Sunday, July 25, 2010

138. SCOTTIE FIGURINES: Collecting Goes to the Dogs

I've had this pair of black and white Scottie figurines forever! They are made of bakelite and I suppose they are from the 50s or even earlier. Every one seems to love these perky mutts; scottie terrier collectibles are dime a dozen. There's even a famous Scottie in the movie, "The Lady and the Tramp"--Jock, in an important supporting role. Black and White Whisky features a pair of Scottie as their mascots as well. I don't think I'll ever separate these two mutts--they have rested on this dusty shelf for, like 20 years? And if you think I am going to sell these soon, you're barking at the wrong dog!

137. Hand Carry: BAKELITE BAG

A mid-century bag with a clear lucite handle, an octagonal bakelite top and a body made with woven metallic strips makes a glamorour, shimmering statement when carried in public. A brass clasp keeps the contents of the bag in place--maybe a Max Factor pan cake, rhinestone-decorated glasses, a red Revlon lipstick. Found this in a makati thrift shop, possibly a discard of a once young and svelte high society girl who once dreamt she was Grace Kelly. What a lovely thought. Maybe I'd tote this along in the office one day as my lunchbox.


Stan Lee created this team of heroes for Marvel Comics in 1961 and the adventures of the Fantastic Four were lapped up by comic fans the world over. The group included Mr. Fantastic, the Human Torch, the Invisible Woman and the Thing. They have been adapted into other media--appearing as a TV cartoon series in 1970, as characters in video games and in a number of feature films. The 2005 movie version grossed $329 million worldwide. This vintage 1976 Aladdin tin lunchbox is yet another one of the group's incarnation. The other panel shows other Marvel superheroes like Mighty Thor, Captain America, Hawkeye, Wasp, Falcon and Ironman. A A box in pristine condition was valued at 80$ in 2001, but this one I picked up for 50 bucks in some local variety store.


The Lady who would be Queen--Elizabeth Alexandra, age 25--finally assumed the throne as the Queen of the British Empire on 2 June 1953--after a year after his father, King George VI, passed away due to lung cancer. Hers was the first televised coronation in TV history, with stately ceremonies held at the Westminster Abbey. Many commemorative items were made as souvenirs of the historic event, and mass produced items included plates, books, figurines, household wares such as this now 50-year-old-plus mug. Made of ironstone, it bears the profile of the new monarch, who continues to reign today with her royal family that includes Prince Charles, the heir apparent, Princess Anne and Prince Andrew and Prince Edward. Let's drink to Queen Liz's long and royal reign!


You don't see them a lot these days--these shiny metal horses atop jeepney hoods, often alone but sometimes in groups of three's or even more. If Rolls Royces have the Winged Lady as a signature hood ornament, our local honk-tonk jeeps have these equine fixtures, standing in attention amidst the clutter of color and plastic decor that define our national vehicle. Nowadays, you see these chrome-plated horses in antique shops, sort of folk art examples, priced anywhere from Php 200 and up. Aye, I tell you, Saraos aren't Saraos without these metal horses. Do I hear a neigh?

133. Time to Retire: GOOD YEAR TIRE SIGN

This metal sign was salvaged from our Shell Gas Station which my father used to operate in front of the Calrk Air Base gate in Angeles, in the 1970s (it was previously managed by his younger brother for many years). I remember spending time at that gas station after school, its most prominent feature was a big billboard showing a gyrating dancer with the headline "Zoom, zoom, super Shell!". This particular sign used to hang in the service bay of the station, next to Goodyear tires that were available for sale in case someone got a busted tire. There were so many of these signs, I can't believe I only have one left. Eventually, the gas station business floundered and closed. Today, the space where Shell used to stand is a jumble of crowded commercial stalls. Indeed, the Goodyears are gone.

Monday, July 5, 2010

132. PEPSYCHEDELIA! Pepsi Advertising Posters

Various psychedelic posters from the 1970s singing praises to Pepsi Cola, which, in those turbulent decades was the no. 1 cola in the country, outselling Coke by a mile. Remember "Have a Pepsi Day"? Or the "Pepsi Generation"? The posters are sooo Peter Max, relying on design more than the concept. Note the 'sarimanok' motif on the 3rd poster. Minnesotan John Clarkin is credited with bringing Pepsi to the Philippines at the close of World War II, becoming the 1st country manager of the Pepsi Cola Bottling Company. Advertising was handled by Ace-Compton Advertising in the 70s, but too bad I didn't get a chance to work on the account--it lost it in 1978. These are my only Pepsi mementos at a time when the so-called Cola Wars were at its peak.


Back in the 70s, nobody can talk about the Jackson 5 without referring to the Osmonds. They arrived in the entertainment scene almost the same time, with the same "singing brothers" concept. Clearly, the Jacksons, led by Michael Jackson, became bigger stars, but the Osmonds too had their share of worldwide fan following. The boy band started in 1958 as a barbershop group featuring Alan, Wayne and Jay. They became Disneyland fixtures until Andy Williams spotted them and gave them a break on his popular show. Soon, the toothy Osmonds--which now included Merrill and Danny started making waves with "One Bad Apple", "Crazy Horses" and the now-classic "He Ain't Heavy, He's My Brother". Osmondmania was on!! Danny emerged as the lead star, and the '1ts family of entertainment' expanded to include Jimmy and Marie osmond who also found fame as a solo artist (remember, "Paper Roses"). Why, the Osmonds even visited the Philippines and perfomed at the Araneta Coliseum at the height of their careers!

As usual, lots of merchandise--from dolls, posters, coloring books and 'annuals' such as the ones pictured above, were produced to satisfy obsessed fans. Donny and Marie went on to have a successful TV show as well which ran thru the 80s. Post-Osmond fame, the family suffered financial setbacks but recovered. Donny became a Broadway hit with "Joseph and His Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat". Marie became a businesswoman, designing dolls. Jimmy opened the Osmond Family Theater in Missouri, while the rest of his brothers formed a much in-demand country group. Recently, Donny and Marie were seen on "Dancing with the Stars", where Danny emerged as the grand winner. Today, the Osmonds continue to perform as individual artists and as a group, bringing back their music to their baby boomer fans in the U.S. and around the world.


I was walking along Arquiza St., in Manila one day, and I chanced upon this vintage portrait of our national hero, Jose P. Rizal. It was well-painted and signed, albeit, illegibly and had paint losses, but the face remain unscathed, fortunately (this shows the painting restored already). Time was when every elementary school library or classroom in the country had a painting of a hero--usually that of Rizal and Bonifacio. Aguinaldo and Del Pilar were other favorites too, and I have seen at least one of Juan Luna. This Rizal painting could have come from one such elementary school. Rizal's 150th birth anniversary is coming up next year, so I thought I'd rescue our hero from antique shop oblivion, before it goes the way of "mi ultimo adios'.