Thursday, December 19, 2013


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 
1979 JCPenney Christmas Catalog

Ice Age Sno-Cone Machine
1996 JCPenney Christmas Catalog

Other snow cone machines - Icebird, Kool-Aid, Ice Busters, Surf ShackMr. BlizzardMy Little Pony,, Sailor Moon, Mr. Snowman, Party Penguin, SpongeBob Squarepants, Dora the Explorer, Polar Ice and probably a bunch more.

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!


KL from NYC said...

I remember these things made shaved ice very slowly no matter how fast you tried to crank it. It took forever to fill up one of those little cups when the weather was warm (kept melting).

Brian said...

I just realized now that those flavor packets are freeze pops.I always felt that syrup should be used so I always viewed using Kool Aid as sacrilege.For about 12 years now I've had the Hawaii ice shaver by Back-To-Basics in my wet bar because it makes for great frozen cocktails as well as sno cones.But nowadays you can get flavor syrup in any department store(and even dollar stores)in any flavor you can imagine.

Brian said...

Oh,by the way,The Wampa sno cone machine is genius! You should patent it before ThinkGeek does!

DwWashburn said...

I recently found a lady on eBay who had a nearly complete Frosty for sale. I already had the body but no accessories so I asked her if I won the auction, could I get everything except the body for a reduced shipping rate. Proud to report that my Frosty now has the ice pusher, two squeeze bottles, shovel, funnel, paper hat, and paper apron. No cups of Pop-Ice though.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know anything about a DUMBO SNO-CONE CASTLE ? I found one new I. Box and I'm trying to find info on it but can't find anything for my specific one.