PieceCalifornia Raisins
ConditionC - 8
Description2" hard plastic, 1" stage

This sophisticated Raisin sounds a soulful note on his saxophone,while accompanied by two even cooler cats: a California singer cooing a ballad while an orange sunglass-wearing raisin buddy claps along! Who would've known that you could use a sandwich as a stage? Well, you know what they say...the show MUST go on! The Story of the California Raisins

"Oh, yeah, I heard it through the grapevine!"

They were plump, they were purple, and they were "jazzed!" So on a summer's day in 1986, this boisterous bunch of singing raisins sauntered out of their cereal box to put a new wrinkle in advertising history. This saxophone soloist and his wrinkled band made purple history when they first performed together, on the edge of a cereal box. Since then, they've come a long way to find fame and fortune.

The California Raisins became an overnight sensation. In fact, for awhile there, they were so hot that they even had their own 800-line! In their claymation conga line, created by Foote, Cone and Belding's and Will Vinton Productions, they strutted their stuff, belting out soulful tunes, and making a dried up old fruit (the raisin) a lot more exciting. The California Raisin Advisory Board (CALRAB), which sponsored the ads, was thrilled to see their raisin sales plump up more than 20%. And Post Raisin Bran Cereal, with the California crooners inside their box, couldn't have been happier. The Raisin Bran box also advertised "Free Stuff from the California Raisins Revue."

The first set of figures offered included a saxophone player and three singers wearing white gloves and different colored tennis shoes. Since then, the original Motown team has been joined by a supporting cast of dozens of characters, including some famous real-life raisin replicas including Michael Jackson, Ray Charles, and Jimi Hendrix. Licensed figures are marked on the bottom of the feet with the date and "CALRAB."

DelMonte Fruit Snacks and Hardee's Restaurants also offered PVC raisin figures.

The Hardee's characters are distinguished by their "action" poses, as well as the set of figures representing the Raisin Family of the 90's: Ben-Inda-Sun (Benny), the father; Anita Break, his wife; Buster, their son; and daughter Alotta Style.

The DelMonte Fruit Snack figures were an exceptional recreation of the TV ad where the raisins "jazz up" a construction worker's boring lunch, by turning his plain sandwich into a stage and performing their greatest hits. This set from 1987 includes a one-inch high sandwich "stage" complete with lettuce, tomato and bologna, and three performing raisins. The stage is musical and plays "I Heard It Through the Grapevine."

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