Give-A-Show Projector Give-A-Show Projector

Give-A-Show Projector

What we used to do for home entertainment before DVD and VHS tapes:

(Thanks Clay Croker)

  • Yikes. Surely board games would’ve been more fun?

  • Gene Lucatorto

    I have a Give-A-Show Projector from the 60’s that still works – the only working part was a light bulb.. Plus the original slides – Hanna-Barbera cartoons : Flintstones, Yogi, Huckleberry Hound, etc.

    • Stacy Harlow

      I just bought the same projector but it doesn’t have the buld in it and i can’t find what kind i need. Do you happen to know the bulb that i need?

  • “What do you do when there is nothing to do?” Read a book, Read book.
    I remember, as a child of the 90’s, had everything under the sun toys, cable tv, and vhs. I remember one Saturday after 12pm once all the Saturday morning cartoons were off, I said to my grandfather rather annoyingly, “I’m bored”. He whispered under his breath, read a book mother (bleep)er!. Some reason I had a slash back.

  • Slide projectors? Only for sufficiently small entertainment quanta of course…

    I only joke because I loved mine as a kid too.

  • Keith Paynter

    Cool if you like your entertainment stationary – it still can’t beat the Fisher-Price Movie Viewer, with the 8mm cartridge of Lonesome Ghosts…no bulb required, just point it near a convenient light source, and crank away until your arm falls off!

  • Pedro Nakama

    I remember that toy. I also remember 8mm and Super 8mm cameras and projectors.

  • Wow, this brings back memories! I had all the slide strips.

    “it still can’t beat the Fisher-Price Movie Viewer, with the 8mm cartridge of Lonesome Ghosts”

    I had this contraption too. Along with “Lonesome Ghosts’ I had “Brave Little Tailor”, “Three Little Pigs” & Donald Duck in “Lion Around”.

  • Ted

    I was browsing the menu that pops up after the commercial. Um, who is Kinzie Kenner?

  • Yes—the Fisher-Price Movie Viewer owned the Give-A-Show. I must have had some 30 of its appealingly blocky pre-VHS cartridges. Once a cartridge got stepped upon and broke open; I feared it useless, until my mom extracted the film from inside and showed us that it worked nicely on our Super-8 projector.
    As a boy, I dreamed of discovering Movie Viewer cartridges for the black-and-white Mickey cartoons, though I never did and presume none were made (not commercial enough, don’t you know).

  • Ohhhhhhhhh, my GAWD what a great memory! Lonnnng before I managed a movie theatre in N.Y. (The Thalia….Jerry remembers!)….this was hours of fun. I also had the (cartridge) movies inside a “tv”….and then later they made them “in color!” All silent of course!! Great stuff! Great memories!

  • endekks

    ++ on the Fisher-Price Movie Viewer. Had the cartridges listed, plus a chopped down episode of Spider-Man (against the Green Goblin, if memory serves). So very very awesome.

  • Paul N

    We had something similar – it was a record player with a screen on the front. You shoved a film strip very much like the Movie Viewer into a slot, and put on the corresponding record. As the record played, a tone would sound and advance the filmstrip.

    Can’t remember the name of the damn thing, but it was cool. It played regular records too.

  • Paul N

    Show ‘n Tell… it was called a Show ‘n Tell…

  • robonic stooge

    these kids today & their precious “high technology”. pfft! why, back when pac-man fever still gripped us young-uns, we had this:, & by gum, we liked it!

  • Ted

    This commercial is for the 1968 model Give-A-Show Kenner projector. I had one from the early 1960’s that featured Three Stooges drawn film strips, with slightly off-register printing. The magnified bende dots lent the images a vague Roy Litchenstein flavor.

  • I had one of these and I’m only 21. What was my excuse?

