Famous (and valuable) BBC Playschool Humpty Dumpty toys found in Gospel Oak toyshop – 40 years after they were made

PUBLISHED: 16:27 20 July 2018 | UPDATED: 17:42 20 July 2018

Humpty and Jemima toys from BBC's Playschool at Kristin Baybar's Toyshop in Gospel Oak. Picture: Harry Taylor

Humpty and Jemima toys from BBC's Playschool at Kristin Baybar's Toyshop in Gospel Oak. Picture: Harry Taylor


Two stars of hit vintage BBC children’s show Playschool have been found in a Gospel Oak toyshop – 50 years after they first graced TV screens.

David Ward, a volunteer at the toy shop with Humpty, Jemima and an owlDavid Ward, a volunteer at the toy shop with Humpty, Jemima and an owl

Several Humpty and Jemima dolls from the 1960s programme were found in the storeroom of Kristin Baybar’s toy shop, which has been open since the early 1980s. Kristin, who is now 84, made and supplied the iconic toys to the show.

The dolls were a favourite for youngsters during the show’s run between 1964 and 1988.

They were unearthed by David Ward, who has volunteered at the treasure trove for 20 years.

Humpty and Jemima were found alongside several owls. “Kristin was looking for a particular piece of sheepskin for something, and I remembered seeing this sheepskin fabric poking through a bag in the storeroom,” said David.

When he went upstairs to check, he found the bag of unstuffed owls, who have sheepskin around their eyes, and on further discovery found the Humptys and Jemima.

“I knew straight away what they were,” he said. “I couldn’t believe it. It felt like I’d gone back in time. After 40 years in a plastic bag, they looked like new.

“I felt an overwhelming urge to bring them back to life.”

The Humpties were produced in different colours in the 1960s when the BBC was looking for new toys.

An original Humpty from the show was sold at auction for £6,000 in 2014.

The Humptys were chosen as the BBC sought to positively portray racial diversity in the 1960s: despite being different colours, the toys were otherwise identical. They, along with the owls, were made by Kristin from Heals fabric, when she worked at the firm.

The Aladdin’s cave, in Mansfield Road, has become a Hampstead institution over the years. Kristin still owns the shop and lives in the area.

David, who started volunteering there when he was 14, told the Ham&High: “Last week we had four generations of one family in here, wanting to buy the same toy they’d had before. It’s amazing how many people keep on coming back, it means that much to people.

“So many people in Hampstead have a memory of us from their childhood.”

As well as selling children’s toys, the emporium also stocks miniatures and dolls houses.

Since the discovery, some of the toys have been stuffed and sold.

One of the new Humptys is also being raffled off, with proceeds going to Foal Farm Rescue Centre.

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories


The Phoenix Cinema will hold a meeting on fundraising for the historic cinema this weekend.


A special interfaith Remembrance Sunday parade in Highgate saw attendees from across faiths and generations join together to pay their respects to those who fought and died in the First World War.


Camden Council has backed calls for a second referendum on Brexit, with councillors overwhelmingly supporting a motion last night.


A charity café in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park run by the Camden Society has been lauded for its inclusivity and work in the community.

Mitzvah Day organisers are encouraging everyone to volunteer for a good cause on Sunday – so the Ham&High got into the spirit by helping out a group of heroes who give supplies and friendship to homeless people every week.


The killers of a man who succumbed to horrific injuries inflicted on him in a drunken hostel fight five and a half years earlier have been sentenced over his murder.

Yesterday, 17:07

A sixteen year old boy has been charged with grievous bodily harm with intent over the Billy Fury Way stabbing which left another teenager in a “critical condition” in hospital.

Yesterday, 15:54

Only the wind in the trees and the sound of planes passing overhead could be heard at Highgate Cemetery yesterday morning, as it marked Armistice Day.


Looking to get your child interested in a sport? Allianz Park, home to rugby union team Saracens, welcomes people of all ages to join their family of supporters and discover how their core values Honesty, Discipline, Humility and Work Rate underpin everything they do off and on the pitch.

As part of a major refurb, the London Marriott Hotel Maida Vale has renamed its three new-look function rooms to reflect the geography and rich history of the area. The largest, perfect for weddings and large meetings, is named after a Hampstead subterranean river, The Westbourne.

Londoners seeking high quality houses for sale within easy commuting distance of the capital are being advised to look north to St Albans’ prestigious Gabriel Square development.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition


Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today


Education and Training


Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now