This blog is dedicated to the sublime instruments called nose flutes and which produce the most divine sound ever. We have chosen to discard all the native models from S. Pacific and Asia, for they need fingering to be played. We'll concentrate on "buccal cavity driven" nose flutes : the well patented and trademarked metal or plastic ones, plus, by a condemnable indulgence, some wooden craft or home-made productions.

Oct 13, 2011

Bullwinkle's Hum-a-Tune and Humanatone

I found some vintage plastic nose flutes, dating to 1969. They were sold with the brand "Bullwinkle's Hum-a-Tune" for 29 cents, and made by Larami Corp.
The printed credits are : © P.A.T. WARD MCMLXIX (the Bullwinkle character creator) and ITEM NO 2820 LARAMI CORP .. PHILA. PA. 19107 PARTS MARKED WITH COUNTRY OF ORIGIN HONG KONG.

Bullwinkle J. Moose was a rather stupid moose, character of the 1959-1964 TV series Rocky and Bullwinkle, produced by Jay Ward and Bill Scott. Many by-products were issued, including comics, plastic figurines and toys.

Larami Corp. was founded in 1947 and was a toy company whose products ranged from 39 to 99 cents. They were rack toys, doomed to convenience stores and grocery stores. Let's say cheap and crappy toys...

I already have a Hum-a-tune, with no particular branding, that I showed here. The regular Hum-a-Tune and the Bullwinkle's are strictly the same products.

The only exception, apart of the packaging, is the quality of plastics (the regular one is made in a softer and opaque plastic material). The Bullwinkle's is rather translucent.

Now, let's compare the Bullwinkle's to a modern Humanatone ...

First, the plastic material is absolutely not the same. On a blog, it is difficult to make feel the difference, but you can figure it with these little sound samples : the first sound is a Humanatone that I dropped on my desk, and the second the Bullwinkle's dropped the same way :

Next, as we already noticed in the Hum-a-Tune review, there is no true tremolo hole on the Bullwinkle's, nor padded strip at the bottom of the mouth cap.

More, contrarywise to the 1950 and the current Humanatone, no patent numbers appear inside the mouth cap. No "Humanatone" brand stamped, just "Made in Hong Kong".

And finally, the angle of the nose scoop is not the same :

This leads us to conclude that the Bullwinkle's and the Hum-a-Tune more generally, are not at all a different production of the « genuine » Humanatone. They are (low grade) copies, let's say forged Humanatones made in Hong Kong, but have nothing to do with the Gretsch or Trophy Music nose flutes, contrarywise - and this is said in a friendly way and with much respect - to what affirms and teaches Master Mosurin : There were no Humanatone made in China (nor in the Commonwealth's Hong Kong).


On a similar topic :

- Hum-a-Tune : a vintage low grade copy
- Hum-a-Tune : different colors
- Bullwinkle's Hum-a-Tune and Humanatone
- Humanatone copy from 1997