Toy-Lines Presents – Wallpaper cleaner turned toy

Posted on: June 30, 2014

We’ve read about a toy that was created by accident (The Slinky), a toy originally created to help the war effort (Silly Putty), but did you know there was a toy that was originally wallpaper cleaner?

In the 1930’s when it came to heating your house, furnaces burned coal, which heated the house well, was cheap, but left soot on the walls.  Naturally people wanted their walls cleaned so a wallpaper cleaner was developed.  In 1933 Cleo McVicker, of Kutol Chemicals, was in a meeting with Kroger Grocery Stores, who was looking for a wallpaper cleaner product. Kroger asked Kutol If they made the product, which they didn’t, or know how to, but McVicker said yes and a deal was struck.

Kroger ordered 15,000 cases of their product but there was a clause in the deal. If Kutol Chemicals didn’t deliver by deadline Kutol would owe Kruger $5,000.00. Cleo went back to Kutol and explained the deal to his brother Noah. Noah went off to make the product, which turned out to be a white dough, that could in fact clean the walls.

During the 1940’s the more efficient gas and oil heating was being used in furnaces.  With gas and oil heat leaving no soot, Kutol Chemicals sales began to drop in their wallpaper cleaner.  Cleo McVicker died in a plane crash in 1949 and Joe McVicker, Noah’s nephew, took over for Cleo. Kutol Chemicals struggled to make due, when in 1954, Kay Zufall, nursery school teacher and Joe McVicker’s sister-in-law, mentioned how her school needed a better and cheaper form of modeling clay, since the existing ones were too difficult to work with. Kutol Chemicals sent the nursery school some of their wallpaper cleaner to use for clay, which worked. Impressed with it, Kay suggested to Joe to use the cleaner product as a toy. Kutol just removed the detergent element and the white clay was created.

Originally named “Kutol’s Rainbow Modeling Compound”, it was Kay who thought of the more descriptive name for the product, “Play-Doh”. She told McVicker, he liked it, and forever was it named. Local store Woodward & Lothrop Department Store began to carry the clay in their toy department.

McVicker struck a great promotional deal when he spoke with Bob Keeshan, or as most people know him, Captain Kangaroo. The deal was simple. If the Captain would feature Play-Doh on his show once a week, Captain Kangaroo would get 2% of sales so long as he kept featuring it.  The Captain said yes and soon a hit toy was everywhere.

Originally packaged in a cardboard can with a metal bottom, it weighed 1.5 lbs and cost $1.50. Sold under McVicker’s “Rainbow Crafts”, the official mascot was an elf-like character. Like most mascots the elf was redesigned and became a boy dressed like an artist named “Play-Doh Pete”. Play-Doh Pete went through several changes. In 1960 he wore a beret, then later he wore a baseball cap.

With Play-Doh’s success McVicker made some changes to the dough. For one, making it softer, and two adding colors like yellow, red and blue. More changes were to come. In 1965 General Mills bought Rainbow Crafts and became the owners of Play-Doh. 6 years later, Kenner Toys (long before their success with the Star Wars line) bought Play-Doh in 1971. 1986 was the end of the cardboard cans when they started selling it in plastic ones.

But still more changes were to come. 1987 was when The Tonka Corporation bought Kenner and the Play-Doh product. It remained with them until 1991 when Hasbro bough it all and included Play-Doh in its Playskool line of toys.

While the ingredients of Play-Doh are a secret, we do know that it contains wheat flour, water, salt and petroleum distillate. When September 18th rolls around, which is National Play-Doh day, remember that it all started with white wallpaper cleaner, and once the detergent was removed, grew to become an empire that exists even today.

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 1:04 am

Toy-Lines – Nation in Need

Posted on: June 29, 2014

Some toys are created from a cartoon, some by a marketing team, others by accident, while some are created out of the need for something but turn out entirely different than was envisioned. Silly Putty fits into the last category.

When the United States entered World War II the country found itself doing everything they could on the home front to help the soldiers overseas to win the war.  Whether it was in the form of rationing things such as meats, sugar, coffee, canned foods or fuel, they did.  Drives were held to gather scrap metal to help build ships, tanks and planes.  Any metal not being used in homes, or even in the streets like trolley tracks, were recycled.  To realize the importance of this, to build just one tank it took 18 tons of metal, while building one of the Navy’s largest ships took 900 tons. Women saved the grease and fat from their cooking, selling it to their butchers, where it was collected by the military to be used for explosives.

