NEW YORK — After sitting stuffed and mounted for more than 40 years in a museum, Roy Rogers’ horse Trigger and dog Bullet will be TV stars once more. Rural cable network RFD-TV bought Bullet for $35,000 on Thursday and Trigger for $266,000 a day earlier at an auction in New York City. *
I didn’t have $301,000 to spend on a Roy Rogers horse and dog, so instead I bid on an altogether less expensive option, a hobby horse with a Trigger horse head and Bullet the dog over the rear wheels.
1950s (Roy Rogers) Trigger & Bullet Hobby Horse
N.N Hill Brass Co
Roy Rogers was a popular character and various companies obtained a license to market products featuring him, as well as his horse Trigger and dog Bullet. N.N Hill already made various small toys with a bell on the rear wheel, which were adapted for the Trigger and Bullet hobby Horse.
COWBOY CHARACTER MERCHANDISING
The ‘Roy Rogers Show,’ broadcast on television between 1951 and 1957, developed out of the series of B-movies made in the 1930s and 1940s starring the ‘King of the Cowboys.’
As well as spin-off products such as the hobby horse, Roy Rogers was the only 1950s TV cowboy character to have a pedal car. Gene Autry and Hopalong Cassidy had bicycles in various sizes, which were well-advertised – Hopalong Cassidy’s merchandising tie-up was the industry’s first major promotion of this type, and many ‘Hoppy’ bicycles were sold. Davy Crocket had a small child’s bicycle, as well as various wagons. The Lone Ranger also had a bicycle – a Hercules – but this model is undocumented, and probably only sold in England.
N.N HILL BRASS Co
BELLS & TOYS
East Hampton, Conn, USA
The N.N Hill Brass Co was a prolific toy manufacturer, starting out with small brass wheeled figures (see examples below). After WW2, over many years, they added a range of nursery toys, many with ringer bells on the rear wheels (like the example featured here).