When I was five years old, I apparently wanted to grow up and become a soda jerk. That didn't happen but I had fun practicing my snow cone making skills with a classic toy, the Frosty Sno-Man Sno-cone Machine by Hasbro. Frosty showed up under the Christmas tree in 1975 and if time is correct on our colonial plastic clock; the family ate cherry flavored shaved ice for Christmas breakfast.
We were a Sears Wishbook family and most gifts were ordered from that catalog. The Wishbook was kinda like the Amazon of the 1970s! Here's Frosty pictured in the 1975 Sears Wishbook priced at $5.44.
It's hard to believe he survived the garage sale of '82 and the childhood toy purge of '84, but here's my original Frosty. Sure, he's a bit worn and has a few embarrassing spots of yellow snow, but overall he is still standing tall.
The only accessory to survive is this red funnel. Frosty came with a shovel, two syrup bottles, ice crusher hat, paper cups and five flavor packs. The five flavors were cherry, pink lemonade, lime, blueberry and lemon. Also included was the Tasty Treat Sweet Shop accessories; a hat, apron and cardboard sign. I couldn't wait for summer since I wanted to set up my Tasty Treat Sweet Shop and sell snow cones to the neighborhood kids. Just like the kids in this 1970s commercial -
Unfortunately my big snow cone business dreams melted away. The flimsy plastic hat and apron disappeared soon after Christmas along with the cardboard sign. After the syrup packs were used up, we tried Kool-Aid for a bit, but eventually the fun of making snow cones wore off. But a new type of fun was discovered and this fun was a bit more sinister!
Frosty became a villainous monster of the toy box. That's right, I learned that you could throw a plastic toy soldier inside his hat and after a tired elbow and 100 cranks, he'd be shaved plastic.
It was truly a horrible fate for many brave plastic army men, plastic animals and plastic cars.
Grinding and grinding! Oh the toymanities!
Frosty originally hit the toy aisles sometime in the early 1960s and its predecessor was Hasbro's Frosty-Freeze. (An ebay seller has a catalog page from 1961 advertising Frosty here.)
1964 Newspaper Ad
Frosty originally came with ten flavor packs and even smoked a pipe. Click here to view a nice example from 1967. In 1969 the Tasty Treat Sweet Shop was introduced as seen in this example here. Another box variation can be seen here. I've scanned a few examples found in various Christmas catalogs.
1974 Sears Wishbook
1974 Spiegel Christmas Catalog
1975 Spiegel Christmas Catalog
I believe it was in 1977 that Frosty got a total make-over as seen below in the 1978 Sears Wishbook.
The snow cone machine has been a popular toy in many different forms.
Circus Treat Sno-Cone Maker
1976 Sears Wishbook
Mickey Mouse Snow Cone Machine
1978 JCPenney Christmas Catalog
Snoopy Sno-Cone Machine
With all of these licensed sno-cone machines, I think Kenner missed the boat. Early 1980s kids could have been making snow cones from the Empire Strikes Back Wampa Sno-Cone Machine!