Monday, February 27, 2023

King of the Wild Pantry

 This week's item is not that rare, or in particularly good condition, but it shows just what a variety of things can be found digging through thrift stores and flea markets.

In 1956, Peter Pan Peanut Butter had a mail in offer to get a recording of Disney's hottest show's theme- Davie Crockett! Apparently it was a huge success, because they are pretty easy to find. Here's the one I found at a local "antique mall" (flea market).

Apparently the young original owner wasn't really interested in "Green Grow the Lilacs," since "The Ballad of Davie Crocket" is marked as the "Good One." Unfortunately, they played the heck out of the "Good One" because they put some pretty deep scratches in that side. 

The record is about 10 inches in diameter and made of that heavy not-unbreakable material records from the 50s were made of. Although I have the system to play it, I never have out of fear of what those scratches would do to my needle. 

As I said, these are not too hard to find and many of them still have their mailing envelope. Still, mine is fine for displaying on my shelf, a reminder of a simpler time!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, February 19, 2023

A Dog and his Camel

 Sopwith Camel, that is. I am, of course, talking about America's dog, Snoopy! From 1950 to 2000, Charles "Sparky" Schultz brought a delightful world into our houses every day. Unlike a lot of comic strips, most of the characters were human, but the one animal never failed to steal the show! 

In 1970 Snoopy Mania was in full swing. He had been fighting the Red Baron in his imagination for a few years already when Milton Bradley decided to cash in on the craze. That was the year they released the simply named "Snoopy and the Red Baron Game." 

I happened to find a somewhat damaged copy at a thrift store. Here it is!

Here is the box. I think it might have been stored in a damp basement (even though there are very few basements in Texas)

The end panel has Snoopy uttering his signature phrase...

Upon opening the box, you see a lot of really fun looking plastic parts! Is that a Fokker D7 I see???

The instructions explain that this is really an extremely simple game. You try to catch white marbles that are "fired" at you and avoid blue ones. That's it. For real. 

Still, the game parts make up for some of the lack of game play. They really are pretty cool!

Looking down the business end of a marble chute...

The plane is cool, but unfortunately mine is missing the verticle stab. 

The Red Baron!!!

The "firing" chute. The big cardboard "sky" blocks the other player from seeing which marble is being played.

Ever wonder what the insides of Snoopy's doghouse looked like? Well, here you go!

Lucy doesn't seem to be too impressed...

...nor do Charlie Brown and Linus.

And here we have a sort of related shot of a recent Hot Wheels release... Just because.

So, this game looks great, but is it any fun? Well, sort of. It can be kind of exciting trying to catch the right marble because they come FAST and you have zero time to think about it! That being said, there really isn't too much to think about anyway, so it's kind of a wash. All in all, I'm glad I have it, but I don't like it enough to upgrade to a better example.

Still, it's a nice slice of a treasured part of childhood, and that's a big part of what this blog is about anyway!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, February 13, 2023

The House at 1313 Mockingbird Lane

Years ago I had the idea of building a train layout that would feature a "haunted" section. "Haunted Heights" would be a collection of ghostly houses all in 1/87 "HO" scale. Although that layout is still in my imagination, I have collected buildings for it over the years. I have the Addams Family house, for example. Of course when Moebius came out with the Munsters house, I had to have it!

The original house never really existed, of course, being a facade on the Universal backlot. It was first built for the movie "So Goes My Love" in 1946 and has been in about 20 different movies and tv shows since then. Now all that really exists from the original structure is apparently a little of the bottom floor and basic framing. 

Moebius modeled the house in all it's Munsters glory, however. (It's interesting to note that in some of the Munsters remakes they also used a model because the original set was so altered). It's not an easy build as it is recommended for folks 15 and older. Here it is!

Here is the box. They did a nice job on the graphics, I think.

This kit has parts. Lots of parts. I find it interesting that they were able to design a whole house since the original set was just the front facade. They did a really good job.

They even included window coverings. Nice touch!

Here are the building instructions...

The painting instructions are interesting in that they point out that the house was never filmed in color in the original series. This gives the builder a lot off leeway in their color choices. It even says you can paint it in grays to replicate the tv show.

By the way, there is a 1313 Mockingbird Lane here in Dallas. It's decidedly less interesting...

However, if you want to see a pretty close approximation to the original house that actually has an interior, may I suggest this place in Waxahachie, Texas.

I haven't been there, but apparently it's an almost perfect duplicate- outside and inside! (They even have Spot under the stairs that open up)

So there you have it! Hopefully one day I'll build it and then build that train layout. If I do, I'll put in on here for you guys to see!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, February 6, 2023

Eye in the Sky

 No, I'm not talking about Chinese balloons here. What I'm talking about is this...

Not the Cineroc, but the Camroc on the right. You see, this was the first camera that could be launched on a model rocket! (The Cineroc was the first super 8 movie camera that was launchable). 

In 1966, Estes Industries developed (see what I did there?) the Camroc rocket camera. The idea was extremely simple. A rubber band shutter was held closed until the parachute popped out, at which time it was released and snapped a single picture on Tri-X black and white film. The lens was in the nose of the rocket, so the rocket needed to be past apogee and pointing back at the ground before it popped. Otherwise you got a great shot of the sky! (Which was NOT great)

Anyway, I had one as a kid and took exactly one picture with it. I got lucky and got a really good picture of the hobby shop that we went to. I gave the picture to the owner and that was that. The camera was lost in the years after.

However, a month or so ago a even more senior member of our rocket club was selling a lot of his old stuff, and I bought his Camroc box! Here it is!

The mighty Camroc!

This is the lens. The quality of the pictures is great, especially considering the lens is plastic.

They sold sections that were pre-loaded with film. That's what is in these sealed plastic bags. I doubt they're any good.

He had a whole lot of parts! I can almost make two complete cameras!

These are film packs that you would load yourself. Again, I think they were stored in a hot garage, so they are probably toast.

Want to learn all about how to use a Camroc? Here are the instructions!

Finally, these are the plans for a rocket to boost it. I plan to "clone" my own and maybe even take a couple of pictures!

Now, of course, they have high quality digital cameras that can take stills and video very easily. Still, there's nothing like the thrill of doing it old school. Nostalgia can be a lot of work, but it can be worth it!

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!