From children’s series to funpunk

Funpunk band Toy Dolls had a top-five hit in homeland Great Britain with “Nellie The Elephant”. A song about an elephant that gave up on the circus and fled, back to Hindustan. That the song is a cover version of a British childrens song from 1956 is lesser known. The original was song by actress Mandy Miller, she did that when she was aged twelve.

Mandy Miller With Orchestra – Nellie The Elephant / Toy Dolls – Nellie The Elephant. Both versions in a mix.


Toy Dolls is a band where one member calls the shots. Singer-guitarist Olga (Michael Algar in real life) is small in size, plays obsessive guitar and makes a lot of songs. Besides making music for the band he also writes for (children’s) series, commercials, videogames and movies.

The band was formed in 1979 and is popular from the start with the Oi! streetpunk-generation. Where it is one of the bands that can play technically really well and uses humor in their lyrics.

Singles: Mandy Miller With Orchestra – Nellie The Elephant 1977 re-edit / Mandy Miller With Orchestra – Nellie The Elephant 1956 original / Toy Dolls – Nellie The Elephant 1984


Almost every album that the band released contains a cover. “Blue Suede Shoes” was being played at unprecedented speed on their first album “Dig That Groove Baby” from 1983.  Just as easy they created renditions of amongst others “Lazy Sunday Afternoon” originally by The Small Faces and The Proclaimers’ “I’m Gonna Be (500) Miles”. Even the classic “Toccata in Dm” got a treatment.

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