  • snuppy

    Wow:) I used to have a Movie Viewer too.. I had no idea it was called that:D But after you guys described it, it sounded just like what I had:)
    I owned one smurfs cassette. But it popped open one day:(
    My entire childhood was devoted to pushing back the film into the cassette. I couldnt figure out how the film could make an 8 shape without the film crossing itself… Or something like that:S

    It seems I can own it again for only 26 EUROS

  • FP

    The Easy Show Projector was the best! It was sold between the times of Give A Show and the Fissure-Price thing. There were two versions: the hand-cranked version and the mororized version. I preferred the manual model. I had a blue one. The fundamentals of animation were made clear by examining Bugs Bunny and other old cartoons, slowly, one frame at a time, for endless, fascinating hours. Click. Click. Click.

    Easy Show reels contained weird, blue-tinted standard 8mm film. In the 1970s, I smashed a few F-P Movie Viewer cartridges open. They contained color Super 8mm film. I thought it would be a great way to get Disney Super 8mm cartoons cheap, but they were printed at 12 frames per second so they went crazy fast when threaded up and shown in a real projector.

  • Joe Busam

    The Give-A-Show Projector was quite the thing in it’s day. You could project surprising large images and the color was quite brilliant. I had one of the first generation sets dating back to the early 60’s. Popeye, The Flintstones, even live action TV shows like Maverick and The Three Stooges were included. There were two different sets originally; the one I had and another that strictly had Hanna Barbara characters. The year before I got my Give-A-Show, I got the Remco Movieland Drive-In Theatre which projected tiny hi contrast BW line art and despite the cool design of the toy itself, the image quality, even then, left much to be desired. By contrast the Give-A-Show was almost revolutionary.

  • John A

    I had the Viewmaster projector. Viewmaster used to recreate classic scenes from Disney cartoons and had original stories with H-B and WB characters in 3-D diaramas.

    Kenner also had a film projector that I picked up at a garage sale (I think they called it the See a Show) this was a few years before the fisher price viewer came out. The viewer that I had only had cartridges that showed TV cartoons like Bullwinkle and Alvin, and one of them had the Munsters on it. I learned how to animate from that stuff. Later, I discovered my local K mart carried a whole rack full of Castle films and I started buying those up. I became an AV geek at my school so I could watch my films on the library projector. (Ah, simpler times)

  • Last summer on a family roadtrip back to my hometown in Penna., I stopped into an antique store in Columbia and found a vintage box of Give-A-Show slidestrips. There must be about 50 disparate strips all put together in one box!

    Bought ’em for $20 bucks… thought I’d bring them home and scan them and put ’em on the ‘net. But I forgot; Only 10 year-olds have that much free time!


  • Bill Benzon

    I had a Viewmaster. Even before that I had “raygun” that had a small light in it and that would project short clips that you loaded into it. Each time you pulled the trigger, it would advance a frame. I forget what it was called, but it came in a box that had a cover picture of a boy holding the gun and projecting a picture the wall. The projected picture was of a boy holding the gun and projecting . . . . .

    • Johnny

      It was called “Flashy Flickers” – it looked something like a Space Gun, and you could flash different images on your ceiling in bed or on the wall. It was kind of a Cousin to Kenner’s “Give-A-Show projector”. Yes, for sure, life was truly simplier then! I almost feel sorry for kids today having almost too much modern technology thrown at them.

  • I have a viewmaster projector and really love it, though I have to say I’m not of the generation that had these as a kid. I did have a sweet junky kiddie record player though. :)

  • Orville S.

    I, too became an avid A/V geek. My school used ancient, fiberglass bodied Bell and Howell Filmosound 16mm projectors exclusively, which for the most part ran okay but occasionally would grind film with aged splices into tortilla chips. One older faculty member swore that the best 16mm projector ever made was the Kodak Pageant. That brand and model may have fallen out of favor because it required manual threading, which high school students, on average, just weren’t all that good at. Projecting all that film during high school yielded me the chance to watch a beautiful 3 strip Tech print of UPA’s “The Telltale Heart” as well as several vintage Disney educational shorts. To this day, nothing can touch a great Tech print of a good cartoon.

