Saturday, April 30, 2016

Of Flying British Cars...Part Two

There was a time long ago and far away, where breakfast was the most important meal of the day for more than one reason. As a kid in the 1960's breakfast held the possibility of discovering buried treasure! For buried in that colorful box of gloriously sugar filled cereal there were the coolest prizes EVER!

Recently, I came across the following on eBay:

Yep, in the late 1960's the Kelloggs company gave every kid that bought a box of Corn Pops the chance to own a color-incorrect Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! They had yellow ones and red ones and, as you see here, blue ones. There was something truly magical about digging around in the box for that little plastic bag (oh, come on- you know you did it!) and ripping it open to find your treasure! The box never looked the same, but it was worth it!

Of course, those days are lost forever. Now if cereal companies give away anything at all, it's made out of paper....or even worse, it's a download. Who the heck wants a virtual prize? That stinks!

So, if you want to find the good prizes, eBay is your best bet. For about the price of a box of cereal, you can relive your childhood! (Let's face it, the prize was all you bought the cereal for anyway...)

So until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

A Case of the Krupa

This week's feature is an estate find with a story. A couple of years ago my  wife, Laurie, and I went to an estate sale in north Dallas. We got a few good items there (including a never used, in the box airbrush) but the item I'm featuring today almost didn't get purchased.

I was looking through some old albums just to see what they had. Most of it was pretty generic 1960's snd 1970's pop music stuff. However, I did spot one album that was a bit older. It was this:

As you can see, the cover wasn't in the best shape. The album wasn't much better. Still, since it was the last day of the sale, it had been marked down to 75 cents. For some reason I just thought it needed a home, so after putting it back and picking it up about three times, I went ahead and bought it.

On the way home I was talking about how I wished that it were in better shape. I commented that someone had even written their name on it! That caused me to look a little closer at it. I saw this:

Yep, it says, "Dave, I hope you enjoy this. Gene Krupa"

I had just accidently bought a signed Gene Krupa album! A while later I took it to Heritage Auctions to get appraised. The expert said that the signature is genuine, and although the album is pretty worthless due to condition, the autograph is worth about 110 bucks! Not bad for three quarters!

Also, the album, while not in good shape, is playable....and pretty good! There's nothing like a little Krupa to put you in a Mad Men frame of mind!

So until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

The Eldon Mustang Rides Again!

In 1969 I got one of the coolest Christmas gifts Eldon International 500 Race Set! The layout was huge and featured banked turns, lap counters, and Lemans style supercars. Eldon's slot cars were an impressive 1/24 scale, so the whole thing seemed massive to a seven year old. It was mounted on a 4x8 sheet of plywood, and it took up most of it.

The car I am featuring today wasn't in the set. My dad bought it for me a couple of years later at Sterlings on Northwest Highway in Dallas (the place is now a Half Price Books). Still, I thought it was totally cool, and I still do. Here it is...

I now realize that this particular model was probably supposed to be the car from the movie Bullitt, but as a kid I didn't know what that was. I picked it out simply because it looked cool and also because my grandfather drove a white 1965 Mustang.

Through the years I lost the track, the controllers, and the other cars. Somehow, though, the Mustang still rides on the bookcase. Hopefully it will do so for quite a while longer.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, April 4, 2016

Disney's Haunted House

Few people realize that even before Disneyland existed (or was even called Disneyland) Walt Disney planned to put a haunted house in his park. Walt was never one to shy away from frightening the kids (as is evidenced in his movies...the forest scene in Snow White is downright creepy...and don'the get me started on Fantasia!) and spook houses were an amusement park icon long before Disneyland. Early concept drawings of park ideas show a run down old house at the end of a dead-end street. Clearly, a haunted house was in the planning.

Still, when Disneyland opened in 1955, there was no dead-end street, and no haunted house. That was to come much later. A book could be written about the very long and convoluted path Disney's Haunted Mansion took before it was finally released to the admiring masses, and several have. For our purposes, let's just point out that it took almost a decade between when the exterior was constructed and when the attraction was finished.

In that time, several items were released to the public to keep interest in the project alive. Today, we feature one of them. I present to you, The Disney's Haunted House puzzle!

Now, I'm not sure when this item was produced (I got it a few years ago off eBay) but we have a few clues. First, it calls the attraction the Haunted House, not the Haunted Mansion. This means that the official name had not been quite decided yet. However, the puzzle features an actual scene from the ride, in pretty good detail. The party scene is a high point in the ride, and this puzzle gets it pretty right, so we know it wasn't drawn too long before it opened. (Mickey and Goofy aren't actually in the ride, that is a bit of artistic licence) 

I would, therefore, put the publishing date of this puzzle around 1968...ish.... The ride opened in 1970. Can I prove it? Nope. It's just a guess. Still, it's a fun bit of Disneyana!

The puzzle is all there and in great shape. It sits on my bookcase and cheers me up, so I think I'll keep it around.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!