Li'L Beaver—Raised Letter—3-over-2 Rings—Identification
Maker: Li'l Beaver
Size: 3.9 inches
Disc Color: White, Black
Lettering/Hot Stamp: Raised letters: Wham-O Mini Frisbee—Black, Gold
Label/Sticker: Black on gold label: Wham-O Mini Frisbee; © 1967 Wham-O Mfg. Co., Toronto, Ontario; 3-over-2 rings
Date Introduced: 1968 or 1969
Period of Manufacture:
Special Notes: The information below is from Dudley Gaman, via a post in the FDM Facebook group:
Before the age of free trade agreements, it was common for US companies to avoid tariffs by licensing Canadian companies to manufacture and distribute their products. Buddy L, a US toy truck company, licensed Li’l Beaver Toys and Trucks Ltd. in Toronto to make and sell their products in Canada. Li’l Beaver was located at 145 Front Street East, and was a subsidiary of Irwin Toy Ltd. located about 3 miles away at 43 Hanna Avenue in Toronto.
Li’l Beaver had licenses to produce a number of other popular US toys, including Gumby and Barrel of Monkeys. Around July 1967, Wham-O licensed Li’l Beaver to make and market the Hula Hoop in Canada. When Wham-O wanted to distribute Frisbees in Canada in 1968 or 1969, the business again went to Li’l Beaver. There is anecdotal evidence that Mini Frisbees were made in the US and shipped to Canada for the application of labels and packaging in the same 4-disc type US package with English and French printing on the backing card. That may be true, but the package says, “Made and Printed in Canada” (in English and French) with the Li’l Beaver address as 43 Hanna Avenue, the location of Irwin Toy. It’s unknown why the Irwin name wasn’t on the package, but the same Irwin Toy address was used on the bottom of Li’l Beaver’s Lakeside Toys-licensed Barrel of Monkeys. Other Li’l Beaver toys used the 145 Front Street East address, as did catalogs of Li’l Beaver’s Buddy L trucks.
The plastic on the example shown here has yellowed.
Contributor(s): Kevin Fuller