  • I had a viewmaster and the Flintstones reels. They compressed a whole story into 7 frames! I remember being a little bothered that the 3D sculptures seemed not-quite-right. I didn’t know the term “off model” then. I also wondered how they got Fred’s pedal-powered helicopter to stay in the air long enough to photograph. In retrospect, a stop-mo Flintstones with those models would have been cool.

    I had one of these and I’m only 21. What was my excuse?

    Andrew, your parents were giving you their old toys out of grandma’s basement.

  • Corey K.

    There was some sort of Disney version of this sort of thing sometime in the late 50s/early 60s – when I was a kid, I found a bunch of the strips in my aunt’s childhood bedroom, and took them home and promptly ruined them by trying to watch ’em in my Show & Tell record player, which had an entire different sprocket system.

    A few years on the heels of the Fischer-Price viewer was the Snoopy Drive-In, which had just-similar-enough-to-be-frustratingly-incompatible cartridges. In the 80s, there was a wave of motorized hold-em-to-your-eye viewers including the GAF two-in-one (the gimmick being that each li’l cartridge contained two films, one on each end) and the Ideal Pocket Flix (which had big circular transparent cartridges).

  • I had the Give-A-Show projector, and the Fisher-Price viewer. I even made a film for a science museum about conserving energy (under the Carter administration, those projects were canceled under Reagan) it used the viewer: no lights, no motors.

    I don’t know the record player that Paul talked about. But i remember wanting a Red Robin record player that had a praxinoscope (tube of mirrors) that showed an animated cycle. My Mom though it was a waste of money.

  • John Tebbel

    The Disney version I remember was something like a Mickey Mouse Club Newsreel Projector (mouska-news?) with film strips you’d advance as a record played.

  • to Steve S. MY “praxinoscope” was SO endearing to me (from ’59!) ….I even made it into a “Science Fair Project” (under its title, “Animated Cartoons”). I made a whooole slew of the them (hand-made), and toured all over the state (La.) with ’em. (This was in late 60s!) What great & fond memories!

  • Ruth

    Just a saw toy yesterday that seems to have recycled the idea of the projector. Same kind of strips, even, but with something like an 8mm type of camera that you push the strips through.

  • “When the game’s called off and you’re feelin’ sad
    The Snoopy Drive In Movie will make you feel glad.”

    What a wealth of film toys we had before video and DVD!

    Pocket Flix, Kenner’s Cassette Movie Projector, Give-A-Show Projector, See-A-Show 3D Viewer, View-Master Double-Vue Viewer, Show ‘n Tell. How about that cool Ideal Make & Show Slide toy, where you cut out a Scooby Doo picture, stuck it to a square of clear adhesive plastic, soaked it in warm water, mounted it as a slide and projected it on the wall.

    Sure, now I own every episode of The Flintstones, but man, what a thrill to crank out three minutes of that great World’s Fair episode?

    Or how about when you bought a Flintstones record and you were lucky enough to play it and hear “The Real Voices” coming out of your plastic phonograph?

    I feel like my great-great-great grandfather mourning the passing of the Zoetrope. But it WAS a thrill that “These kids These days” don’t understand.

    Thanks for jogging great old memories.

  • chuckfiala

    The reason that the Give-a-Show slides seemed so sharp to some is that they weren’t standard slide film. They weren’t photographed, but printed on clear plastic strip encased in a cardboard sleeve. The printing was similar to 4-color comic book printing, complete with very large separation dots.

    I had a set that featured Huckleberry Hound and T.V. cowboys, pretty much from a standard Dell Comics grouping that didn’t include Disney characters.

  • SSlobo

    I can’t believe the coincidence of seeing this. I have been calling this thing my holy grail all these years -my first slide projector. After 30 years of doing presentation graphics and family slide shows, to think it all started with a piece of film and a flash light and getting a soft fuzzy picture on my ceiling?

    Of course my dad was way ahead of his time in the 60’s with a full working theater in our basement for all the kids in the neighborhood to enjoy. That also had something to do with it – But this thing was Grrreat!

    I just recently scored one on ebay and it looks brand new. The memories are as sweet as ever. I can’t wait to show my dad this one…Thanks for posting.

