Friday, September 30, 2011

Auburn #524 Rescue Vehicle - Army

Today on Fire Engine and Emergency Vehicle Friday, Toys & Stuff re-engages with an old friend - Auburn. This past week I was lucky enough to acquire what many refer to as the Army version of the #524 Rescue truck. It is a medium olive green and would certainly work well as an Army vehicle but I've not seen any advertising or catalog that specifically mentions it as Army - or at least I haven't noticed! It has one unusual feature - there is no hint whatsoever of the silver detailing normally found on the windows, grills, bumpers, etc. This may have been a cost cutting feature or maybe it was indeed meant to be an Army truck and was felt that the silver detailing detracted from that look. In any case, there isn't anything that I could detect to show it was ever applied. Hmmmm. Oh well, it's a cool addition to the Auburn Fire Truck collection. Enjoy!

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Built-Rite #56-4 Drug Store

For the collector of vintage paper toys one of the names which will be instantly recognizable is 'Built-Rite'. Built-Rite toys were made by the Warren Paper Products Company of Lafayette, IN and founded in 1921. The company originally made setup boxes for jewelry, candy and other items. During the Depression there was a demand for cheaper toys and in the early 1930s Warren stepped in by making a series of dollhouses from paperboard. Puzzles, forts, and a miniature town would soon be offered. It is this miniature town series that Toys & Stuff will be presenting over the next few weeks.

For those who have followed our Kellogg's UK Paper Village series over the past couple of months  be assured that you are not forgotten. I did say that a diorama is in the works and so it is. However, it will take some time to get everything together for the effort and in the interim we'll simply be looking at some other toys. Now, to be clear, I don't yet have all the Built-Rite buildings from this particular series, but I do have enough for a heck of a good start. I think what I'll do this time is have one post showing a photo of the built-up structure followed by scans - you adventurous types can perhaps use the scans to build your own versions of these terrific little buildings. Then, the following week we'll present a complete series of isometric photos.

These are great buildings and their sturdiness can be attested to by their longevity. Some 80 years later good examples can still be found at reasonable prices. Let's get started, We Always  and so can you Enjoy! The Berg's :)

Piece No. 1 Top

Piece No. 1 Bottom

Piece No. 2 Left Side. This was a long piece and took two scans to get it all.

Piece No. 2 Right Side

Piece No. 3 Top

Piece No. 3 Bottom

Piece No. 4 Front

Piece No. 4 Back

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

McFarlane - The Flintstones at The Drive-In

Every now and then it's good to shake things up a little so I'm trying a new blog template. It's one of the new 'Dynamic Views' being offered by Blogger and I chose it because of its ease in accessing past posts. Standard templates offer a truncated index and a search engine function but I chose this because, by using photos from past posts - versus a two/three word description - it's easier to access a favorite subject or post. Anywho, let me know what you think.

I've been itchin' to do some Flintstones posts for some time now. Normally Wednesday's at Toys & Stuff are down days - here in Las Vegas we'd call it 'Dark Wednesday', but at the rate some of the other currently running series are going, the Modern Stone Age Family will never get a chance to appear on the Blog! I guess we'll get started with McFarlane's really cool rendition of one of the opening scenes to the cartoon - the Drive-In scene. I'm not sure there's too many people who aren't familiar with the waitress delivering the huge Bronto Ribs to Fred's car only to see the car tip over. 

McFarlane is known for excellent sculpting and this display is certainly up to their fine standards. It even has a tipping mechanism: by pressing a rock on the base the car is supposed to tip over. There is just one teensy-weensy problem. The lever meant to raise the car is underneath the right side of the car, yet the left side is the side which is supposed to be lifted! In practice I had to lift the car by hand, depress the rock, and pray that it held long enough to at least get off a few photographs. To display the car in a permanently tipped position, one would have to prop up the car from underneath. The display comes with a nice little backdrop which is meant to be folded but I chose to keep it straight.The photos weren't taken on a diorama per se, but I did use some green poster board for the base and an old train layout painting for the backdrop as the whole sequence takes place in the evening. It gives a diorama feel to it with out all the mess of making a diorama. So, without further ado - Enjoy!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Haji US Army Vertol 107 Tin-Litho Helicopter

