Snoopy Plastic Figurine by Schleich

Snoopy has a had quite the career. When not sleeping atop his doghouse he takes to the skies in his Sopwith Camel to do battle with the Red Baron. Now that’s exciting, but especially for a dog!

We’d better have a look at this prestigious pooch:

Always on top of something!

Charles M. Shultz created the Peanuts comic strip which ran from October 2, 1950, to February 13, 2000, continuing in reruns afterward. And although the star of the strip was good ‘ol Charlie Brown, it was his dog that really rose to the top.

Classic Profile

Snoopy joined the comic strip two days in on October 4th, 1950.

Snoopy is a loyal, innocent, imaginative and good-natured beagle who is prone to imagining fantasy lives, including being an author, a college student known as “Joe Cool” and a World War I Royal Flying Ace.

Sopwith Camel

The Sopwith Camel was a British First World War single-seat biplane fighter aircraft introduced on the Western Front in 1917. It had been developed by the Sopwith Aviation Company as a successor to the earlier Sopwith Pup and would become one of the most iconic fighter aircraft of the First World War.

Snoopy is perhaps best known for his fighter ace persona, wearing an aviator’s helmet and goggles and a scarf.

This little PVC (plastic) figurine was produced by the Schleich company and is a current release available in stores now.

Schleich was founded by Friedrich Schleich in 1935. Its figurines were first released in the 1950s with the development, production and marketing of comic figurines such as Snoopy and The Smurfs. In the early 1980’s they added animal figurines and Muppet characters to their range of products.

So is Fighter Ace Snoopy your favorite, or is Joe Cool more your speed? Either way, you have to agree this is one canny canine!

Burago Disney Character Diecast Cars

Burago of Italy has produced many Disney-inspired diecast cars over the years. I’ve found three more to add to my collection, this time featuring Donald Duck and Sulley from Monsters Inc.

The packaging is original but in very bad shape and the cars themselves have seen better days. But let’s have a look while pretending that they are gently-used second-owner vehicles:

Mercedes 190 E

The Mercedes-Benz W201 was the first compact executive car from Mercedes-Benz introduced in 1982, positioned below the E-Class and marketed under variants of the Mercedes-Benz 190 nameplate.

Happy on the side…

Scary on the front!

The W201 enjoyed strong sales in Europe but fared poorly in the United States. Series production ended in April of 1993 after the manufacture of approximately 1.8 million examples. I’m assuming less of this diecast replica were made!

Volkswagen Golf ’98

The Golf is a small family car produced beginning in 1974 and marketed worldwide across seven generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates, such as the Rabbit in the United States and Canada and as the Caribe in Mexico.

Angry on the side…

Angry on the roof! Trust me.

Initially, most Golf production was in the 3-door hatchback style, and this appears to be the one Donald Duck prefers to endorse!

Chevrolet Corvette

Production of the C5 Corvette began in 1997 and ended with the 2004 model year. This Burago version seems to be from this Fifth Generation run, although it could be a Fourth Generation model. Either way, Donald has ramped up his ride a tad!

Angry on the side again…

But absent from the top and hood this time.

For its first year, the C5 was available only as a coupe (as this diecast is), although the new platform was designed from the ground up to be a convertible, which returned in 1998.

These great little diecast models are in the 1/43 scale and have stickers to embellish them rather than paint-on-paint. As mentioned at the outset, these examples need a little TLC as some of the stickers are drying out and peeling. However, I only paid about $3.00 CAN each for them so I think I did alright overall!

Vroom-vroom!

Attractions: Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum

One thing I love to do on this site is cover places that I visit. There are so many attractions in and around my area that spotlight many unique forms of creativity that it would be a shame if anyone missed them. So if you are ever in Michigan be sure to visit Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum.

If you’re not planning to be in this State anytime soon, then this post is for you!

31005 Orchard Lake Rd., Farmington Hills, MI

What can one say about this place? It’s weird. Weird but wonderful at the same time! And as the first exhibit (pictured below) will show, it draws its inspiration from some pretty solid places:

Fine Inspiration Indeed!

Marvin Yagoda, the museum’s founder, had been collecting the items that populate the 5,500-square foot building for some 50 years. He was a recognized expert in the field of mechanical and electrical game apparatus and was involved in the appraisal of such items for the television series American Pickers. We lost Marvin on January 8, 2017 at the age of 78.

But the eclectic showroom he started so long ago still operates and is open to the public seven days a week.

