Small black and white printed advertising card depicting ventriloquist Ron Blaskett and Gerry Gee.

It was produced to promote his work on `The Tarax Show', broadcast in Melbourne on GTV Channel 9. Cards like this were sent to children who wrote into the show, hence them being known as fan cards.

Card is part of a collection comprised of paper ephemera relating to the business of L.J. Sterne, doll-maker of Melbourne. The collection was originally donated with another 172 objects by the Trustees of the Leo Sterne collection circa 1990.

Physical Description

Black and white printed image on white card of Ron Blaskett holding a Gerry Gee doll. The doll has a 'Gerry Gee Tarax Club' badge on its jacket and appears to be whispering into Blaskett's ear. Printed in top right corner is a GTV Channel 9 logo. Reverse has handwritten text in blue ink.


This collection of paper ephemera (comprised mainly of photographs, newspaper clippings and advertisements) relates to various toys/dolls produced by the leading Victorian doll and toy manufacturer Leo J. Sterne. Sterne was a refugee from Austria who arrived penniless in Australia in 1939 and began making a range of papier mache dolls heads in his garage. By 1946 he had moved his business to a factory in Leicester Street, Carlton and by 1958 Sterne Dolls had representatives throughout Australia and was exporting its products overseas.

The collection includes a number of photographs of Sterne's early dolls heads and his complete dolls, including a series of bride dolls, baby dolls, Dutch boy and girl dolls as well as ordinary dress dolls. A significant proportion of the material is connected to the famous ventriloquist puppet Gerry Gee, operated by Ron Blaskett on 'The Happy Show', (later 'The Tarax Show') which began in Melbourne, in January 1957, on GTV 9. Gerry Gee Junior, a half-pint size version of Gerry Gee was one of a number of toy reproductions of children's TV characters created by Sterne Dolls. Others included Cynthia Bear for Channel 9 in Melbourne and Fredd Bear and Fee Fee Bear from 'The Magic Circle Club', Channel ATV 0 Melbourne as well as Humphrey B Bear from 'Here's Humphrey' on Channel 9 NWS, Adelaide. There are also artefacts relating to these characters within the collection (213 items altogether).

The collection provides useful insight into production, changes in fashion, marketing techniques, the importance of television, the targeting of a young market, and the changing style of dolls and accessories.

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