#839 Ideal Toys – Wonderful Story Box

Acquired 2018

Gary Dull from our church told me several months ago that he had an old Nativity Story Box that he found in his father-in-law’s basement several years ago when they cleared out his home. He offered to show it me “one of these days”. With lives as busy as they are, I forgot and so did he – until this Christmas season. He said he would bring it to me to see on Sunday and then he forgot it. The next Sunday we made an appointment to have me see his antique find. When I met him, he had a huge grocery bag with the “box” sticking out! It revealed an incredible vintage Ideal Toy Company Christmas Nativity Box from 1958. And he announced he wanted me to have it for my collection! It is called The Most Wonderful Story and, as the box is opened, a three-dimensional pop-up type scene is revealed with Mary and Joseph, and two sheep. Inside the box is a little Baby Jesus 9” vinyl doll with glass eyes (Ideal was known for their dolls including Crissy, a doll we still have that belonged to Janine). The burgundy box is 16” x 12” and 4” deep. The passage from Luke 2 of the birth of Jesus is imprinted in the box. The stable scene in the backdrop of the lid of the box creates the entire nativity scene. The pop-up action is from the elastic which has weakened over the 60 years of its life and doesn’t “pop-up” any longer. But the cardstock paper of the figures has held up very well and the figures can be propped up. When I researched it on the internet, I learned it was made for only a few years before it was taken off the market. There are a few boxes, used, still for sale on the internet for around $70. From what I can tell, most of the sets available are not in as good condition as this one! I am so fortunate. Thank you, Gary, for your kindness.