Thursday, December 25, 2008

Classic Stuff: Merry Christmas!

Maybe you got some of this stuff--or maybe you will this Christmas! One Christmas I asked for Robbie the Robot (he's on the right) but I got the blue robot on the far left front instead. Oh, well. It's not about the stuff anyway, right? Merry Christmas! Click photo to enlarge.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Classic Stuff: Hopalong Cassidy

Before there was Davy Crockett, there was Hopalong Cassidy, the TV cowboy that first made a lot of stuff for young boomers in the early 50s. William Boyd was the good guy in black with the funny sidekick and the distinctive chuckle. We loved him. I got that gun and holster set one Christmas, along with a Hoppy shirt. I believe I had that toy chest, too, or something like it. My grandfather called him "Hopalong Que ce dice," which is an Italian pun even I understood.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Classic Stuff: Davy Crockett

The Davy Crockett episodes on Disneyland caused the first youthquake of the baby boom era in 1954 and 1955. "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" was a big part of it (there were several versions, 3 of which hit the top ten.) The top photo is of one of the many Crockett products--one I got: a package of Davy Crockett socks, with a big bonus. The cardboard backing of the package contained the lyrics to the entire Ballad--all 20 verses. The big item which we all craved was of course the coonskin cap. We all had versions of it eventually, and their quality was the first class (or at least income) demarcation by product I remember: the cheap ones had a sort of vinyl top, the really good ones were fur all over. They became so ubiquitous that Steve Allen and friends all wore them (bottom photo) on one of his shows in 1955--while (of course) singing "The Ballad of Davy Crockett" (although I suspect Allen changed the lyrics.)
The other Crockett item I remember and which I prized highly was actually a give-away. I walked into the Hudson-Nash-Rambler dealer, down on the West Newton Road on the way to town, and got an 8x11 glossy black and white photo of Fess Parker as Davy Crockett, with the "handwritten" words: "If you want to win, try the Crockett grin." Other products carried his saying from the show--"Be sure you're right, then go ahead."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Classic Stuff: American Flyer

This is the train I got one Christmas --an American Flyer steam engine (top row) with coal car, box car and caboose. Don't get me started on the trials of getting a train board and trestles the following year. Eventually the transformer and all of the track were thrown out, but I managed to rescue the engine and cars, which I still have. I was never much for Lionel...