Thursday, October 10, 2019

Rattle Me Bones

I almost didn't pick up this 1970's Bayshore skull rattle when I first saw it in the basement of a home I was perusing at an estate sale.  I pegged it for something more modern, but I liked the look of it, so I picked it up anyway. It was only $1, so how could I pass?

Doing a little Googling along with some consultation with the vintage monster toy Facebook group, it was determined to be a piece by Bayshore that was produced from the 1960's through the '70's.

Labeled as a "Skull Maraca", this catalog shows it with a slightly different paint scheme and what appears to be a wooden handle.  Mine has a plastic handle, so I suspect it's from the later period of production. The handle appears to have been shortened to its current length of 10 inches, so it may have been part of a longer staff originally. There isn't much of whatever is inside that makes it rattle and when I found it, I thought it was just debris or leftover plastic chips inside.

The original intent of noisemakers was to scare away evil spirits. Germany produced the first noisemakers in the 1920's. These were traditionally rachets and small rattles made from tin and wood.  Manufacturers began making plastic noisemakers in the 1950's. They went out of favor by the 1980's, probably due to kids using them as weapons.


  1. "They went out of favor by the 1980's, probably due to kids using them as weapons."

    can confirm. my nephew and i used to club each other with things like this.

    1. That one sentence brought back so many memories

  2. I am glad you did not pass on it. I have never seen a skull maraca before. It is pretty cool.


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