Monday, June 26, 2023

Plastic Tuna Boat

 No, the tuna isn't plastic, it's the boat, you see. 

In 1955 when Disneyland opened, the main feature in Fantasyland (other than that castle thingy) was the Chicken of the Sea Pirate Ship. Now, this wasn't just ANY pirate ship. These pirates served delicious tuna dishes made with Chicken of the Sea tuna!

In 1960 (to the best of my research, which consisted of a quick Google) Revell came out with a plastic model of the ship. Oh, look! Here it is!

The website "Scalemates" has a good picture of the original box. Note that tuna isn't actually mentioned  since Peter Pan was probably more popular for kids. Who wants to make a model of a tuna sandwhich, anyway?

Anyway, the model was produced for about ten years, as best as I can figure, and then disappeared forever. The actual Disneyland icon lasted a bit longer, finally meeting it's untimely end in 1982 with the "New Fantasyland" project. The official story is that they tried to move it to make room for the relocated Dumbo ride, but it fell apart. I kind of doubt the truth to that because they knew full well that it was actually a building on a foundation that would need to be rebuilt if moved. I suspect that dollars played the biggest role in her destruction.

Anyway, at that point it was all over. No prototype and no model. Nothing. Nada. Squat. 

Except it wasn't. You see model companies hate to toss old molds. They are, after all, pretty expensive. Just because they no longer have the liscense for a property doesn't mean they have to stop using them. A quick re-branding and "Wham!" new product! So, you can still build the Tuna Boat? See, here she is!

I think it's a little funny to see a cartoony ship being depicted as an evil ghost ship riding a raging sea, but it kind of works. Kind of. 

Notice the new name. "Caribbean Pirate Ship." It seems like they're trying to tap into another Disney property...without paying for it, of course! 

I bought one of these re-released kits a couple of years ago. I actually started it, bit then I ran into a problem that I call "prototype paralysis." You see, I started looking at pictures on Daveland, Gorillas Don't Blog, and Yesterland, and I got overloaded with details! 

Here is what's in the box...

A lot of black plastic. The box makes you think that it's going to be glow in the dark plastic, but if you look closer it says that you need to use glow in the dark paint for that. 

Here is my, somewhat sad, attempt at converting it back into the Disneyland version. 

All of that black plastic means you have to lay the paint on thick. There are also a lot of little paint details that are really really hard to paint! So...I gave up. I quit. 

The sad thing is that its a pretty easy model to build. Here are the instructions...

I may return to this project now that I've looked at it again. It's not THAT bad, after all. We'll see how it goes. 

Of course, those sails are gonna be tough...

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Monday, June 19, 2023

Return of the Mighty Hood

 Today I'm going to go over a recovered piece of my childhood. In about 1975 I got a model of the British battleship Hood. I had never heard of the Hood, but I found out that it was the pride of the British navy, that was sunk by the German battleship Bismark. Things didn't turn out so well for the Bismark either, as it was hunted down and sunk soon after. 

I wasn't really much of a model ship guy, but this one was pretty cool! You see, it was motorized! It could go in a figure 8 pattern or a circle and the guns moved back and forth and up and down. Pretty cool stuff! 

I built mine and sailed it a couple of times in the bathtub. No room for figure 8s or circles, but it did float and move. I can't tell you whatever became of her, but years later I decided to see if I could find another one, nostalgia being what it is. 

As it turns out, although Lindberg is still in business, and although they still make motorized kits, this one hasn't been made since 1978. That makes finding one, in any condition, a bit challenging. 

Whenever there is anything in particular that I'm looking for, I do an eBay search and save the search. Then all you have to do is check that one spot every day to see if you get any "nibbles." I finally got a hit a couple of years ago on a kit that was almost just what I was looking for. The date was wrong, and it was partially built (and may not have all the pieces) but it was (most importantly) CHEAP! Here it is!

The box top! Although it looks cool, it also proves that this isn't the one I had in 1975. This edition came out in 1978. Still, it's the same kit. By the way, at 26 1/2 inches, it's pretty big.

The side shows how you can "program" it for three different paths.

The end panel with the cover illustration.

The other side clues you in on the moving turrets and guns.

And the final panel is just like the other side.

This is what's in the box. Actually, there were a couple of more sprues of parts, but they wouldn't fit on my little table. 

I built it!!! Not really. I just stacked the parts.

The superstructure doesn't get glued on so that you can get to the batteries. It screws down with tiny little screws.

This is the motor that came with it. I realized, as I was taking pictures, that I had never tested it. It would be surprising if it worked, since little motors like this tend to get gummed up over a few decades. I hooked up a power supply. I was not surprised.

As I usually do, I've included all of the instructions for the kit. These are kind of interesting due to the mechanics involved.

A letter from Lindberg from 1978! I do feel like congratulations are in order, by golly!

My edition didn't have this motor mount, it had the older one. It worked, though. I wonder if they changed their motor supplier? No idea.

Now THIS would have been the box mine came in! This is from the "interwebs."

Another internet hit, with a helpful date! Interestingly, the original kit came out in 1964!

I think that I'll eventually try building her. I know the motor doesn't work, but those are easy to come by. I'm not sure if all of the parts are there, but that's half the fun! I SHOULD have more time for such things after December. If I do build her, I'll let you know here (Hey, another post! A good reason to get out the glue!)

Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, June 11, 2023

Disney Mug Shots

 No, I'm not talking about the Beagle Boys or Mr. Toad's weazles...or Mr. Toad himself, for that matter. I'm talking about a few drinking mugs (and a tumbler) that I picked up from an online auction years ago, and then kind of forgot about. You see, I was mainly interested in this one...

So I think I bid a dollar on it. When I went to pick it up (it wasn't eBay- we actually had to drive there) I found that three more were included with it. Here's the whole family...

Now, to be honest, I wasn't particularly blown away by them. They seemed kind of new and kind of cheap. Even the rocket mug turned out to be made out of a kind of "hardened styrofoam" that I wasn't crazy about. So I stuck them on a shelf and forgot about them. 

Until today.

I happened upon the rocket mug and that lead me to the tumbler, which lead me to the other two, which lead me to wonder "When were these things made, anyway?" THAT lead me down a rabbit hole that lead me to this blog post! Lucky you!

Please allow me to take you with me on my journey of discovery! Here we go!

First, I researched the rocket mug, since it's my favorite of the four. I kept coming across people who said it was from the 60s. That sounded ok, except that it was grouped with Walt Disney World items. WDW didn't open until 1971, so that suggested that it might be newer. Then I found these pictures:

Do you see it, Attic Detectives? A BARCODE! Now it didn't take long for me to discover that barcodes weren't commonly used until around 1974. That moved the date out of the 60s for certain. 

Then, I focused on the Walt Disney World logo. I knew that the logo on the tumbler was the first that was used at the park. Here's another shot of it...

The mouse ears in the D was a day one logo, but how long was it used? Well, as It turns out, all the way until 1996. That really didn't narrow things down much. But then, I found someone on Redit who was looking for information on their tumbler. Someone responded, and a mystery was solved!

Here are more pictures of it...

These were made in 1985. They were sold until around 1990. By the way, apparently Walt Disney World had tumblers while Disneyland had mugs of the same design. 

So, one of the three had a confirmed date, and another one had a sketchy date. Did I dare continue? 

Sure, why not?

I turned my attention to the Mickey Mouse Club WDW mug. It was made by Deka. I did a lot of digging around and although one person said it was from the 70s, most said the 80s. Therefore, I'm sticking with that.  Here it is...

That leaves us with only the tiny Goofy and Mickey cup. Here it is...

This one is a real mystery. It actually looks older than the rest, but as I said, it was in the same lot. The real mystery is that I was only able to find one more on the internet- and that one was marked "Made in Italy." The person that had that one said they couldn't find any more. 

Mine is NOT marked "Made in Italy," but other that that it is very close. The graphic is exact, but the handle on the Italian one is ever so slightly more rounded. So, this one helps our quest not at all. 

So, what have we learned? Well, first of all, Stu has way too much time on his hands. But, other than that, I summize that all of these are from the late 80s, purchased at Walt Disney World. Why is that important? It absolutely isn't, but it was kind of fun digging. And, really, that's one of my favorite parts of collecting.

By the way, it seems that I got a good deal, but only because I only spent about a dollar. I'm pretty sure you can buy the whole lot for under 20 bucks. 

So there you have it! If anyone has any additional info, I'm always open to hearing it! Until next time, keep searching for treasure!

Sunday, June 4, 2023

Two Missed Trays?

 When you do a blog featuring various items, you (if, in fact you are me and not so much "you") can lose track of what you have and have not posted. For example, I could have sworn that I posted both of these items before, but when I did a search of the ol' Attic, nothing came up. Now, that's probably because I somehow missed posting them, but in the event that I have posted them before, please act like you haven't seen them. My therapist says it will help.

Today we have two glass trays of varying types. Going with the oldest first, I give you my Houze Art Disneyland tray! (Insert trumpet fanfare here)

This small tray (4 inches by 5 inches) was sold in the park in the 1960s and 1970s, along with various other Houze Art trays. This was probably not intended to be an ashtray, since there are no "cigarette notches" in it. Interestingly (at least to me) this is the rarer of two trays with this design, having clear glass and blue detailing. The more common tray has smoked glass with yellow detailing. 

However, even this one is fairly common. In fact, buying one still in the box, like this one, will only set you back 20 bucks or so. A bargain, really! And you can get an unboxed smoked glass version for under 10 bucks pretty easily!

Next, we have the Disneyland Hotel ashtray (rare version).

This is considered the "rare version" because the "Disneyland Hotel" script is molded into the underside of the tray. The common version uses a decal. 

It's small, at about 4 1/4 inches in diameter. Now when I first picked this one up, I thought it must be from the 60s, but Van Eaton Auctions says it's from the 1980s. Of course, they also sold it for 150.00, when you can pick one up off of eBay for around 40 bucks, so are you really gonna trust those guys? Are ya? Huh? 

Wait...where were we? Oh yeah- Anyway, it's a nice, heavy item that is probably my favorate of the two trays. There's just something classy about the simple design that I like. And if I ever decide to take up chain smoking, I'm all set! Yay!

So, there you have it. I should probably do searches on other things I have laying about that I just assume I've posted, but it's Sunday and I'm nothing if not lazy. 

Until next time- keep searching for treasure!