Friday, April 24, 2015

330. Smokin'-Hot Collectibles: TOBACCO TINS

Packaging tins were first used to keep food in response to the public's acceptance of the germ theory of disease. Today, it is easy to dismiss canned or “processed” food as something people without access to fresh food eat. But in the late 1800s, food in tins was highly desirable. It was considered much more sanitary, and therefore healthier, than food offered in bins or barrels. Eventually, tin packaging was used in other consumer goods  like pipe tobacco. These two vintage examples in my collection are "home antiques", found  inside an 'aparador' (cabinet) of my grandfather. Dill's Best is the older one, from a company in Richmond, Virginia founded in 1849, The brand icon features a lady holding her hair up with a "come-hither" expression. The second example is the more popular Bond Street Pipe Tobacco, made by Philip Morris, which dates from the 1930s. Tobacco tins are always sought after by tobacciana collectors, and in this part of the world, are rarely seen. I have my grandpa to thank for, for these surviving examples--he is no longer with us, but I bet he is somewhere in a quiet corner in heaven, happily and peacefully smoking on his favorite pipe, plugged in with his favorite Bond Street and Dill's Best tobacco!

Friday, April 10, 2015

329. DAVY CROCKETT GLASS

Davy Crockett was Disney's hit TV series which aired on ABC in one-hour episodes, starring Fess Parker as real-life frontiersman Davy Crockett and Buddy Ebsen as his friend, George Russel.The first 3 episodes were edited together as the 1955 theatrical film Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier, and rebroadcast in color in the 1960s when the Disney program went to NBC.This series and film are known for the catchy theme song, "The Ballad of Davy Crockett".
Disney capitalized on its success by licensing the sale of various types of Crockett paraphernalia, including coonskin caps, coloring books, bubble gum cards--and even 50s glassware such as this, which was part of a set that one had to collect.
Other Davy Crockett drinking glasses came free--in the form of packaging for Welch fruit jelly products. There were glasses of milk white color too, plus related items such as cups, saucers, plates and cereal bowls. This particular example is harder to find as the glass is fluted at the bottom and taller than most plain Crockett glasses.
Fess Parker claimed that his contract called for a percentage of the sales from Crockett collectibles but that this was voided by his contract being with Walt Disney personally,  rather than with the company, costing him millions of dollars of lost royalty from the huge success of Crockett merchandising. As King of the Wild Frontier, he could have gone on a wild rampage!

Thursday, March 26, 2015

328. Boxed: LITTLE HOUSE ON THE PRAIRIE

Little House on the Prairie was a popular U.S. western drama TV series, starring Michael Landon, Melissa Gilbert, and Karen Grassle, about a family living on a farm in Walnut Grove, Minnesota, in the 1870s and 1880s. Adapted from Laura Ingalls Wilder's best-selling series of Little House books, the regular series was preceded by the two-hour pilot movie, aired on March 30, 1974. The series began on the NBC network on September 11, 1974, and ended on May 10, 1982
Part of the merchandise generated by this highly-rated show was this metal lunchbox, produced in 1978, which shows great graphic portraits of the cast.

Saturday, March 21, 2015

327. Rock of Ages: ROCK HUDSON PAPER DOLLS

Rock Hudson was a hunky 6’4” romantic star who rose to fame in the 50s and 60s, while squiring top leading ladies like Doris Day, Lauren Bacall, Liz Taylor, Susan St. James. But his death from AIDS in the 80s revealed his true self. Well, even if Hudson was not totally “out of the closet”, we could still a glimpse of what was inside with this “Rock Hudson Cut-Outs” published by Whitman in 1956.
The book features 2 cardboard cut-outs of the star and several pages of his wardrobe, some of which have been cut. The wardrobe features sports outfits, formal/leisure wear, casuals and even cowboy clothes. This was picked from ebay, for under 400 pesos.
Movie celebrity paper dolls—especially those unused and uncut—are very desirable collectibles, chased by collectors of Hollywood memorabilia, paper dolls, ephemera and Hudson fans.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

326. TV-BASED BOOKS: If You Can’t Watch ‘Em, Read ‘Em!

 My favorite bookstore isn’t one of those established but expensive bookshops with fancy book titles, but an unpretentious used-book sale chain that goes by the name—Book Sale. I tell you, everything with a ‘sale’ in its name has got to be my favorite. For in this messy jumble of books, one can find unexpected collectible titles—and my nifty collection of TV-base books is proof of that. Whenever I can’t get enough of my fave TV series, I buy their book counterparts, so I can read the story at my own pace; no commercials too!

