Friday, February 3, 2017


Now here's a pair of Made in Japan figurines that hark back to the age of the Beatles, Shindig, Dave Clark 5, American Bandstand, the Monkees, and Hullabaloo. The two china figures represent combo players of the 60s era, and may have once graced a teenage girl's room, as she listened to her vinyl records playing the songs of Paul, John, Ringo and George on her plastic turntable. Alas,only two figurines remain--one singing the melody while beating a conga, the other, strumming away on his red electric guitar. The drummer and,possibly, the bass player are missing from the set, but that doe not detract from kischy cuteness of these two boy band members, who even have their original nylon moptop hair! And note the green bases where they stand--complete with musical notes! You could almost hear them belting out.."She loves you yeah...yeah...yeah!".

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

377. King of the Wild Frontier: 1950s DAVY CROCKETT DOLL

Now here's an artifact straight from the 1954-1955 TV series "Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier", produced by Disney. The series is based on the adventures of real-life American folk hero, David Crockett, a hunter who later became a congressman. Fess Parker starred as the Indian fighter-frontierman, and helped popularize merchandise such as Davy Crokett coonskin caps, comics and bubble gum.
Of course, dolls were also made of the character--in fact, many versions were made--made of plastic, cloth and rubber. This 19 in. stuffed doll with a thin plastic face is one of the rarer versions as it comes complete with its trademark coonskin cap, and a yellow identification pinback. It is dressed in plush fabric and felt, with a leather belt.The Davy Crockett TV merchandise was so popular that by the end of 1955, Americans had bought over $300 million worth of Crockett games, toys, dolls, coloring books, costumes, caps and gumball charms.
 Disney replayed the shows in the 1960s and became hits all  over again. After his Disney stint, fess Parker appeared as Daniel Boone on TV in 1964, an identical frontiersman character, to more acclaim. In 2002, in an attempt to bring back Davy Crockett again, Disney produced the movie, "The Alamo", which flopped at the tills. I guess, for many David Crockett fans, these dolls are enough to bring back his memory alive.

Monday, November 14, 2016


More Little Golden Books found in a thrift shop! This popular series of children's books, started by Simon and Schuster in 1942, are well known for their great illustrations, quality and affordability. and  Many of the Little Golden Books have become bestsellers, with editions dealing with nature and science, Bible stories, nursery rhymes, and fairy tales and derived from TV shows and movie tie-ins like Sesame Street,  Disney, Looney Tunes, Barbie, Cheyenne, Wagon Train, Rin Tin Tin, Captain Kangaroo, and even Donny and Marie Osmond Show. Collecting Little Golden Books has not  caught on in the Philippines, owing to the unfamiliar subjects of the books, but for someone like me who grew up exposed to American TV shows, the books hold a special nostalgic appeal.

Thursday, November 3, 2016


A very rare 1962 McHale's Navy board game recently surfaced in a local thrift shop in Kamuning, and I lost no time in reserving it. In the U.S., even with missing parts, this rarely seen board game would be worth about $30 or more. The board game is based on the TV comedy sitcom of the same title, starring Ernest Borgnine (as Lt. Cmdr. Quinton McHale) and Tim Conway (as Ensign Charles Parker) , that aired from 1962-1966 on ABC TV Network, 
The boardgame, made by Transogram  allows a player to take turns drawing a card from the supply deck and move one space. If a player announces he has a pair or more, he is entitled to Bonus Moves. You may bluff announcing a pair, three of a kind or four of a kind. The other players may challenge and if the bluffer has the cards he make make the bonus moves and the challenger moves back 4 spaces.
If the player is bluffing and doesn't have the cards, he moves back 4 spaces. In addition there are instruction cards that move all ships ahead and penalty instruction cards that move the player backwards. In addition there is a cardboard torpedo which can be fired to move ahead. The winner is the first player to cross the finish line.

Friday, September 30, 2016


One of my favorite Western stars was Gene Autry (b.1907/d.1998), the cowboy performer who first sang the popular Xmas carol,"Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer". In fact, turned many Christmas songs into hits, including "Santa Claus Is Coming to Town", his own composition "Here Comes Santa Claus" and "Frosty the Snowman". I have "Rudolph" among my old records somewhere.
 Autry appeared in over 93 films from the 30s thru the 50s,  and in his own  "The Gene Autry Show" TV series. He personified the straight-shooting hero—honest, brave, and true, and became a role model for many American kids.
He also had a huge hit with a weekly show on CBS Radio, Gene Autry's Melody Ranch. His horse, Champion, also had a CBS-TV and Mutual radio series, T"he Adventures of Champion." As always, his shows generated merchandise that kids went crazy for--from coloring books, Little Golden Books, paper dolls, toy guns, character watches, children's and play guitars. 
Gene Autry was never famous in the Philippines, but somehow, Autry items found their way here, like these assorted books which made good reading for young cowboys (and a nice collection for the Western collector).

Sunday, September 18, 2016


I've always been a feline fan, so when I saw this vintage squeeze toy, I knew I had to bring it home at once! It was made by Edward Mobley Co. Arrow Rubber Plastic Corp. in 1960, and is known as Sleepy Eyed Squeaky Cat.
This rubber cat is over 9 inches long, and has a close-open eye mechanism similar to those outfitted on dolls. The blue-eyed cat also has a head that can be twisted and posed.
The Arrow Rubber and Plastic Corp. was a custom molding company that made standard body assemblies for toys and dolls, e.g., arms, legs, and bodies in the 1950s and 1960s. They also manufactured toys licensed by Edward Mobley. J.L. Prescott Co. purchased the Arrow Rubber and Plastic Corp. in 1968, changing its name to Arrow Molded Products, a division of J.L. Prescott Company.
They also manufactured toys licensed by Edward Mobley. J.L. Prescott Co. purchased the Arrow Rubber and Plastic Corp. in 1968, changing its name to Arrow Molded Products, a division of J.L. Prescott Company.

Monday, September 12, 2016

372. Politics is a Game: 1965 MACAPAGAL-ROXAS CHECKER BOARD

An artifact from the national elections of 1965 is this lawanit checkerboard game, given away by the Liberal Party--headed by the re-electionist President Diosdado p. Macapagal and his VP bet, Gerry Roxas, father of presidential wannabe, Mar Roxas. This well-worn political memorabilia also features the party's senatorial slate--Ramon Bagatsing, Cesar Climaco, Ramon Diaz, Sergio Osmena Jr., Alejandro Roces, Jovito Salonga, and Lucas Paredes, The party was no match to the up and coming former Senate president Ferdinand Marcos and team mate Fernando Lopez, who trounced them convincingly at the polls. Only 2 of the LP best got senatorial seats too. Marcos would stay in power for over 2 decades and for his opponents--it was back to the gameboard!