January 31, 2010

American Presidential whistles

These marvelous plastic presidential toy whistles were purchased from Shackmanns' in New York, some time in the Nineties. It was an amazing toy store on 5th Avenue. You can read an interview with Dan Shackman Jacoby, the original owner over at the Herald Tribune.

The store was full of amazing goodies, and its sad to hear that the shop is no more. It was an incredible experience walking round, picking up items, only to put them down two seconds later when you found something even more intriguing. After several hours we still had to go round twice, just in case we'd missed something.

Today, Shackmanns does have an online presence, if not a physical shop, and it still looks pretty tasty. From flip books, to plastic novelties, its got something for everyone. The good news is you can still purchase these nodding animals above. Ours have seen better days, which is not surprising given they used to live on the back of our low level toilet cistern!

January 29, 2010

Monkey Noggin

As a child I know I had many a Viking Noggin, and Im sure I loved them dearly, but they were very Seventies. Like much of the era, they were consigned to the dustbin, and it wasnt until a visit to Camden market in the early Nineties that I considered Noggins again.

Back then Mark Pawson ran a little stall, full of rubber stamps, mail art and other plastic kitsch. Whether at that point he had already released his Noggins book, Im not sure, but he could well have been selling the actual figures.

The monkey, above, turned up last week, and Ive got to say we baulked at the £1.99 price tag. Since first seeing Pawsons book, we began picking them up, if the price was right (20p or less!), but more as a joke than anything. The problem with collecting as I think Ive written before, is that once you have one, youre always on the look out for the next.

I do like this chap, theres something very Yeti about him.

January 25, 2010

Dick Bruna Appleworld trainset

Last week we popped in to Newent to see the grave of Joe Meek, the pioneering 60s pop producer and songwriter. No trip, is ever complete without the obligatory charity shop trawl. So of course we found one.

In one, a small train set caught my eye. The track and train werent particularly nice, but the figures seemed familiar. The set was by a British company, called Playcraft, while the characters were all stamped Mercis '77.

On closer inspection I noticed a small label on the base of the Appletown station building ,that stated the building was based on an original Mettoy design adapted using illustrations by Dick Bruna.

Now like a lot of people my age I was brought up on Dick Brunas simple picture books, and can still remember coming home from primary school, full of pride, clutching my own versions of Brunas monkey and astronaut.

Sadly the Playcraft figures dont quite have the charm of Brunas original drawings, but none the less, a lovely find!

January 23, 2010

E J ARNOLD Picture Dominoes KG 681

These lovely picture dominoes are made by E J Arnold, of Leeds. They look like they're screen printed on a laminated plywood, and each domino measures 95 x 190mm, so not something you could play on a table! I think they were only available to schools.

The whole set consists of 36 pieces and have the sort of quality you associate with Galt Toys. Sadly theres no credit to an illustrator, but it does give the catalogue number of KG 681.
Above is a close up of a couple of my favourites.

January 20, 2010

Happy First Birthday!

Its just come to my attention that the blog was one years old yesterday. Happy Birthday!
We know how to celebrate at Down to the Cellar, so here to commemorate the event, a party invite by Newton Mill from the 1960s.

January 13, 2010

tintin live action book

One of the most popular posts Ive listed is the live action Babar domino cards. While few people have commented, its certainly wracked up the hits and started some discussion on other boards. There were a couple of Babar live action books that Ive been meaning to post for a while, but have never quite got round to it.

In the meantime heres a pretty rare find. This tintin picture book, in English accompanies the second live action film, tintin and the blue oranges. Sadly Ive never seen either film, but the pictures look great. Jean-Pierre Talbot plays tintin, and certainly looks the part.

My brother in Law salvaged this copy from a skip, a while back. It still amazes me what some people will throw out.

January 12, 2010

Monster in my Pocket

With all the snow, the local car boot has not been happening! Im suffering severe withdrawl symptoms. Even the local Charity shops stock is a bit thin on the ground, and what worries me more is the weather men are threatening more snow tonight. Sundays boot is under threat!

Todays post features a small selection of Monsters in My Pocket, that turned up in one of those boxes that you always find under sellers trestle tables. The boxes are always filled with odds and ends, forgotten toys, that were huge in their day, but now just a forgotten fad.

Released by Matchbox in the 1990s, Monster in My Pocket (M.I.M.P) were huge in their time and there were several series. Some like Crater Critters were free inside cereal packs, while others were released with the Nintendo game of the same name. Should you want to see more you should pop along to, the very informative raumhafen.de

January 07, 2010

Snowman Stomp

With all the snow were having, it seems as though the country is coming to a standstill. Schools and businesses are closed, and parents and children just dont know what to do with their time. But everywhere you look theres another snowman. Tonight there was even an item on the local news about one familys creation going missing!

In celebration of all those fluffy white chaps, heres a postcard from France by Photochrom.

January 04, 2010

Jean Marc Cote

I thought these drawings by Jean Marc Cote made a rather nice follow on from the New Years Day post, Visions of the Future.

Cotes' drawings from 1899 depicted a vision of the year 2000, and were planned as cigarette cards to celebrate the fin- de-siecle. However the publisher went bust, and the cards were never released!

The images here are taken from Henry Holts' 1986 book Future days, with an interesting, introduction by Isaac Asimov.

January 01, 2010

2010 Visions of the Future

The Noughties are over, and 2010 is here!
To welcome the new decade I thought Id post some images from Geoffrey Hoyles 1972 book, 2010.

The 46 page hardback book, illustrated by Alisdair Anderson depicts a vision of the Future and actually does pretty well. The computer is key! No one goes shopping anymore, as the cooker and fridge are directly connected to the supermarket. Bills are paid via the "vision phone", with access to your bank account via your thumb print. My favourite idea is the notion that everything, including electric cars is sent underground via a huge water filled tube under the ground.

Sadly the one prediction that Hoyle got wrong was his vision of the work place! He saw everyone working from home, and commuting a thing of the past!

Well, I suppose you can dream !