also commissioned the making of a number of Scarey Ann doll types which were never made originally by the Poppey Doll Company. These are fabricated from old, battered dolls by one of the best toy restorers in the country, Kevin McGuire.

Cleaning the toys out a storage locker
 

Storage Locker to Plastic Bins
 

Plastic bins to shelves (along with some Walkies)
 

New Scarey Anns made by Kevin McGuire. (Fireman, Boy Scout, Dough Boy)
 

 

Francie Owens Collection:
Francie lives near Atascadero, California, where Scarey Ann dolls were made. She has been collecting for many years and has perhaps the largest collection of Scarey Ann dolls, including a number of pieces which may be the only surviving example. In particular, she has a group of the swinging arm Scarey Ann dolls made by the Atascadero Mill and Lumber Yard between 1932 and 1939. She also collects Twistums which were made in Atascadero.

 

Francie’s Shelves of Scareys
 

Some of Francies Swinging Arm Scareys (Porter, Gandfather, Grandmother)
 

 

Kent Kenney Collection:
Kent has one of the largest, and perhaps most complete, collections of Atascadero memorabilia, including an enormous archive of historical photographs. The grandson of some of the town’s earliest residents, he grew up in Atascadero and is committed to maintaining its history. Kent’s interest in Scarey Anns can be traced to four dolls given to his grandparents by a friend who worked at the Poppy factory. Found carefully wrapped in tissue paper in a drawer after his grandparents’ death, they became the impetus for his large collection. One of the most remarkable dolls in Kent’s collection is a prototype whose arms as well as its hair move when the lever in its back is pushed. Although such a doll was pictured in one of the three Scarey Ann patent documents, it is, as far as can be determined, the only one that was ever produced.

 

 

Richard Mueller Collection:
Known as the Pull Toy Professor because of his affinity for pull toys, Richard collects over 100 different toy companies. His enormous collection, which is often open for public display, includes Fisher Price, Rich, Hustler, Gong Bell, Bliss, Reed, Converse, Fulton and also The Poppy Doll Company. In addition, he has collected many toy company catalogues and materials which can be accessed on this website, All About Old Toys.

 

Richard Babcock Collection:
Richards’s enormous toy collection focuses on antique Fisher Price (1931-1965) toys as well as those from related companies, Alderman, Fairchild, and Brice. In addition to these, he also collects several dozen other makers and types of toys. He is interested in Scarey Anns because of their fascinating history and the fact that they fit in with other types of toys in his collection.