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!

Friday, March 4, 2016


A wonderful grouping of display figurines and European-made doll miniatures offered for sale by a dealer-collector. I was tempted to get a few, but promised to come back to wipe them all. I was particularly drawn to the little jointed dolls made of bisque, with mohair wigs that could be posed and play with, despite the delicacy of the material. Some were imperfect, with broken limbs, all nicely painted.

Dolls of these kinds are rare in the Philippines because they were rather expensive, way beyond ordinary means of families. The figurines are also of the same material, depicting family scenes and character figures like a fishing boy, grandpa on a chair and dancing ladies. Now, if only i could find a nice little cabinet to house hem all in. That's for another hunt!!