Thursday, December 27, 2012

Collectors Guide to TV Toys and Memorabilia (1960's & 1970's, 2nd Edition)

Wasn't this book's cover just singing out to me from the recently returned shelving of the non-fiction floor yesterday? Collectors Guide to TV Toys and Memorabilia: 1960's and 1970's, 2nd Edition (library) by Greg Davis and Bill Morgan is a collector's historical and price index to your favorite tv tie-in tchochkes from the sixties' and seventies'. Neither one of my parents had the kind of parents who would buy them a lot of INSANELY AWESOME merchandising, so I'm just going to have to keep my eagle eyes peeled for these items in the wild. Wanna take a look?

THE. BIONIC. SNEAKERS. OH. MY. GOD.

As I've said before, I am unnaturally attracted to tv-tie in collectibles. When Great Escape or Goodwill happens to feature a board game or a lunchbox or a coloring book from any and every show I've ever seen in syndication, it's almost a certainty that if the price is under $15, I will be purchasing it for inclusion in my own tiny little home "Golden Age of Television" museum. It's a sickness! An affliction! (#firstworldvintagecollectionproblems) I was telling a coworker at the non-fiction desk earlier that though I have never seen an entire episode of the Six Million Dollar Man-- not once! Not even once!-- I somehow still have the board game, an officially licensed t-shirt contemporaneous to the show's original run (I thought it was homemade, but this book says it's official!), and a lunchbox! These things just fall into my hands somehow.

That, dear friends, is why I avoid ebay auctions altogether-- could you imagine how bad I would be if the whole world was open to me, in terms of shopping territory? Still, the book showed me many wonders to keep in mind in case they do crop up in a home goods or toy section in the near future. 

Let's take a look at some of the killer dillers:




We discussed paper dolls just the other day, and while I do have a Doris Day set in my "celebrity" collection, I feel sad that I don't have a Darren, Endorra, and Samantha set from the tv show Bewitched. These Swedish language clips are TOO. CUTE. "De Ungas Sidor" means "The Youth Pages", and I think these would have featured in a Swedish newspaper or magazine sometime when the show originally aired? I was surprised at how tame Agnes Moorhead's costumes and makeup looks in comparison to what I remember from the show-- doesn't she look more a young Zsa Zsa Gabor than herself on her page? Whatever, would still snap these up in a millisecond.


Another show that was in re-runs on the old Sci-Fi channel weekday lineup was The Bionic Woman. Please, please, please look at the box art for the fembot. I found one at an exorbitantly high priced listing on ebay, but this snap from a fansite is even better. YOU CAN RIP OFF HER FACE, YOU GUYS. You can rip her face RIGHT OFF to reveal the plastic decal of her inner workings! I have honestly never seen a more exciting toy. If you don't remember the show or this particular element of the show, do yourself a favor and watch this absolutely amazing clip of an example episode from YouTube. One of the exchanges is "1: Aw, no! No, no, no, man! 2:The doctor's human son died as a baby..." and from there, it really just gets better. FEMBOTS FOR LIFE.

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I also love this wallet, but couldn't find one for sale anywhere. You know Quentin Tarantino has one. You KNOW he does.

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I was surprised when going through the Brady Bunch memorabilia that the official series lunch box is not nearly as exciting as you'd think it would be. Not that I don't want one if you want to give me one, but check it out:


I wasn't sure if they even had the wedding on the show, but apparently they did, in the pilot episode, where the future Mrs. Carol Brady actually wore yellow instead of pink. Discrepancy! Still, compared to the Partridge Family lunchbox, this is kind of weak sauce...we need more of the kids! More of the A-frame house and staircase! Somethin!

This thing looks insane. Let's get it:



Did you have your own style-its-hair mannequin head a child? Haircare toys are always hit and miss to me because if you do any of the things you're supposed to do to the figure's hair (cut, wash, curl, set, etc), you're kind of going to mess it up. And unlike real hair, your doll's hair does not grow out of the asymmetrical Dorothy Hamill cut you regretted instants after having given it to her.

My dad said in high school it was fashionable for boys of his age to ask door-to-door-literature-distributing Mormons if they could get "me a date with Marie Osmond!", of the most glamorous Mormon singing brother-sister sensation of them all, Donny and Marie. I only remember Donny and Marie from their revamped talk show in the late 90's, and Marie's frequent marital/family/psychological problems of that same time frame. Still, you have to admit they're kitsch cute in their sequins and turquoise on the front of this 45s carrying case. You'd be surprised at the sheer volume of Osmond merchandise there was when the sibling's variety hour was a thing back in the seventies'. 



We! Love! Gidget! We! Love! Her!I'm not sure what psychic powers the girl midget might possess, but her smilling little bouffant'd head on the cover is enough to sell me.

