Hard to believe that the manufacturers in Fargo, North Dakota really thought that this Dancing Bellboy was “your chance to ‘MAKE IT’ in 1951.” Note that “MAKE IT” is in quotation marks. They’re covering themselves. They know that the road to fame and fortune is not likely to be populated with little Dancing Bellboy toys.
The C.A.M. Distributing Company (which was short, no doubt, for Creepy And Misbegotten) made this horrid little thing. They thought that it “looks ALIVE…acts ALIVE.”
Everyone else was thinking: cheap marionette, jiggling on a table.
How was this supposed to be educational? What would it teach you? How to carry luggage? How to demand tips? Not really. Or how to dance jerkily on top of a table? Possibly. But this is not something that one needs to know to succeed in life.
In fact, if you really want to “MAKE IT,” perhaps you do not want to emulate the Dancing Bellboy. Maybe, like George Costanza, you should do the opposite!
So: Not Entertaining! Not Educational! It was New, though. They got that bit right, at least.
From Billboard, March 21, 1951.