The Three Caballeros Road Trip in a Volkswagen

These three amigos first traveled together in 1944 although Donald and José Carioca met two years earlier in 1942. But it wasn’t until 1957 that along with Panchito Pistoles the three friends were ready for their first Canadian road trip:

1957 Volkswagen Beetle Convertible

Being birds-of-a-feather they agreed to buy a classic open-top car. How appropriate! This way they would feel the wind in their feathers even though they were driving and not flying. Above and below we see them trying out their choice in the showroom:

         

Looking ready for fun!

So after sealing the deal and packing the trunk with all the luggage and bird seed they needed, they piled into their new ride:

Preparing to leave the car port

Panchito called shotgun so that left Donald to sit in the back seat, but that’s OK, as that’s where he liked to do most of his driving anyway!

With their maps marked for adventure the three were finally under way! But would they turn left or right at the end of the driveway?

Right it was = East!

Here’s hoping they had lots of good driving weather! I remember getting a postcard from them which I have kept to this day:

S A L U D O S    A M I G O !

H E L L O     F R I E N D !

The Wonderful Worlds of Walt Disney Book Set

Once again the idle thought to stop at a yard sale has yielded yet another great addition to my growing Disney book collection. This time I’ve found a beautiful set of four hardcover volumes from 1965. Complete and with the original cover sleeve no less! This is especially precious to me as that is the year I was born and I love finding things from my birth date.

From Golden Press

As mentioned, there are four volumes to this set. And they are:

This volume starts out with Disney animated and live-action movies that are set in other lands. It then segways into chapters adapted from the motion pictures series ‘People and Places’ and then goes back to Disney’s library of fictitious characters from around the world.

This volume mostly focuses on Disney animated and live-action films depicting historical characters.

Fun Fact: This volume has a picture of Br’er Rabbit on the cover who is from Disney’s ‘banned’ Song of the South movie. What is even more interesting is that it contains the Tar Baby story which is one of the main reasons the movie will never be released. There are so many examples of bits and pieces of the Song of the South being released in video compilations and in print, so why not just release the movie?

This volume focuses on creatures from the ‘True-Life Adventures’ series and also contains chapters containing pictures of many strange and unusual animals.

This volume contains mostly stories from Disney’s animated fables. Here is the title page:

Each volume has a similar title page as well as a contents page with a forward like this one:

Each of the four volumes have the same inner sleeve design:

 All in all this is a very nice set which must have delighted children back in 1965!

Fun Fact: This set of books contain stories that have been published before and after its production date. One such duplication is the stories of Mother Goose done over with a Disney twist. You can also read these stories in the book entitled Walt Disney’s Mother Goose. I guess if a story works, why not keep publishing it?

WDW 25th Anniversary Commemorative Plate

The collectible plate market crashed many years ago but manufacturers are still producing them like nothing happened. Prices for new plates can still reach over $50.00 but most often retail for just under $30.00 for most designs.

Disney-themed plates can always find a market. Today I am sharing a release from 1996:

    

Nice box packaging

This was a release to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Walt Disney World opening in 1971. It features the infamous ‘Birthday Cake’ Castle that Disney fans love to hate! I regret not being able to see it back then and feel that kudos should be given for taking such a promotional risk with an icon like Cinderella Castle.

Let’s have a look inside the box:

I was happy to find this in its original packaging with the price tag still attached. It sold for $35.00 US in 1996 but I paid only $12.50 CAN in 2016. Again, this is evidence that plates just aren’t a good collectible investment so buy what you like and plan on keeping it.

Below is an enlargement of the promotional spiel and a blurb about the artist, Charles Wissig:

Below are pictures of the front and back of the plate:

    

Very nice colorful design

If you are a plate collector you probably noticed the absence of a firing day limit. A low number of firing days means that the plate is rarer than those with a higher number of firing days. This was used to promote plates back in their day and was supposed to drive after-market prices higher. This worked initially but fell off quickly.

The fact that no firing limit is noted for this plate means that many were made which directly contributes to the plate being common and easily obtained in the after-market on eBay and other selling sites. In fact, you can find one on eBay right now (June, 2016) for just $15.00 CAN.

