The Kiwi Buzzy Bee

The Buzzy Bee is a popular toy in New Zealand.

It is made of wood and resembles a bee with rotating wings that move and make a clicking noise while the toy is pulled along the ground. The bee had two spring antennae topped with red beads. Yellow acetate wings rotated and the toy made a “buzz-buzz” sound as it was pulled along on two wooden wheels.

It was designed and first produced in New Zealand in the 1930s, by Maurice Schlesinger and became popular during the post-war baby boom. Its bright colours and clicking sound call are familiar to many New Zealanders, making it one of the most well-recognised items of Kiwiana (icons from New Zealand heritage).

This toy was popular through till the mid eighties.  It received a good deal of free promotion with the visit of The Prince and Princess of Wales in 1983 with their infant son, Prince William of Wales, who played with a Buzzy Bee.

I remembered seeing it being sold in South East Asia in  ‘Toys R Us’ and other toy stores though not many people would have known the origin of this toy.

Have you ever seen, owned or played with a Buzzy Bee?

Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia
How could the wooden toy bee be such a famous Kiwi icon?


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