Item/Description: Vintage 1987 Farm Aid Younkers Department Stores “Yoinki Pig” mascot plush stuffed animal toy by Francesca Hoerlein and Elaine Arnold - “Francesca & Company.”
This darling “Yoinki Pig” (so named in a very clever play on words that combines the words “Younkers” and “oink”) Agricultural Scholarship Trust Program fundraiser stuffed animal doll/toy is dapperly decked out in a Christmas holidays sweater and beret/tam hat with pom-pom ensemble in colors of bright red with a green diamonds/checks design pattern.
On the front of his sweater he proudly sports an “I Support Younkers Farm Aid” souvenir pinback button.
Yoinki’s sweater is removable, but his hat is not (it is sewn on).
The button is removable from the sweater.
At the time these were originally sold, his hang tag (which is NO LONGER ATTACHED to him) would have read: “Yoinki Your Best Friend”.
Not only are the “Farm Aid” versions of these Francesca Hoerlein and Elaine Arnold plush pigs quite rare, but it is even rarer still for them to retain their original “I Support Younkers Farm Aid” buttons. These were usually removed from his sweater, either for purposes of wearing by the person who bought the plush toy, or for safety reasons if the toy were intended for small children. Even rarer still, THIS particular button retains its original paper “Warning” label/tag!
***Highly cross-collectible, this adorable plush toy runs the gamut of collectibility - appealing not only to lovers of anything and everything piggie, but also to collectors of historical memorabilia (in this instance, Farm Aid agriculture field collectibles), as well as advertising aficionados (given its Younkers Department Stores connection)!
***You may view additional &/or enlarged photos of this item in our Etsy shop using this URL address:
Age/Period: Vintage - 1987 (1980s)
Manufacturer/Identification/Markings/Country of Origin:
*Yoinki’s sewn label reads: “Younkers Exclusively, 1987 - Francesca Hoerlein and Elaine Arnold 1985 - Francesca and Company Fairfield, Iowa - Made in Taiwan...Ohio Reg. No. PA 749"
*Care portion of Yoinki’s sewn label reads: “Surface washable; air dry; brush to fluff”
*Warning portion of Yoinki’s sewn label reads: “Recommended for children over 3 years of age”
*Button is marked on its reverse side: “Made in Taiwan”
*Button’s warning tag reads: “Warning. For safety’s sake, remove this pin and all plastic loops and tag holders before giving this toy to your child. These attachments are not toy parts!!!”
Material(s)/Format: Pig is comprised of the typical plush stuffed animal material, except for his snout nose, which is made of some type of horizontal ribbed (? Nylon) material.
*Sewn label reads: “Contains all new materials - Polyester Fiber”
Size/Measurements: Approximately 15"H (measuring to the top of his uncovered/bare ear) x approximately 10"W (when measured across his bottom from side-to-side) x 12" Deep (when measured from front of his hooves to his rear end tail area).
Quantity: One (1)
Original Documentation/Accessories: Yoinki retains this original documentation and accessories:
*An “I Support Younkers Farm Aid” button that is pinned onto his sweater
*The paper “Warning” tag attached thereto
*His red & green sweater with matching tam/beret-style pom-pom hat ensemble
*His original sewn-on label/tag
***He does NOT retain his original hang tag!!!
Condition Summary: Excellent vintage, collectible condition. Yoinki remains very clean as well as odor-free. Noted condition factors are: a tiny bit of darker fur coloration on the underside, inward pointing portion of his left hoof/foot (kindly refer to photo &/or request additional images); a very tiny hole as well as some loosening of the threads adjacent thereto in his sweater, just behind his left arm (kindly refer to photo close-up &/or request additional images).
Excerpted Online Research Information about “Yoinki Pig”, according to this The Daily Reporter November 13, 1987 Article (attributed to news.google.com/newspapers?nid=1926&dat=19871113&id=ilkrAAAAIBAJ&sjid=49gEAAAAIBAJ&pg=3034,4437352): “Younkers to Sponsor Scholarship. During the 1987 Christmas season, Younkers stores will be conducting its third major campaign to raise funds for the company’s Farm Aid Agricultural Scholarship Trust Program.
Younkers established the scholarship trust in 1985...
To further increase the trust last year, Younkers named Younki Bear as the official mascot for the 1986 Christmas season...
Building on the success of Younki Bear, Younkers will be offering a Christmas/Farm Aid mascot in 1987 - Yoinki Pig. With the purchase of each 14-inch Yoinki Pig, Younkers will again donate $1 to the trust...”
...Younkers has also commissioned a six-foot costume version of Yoinki, which will make appearances in stores and communities...”
Excerpted Online Research Information about Farm Aid (attributed to en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Farm_Aid): “Farm Aid started as a benefit concert on September 22, 1985, in Champaign, Illinois, held to raise money for family farmers in the United States. The concert was organized by Willie Nelson, John Mellencamp and Neil Young, spurred on by Bob Dylan's comments at Live Aid earlier in that year that he hoped some of the money would help American farmers in danger of losing their farms through mortgage debt...”
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