Monday, December 25, 2023

Merry Christmas!!!

 Well, this week we have a short post with big news! 

First, after 31 years in public education, I retired on December 20th. I plan to focus on playing bass with several bands (next gig, New Years Eve!)

Next, my daughter got me this for Christmas/ retirement (mainly retirement)

Now it's tough to find a Disneyland book that I haven't read, but this is one! Now I was perfectly satisfied with just the book, but then she showed me this in tje box UNDER the book.

Yep, after 50 years, I'm going back to Disneyland! My wonderful daughter is taking me on a daddy/daughter trip! Three days in the park, starting with Walt's Main Street Story tour! We're even staying in the Disneyland Hotel!

I was beyond shocked! She is as big of a Disney parks nut as I am! 

So, look for a trip report very soon!

Merry Christmas to all, and to all keep searching for treasure!

Monday, December 18, 2023

Book a Christmas Tradition

 This week we have a couple of books that mean a lot to me- especially at this time of year.

First, we have a book from my childhood...

The Littlest Angel was written by Charles Tazewell in 1946. It's about a little boy angel that just doesn't fit in to Heaven. Still his gift to the Christ Child becomes the greatest of all. It's a really wonderful story and I highly recommend it if you heart needs a little warming.

The art work in this edition is very nice, in my opinion.

My book was published in 1947, so it's probably a second printing. However, I wouldn't take a thousand bucks for it. Why? Because of this picture:

Yes, that's a five year old Stu being read this exact copy by his mom. I'm also pretty attatched to this picture!

The next book doesn't mean quite as much to me, but is fun. I bought this in 1975 and I still have it!

It's a little yellowed and kind of rumpled, but I still read at least some of it every year!

Here's a random page, just because...

The back cover is also fun. Remember all that weird stuff that you could order from comic books? Well, here it is! I never ordered any of it, but I'm pretty sure most of it was junk. Still, it was fun junk!

And that's it for this week! Have a great Holiday! Merry week before Christmas!!!

And keep searching for treasure!

Monday, December 11, 2023

More Wish Book Dreaming!

This week we're looking at the best year ever for the Sears Christmas Wish Book...1968! This is the year that they came out with TWO Christmas catalogs. In addition to the regular one, they had a special "summer edition!" Let's dive in, shall we?

We'll start with the summer edition! I can only imagine the fun kids had when this bad boy came in the mail!

We'll dig right in! 1968 was a great year for toys that could hurt you if you were kind of stupid. But you would (hopefully) learn after one burn and then you could enjoy making all sorts of wonderful toys! 

This page features some of the most iconic games ever in the history of iconic games! Rock Em Sock Em Robots! Time Bomb! Kaboom! Gold! All gold!

I'm featuring this page because of the Boaterific boats! These were the maritime versions of the Motorific cars by Ideal. They had small electric motors. I had the cabin cruiser, although it only cruised in my bathtub.

Another thing I had was Matchbox City! I was most impressed with the vacuformed dump. I was a weird kid.

Ah, slot cars! You can never go wrong with slot cars!

And here we have our hero, G.I. Joe! These accessories were BIG. Especially the jeep! I didn't have it, but I knew a kid that did.

I had the space capsule! A cooler toy was never made! And it floats!

Trains were still big in '68, and you could get a whole detailed layout!

Ok, it's after the August ordering deadline for the summer book. What now???? Well, here comes the regular book to the rescue! Here we go!!!

Yes, I had a pedal car. It was a fire truck, but I don't think it was exactly like any of these. Very close, but not exact.

Now this is something that I didn't have as a kid, but I picked up with some Hot Wheel stuff at an estate sale. The Matchbox Motorway! I've never tried to get mine to work...

Speaking of Hot Wheels, here ya go! I think all drag strips should have a loop in the middle! 

Joe is back in case you missed ordering your space capsule! Also, Zeroids and the Johnny Astro Explorer (it's a balloon).

And here is a very nice Corgi layout. They really did make very high quality cars!

 And there you have it! If you couldn't find something you liked in the 1968 Sears Wishbook, then you weren't wishing hard enough!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, December 4, 2023

Dreams of Yesteryear

 When I was a kid in the 60s, one of the most satisfying tasks leading up to Christmas was the shopping trip through the Sears Christmas Wishbook! Pen in hand, we would scour the pages for the treasures we wanted to see on Christmas morning. A circle here and a circle there, and our Christmas list was done!

This week we have the first in a two part post on that wonderful book! You see, years ago (1997 to be exact) a book was published that contains every Sears Christmas Wishbook from 1951 to 1969! Now, unfortunately, they only included the boys toys, but since I fall into that catagory it certainly works for me. Here it is!

I purchased mine in 1997 and it's now looking a bit worn. At least I never took a pen to it! However, I looked on Amazon and the book is still in print and can be purchased for 49.95. 

Now this book is fairly huge, so we're not going to look at all of it. Still, a few pages this week and next week might be fun. So, let's start way back in 1951, shall we?

The cover of the 1951 book is a great example of Christmas cheer. That Santa's got the goods- and he wants to share!

