Animal of the Month Club

Creative Playthings, Inc. of Princeton, New Jersey launched its "Animal of the Month Club" in 1968. For $19.95, subscribers received small animals in the mail— not actually every month as the name of the club implied, but every few months. The animals included Argentine toads, a "mystery snail," newts, musk turtles, African underwater frogs, and Siamese fish.

The club reflected Creative Playthings philosophy of "helping children to learn while they play." There was, unfortunately, one big problem with the execution of the concept. The animals kept dying in the mail. So, by 1970, the club was no more.

Tyrone Daily Herald - Apr 1, 1969

Akron Beacon Journal - Apr 20, 1969

     Posted By: Alex - Tue Mar 06, 2018
     Category: Animals | Clubs, Fraternities and Other Self-selecting Organizations | 1960s | Postal Services

In the realm of it's not illegal until there is a law against it. AND this may be urban legend. It was legal to mail children via the USA postal system until about 1900'
Posted by BMN on 03/06/18 at 08:30 AM
The last time I mailed a package, they asked if it had glass bottles, lithium batteries, or live animals. (I don't remember seeing 'live animals' on the screen you have to sign, but who actually reads those things? Maybe the clerk just thought I looked like the type who'd send someone a lizard.)

The post office always handled a lot of baby chicks this time of year. I can't remember the last time I saw a stack of those little crates in a post office.

@BMN -- and
Posted by Phideaux on 03/06/18 at 10:19 AM
They could have kept it up by including a taxidermy kit.
Posted by crc on 03/07/18 at 04:10 AM
@ crc: I was thinking of a dissection kit, but taxidermy is a good option, too.

@ Phideaux: I remember well when the crates of baby chicks would arrive at our post office. Constant peeping until they left the office. All the rural routes would get at least one box. I also remember us getting shipments of live bees to deliver. Fortunately, the city routes I worked on never had to deal with either of these shipments.

Check out the postal regulations for live animal shipments here:
Posted by Fritz G on 03/07/18 at 06:34 AM
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