  • Matthew

    I had something like this in the seventies as a Six Million Dollar Man projector set that showed comic strip images based on the series! I suppose you had to be really into Six Million Dollar Man to own it – I was and I did.

    Was also really into Viewmaster as others have mentioned they were. Still have the viewer and projector (as well as cartoon slides they also had popular live action tv and film subjects like Happy Days, James Bond, travelogues and creepy fairy tale ones too).

    Also remember having a go at something like the silent movie viewer that’s been mentioned. Was fascinated to watch a Rescuers cartridge and be able to control the whole thing, slowing it down to see how the animation worked. Again, this was the seventies so just before home video became common.

  • mawnck

    >>But i remember wanting a Red Robin record player that had a praxinoscope (tube of mirrors) that showed an animated cycle. My Mom though it was a waste of money.

  • I used to drag 1 or more kids (and sometimes my parents) into our large kitchen closet where I would project Hanna Barbera slides onto the fading green flowered wallpaper.

    One of my few childhood toys that survived completely intact, I sold it about ten years back.

  • I had a first generation “Give A Show” projector that I won at my grade school bazaar. I was there with my dad-I was in the first grade at the time, and the booth was being run by my former kindergarten teacher. I remember feeling sooo grown up.
    She was running a huge roulette wheel, and of course I had to pick a number before she spun it. Not only did my number (60) come up, but it landed on the RED portion of the number which I needed to claim such an expensive prize.
    To this day I’m still trying to give a show.

  • Chris Sobieniak

    It’s hard to deny I had the Fisher-Price Movie Viewer and the Show & Tell devices as a tyke! God I feel old!

  • I had a give -a-show. What I really wanted was the Easy-show that showed film reels. I also had a “Batman” gun that projected filmstrips on the wall, Still have all my view masters and have acquired that Fisher Price viewer at garage sales.
    What the post home video generation has to appreciate that to a kid who loved animation these products (and comics of our characters) were like having these cartoons anytime one wanted. It was amazing what a little imagination could do. I had a Fred and Barney on the Give A Show where they get into a fight and I remember providing the camera shake. Also had a friend across the street with the view master projector and he and my brother tracing off drawings.

  • As a kid, it gave me a feeling of power to blast an image over an entire wall or ceiling. “Magnajector” (an “opaque projector” I still use to enlarge drawings) let me do it with my own photos and sketches. ) It can lead to you wanting to make your own movies, holding people spellbound in a darkened room.


    My e mail is for asking you if you please can send to me the praxinoscope files or sketches or strip, because I’ve done one, also a zoetrope, and I want play with Emile Reynaud drawings.

  • Hey, can’t believe I missed this post before… anyone who wants to see daily Give-A-Show content should check out my new blog, the Give-A-Show Blog! I’m posting all the Kenner slides in chronological order, and soon a British buddy of mine will be posting the Chad Valley slides, too. Plus related stuff, like checklists, catalog ads, and the like!

  • I’ve recently acquired a bunch of these vintage toys for my 5 Grandchildren (ages 3 to 8). They love them all. I had to laugh the first time my Granddaughter looked through a Viewmaster Viewer at one of my old reels. She hollered for her younger sister “hey come look at this wow”.

    I’ve since bought them a Viewmaster Projector, a GE Show ‘N Tell Viewer with about 100 Record/filmsets, a Give-A-Show Manual Projector with 6 film reels, three Fisher Price Movie Viewers and a Projector with about 12 reels, about 30 Readalong Record & Book sets and a Disney Aristocats Record Player.

    I never had any of these toys growing up except for the viewmaster viewer and reels. I think there’s about 50 reel sets now. My grandkids all love everyone of these toys. I was pleasantly surprised. Of course I think their parents love helping them play with the toys too…lol.


  • Richard Gluck

    Oh, yeah, Easy Show…I remember showing a film about a bird on rollerskates “flying” down hill only to find an open manhole in the street. I think it could have been with Alvin and the Chipmunks. The action in Forward or Reverse were both funny. It helped to have two brothers and a sister share in the fun.