The Japanese company Daishin C.K. manufactured the classic cymbal monkey during the three decades of the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s under the name Musical Jolly Chimp. It screeched and showed its teeth when its head was pressed. It had a black on/off lever on its back and came with a green arm tag.
With many other companies manufacturing various versions in the United States, Hong Kong, Japan, Taiwan and the Philippines the toy's appearance varies. The change in manufacturing countries was primarily due to factories going out of business and seeking the lowest manufacturing costs. This is still the case today. The monkey has been seen wearing red and white striped pants and a yellow vest with red buttons, or red overalls and a stocking cap. Other outfits include green striped pants, blue striped pants, a red shirt with either green or blue pants, and plaid blue overalls. The monkeys are sometimes rendered with red rings painted around their wide-open eyes, creating an appearance some find disturbing, perhaps explaining their many appearances in horror, sci-fi and comedy media. They can also symbolize emptiness and stupidity.
What's your 'Jolly Chimp' worth? Here are some recently sold items (USA):