Oct 18 - A seven-foot statue of the beloved children’s cartoon character Gumby was stolen on October 13 from the front yard of Bob Malkin in Saugerties, NY. Malkin reported that he heard voices and a car driving away in the darkness and the next morning Gumby was gone. According to the Oct 17 edition of the Saugerties Times, there is a $100 reward for information leading to the safe return of the 50 pound statue.
From the the official Gumby website: the stop motion animation character Gumby was inspired and financed by creator Art Clokey’s first film, a jazz/art short, called Gumbasia. That led to Gumby’s first television series in 1955, a Saturday morning cartoon show, and record-breaking sales of bendable Gumby and Pokey toys. (Pokey was Gumby’s pony sidekick.) Virtually every child of the era knew of Gumby and Pokey.
When reached for comment today, Ze’ev W Neumann, the artist who created the sculpture, said “Bob (Malkin) really likes and collects the cartoon characters of his youth. This was to be the first of many statues he wanted me to make for displaying in his yard. It is a shame someone thought it was OK to steal it. Maybe it was a prank of some sort.”
Willy, as Mr. Neumann is known, went on to offer to work with the perpetrators to restore the art piece to its original condition once it is found. “There are more cartoon characters to be made. But I wonder what I can do to make them stay put? In my mind, the only way is to make the potential thieves be a part of making them with me.” This offer of an opportunity to build rather than destroy is one he has made before when his public art has been damaged.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Saugerties police officer Patrick Hastings at (845) 246-9800 or firstname.lastname@example.org