Sunday, March 14, 2010

114. Holy Batmania! A BATMAN & ROBIN CLOCK

Even the Caped Crusaders have to be reminded of their bat appointments and rescue mission schedules--hence, this bedside plastic clock. I don't even know where I got this, maybe from a downtown surplus store. A quick google search says that that this is actually a Talking Alarm Clock manufactured in 1976. (There's a Snoopy and Raggedy Anne version too, sold at JC Penney's). So is this a toy that tells time? Or is this a clock that one can play? How do I know? Ask the Riddler!


Merrythought is one of the oldest and most prestigious of England's toy manufacturers established exactly 80 years ago in 1930. In fact, Merrythought remains now as England’s sole remaining toy manufacturer. It is most famous for its hand-made classic teddy bears and soft toys that are highly prized today by collectors. This early Merrythought straw-stuffed dog is made from cream colored mohair, and is outfitted with glass eyes and laced with a red ribbon, maybe dating back from the 40s. The pup still has its original Merrythought label, and is in unplayed-with condition. I found this cute puppy in one of the stalls of Portobello over 20 years ago--and its homespun charm, to this day, continues to generate--what else--merry thoughts!


I hated this show when it aired on Philippine TV in the 1960s. I thought the characters look so fake and so dead. Of course, I didn't know that at that time, Stingray was a breakthrough marionnet show, the first 'supermarionation' series to be filmed in color. Scrpted by Gerry and Sylvia Anderson, the series ran from 1964-65 which was first screened in the UK before going on syndication in the USA. Stingray was known for its special effects, its haunting music and its submarine scenes that were actually filmed on dry land. But special lighting effects gave the illusion of being underwater, and for two years, Stingray and its crew, headed by the handosme Troy Tempest, enthralled kids as they battled the Titan forces of the deep. This floating propelled model of Stingray comes in its original box and dates to the '60s-- a great find after diving into a heap of junk in a local thrift shop.


Remember the King of the Cowboys, Roy Rogers who rode to fame astride his horse Trigger and his partner Dale Evans? Back in the 1950s, Roy was a hot, hot star of film, radio and Tv that Quaker Oats Cereal used his likeness for the product premiums that they gave away to loyal customers. This plastic "toby mug", made by Marx in the 1950s, was a popular giveaway and is avidly collected today by Western and toy collectors. I checekd prices on the net and one example showed a similar cup with a SALE price of $22! I paid exactly 2 dollars for this cup in a Piscataway, NJ flea market. Happy trails to your hunt!


One of the most glamorous pin-up stars to ever emerge from the 70s is the late Farrah Fawcett (February 2, 1947 – June 25, 2009). She rose to international prominence as the diva dtective Jill Munroe in the hit TV series, "Charlie's Angels", first seen in 1976. Farrah, with her trademark bouncy curls, became a sex symbol and her iconic poster, released the same year her that Charlie's Angel was premiered, broke sales records and established her as a pop culture icon. She went on to marry Lee Majors, who was also a superstar on TV at about the same time as the " 6 Million Dollar Man".

A leading toy manufacturer, Mego Corp., capitalized on Farrah's popularity by coming out with a 12 and a quarter in. celebrity doll with washable hair. This 33 year old example, released in 1977, is missing its original clothes (halter jumpsuit) and its cut-out accessories (skateboard, skis and golf bag), but it still is good enough to collect. The world lost Farrah to cancer in 2009, but her memory lives on in this doll that has uncannily captured her likeness--and her inimitable Farrah hair.


A BAT-tery powered BAT-mobile from the 60s! Holy mackerel---and it still runs!
Only a BAT-geek could have save this fine made-in-Japan BAT-meMOBILE-ia that comes complete with vinyl heads of the Dynamic Duo ensconced in the front seats. And take note of the neon green colored front windshield! This super vehicle bumps 'n go at a flick of a switch, with amazing lighting effects! There's a blue colored version of this toy, based on the TV action series, but this red is a classic! Now back to the Batcave!!

Thursday, March 11, 2010


Did you keep your MOTU stuff? Well, I only manage to keep this one--a metal lunch box of He-Man and the Masters of the Universe. Starting in 1982, Mattel Toys introduced He-Man of planet Eternia and the evil warlord Skeletor. The original action figures came with minicomics that told stories of Skeletor's invasion of Eternia, setting his sights on Castle Grayskull, the 'fortress of mystery and power'. Whoever attains control of Grayskull will gain the power to become Master of the Universe. The barbarian He-Man was given special powers by the Sorceress to thwart his plot. He-Man was such a hit with kids that a whole line of toys, cartoon series and live action movies and extended characters (remember She-Ra, the Princess of Power?) were created. This lunchbox, made in 1983 by Aladdin, is but one of the thousands of products that was spawned by Mattel's hit creation.

Sunday, March 7, 2010


A trio of Xmas elf ornaments, made of thin celluloid, felt and gold fabric. I found these in a Q. C. junkyard, wonderfully preserved all these years. Xmas tree ornaments like these were widely made in Japan from the 50s thru the 70s. Off-season, I can always use these Santa's elves and transform them into Snow White's dwarves. Which means, I need 4 more!