Kitting Service Classic Kits: Orphan Annie Decoder Ring

Christmas may be over, but many are still enjoying time off celebrating with family. And among the time-honored holiday traditions they’re engaging in, like passing around fruitcakes, listening to Bing Crosby croon, hanging ornaments, and oooh’ing and aaah’ing at sparkly lights, there’s another holiday special that folks turn to this time of year: the 1983 film, “A Christmas Story.”

What does “A Christmas Story” have to do with classic kits? Well, it features the highly coveted Little Orphan Annie Decoder Pin kit, of course! A radio serial ran a promotion for kids to get the decoder as a reward back 1940s when the movie is set, and Ralphie dutifully drinks a lot of Ovaltine in the film to obtain the prized kit.

This fantastically kitschy webpage displays numerous versions of the decoder pins that children coveted, all of them kitted up and shipped to Ovaltine-swilling children. Versions throughout the 1930s are displayed on the page, but the 1940 model was the one prominently featured on-screen.

Here’s a quick clip from the film:

The decoder works using a basic cipher, which could be used to encode a variety of messages. Obviously, these decoders are super cool kits, which we love at Ohio Valley Goodwill. We also love putting people to work in our communities – including veterans and people with disabilities. If your small business is building a cool kit, our motivated workforce is ready to step in and help. Give us a call when you’re ready – no cipher necessary.