Tuesday, May 31, 2016

The Matchbook Tank

Some things in my collection are from my childhood, but not all. A case in point is this week's entry; the Eldon Match Kit Patton Tank. As a kid, the only things I knew Eldon made were slot car tracks. However, as it turns out, they had whole lines of other interesting toys and hobby items! Here is my Match Kit model...

I found this example at Hobby Town a few years ago. I think it might have been part of a collection that they bought and then sold off. It is dated 1967, and I know Hobby Town wasn't around then! Neither price is accurate, by the way. I think I paid closer to three bucks. Still, I consider it a good deal!

Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I should point out that although the model looks like it's packaged in a match book, the matchbook is pretty out of scale. It measures about 6X4.5 inches. Those are huge honkin' matches!  It's a pretty cool marketing idea, though. 

I have no idea what quality the model is. I've never opened the package, and probably won't. That's the problem with collecting models...when you open them the value plunges (not to mention the "cool factor") But, what good is a model that's forever sealed? Things like this keep me up at night. Maybe someday I'll find an open one....or not.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, May 23, 2016

A Time Traveling Train

This week I'm focusing on a childhood favorite that came home after about 45 years...or so...

The following picture was taken at my grandparent's house in 1967...

As you can see, it was a good Christmas! Among the treasures you can see a Marx Battery Operated Train Set. I played with that train quite a bit over the next few years, but then it went to the Land of Lost Toys (I don't know where that is, but I'm pretty sure it's a real place!)

Years passed.....and more years passed....and a few more.....and then.... I realized that the Land of Lost Toys has an outlet store- called eBay! So, I started looking for my long lost toys and I found that I could have them all...for a price.

However, I am rather...uh...cheap. So, I looked and looked and looked and finally decided that I would never get that stinkin' train for a reasonable price. Then, a miracle happened and there it was! For cheap! And no one bid me up! And it was even local, so I saved shipping! So after a quick drive to Wylie, Tx, I had:

So what is the point of all of this? It's simply this- if you stick to your treasure hunt long enough...you're going to get rewarded. Don't give up! Sometimes the train is just running a little late.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, May 15, 2016

When Hillbillies Ruled The Earth...

Hello, campers!
This week I drug a bit of history out of the attic that takes me back to a simpler time. A time when there were only three main tv stations, and rural comedies ruled. The time is 1963, and the item is:

Yep, it's the Beverly Hillbillies Setback Card Game! The only thing longer and more confusing than the name, are the instructions. Sheesh! Anyway, it's pretty easy to see that Milton Bradley was just trying to cash in on the hottest new tv show by sticking its name and cast pictures on a fairly boring card game.

Still, it made sense at the time. The Beverly Hillbillies were part of the "rural comedy" universe that included Andy Griffith, Green Acres, etc...and those shows were hot, baby, HOT! Also, card games were still the rage in American living rooms, with bridge being the king. So...natural tie-in!

Unlike the show, I don't think I would actually like this game much. Obviously I've never played it. Heck, I don't even think I've ever made it through all of the rules...and they're one sheet....on the inside of the box.

Still, I like the box art (Did you know that their truck was really a converted touring car? Now you do!) And the cast pictures on the cards are kind of entertaining. So, it sits up on the shelf...never played, but never tossed.

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

A Haunted Treasure Game.....Or Is It?

Among the items that I have collected over the years, I have quite a few baby boomer board games (say that fast three times- I dare ya!) By "quite a few" I mean over a hundred. I have all of the old standards like "Clue," "Monopoly," "Sorry," etc... Then I have a few really weird ones...like this:

This is "Haunted Treasure Hunt" by Milton Bradley. It is dated 1975, and I found it at a thrift store years ago. As best as my research can tell, it was made for only one year, so it is pretty rare. However, that's not the interesting part. What is really cool about this game is the game board...

Now, class, can anyone tell me why this board is so interesting? Well, anyone with more than a passing knowledge of Milton Bradley games will tell you pretty quickly that what we are looking at here is a repurposed "Operation" board! The holes you are supposed to get the treasure out of are even still in the shapes of the "funny bone," etc. from that game! (Even though the bits of treasure aren't those shapes...)

 The "Operation" man's nose becomes the sea captain's lantern. Add in a creepy haunted house based on the Psycho house and there you go- a whole new game!

I guess kids caught on pretty quickly that it really wasn't a whole new game, and that's why it was so short lived. Still, I find it interesting in a "did they really think no one would notice" kind of way.

By the way, if you want to convert your own "Operation" game, here are the rules:

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!