Value aside it is a very nice plate that I am glad to add to my growing collection.

The Muppet Show Game by Parker Bros.

It’s time to play the music, It’s time to light the lights!

It’s time to meet the Muppets, on The Muppet Show Game tonight!

OK, that was a slight variation on the original opening to the television show that had us all wondering how felt puppets could put on make-up and just what ‘dressing up right’ meant to a bunch of performers who walked around nude most of the time.

Of course, I’m talking about Jim Henson’s The Muppet Show which aired from 1976 to 1981. But the remainder of this post will deal with The Muppet Show Game that Parker Brothers produced in 1977:

Look for Jim Henson as a Muppet on the cover

Box Side

Muppet Show Game 004

Box End

This game is set up as a theatrical production directed by Kermit the Frog, produced by Parker Brothers, and starring Jim Henson’s Muppets. Even the rule book is actually a working script.

Back of Box

At the end of the post I will include pictures of the complete rules/script so you can get the sense of the play for yourself. Also, if you have the game but have lost the rules, this will make it possible for you to play the game properly.

First, let’s look more closely at the game board by itself, and set up for play:

    

“It’s time to raise the curtain on The Muppet Show Game tonight!”

Just for fun, look again for Jim Henson as a Muppet in the gallery of Muppets at the bottom of the board. Now let’s have a look at the spinner and rule book/script:

Muppet Show Game 007

So there are eight characters who play in teams of two and four set pieces, all of which must move around the board to win the game. To win, each player must get his two characters in place for the curtain call, and their set into position as well.

Let’s have a look at the character pieces first. A nice feature of this game is that the playing pieces are double-sided:

   Muppet Show Game 018

  Muppet Show Game 020

Muppet Show Game 023 

 

In a commercial world where game manufacturers seem to create generic artwork, it’s refreshing to go back in time (to 1977) and see this nice detail of front and back views for the character pieces!

And we can’t forget the sets. Can you match the sets to the characters?

Muppet Show Game 026

Now as promised, to conclude, here is the entire rule book/script reproduced for you page by page:

Muppet Show Game 012

  Muppet Show Game 010

 

  Muppet Show Game 014

  Muppet Show Game 016

Don’t forget to read Kermit’s directions!

Walt Disney’s THE GREMLINS Figurine Boxed Set

Gremlins, another movie that never was. Sometimes Walt Disney would team with another visionary and work on a joint project, sometimes for years, only to shelve or scrap the project. Destino with Salvador Dali was one such project. And the Gremlins with Roald Dahl was another.

The Author c.1954

The Gremlins is a children’s book that was written by Roald Dahl and published in 1943. It was Dahl’s first children’s book, and was written for Walt Disney Productions, as a promotional device for a planned feature-length animated. With Dahl’s assistance, a series of gremlin characters were developed, and while pre-production had begun, the film project was eventually abandoned, in part because the studio could not establish the precise rights of the “gremlin” story. Warner Brothers used similar characters in some of their cartoons, and the military used the Gremlins as mascots for many of their divisions.

I have a reprint of the book. I also have a Life Savers page ad featuring the characters. And now I have this great little PVC figurine set:

Little stinkers are damaging their own box!

     Gremlins Figurines 4

All sides of the box has artwork

It’s truly a shame that this idea never made it into production. The playful and mischievous characters would have made for a great feature, and subsequent Shorts.

Gremlins Figurines 6

Let’s have a closer look at the figures:

Gremlins Figurines 9

I don’t quite know why the box says ‘Gremlin Jamface’ as there are three distinct characters inside.

In September 2006, Dark Horse Comics published The Gremlins: The Lost Walt Disney Production, a faithfully restored and updated version of The Gremlins including an introduction by acclaimed film historian Leonard Maltin. This is the edition of the book that I have.

The PVC figurine set featured in this post was produced in 2007 for Walt Disney Productions by Dark Horse Comics using their Dark Horse Deluxe branding.

NOTE: If there are any spelling mistakes or historical inaccuracies in this post… I blame the Gremlins!