HTF 1966 GIDGET FORTUNE TELLER GAME by Milton Bradley, Complete & VG Condition


It's been nine years since I was outbid on a Welcome Back, Kotter record player in my freshman year of college (that might have been the experience that got me off of ebay!), but the passage of time has not dulled the pain a whit! Even as cringe-inducingly-bad as his career has turned of late (did you guys see the video for "I Think You Might Like It"?), even as completely off-put by Scientology as I am, I'm a John Travolta supporter all the way, forever, and his male ingenue turn as Vinne Barbarino in Welcome Back, Kotter is one of my particularly fond memories of the Travolta-that-was. LOOK. AT. THIS. PLAYSET.

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Truth time: the one item for which I would actually break my ebay embargo (it's not ebay's fault, it's my hair-trigger compulsive collecting habit that's to blame): OH MY SWEET AND DEAR LORD, Southwestern Native American themed Cher dressing room set. YES. A THOUSAND TIMES YES.

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There's a lot more in the book where that came from. Did you have any particularly beloved tv-tie in merchandise as a child? Do you scour ebay for this kind of junk, or would you gladly pass it up as a yard sale because "what'll I ever do with it?" (I wish I was in the latter camp! I wish!). Which toy would you like to add to your collection?

HOW AWESOME ARE FEMBOTS?

Have a great Thursday, and I'll see you tomorrow for Photo Friday!

16 comments:

  1. I love so much about this post! The Cher doll is amazing...I wish I had one...I had Donny and Marie Osmand dolls as a kid. It was my favorite, favorite show when I was little. That, and the Barbara Mandrell show. And the Brady Bunch. I have never seen a fembot, but I do have a sweet Bionic Woman lunchbox with thermos in my booth right now. I can't believe nobody has bought it. Or the Mork and Mindy one I also have...love some '70's television tie-ins!

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    1. MATTHEW GOT ME A CHER DOLL FROM EBAY! It came on New Year's Eve. It needs its own post. I might have to come down to your booth and divest it of its Bionic Woman lunchbox...love Jamie Sommers!

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  2. That Farrah doll really looks like Farrah - SPOOKY! I would trade my entire family for the Gidget game. There is nothing that I don't love about Sally Field and Gidget!!! Did you know that the show was only on for one season - a CRIME!!!

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    1. Right? And the Cher doll really does look a lot like Cher. I think the MEGO toy company was much better than Mattel about making their dolls look a lot like the real life counterparts. My mom, who doesn't love anything pop culture, was obsessed with Sally Field as Gidget as a kid-- she has that sadly sole season on dvd. GIDGET FOR LIFE.

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  3. oh man i love that kind of stuff too, even when i haven't seen the show! i remember that osmond talk show, i taped an episode with N*SYNC on it once. but i would snap up any osmond stuff i found! their merchandise was so cute! i would also love to find old addams family stuff!

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    1. Old Addams Family stuff-- man! That would be so neat! I smell a new ebay-merchandise-related post...

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  4. When I was little, my neighbors who had girls older than I gave me all her old dolls. I think there was a Marie Osmond and a bionic woman involved. I wish to god I still had them but they got ruined in the flood. drat

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    1. I had a bunch of Care Bears/Strawberry Shortcake/She-ra memorabilia that was hand me down like that, and I don't know where ANY of it is today. Le sigh.

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  5. Um, I cannot get behind the Donnie Osmond thing. My best pal had big hots for him and spent all of her allowance on Tiger Beat magazines and green apple Jolly Ranchers. She had a pillow with his toothy face on it and she would practice "Frenching" on it. I was a prudish little slow developer, and this kind of thing was Kryptonite to me.

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    1. Haha! I love the idea of a sourpussed, nonplussed pre-Mrs.Leapheart Mrs. Leapheart disdaining her friend's Donnymania. Blech, boys! :)

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  6. These are the toys from my childhood. Not much of my stuff survived but I never pass up a vintage toy at a yardsale and I have a whole room we call the toy room to prove it! That Donny and Marie record tote is in there and I sure wish I could add Cher's dressing room.

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    1. WANT. CHER'S. DRESSING ROOM. SO. BAD. I WILL find one!

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  7. lol that Farrah doll - I saw one of those at the flea market over the summer. Don't get too excited, though: someone chopped all her hair off and her face was so dirty, she looked like a burn victim. The seller had her displayed in a wooden box, like a piece of terrible art. I actually took a picture of it because I felt like the whole world needed to see the terror: http://instagram.com/p/MQ9SmXw3Ts/ SO BAD LOL

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    1. OH. MY. GOODNESS. Terror! The terror!

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  8. What a wonderful blog! And some of these items are spectacular.

    I wonder if you or any of your followers can help me, please. I’m currently writing a children’s story that is set in about 1970, so I have to make the period clear at the beginning. What possession from the time do you think a boy aged about 12 might have saved as a keepsake?

    All best wishes from Australia

    Peter Taylor

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    1. Hi Peter!

      I'm sorry for the delay; I just now saw your comment! I will ask my readers next week and see if they have any good responses to your question about 1970 toy keepsakes. Thanks for reading! :)

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