Tuesday, January 2, 2018

386. Meeting my Match: HULK HOGAN 16' VINYL TOY, 1984

Would you believe, wrestling superstar HULK HOGAN (aka Terry Gene Bollea), is almost 65 years old?? Considred as the greatest professional wrestler of all time, HULK HOGAN is perhaps the most recognized face in the wrestling world back in the 1980s. That’s because he was also visible in the movies, seen in “Rocky III”(1982) as the nemesis of Stallone.

He was also seen in several TV shows (Thunder in Paradise, Hogan Knows Best and China), and enjoyed a career as the frontman for The Wrestling Boot Band, whose record, Hulk Rules, reached #12 on the Billboard Top Kid Audio chart in 1995.
No wonder then that HULK HOGAN’s likeness was coveted by marketeers,promotions companies as well as toy makers, who tried to cash-in on the wrestler’s fame by turning him into various merchandising items—from trade cards, wrestuling costumes, video games and the most wanted—action figures!
This fine example—is actually the biggest HULK HOGAN figure to be made in 1985. The vinyl figure, made by LJN Toys Ltd., stands an impressive 16”. HULK HOGAN comes in his trademark red hanging shirt, white headband and wears his championship belt.
I found this on ebay—one of those items that were tagged with “Make an Offer” feature. So I did, and offered a ridiculous price for this complete piece, which, to my surprise was accepted (Secret: It cost the equivalent of a thousand pesos).  To this day, HULK HOGAN remains active on and off the wrestling scene, and managed to rise above adveristies--including a divorce that nearly bankrupt him!
No such things as retirement for HULK HOGAN...

Hulkmania rules!!!

Tuesday, December 26, 2017


Planters Peanuts is largely unknown in the Philippines, but is an American product icon, first produced in 1906 by Italian immigrant Amedeo Obici,in partnership with Mario Peruzzi. The branc character--Mr. Peanut--came about when a contest was launched in 1916,won by schoolboy Antonio Gentile who sent in a drawing of a human peanut with legs. An artist later added a monocle, a walking stick and a tophat. Mr. Peanut became a merchandising success, turned into coin banks, mugs, glasses, pins, buttons, coloring books, cloth dolls--and even into salt and pepper shakers, such as this pair. I found this in a shop in downtown Somerville, in New Jersey, while on a short vacation. There were so many of them there, that it was kinda hard to choose, but these two, I thought, were the most attactive and functional, Mr. Peanut collectibles were made in dizzying varieties and are so plentiful, that they are easily found, and so affordable, they literally cost--well--peanuts!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

384.Boxed: HEE-HAW, 1970

At the National Museum of American History, one can find on display a tin lunch box of HEE-HAW, a musical comedy show on CBS, which ran from 1969-1972. The popular show starred Buck Owens and Roy Clark.
The lunchbox was made in 1970 by King Seeley.  The lunch box has a metal snap for a hinged lid and a collapsible red, plastic handle. The exterior features images from the country variety television show.The TV lunchbox is shown with an unused coloring book, an authorized edition from the same HEE HAW TV show.

Monday, November 6, 2017

383. 50s VINTAGE POMADE BOTTLES: Secrets of our Debonair Dads!

Now here's a trio of small,clear glass jars that once held pomade and solid brilliantine--grooming essentials for the 1950s man. The brands include Cashmere Bouquet, an imported brand; Atomic Solid Brilliantine, and Waling-Waling, both local products. The 50 to 60 year old pomade bottles retain both their tin caps and labels with bold, colorful graphics. The more familiar brand--Cashmere Bouquet--actually has a talcum powder counterpart, while the two are largely unheard-of. More well-known pomade brands of the 50s include Glo-Co, X-7,  and Robin Hood, The small jars were easily disposed of after use, that is why it is amazing to find these 3 pomade jars still in great condition after all these years.

Friday, September 15, 2017

382. Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: SOAKIES SET:

In the 1960s, to  make taking a bath a more fun experience for kids, Colagte Palmolive packaged its shampoo in plastic figural containers in the shape of popular cartoon characters. The result is the Soaky Bubble Bottle--which children can play with, while soaked in a bath! These "soakies" depicted scores of characters that included Bozo the Clown, Batman and Robin, Snow White, Casper, Dick Tracy, Flintstones, Alvin and the Chipmunks, Smokey the Bear, Popeye, and later--the Muppets and characters from Star Wars. the unique play bottles became instant collectibles and are now sought after today mostly by baby boomer collectors who grew up taking a shower with these plastic shampoo "toy" bottles. Generally very affordable, there are soakies that are hard to find and therefore more expensive--like the Creature from the Black Lagoon, which starts at $100!!. Similar bottles are still being made today--so that's good news for folks who want to soak in the happiness of showering with a favorite toy!!

Saturday, July 15, 2017

381. Strong to the Finish : 1958 POPEYE VINYL DOLL by GUND

Now here's a handsome deal that came from a distant relative---a 21 inch 1958 vinyl doll of Popeye, the sailor man, toot-toot!! It was made by Gund Mfg. Co. which has been making stuffed toys since 1898! This character doll is an authorized merchandise of King Features Syndicate, which owns the right to the popular cartoon series.

When it came to me, it had been redressed and mended in different parts. The head seemed lopsided, like it was repositioned at one point so I had to twist it a bit. Popeye was wearing a horrible metallic silver top with very tight pants of the same material. It came in a ragged condition, and its nose, it seemed, showed signs of having been nibbled by its previous owner. Well, I had high hopes that I could restore it still.

But first, I had to look for reference o how to redress Popeye. It was good thing I found a similar doll on ebay, which shows Popeye in its original sailor dress. I  took the doll to a local dressmaker and furnished her with the above reference. Well, she figured she could copy it--and I believed her.
A week after---my old Popeye was ready to slip into his new, flashy sailor attire. I think my dressmaker did a fabulous job recreating a new costume using local fabrics! The costume has that fresh-from-the-factory look!! My Popeye is ready to b displayed--and he did not have to finish a can of spinach to look this good! Toot--toot!!

Saturday, June 24, 2017


Disneyana collectors--look what I found at a local thrift shop, a 1956 Donald Duck squeaker hat! It's an unlikely find here in the Philippines--and I've never seen anything like it. The cap itself is made of fine mesh material, and is topped with a Donald patch with a ribbon. The eyes are glued-on plastic googlies, The beak is plastic and when you give a squeeze--it actually squeaks!
Recently, I saw this old print ad online advertising the same cap--"the hat you'll see Mouseketeers wearing on TV!" Of course, I never saw that as the Mickey Mouse show was never aired in the Philippines, so it was a delight to discover this piece of Disneyana in this part of the world, I am quacking all over!!