There's been no progress this week on the "Pfalz bei Kaub" diorama, so instead Toys & Stuff presents a really nice tin-litho helicopter from the 1960s - the Haji US Army Vertol 107 Tin-Litho Helicopter. The real Vertol 107 Helicopter was designated the CH-46 Sea Knight and was produced from Aug 1958 to 1971 and used by the Army, Navy, Marines, and Canadian Air Forces. The toy version is well, just a toy, and only loosely follows the prototype. The basic truncated banana shape is there but there are some glaring differences. The real Sea Knight had three fixed landing gear, one in front and two located on rear sponsons - a sort of nacelle - towards the rear of the plane. They stuck out from the fuselage a few feet and also acted as fuel tanks. These sponsons are missing from the tin-litho version. Also, the cockpit of the toy helicopter resembles a round Christmas ornament versus the decidedly flat nose of the original. In spite of the differences Haji's version is still a terrific toy. Measuring nearly 12" (30.5cm) L is equipped with a friction motor. This is a terrific toy from the Era of Tin. Enjoy!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Marx Roy Rogers Rodeo Ranch Set Cabin

Okay, if there's any younger readers out there, let's say in your teens or twenties, let me ask you a rhetorical question. What do you think you will remember as your favorite types of television shows when you grow older? When you're 50 years old, sittin' back and chillin' with your pals, what will be your impressions of the shows you enjoyed growing up with? I can guess some of it. You will have never known a time without cable TV. You will have always had more channels to choose from than what is humanly reasonable. Very unreal 'Reality' shows will be one of the predominant memories. Contests. Not just game show type contests or sports, but all kinds of competition: who can sing better, dance better, cook better,design clothing better, model clothing better, ad infinitum. Favorite cartoons will be 'The Simpsons, 'Sponge Bob Square Pants', 'South Park', etc. Super Heroes will roam the airwaves both in live action and cartoon form. 

Know that all of this will end. Oh, not end entirely, there will still be re-reruns but just to put things in perspective remember that everything has its time in the sun - to everything there is a season. Roll back the years to the 1950s, my time in the sun. There were only six viewing channels. The four major networks: ABC, NBC, and CBS. The fourth major network, DuMont, ceased broadcasts in 1956. Some cities like mine (Milwaukee) would have a UHF channel - ours was Channel 18. And then there was PBS, then as now, Channel 10. Cowboys were King. No, NOT the Dallas Cowboys who didn't come along until 1960. I mean the kind that rode horses, fought Indians, and sang their way into our psyche. The cowboys I grew up with had absolutely no resemblance to real cowboys, whose work was dirty, hard, long, tedious, and dangerous. No, the cowboys I grew up with wore rhinestones, they always looked neat - spiffy - even after a knock-down, drag 'em out fight. When they shot people no blood was shed and many times it was 'just to wound' the bad guys. And many of them sang! And we loved it. It is this cultural backdrop which formed the basis for so many of the vintage toys featured here on Toys & Stuff.

The cowboy many consider to be the most popular was one of those singing cowboys - Roy Rogers. He was King of The Cowboys for a reason, he was also The King of Marketing, Roy Rogers marketed his name - his brand as it were - on everything from toys to bed blankets (I know. I had Roy Rogers bed blankets and drapes as a kid growing up!!).  Today Toys & Stuff presents a Marx 1st series cabin from one of the Roy Rogers licensed products, the 'Roy Rogers Rodeo Ranch Set' of 1953. As I've said in the past, my collection has been focused on the tin-litho centerpieces found in many playsets of the era. One day I hope to be able display and photograph the few whole playsets I have in a more desirable fashion. I do in fact have a fairly complete Roy Rogers playset and would like to display it properly. But for today, let's just enjoy this toy from a simpler time when singing cowboys were 'in' and Roy Rogers was their King! - Enjoy!