Peekies or Kilroy is Watching


Back during the second world war a character appeared named Kilroy. He was the big nosed fellow that looked like he was peering over a fence. It was a very popular character and it got famed Ventriloquist/Entrepreneur Bob Neller thinking.

Somehow he decided to create a character of his own in the style of Kilroy and he called them Peekies. He set up a manufacturing plant in his barn and did all the sculpting , made the m olds and them made a plastic compound to cast them . He did not like celluloid which was popular at the time.

He made several models of the Peekies and today they are quite rare. I have pictured what we believe is to be a complete set of all his Peekie characters here.

The plastic compound Bob was using to make these figures was highly flammable and as luck would have it he one day had an explosion and fire and the barn in which he was making them burnt to the ground. He actually went bankrupt because of this,and went back into show business to remake his fortune.



This is a picture of Dizzy Dugan , Bob’s Neller’s Marshall/McElroy , with an original Peekie looking out his breast coat pocket. Very Cool.


I would like to thank Bob Neller’s niece Patricia for information and pictures for this blog.




Dan Willinger is a ventriloquism enthusiast and ventriloquist figure collector. He has been collecting for over 25 years. He created the Ventriloquist Central Collection. It now has over 100 ventriloquist figures and over 50 of them are Frank Marshall figures. Because of his love for the art of ventriloquism, Mr. Willinger created the website Ventriloquist Central. For more information about the website, go to:

Copyright 2009 by Dan Willinger

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2 Responses to Peekies or Kilroy is Watching

  1. LeeDean says:

    Kilroy & Peekies

    American soldiers drew a cartoon character called Kilroy on buildings and sidewalks as they advanced through enemy territory. Kilroy became the United State’s super GI and represented America’s worldwide presence.

    World War II veteran Bob Neller made plastic novelty Kilroys which he named Peekies. He called them Peekies because, like Kilroys, they peeked. Appleton in Outagamie County, Wisconsin, became the Peekie capital of the world in the mid-1940s. Neller’s factory on south Pierce Avenue produced as many as 10,000 Peekies a day. The company closed in 1947 when a fire destroyed the plant.

    See, “Call to Duty: Kilroy and Peekies, Outagamie County in WWII.”

  2. Nick Dosher says:

    Hey Dan, Great Blog Patricia Neller is a wonderful person as you know all peekies are truley wonderful i have two of them in my collection from Patricia as well as i passed on a 3rd one for Patricia to a very well known magician so he has one too.

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