 My treasure trove of pop culture books include those based on 60s spythriller “The Man from U.N.C.L.E. that had Napoleon Solo (Robert Vaughn) and Russian partner Ilya Kuryakin (David MacCallum) using gimmicky weapons against the evil THRUSH network. Also from the 60s is “Garrison’s Gorrilas”, a war drama about 4 convicts recruited to be commandos by Lt. Greg Garrison. Two favorite sci-fi series are: “Land of the Giants”, which features the story of survival of the Spindthrift spaceship that crashed in a planet full of giants; and “Space 1999”, that starred husband and wife team Martin Landau and Barbara Bain.
Jack Lord’s “Hawaii 5-O” initially got my interest with its catchy theme song, but I was not a big fan; I got the book anyway. Sonny and Cher had a TV show of the same name, so I got Cher’s book bio too. I could certainly relate to “James at 15” starring Lance Kerwin as I was still in my teens when the show aired. The plots revolved around teen angst, mostly, and James aged in the series, the title updated to “James at 16” on the next season. Last time I saw Kerwin, he was on the horror flick, Salem’s Lot. The last book is all about boy bands from the 60s—Monkees, Bee Gees and raiders. I can’t help but smile at the now-archaic buzz words that every teen spewed out in the 60s, like “outasite”, “groovy”, “freaky”, and “dig it!”

 Next time you’re in Book Sale, scrounge around and look for these classic TV-based books from the 60s and 70s. You can still enjoy them not just thru TV replays, but thru book reprints!

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

325. Hooray for Hollywood! 40s AND 50s MOVIE MAGAZINES

Just  perfect for my post-Oscar fever! These stash of U.S. movie magazines from the last 40s and 50s were just given to by my longtime antique dealer. Talk about loyalty rewards!! They come from a collection of a female fan who's into Hollywood, its movies and its stars. Represented are such classic mags as Photoplay (established in 1911, one of the very first fan magazines), Screen Stories, Motion Picture (also started in 1911) and Movie Story.
Many familiar movies are featured here, including synopses, cast and crew, many now considered classics. The latest "chismis" from Hollywood, dished by Hedda Hopper and cohorts are constant features of these magazines. There are tearsheets of James Dean's "East of Eden", "Rebel", "Giant", Garland's "A Star is Born", Deborah Kerr's "The King and I" , William Holden's "From Here to Eternity", and many more.You would also known why the period was considered the golden age of movie glitz and glamor: there are many colored pages of veteran stars--from Jane Russell, Vivien Leigh, Shirley Temple, to Roy Rogers, Laurence Olivier, Joan Crawford--to the up-and coming ones--like the young Robert Wagner, Liz Taylor, Rock Hudson, Marlon Brando, Tab Hunter, Debra Paget, Doris Day, Shelley Winters, Pier Angeli, and Marilyn Monroe.
Just look at the very young Ronald Reagan above--the future U.S. president, in a beefcake pose with his leading lady. Below, is the mild-mannered looking Joanne Crawford, soon to be the evil 'Mommie Dearest ' in the 1981 movie. And look--there's even a double spread ad for "Demetrius and the Gladiators", a staple TV movie during Holy Week!!
Some magazines have special features tucked between the covers like this rare Marilyn Monroe 1954 collectible calendar. It's a collectible within a collectible.
I thought I'd won my own Oscar after getting these magazines for free; the movie stories, pictures and features on these magazines are sufficient enough to give me a semblance of the Hollywood experience, allowing me to peek behind-the-scenes, in front of the camera and into the private lives of glamorous movie stars. Once again, I would like to thank the Academy.....

Thursday, February 19, 2015

324. Lessons Learned from a Pioneer: DANIEL BOONE SCHOOL BINDER

Daniel Boone was an adventure series aired on NBC (from 1964-70) based on the life of the pioneer in Kentucky territory in the 1770s. It starred Fess Parker who, ten years earlier portrayed Davy Crockett on the “Disneyland”TV series. Many materials were produced and copyrighted by 20th Century-Fox TV.
An unusual item from the Daniel Boone era was this 3-ring plastic school binder I got pre-ebay, from the mail order auction, Hake’s Americana & Collectibles. Made of tan plastic, the front cover features the silkscreened photographic likeness of Fess Parker. Other than that, it is your typical binder with a sleeve inside to hold your various paper items. With your Daniel Boone cooncap and binder, you’re all set to conquer new frontiers in school