Give-A-Show Projector

Give-A-Show Projector

Synopsis of Toy

One of the great joys of childhood for many a kid was a trip to the movies. Just the same, a visit to the movie theater wasn’t always easy to come by. In fact, it was totally dependent on the schedule and whims of the adults in the house. What was a kid to do when they wanted a show and couldn’t get the big folks to cooperate? Kenner Toys answered this plea in 1960 with the introduction of a nifty toy known as the Give-A-Show Projector. This audio-visual marvel hit if off with more than one generation of toy buyer and enjoyed a popularity that spanned three decades.

The Give-A-Show Projector was equal parts slide projector and flashlight. Its plastic casing changed shape and color over the years, but it always contained a bright projector light bulb and a slot that allowed the user to feed a strip of film through the light it emitted to create projected images. To put on a show, the Projector user dimmed the lights and aimed their Give-A-Show Projector at the blank wall of their choice. They then fed a projection strip containing six slides through the side of the Give-A-Show Projector. The end result was a series of four-foot images that told a story to the viewers through words and pictures.

Okay, it wasn’t quite the same as seeing a movie, but if the kid using it put their imagination to work, then time spent with the Give-A-Show Projector could be quite entertaining. As it became more popular, Kenner also added new elements to jazz it up. The most notable was the addition of sound, which was first achieved by adding a record to be played on a nearby record player while running the Give-A-Show Projector. Later versions would exchange records for cassette tapes. Another cool later variation on the Give-A-Show technology was the See-A-Show Hand-Held Stereo Viewer, which shrunk the machine and slides to a size that could be held in the hand and viewed through a View Master-style device.

One of the best things about Give-A-Show Projector was that Kenner obtained the licenses necessary to use some first-rate subjects for the slide shows, especially cartoon characters. A short list of the cartoon icons that appeared in Give-A-Show slides would include Bugs Bunny, Mighty Mouse, Rocky and Bullwinkle, Scooby-Doo, and Yogi Bear. Hanna-Barbera cartoons were especially represented, meaning even short-lived cartoons like Amazing Chan and the Chan Clan got their day in the Give-A-Show spotlight. One of the most popular Slide Shows was a cartoon version of Star Wars, which remains an in-demand item amongst both Star Wars fanatics and toy collectors today.

The Give-A-Show Projector continued to find favor with toy fans well into the 1980’s with slide shows built around characters like Wicket the Ewok. They have not been made in recent years, but the old models continue to be traded eagerly today and continue to be of special interest to cartoon aficionados. Their continued popularity gives off a strong hint that plenty of people still dream about having their own movie theater.

Release History of Toy

1960 - Give-A-Show Projector

Sub Categories of Toys

electronic toys
tv tie-in

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