HomeVintage Fisher PriceMy Etsy ShopCategoriesAbout

Friday, May 4, 2012

Fisher Price Fridays - Play Family Circus Train

This week on Fisher Price Fridays I'd like to introduce you to a fun set the Play Family Circus Train #991.  The train was made between 1973-1986 in a few different combinations.  First with four cars and later with only three.  My set is a mishmash of pieces from different years and is not complete.  However, this pull toy still has a yellow chord and I often hear the click-clack sound that the train makes as my 4 year old happily pulls it around our house.  So it may be mismatched but it's still loved!

Between 1972-1979 the set came with a lion, elephant, monkey, bear and giraffe.  After 1979 they omitted the giraffe which really is a shame since it's a lovely animal.  I started my set with a couple pieces that I found for very cheap at a garage sale, including the elephant and one lion.  I later added the other animals thru Ebay and Craigslist.  That is why I have a mommy and daddy lion (as the 4 year old calls them), but I figured the more the merrier.

The circus train came with the conductor, the clown with the yellow hat and a ringmaster (not pictured).  The conductor could be short or tall.

These other clowns belong to an accessory set #675 which could be purchased as an addition to the circus train set or for the #657 Crazy Clown Fire Brigade.

The elephant is a versatile animal.  He can stand on all fours as shown and can also balance on his back legs.  His trunk moves around and can hold a little people figure.  It is probably my favorite animal of the set for this very reason.  The elephant does not have his own car to travel in, although I think he would fit nicely in the flatcar that the earlier versions have.  I don't have a flatcar in my set and am always on the lookout for one.

The train engine has two seats inside for FPLP to ride in case the engineer wants company.  The yellow push button makes a "toot-toot" sound when you push it.  The train also makes a "clack-clack" sound when you pull it by the yellow cord.

The giraffe has his own green and yellow cage car.  The yellow door folds down and there are little lithographs of giraffe heads on each side of the car.  Some versions of the giraffe car are blue and yellow.

Between 1974-1978 the giraffe car had lithographs of a clown on each end.  

The lion also has moveable arms, legs and a head.  He can actually fit through the door of his cage car unlike his friend the giraffe.  Other versions of the circus train have a lion flatcar rather than a cage car.  They are either blue or green and have lion lithographs on the sides.  

The circus bear is great because he can sit, stand on his hind legs or walk on all 4 legs.  So versatile. :)  The bear is the other animal that does not have his own car in any of the versions of the set.  Perhaps he is supposed to ride up front with the train engineer?

The monkey can hang out all over the place.  His arms and legs are also jointed and his tail is flexible.  As a result he can be in many different positions on his monkey caboose.

The monkey caboose has seats for two passengers and yellow doors on the front and back that open and shut.  Each side of the caboose has lithographs of a monkey head.

The baby discovered the circus train this week and enjoyed pulling it down and trying to disconnect the cars from each other.  She was also intrigued by the "toot-toot" of the engine.

I'm not saying who, but we did discover the clown had an unfortunate accident.  Now it isn't all my kids fault as this poor little clown came to me like this.  My glue job didn't hold.  I'll be putting away this guy until the baby is MUCH bigger. ;)


  1. Anne, I was just going to ask you what set the FP clown belongs to, but instead decided yo go through all your vintage FP posts, and saw your clown!! I have a lone clown that would just love to run off with your circus!! It's yours!

    1. Thanks again for the clown Linda, we love it! :)

  2. Thank you for sharing your collection. My sister and I grew up in the 70's, and this collection of circus animals ended up being our favorite toy for several years, as we added more animals and created an imaginary land where they all lived. I am hoping to one day find a set exactly like this to buy for my twin daughters!

    1. You are very welcome, I am glad you found my little blog as a resource! Good luck with your search, Etsy and eBay have lots of these old toys available!

  3. Antique stores also have Fisher Price vintage toys from the 60's, 70's, 80's and90's! And Goodwill stores do, too!

    1. Absolutely Kathleen, I found some great deals at Antique stores and Goodwill. Although these days the prices are less of a steal and more of a fair price, it seems that people have caught on to their value!

  4. Wow I didn't know the giraffe was discontinued after 1978. I have one!

  5. Very lucky the elephant legs and trunk aren't discoloured! Weird how plastics do that.