Thursday, May 19, 2016


An old and small glass-fronted counter cabinet makes an excellent display to my miniatures, figurines, and small collectibles--bottle, bisque dolls, advertising premiums, coin banks, cake toppers. Whenever I go home with small, but precious finds, I dunk everything in here. Space-saving and neat!!Now where did I put my car keys??

Sunday, April 17, 2016

366. I'm A-Coming For You!!!: TALKING BEANY MATTEL DOLL,1961

Remember Beany and the sea-sick sea serpent, Cecil?  The unlikely duo was an animated cartoon series created by Bob Clampett for the ABC Television, based on the TV puppet show Time for Beany, produced for Paramount Pictures in 1949. The cartoon series first appeared in Matty's Funday Funnies in 1959, and peaked in popularity in the 60s as The Beany and Cecil Show.
Many toys were inspired by this hit cartoon--including the best-selling Beany and Cecil puppets. This Mattel-made talking doll of Beany is another fine example, showing minimal wear and nice intact seams. Made in 1961, Beany still talks, although he says his name in jibberish. His trademark beanycopter propeller is there, although broken. This awesome doll was purchased on ebay--with 2 bonus plastic tumblers of Beany and Cecil thrown in!!

Monday, April 11, 2016


S.S.President McKinley was a president liner operated by the Dollar Steamship Lines that served the world--from Boston in the U.S., Asia and Europe--under Commander Robert E.Carey U.S.N.R.. The passenger ship also served Manila, and to to go from the Philippines to the U.S. in the 1930, a passenger had to board the ship in the capital city, then proceed to Hong Kong, Shanghai, Kobe, Yokohama, Honolulu, Seattle, then to San Francisco. To get to the East Coast, the ship had to proceed down to Balboa,through the Panama Canal, then Havana and finally to New York or Boston.
The long and arduous trip was somehow made pleasant with a delicious all-day menu that featured an array of breakfast items--fresh Philippine mangos and rice included.
A souvenir inkwell was presented to passengers--made from real Philippine shells. The figure of the sailing steamship is hand-painted on a mother-of-pearl shell backdrop, while the inkbottle rests on a sandy base, with more shells--small tritons and clams. Found in an estate sale, these 1930s  transport collectibles are nostalgic mementos of the great era of shipping---when the most adventurous way to see the world was to get on board a ship, and sail the seas!!

Sunday, April 3, 2016

364. Dish and That: MINIATURE TOY DISHES

Another pretty set of Made-in-Japan children's toy tableware--consisting of cups, saucers, creamer, and plates. Nicely hand-painted with floral motifs, these loose pieces are individually marked with "JAPAN". The custom of manufacturing small bowls, mugs and plates began in Europe--mainly  in England, France and Germany, after 1760. Items were smaller in size than their adult counterparts, though there was no one standard size.In the U.S., toy dishes manufacturing peaked from the 1920s-40s.Japanese companies also produced fine children's dishes around this time--and these examples are from that period. After World War II, inexpensive Japanese imports flooded the market, made of other materials like tin and plastic. Once for playing, wee-size antique  children's dishes have become sought-after collectibles, with one set of miniature china going for about $1,000 in a U.S. auction!!!

Monday, March 28, 2016

363. Ghost of our Childhood Past: TALKING CASPER

 "Casper, the friendly ghost...the friendliest ghost you know.."
Remember the Harvey Famous Cartoon's friendliest ghost, Casper? He was one of my favorite TV cartoon characters and Saturday mornings aren't just complete without him. To think he was a dead person!! Conceived in the 1930s, by cartoonist Seymour Reit and Joe Oriolo, he was designed to become one of the most famous properties from Famous Studios.  Soon, comics of him were being published by Alfred Harvey, founder and publisher of Harvey Comics who eventually purchased the rights to the character. New cartoons were created for The New Casper Cartoon Show in 1963,  These cartoons remain important today because of the messages they imparted: the values of friendship, compassion, and acceptance of others.
The popularity of Casper generated many collectible merchandise---from toys, coloring books, gameboards to this adorable 15" Casper Doll,  a 1963 Original by Mattel. It's a pull-string talking Casper who says 10 different things: "My Name is Casper". "Ooooooh. Let's play ghost." "I like you." "I'm a friendly ghost. Don't be afraid of me". "I'm not afraid. I'm cold. Can I stay with you?" "Will you play with". me?. 

Casper was resurrected as a movie in 1995, with live action and voice characters, starring Devon Sawa as Casper in human form. I have seen the movie of course, but it's the Harvey 'toon that I miss. Thank God, Casper  has come back to haunt me in the form of this talking doll--found in a local thrift shop. The voice is a bit garbled, the body shoddy and worn, but he is still loveable after all these years. Unlike grownups, old ghosts never die, they just become friendlier with age!!! !!

Sunday, March 20, 2016


Remember the American boy band, New Kids on the Block (NKOTB)? Donnie, Danny, Jonathan, Jordan and Joey sent teenyboppers screaming whenever they took to the stage, did their dance grooves as they belted out their hit songs that included Step-by-Step, Please Don't Go Girl, Baby I Believe In You, Hangin' Tough and This One's For Children. By the1990s, they were one of the most popular acts in music, even beating out Madonna and Prince. Their merchandising machine churned out books, comics, buttons, lunch boxes--and this set of NKOTB dolls manufactured by Hasbro. But by 1995, rocked with allegations of lip synching and diverging interests, the group started to break-up until they disbanded. These 2 dolls (Jordan and Danny) --found in a used toy shop--are mementos of their heyday--when they were at the top of their game ast international hitmakers. I am missing the 3 other boys though.  Things are looking up for NKOTB fans when, in 2008, they had reunion concerts, and by 2013, the group was on tour again, in a new attempt to try to regain their popularity--Step-by-Step!

Thursday, March 10, 2016


Recently seen at an estate sale---assorted domestic ware--mostly vintage thermos, water dispensers, kettles and enamel ware,from the 50s and 60s.
Of interest are these two insulated water jugs. The example below even has a faucet spout and has a porcelain inner core, lined with cork. The aluminum caps date the 2 from the 50s.
A water kettle is another great example of utilitarian enamelware that were made cheaply and mass-produced since the mid 1800s. This midcentury kettle shows signs of use but is in stable condition, despite years of oven-use. I wonder how many cups of hot water for coffee or tea has been boiled in this kitchenware!
I wasn't really interested in such wares but this goes to show the range of items now being sold as collectible--to be used again, perhaps, by some vintage-minded fellow, in his vintage kitchen of his vintage home!