Cowboys were big in the early 50s! Really big! That's why Walt's park had a huge Frontierland. This is just one of many pages that offered cowboy (and Indian) toys!

I shared this page just because of the Howdy Doody puppet.

Tin toys were big as well. I always wanted one of those tin roller coasters but I never got one. Oh well, maybe next Christmas!

Trains were gaining in popularity, and would continue to do so for years to come. There are several pages dedicated to the dream layout.

Farm toys? Sure! Rural life was still a large part of the American experience, so kids could own a farm just like Dad's!

Now we'll zoom to the other end of the book and check out 1969! Unlike the 1951 book, I was alive and well at this point (I was born in 1962). So, let's dive in!

Ok, the 1969 cover isn't quite as festive. In fsct, we're not even in the house! Still, there's good stuff in there, so let's jump in!

Yep, these are the toys I really remember! GI Joe! The space capsule! I'm pretty sure mine came from Sears.

I still have my Hot Wheels Hazard Hill set, although it's in really rough shape. That thin blow molded plastic didn't age well. Still, it was fun at the time!

I had a Zeroids robot, but I can't remember which one. They go for big bucks now, so unless I fall into a fortune I'm not getting a new one!

Major Matt Mason was popular at this time too. He was a rubber "bendy" figure with a lot of cool accesories. It's hard to find one now that has intact wires.

Billy Blastoff was a rival to MMM. I had the Major, not Billy 

Ah, the creme del a creme of toy cars: Corgi! Just look at those cars! The Batmobile! The Black Beauty! Chitty Chitty Bang Bang! All with working features!

And finally, we have the holy grail for a lot of Disney toy collectors: the Marx Disneyland playset! 

That's it for this week! How are we going to top it next week? Well, actually 1968 is the best year for the catalog...So good, in fact, that they actually came out with TWO! 

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, November 27, 2023

Having a Blast!

 This week's game is amazingly simple, but has a good gimmick to it. I'm talking about Battleboard from 1972! Let's take a look!

This is the box. The "Air Raising Action" quote kind of tips you off to what this game is all about. If you didn't get it, the picture of one kid hitting a plunger and blowing the other kid's piece off the board should.

This is what you see when you open the box.

And here are the instructions; helpfully printed on the inside of the box top. The goal to the game is simple. You have to be the first player to move any two of your pieces to the wall without getting literally blown away!

This is looking down on the field. I actually didn't set this up correctly for these pictures, since the King piece should be one row up from the knights. Still, it's a good view of the holes. Pushing a plunger on one side will send a blast of air through the hole on the other side.

Here's a close up of the pieces. 

And this is your view while playing. 

This is a game I actually had as a kid (although this copy is an eBay find). So, is it fun? Well, actually, yes! There is a surprising amount of strategy involved in finding out where those little dudes are and making it to the wall. It also feels pretty good to send one of them flying! Heck, you can just sit there and see how far you can make them fly!

So, Ideal took a very simple game and made it fun by adding a gizmo, which is a very boomer board game thing to do. Game designers were a different breed back then, I guess!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, November 20, 2023

Have I Got a Deal For You!

 This week we have another fun game that I picked up at a thrift store a few years ago! By the way, that's one of the great things about Boomer board games, you can STILL find them at thrift stores! Anyway, I knew of this game as a kid, but I had to wait a few decades to actually play it. The game? Dealer's Choice!

This Parker Brothers game came out in 1972. Like King Oil, you take on a career and try to be the best at it! This time, though, you aren't a high rolling oil executive, but rather a rather slimy (if you want to be) used car lot owner! Let's look closer, shall we?

The bottom of the box gives you a little more info on the point of the game.

This is what you see when you open the box.

I like the picture of the little old lady burning out in the Corvette!

The round plastic thing is actually just an organizer for the game cards and money. It does come in handy, though.

Here are a few of the Auto cards. As you can see, you can deal in a few highly unusual rides! I'm enough of a car nut that I get a kick (and a chuckle) from these!

Ok, remember that "slimy" comment I said? Well, the Dealer's Choice cards are what let you do that. They also let you run a legit business. The choice is indeed, the dealer's!

Want insurance? (Hint: yes you do.) Hopefully you'll get good insurance. Fly By Night ain't good. Words to the wise.

Every good 60s and 70s game has a good gizmo to it, and even though the big orange plastic organizer is flashy, the real star is the "Official Blue Book." This controls and randomizes the most important aspects of the game! How? Let's look at the instructions!

A note on these instructions: My copy of the game was missing the instructions. However, our friend Mr. Google can often help find old game instructions! A quick search, a press of the "print" button and there ya go!

So, how fun is this game? Well pretty darn fun! I might like it more because I really like cars,  but the wheeling and dealing and good and bad luck are just plain fun to me! You are able to buy and sell vehicles that you never could (and some that you would never want to) own! All in all, not a bad way to kill about an hour.

So, if you happen to see a copy at a garage sale or a thrift store, maybe make a deal and bring it home! It's a winner! You can trust me! 

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!