In the 1960s, toy company Fisher-Price began producing its popular line of Fisher-Price Little People -- small figures with cylindrical bodies which fit into specially made vehicles and buildings. The first Little People set was a school bus, with human characters who fit inside circular holes. The original Little People figures were made of wood, with plastic vehicles and buildings; later, the figures would be made of plastic as well. The Little People toys were an instant success, and the school bus was soon followed by more sets.
Fisher-Price produced a Sesame Street line of Little People between 1974 and 1979, with two building sets and 16 characters.
The first set, "Sesame Street Apartments" (#938), was produced in 1974 and released in 1975. This toy was designed to look like the main Sesame Street set, including the 123 Sesame Street brownstone and Hooper's Store. On the other side of the brownstone section, decorations on the inside showed Ernie and Bert's apartment on the top floor, and Gordon and Susan's apartment on the first floor. The set also included Big Bird's nest and the Sesame Street signpost. Eight characters came with this set -- Gordon, Susan, Mr. Hooper, Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, Oscar the Grouch and Cookie Monster.
The second set, "Sesame Street Clubhouse" (#937), was produced in 1976 and released in 1977. The clubhouse set included a slide, trap door and moving walkway. This set came with six Muppet figures -- Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, the Count, Grover and Roosevelt Franklin. Its pieces included three oil drum barrels (red, yellow and blue), a removable yellow slide, a rope swing, red two person wagon, and large cable spool. This set was sold for only two years, between 1977 and 1979. No info yet on why the second set is numbered lower than the first.
This set is notable for including the three human characters; these are the only toys ever made of the humans from the Street. These are also the only Little People modeled after real people (Loretta Long, Roscoe Orman and Will Lee), though the modifications are minimal.
As a side note, this set also was the first urban environment produced for the Fisher-Price Little People.
The characters included in the "Apartments" set were also released as a separate set, "Sesame Street Characters" (#939).
In 1977, Fisher-Price produced another set of characters, "More! Sesame Street Characters" (#940). This accessory set included the previously released Grover, Roosevelt Franklin and the Count, with four new figures -- Prairie Dawn, Herry Monster, Sherlock Hemlock and Mr. Snuffleupagus. This set was sold for only one year, between 1977 and 1978, and is now very hard to find as a complete set.
- Computer animated facsimiles of the Little People appear in Elmo's Christmas Countdown. In the Nutcracker segment, three Little People sing back-up to Jamie Foxx.
- Among the toys in the Bert & Ernie apartment sketch where Ernie has to put his toys away is the 1967 Cry Baby Bear, which can be seen next to Rubber Duckie.