Sunday, June 26, 2011

180. ELIZABETH TAYLOR Coloring Book

For me, Hollywood glamor and beauty will always be epitomized by Dame Elizabeth Rosemond "Liz" Taylor, DBE (February 27, 1932 – March 23, 2011). This British-American actually started as a child star with MGM, she became one of the great screen actresses of Hollywood's Golden Age, known for her her acting talents, her wealthy lifestyle, distinctive violet eyes--not to mentioned her 8 marriages! From the time she made the successful National Velvet (1944) , to her Oscar triumphs (Butterfield 8 and Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?) , Liz Taylor proved to be an accomplished actress, often partnered with Richard Burton, who became her husband after making Cleopatra (1963). She was also noted for her AIDS advocacy, a passion she shared with Michael Jackson. She received the Presidential Citizens Medal, the Legion of Honour, the Jean Hersholt Humanitarian Award and a Life Achievement Award from the American Film Institute, who put her on their list of the "Greatest American Screen Legends". Taylor died of heart failure at the age of 79.

At a time when her career was about to take off, Whitman Publishing Co., issued this large format Elizabeth taylor Coloring Book in 1952, an authorized edition from MGM, with coloring pages drawn by Lee Lunzer. The 64-page book features the young Liz at the prime of her youth, decades before death claimed her this year at age 79.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

179. Dollified: JORDAN OF NKOTB

Remember the NKOTB? (New Kids On The Block)? Not too long ago, this American boy band from Boston took the music world by storm in the late 80s and early '90s with their record-breaking songs (80 million sold worldwide) and a slew of American Music Awards. The band members included Donnie Wahlberg (Marky Mark's sibling), Joey McIntyre, Danny Wood, Jonathan andJordan Knight--whose 1991 dollified likeness is featured here. This 12" Jordan 'action fashion figure' is from the Collectors Series and made by Big StepCollectibles/Hasbro Inc. I bought this at a discounted price in a Hong Kong toy shop years ago. On ebay, this indivual doll is priced from anywhere between $9.99 to 49.99. A complete 5-doll set goes anywhere from $100-185!!.

After disbanding in 1994, Jordan Knight scored post NKOTB success when he released a self-titled solo album in 1999 that went gold. He also scored a top 10 hit with "Give It to You", which went platinum. His second solo album entitled "Jordan Knight Performs New Kids on the Block: The Remix Album" was also warmly received. Not bad, huh? Even his dolls sell well on ebay!

178. Holy Cards! ESTAMPITAS

"Estampitas" or holy cards are small, mass-produced religious pictures for the use of the faithful. They usually feature a saint or a sacred scene on paper while the reverse typically contains a prayer, some of which promise an indulgence for its recitation. The circulation of these cards is an important part of the visual folk culture of Roman Catholics. Early estampitas were just small black and white engravings, but withe the advancement of printing processes (e.g. lithography and chromolithography), they became more colorful and artistic. Estampitas range from plain to fancy--some have gilt, die-cut edges. The more precious are lace estampitas, in which the borders are delicately cut to mimic fragile laces. A range of affordable examples are shown above.

177. Boxed: SPACE 1999

Space: 1999 is a British science-fiction television series that aired from 1975 to 1977, produced by Gerry & Sylvia Anderson . It tells of a cataclysmic accident on 1999, where the Moon was knocked out of its orbit, sending i 311 inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha hurtling into space.
Main stars include husband and wife Martin Landau and Barbara Bain who portrayed Commander John Koenig and Dr. Helena Russell respectively. Its fame was shortlived, but long enough to merit its own lunchbox, manufactured by King Seeley Thermos in 1976. The front panels show the stars--Dr. Russell with her nemesis--a multi-tentacled monster, while the Cmdr. Koenig side features a lunar rover. In 1975, 1999 seemed so remote. But 1999 came and went and we've not seen any futuristic creature remotely looking like those featured in the show. And did I tell you that Martin and Barbara has since split up as a couple? Maybe they needed more--space.