At the turn of the century, Philadelphia toy maker A. Schoenhut seized upon the circus mania that had spread across the nation, producing miniature versions of the beloved circus performers and animals. Called the Humpty Dumpty Circus-a name inspired by a popular play of the time-the toy line became an immediate success. It featured ten core performers, over thirty different animals, and a wide variety of accessories, ranging from simple props like chairs and ladders to elaborate, three-dimensional canvas tents.
In 1923, Schoenhut introduced a less-expensive, reduced size circus. Many, though not all, of the performers and animals from the original sets appeared in the reduced size sets, and the smaller figures had the same features as their larger counterparts. One of the iconic figures of the circus, the ringmaster's traditional costume mimics the outfit of an English gentleman riding to hounds. Schoenhut's ringmaster follows this tradition as well, garbed in the red or black coat and tails, black top hat, and tall black riding boots typical of a gentleman rider.