Let’s have a look at just some of the oddities you can expect to find:

Instant Physical Exam for just 75 cents

You will find a huge collection of coin-operated animatronic dummies, mechanical games and other oddities here. The doctor above is just one of dozens of examples on display. If you plan on investing your money on this doctor’s diagnosis, prepare to be insulted!

Where to look first?

Walking in for the first time can be overwhelming! There isn’t a bare piece of wall or ceiling in the place.

“Vibratory Doctor”? Is that even legal?

Many of these vintage machines would have been on boardwalks or in sideshows, at a circus or freak show. I wonder why?

Beautiful Neon

There are several examples of neon signage as well, with my favorite example being displayed above.

Advertising Signage

Marvin was an equal opportunity collector and so also added vintage advertising to his collection.

Disturbing!

This museum is definitely a Home of the Weird as the above image shows. A 3-breasted Gypsy, anyone?

The Lighter Side

The museum also has many pieces to make you smile too. Such as the two Sailor Puppets above.

Hungry or Thirsty?

We are about half way through our tour, so if you’re getting a bit peckish, why not stop at the food stand and ask Humpty Dumpty for something to eat or drink?

Your Weird Hosts for This Post

What would a fun place be without a warped mirror?

On the Road

I need to get me a truck like this when I go searching for things to add to my weird and wonderful collection!

Now all good things come with a price:

Electric Donations

There is no charge to visit this museum but, as you can see above, donations to cover the cost of electricity are gratefully received! Also, almost all of the displays are fully operational and can be enjoyed for between 25 and 75 cents a play. This includes vintage arcade games (like Asteroids and Pac-Man), carnival games, pinball machines, and ‘Peep Shows’ (clean, of course!).

So please be sure to leave some of your hard-earned money behind!

COOL FACTOR: 5/5

I was thrilled to find such a unique and strange place among the attractions of Michigan! It won’t be for everyone, especially if you’re easily creeped out. But if you’re a student of history and a fan of early examples of coin-operated art and like to walk on the wild side at times… make your way to Marvin’s Marvelous Mechanical Museum!

Mickey Mouse Skipping Rope by Arco Toys

Skipping is one the oldest outdoor activities for children. Most often little girls will play various skipping games together while the boys look upon the ‘sport’ as sissy. But boys have been known to jump in from time to time!

Skipping rhymes have been recorded in all cultures where skipping is played. Examples of English-language rhymes have been found going back to at least the 17th century. But I think this skipping rope might only be from the 1960’s or 1970’s:

Just a little wear and tear

These have a nice little detail in the handles:

This Mickey Mouse skipping rope was made by Arco Toys:

Given the amount of rope attached to the two handles I have to assume that these would have been made for a child between the ages of 5 and possibly up to 8.

So what skipping rhyme would you use to play with this rope? May I suggest this one based on the Disney character of Cinderella:

Cinderella dressed in yellow, went downstairs) to kiss her fellow, by mistake kissed a snake, how many doctors will it take? 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 etc. (Go to 20 then go down to the next line)
Cinderella dressed in blue, went upstairs to tie her shoe, made a mistake and tied a knot, how many knots will she make? 1, 2, 3, etc.
Cinderella dressed in green, went downtown to buy a ring, made a mistake and bought a fake, how many days before it breaks? 1, 2, 3, etc.
Cinderella dressed in lace, went upstairs to fix her face, oh no oh no, she found a blemish, how many powder puffs till she’s finished? 1, 2, 3, etc.
Cinderella dressed in silk, went outside to get some milk, made a mistake and fell in the lake, how many more till she gets a break? 1, 2, 3, etc.

Disney Lesney/Matchbox Cars from 1979

I love die-cast cars and especially if they contain a Disney character in the driver’s seat. I found two examples from the same line recently and was able to catch up with them while they were on the ‘open road’:

I think Donald is tailgating!

This line was produced by the Lesney Products & Company Limited for Matchbox. The cars themselves are the usual size for a Matchbox vehicle but the figures are obviously oversized! Let’s have a closer look:

Goofy seems to be driving a Volkswagen Beetle while Donald may be driving a Volkswagen Dune Buggy.

    

Coming and going

I don’t know how many cars were released in each series but I did find out that Series 1 had Mickey Mouse in a red fire truck.

These are indeed die-cast cars as plastic hadn’t taken over yet back in 1979, and thank goodness! There is one last detail to point out:

Can you read this license plate?

Could it be VB-5 standing for Volkswagen Beetle 5, the ‘5’ relating to its order in the car release schedule? That’s the best I can figure. Do you have another idea?