Sunday, April 18, 2010


The "Golliwog" is a character of children's literature created by Florence Kate Upton in the late 19th century. The writer had been inspired by a blackface minstrel doll. The Golliwog was depicted in the book, "The Adventures of Two Dutch Dolls and a Golliwog", as a type of rag doll. Subsequently, a doll was made based on this character which enjoyed great popularity in North America, Europe and Australia The doll has black skin, eyes rimmed in white, clown lips, and kinky hair, and it has been described as the least known of the major anti-black caricatures in the United States. The Golliwog doll has become the subject of heated debate. Some argue that it should be looked at as a cherished cultural childhood artifact, while opponents argue it should be retired as a relic of racism. My well-preserved Golliwog doll with its nice red suit and bowtie intact, was bought at the famous Portobello Road in northern London.


A colorful Camel cigarette poster from the early 50s! Before the advent of photography, advertising graphics were hand-illustrated, but photography changed all that--making posters, billboards, handbills and point-of-sale materials more attractive and more cost-efficient to produce. Visual appeal is even heightened in this poster with the use of a glamorous model in a swimsuit! By the way, Camel cigarettes were introduced way back in 1913 by R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co. It was so named because the Turkish cigaratte paper used was an Egyptian imitation. In 9187, a "Joe Camel" mascot was designed, becoming another instant advertising icon.


Now here's an interesting boudoir lamp that's sure to lighten up any young woman's room. A similar lamp was featured in a 1950s retro book, so when this was found at a garage sale, I just had to bring it home. This American-made lamp is of thin, molded plastic, shaped like a camisoled lady in a strange pose that reminds me of a body builder, no? The skirt is a half-globe with leafy and branch relief--what was the designer thinking? The effect is like a man-eating tree about to swallow a human being. Thankfully, the "ruffle" shade and the base were meant to be covered with fabric to simulate a skirt. This Lady Lamp still works although I dare not use it for fear it would melt if I leave the light on.


Now here's an old children's push toy that I only see in vintage photos-- a slightly dishevelled stuffed mohair camel that still moves back and forth when pushed. I think this playful Bactrian was dressed up once as a circus camel--it still has remnant of felt cloth that was onec part of its "saddle". While the camel is bald in some parts, it still retains its glass button eyes and the wheel mechanism still works excellently. This must have been European made and dates back to the 50s, as the metal parts are made of aluminum and rather elaborately put-together. I found this children's toy in Chatuchak, Bangkok's oasis of collectibles, pardon the pun, and now it reposes in tropical weather amidst my junkpile of vintage kiddie toy collectibles.


I thought I had lost Ronald McDonald, until I found him in a wicker basket atop an old book cabinet--still in its orginal plastic wrap. I remember getting this stuffed cloth-and-plastic doll from a McDonald's store in Hong Kong in the mid 1990s. You don't exactly get it as a freebie--you had to buy one Happy Meal, add a few HK dollars to take this home. Ronald McDonald first appeared as the mascot of the famous fastfood in 1963 where he lived out his adventures in McDonaldland, together with Mayor McCheese, the Hamburglar, Grimace, Birdie the Early Bird, and The Fry Kids.

Over the years, may Ronald McDonald premium dolls were given away, with the first doll made entirely of cloth. Remco made a mixed plastic and cloth doll in 1976. This mid 1980s version is just your basic Ronald doll that doesn't talk, doesn't roll its eyes or doesn't laugh the way that evil Chuckie doll chuckles. So, for the moment, it just sits on a chair in my bedroom, doing nothing. Now, that's my idea of a perfect collectible! Indeed, it's a good time, for a great McDonald's! So, send in the clowns!


Now this this blonde lady made it to her graduation! Again another head vase from Japan dressed in a rare graduation toga outft. It is pretty obvious that this was meant to be a gift idea for would-be graduates and honor students..but what's with the red toga matched with a spangled tie? Made in the 1950s, it's another kitsch-y find from my favorite Makati Cinema Square dealer--where the only thing less is the price!


Good old Pepsi Cola ahve always given Coke a run for ts money. At one point, it was the no. 1 selling softdrink brand in the Philippines, endorsed by the country's top stars like Nora Aunor and Torso Cruz (Remember, 'Have a Pepsi Day!'). Coke countered with its "Coke Is It!" campaign, and Pepsi answered back with "The Pepsi Generation". Like Coke, Pepsi offered an oddball assortment of advertising premiums--but these glasses, stamped with the graceful Pepsi Cola script, were common functional giveaways. They were collected through crown or 'tansan' redemptions, and were favored premiums for canteens, restaurants and carinderias. I found a whole set of 12 glasses at my favorite antique dealer--and now these pop-art Pepsi glasses repose in my old cabinet, ready to be used in case I feel like having a 'Pepsi Day'!