The toy has five 5 pop-up doors, each featuring a Sesame character -- Ernie, Bert, Big Bird, Cookie Monster and Oscar the Grouch. When a switch is activated, the corresponding door is opened, revealing a character.
A later version of the toy replaced Oscar with Elmo, and featured rounder, more baby-like sculpts for the characters.
In 2000, Playskool (now part of Hasbro) issued a recall for the Sesame Busy Poppin' Pals toys, in response to reports that the toys' springs were breaking, posing a choking danger for children.
Following the 2000 recall, Playskool continues to market several versions of the Busy Poppin' Pals toys; the current version features jungle animals. Playskool no longer has the license to produce Sesame Street toys.