During the 1930’s America’s supply of natural rubber came from Southeast Asia, but was soon cut off when Japan occupied the territory. Much like scrap metal drives, drives for old rubber products were held and people turned in old rain coats, boots, garden hoses and tires. New tires were extremely tough to come by since they were being rationed, so citizens were urged to drive the speed limit (which helped reduce the use of fuel) but also helped tires from wearing out so quickly. They were also requested not to drive alone which created the concept of “carpooling”.

While the U.S. did have a stockpile of natural rubber in reserve, 1 million tons in fact, it would be no were near enough to help win the war, when the consumption of said product was 600,000 tons per year. Even with the recycling of old rubber products collected there was still a need for this material to be used in everything from gas masks to scout cars, life rafts and even heavy bomber planes. Just how much did each of these items require in the form of rubber?  A gas mask used 1.11 lbs of rubber, a life raft between 17 to 100 lbs,  a scout car 306 lbs while a heavy bomber required 1,825 lbs.

Realizing the necessity for this material, and their stockpiles of rubber depleting, the government formed the GR-S, Government Rubber-Styrene, which involved the government working closely with chemical and other companies to help develop a form of general purpose synthetic rubber to replace the natural rubber.

Many companies began experimenting, one of which was General Electric of New Haven Connecticut. Engineer James Wright combined boric acid and silicone oil into a test tube creating something close to rubber. While his creation had many of the properties close to those which rubber has, it did not have them all and could not be used.  Thankfully other companies were able to develop this general purpose synthetic rubber to help aid the soldiers and the rest is history.

But what about this non-rubber like material Wright made?  This…putty?

That’s where Silly Putty eventually comes in.

Wright experimented with the putty but couldn’t find one practical use for it. In fact, no one could. Friends and family found it interesting though, how you could use it like a rubber ball, stretch or pull it, and it began to get passed along until finally it found its way to Ruth Fallgatter in 1949, owner of Block Shop Toy Store. Not sure what to exactly do with it, she hired advertising consultant Peter Hodgson to promote it in her stores catalog. Priced at $2.00, this putty outsold every item in her catalog with the exception of a pack of 50 cent Crayola crayons. However, after one year, despite the great sales, Fallgatter decided not to continue with the product.

Hodgson however had a different idea.  Going with his gut, he took a loan of $147 in 1950 and bought a batch of the putty. He then filled little plastic eggs with one ounce of the putty, and after going through a list of 15 names, decided to call it “Silly Putty” and sold it for $1.00.  Introduced at the 1950 International Toy Fair, Hodgson and Silly Putty was laughed at, being told to quit while he was ahead, the stuff would never sell.  Despite the response he received, Hodgson was able to sell some to Neiman-Marcus and Doubleday Book Stores.

With some buyers to buy his product, Hodgson founded the Arnold Clark Company, and moved his production into a converted barn in Branford, Connecticut.  To ship out his Silly Putty to his customers he bought surplus egg boxes from The Connecticut Cooperative Poultry Association, and used these to ship his eggs of Silly Putty.

During the summer of 1950, a writer from The New Yorker magazine bought an egg of Silly Putty at a Doubleday Book Store.  Intrigued with it, he wrote a column about it in the “Talk of the Town” section of the magazine. When the magazine hit stands, the orders for Silly Putty jumped to more than a quarter million across the country in just three days.

When the Korean War hit, rations were put on certain items once more, one of which was silicone oil, an ingredient in the Silly Putty formula.  Not able to buy this, Hodgson slowly filled out his remaining orders with only 1,500 lbs of the putty left.  When the restriction was lifted in 1952, he was able to make more Silly Putty. However, in 1955 a silly thing happened to Silly Putty.  Originally sold as an adult novelty toy, children began to take notice of it, and sales switched from adults to kids. One thing they discovered was you could place the Silly Putty on your favorite newspaper comic strip and the drawing would transfer to the putty.  While children did this for years on both newspapers and Spider-man comics, today this is not possible due to the new ink used.

To help generate more excitement for the product, Hodgson aired commercials on TV geared towards kids during the Captain Kangaroo and Howdy Doody Show. By 1976 The Silly Putty Empire was well worth over $140 million and was one of the most successful toys in the country. Peter Hodgson, the only one who saw the potential in Silly Putty, died that year.

One year later Binney & Smith, owners of Crayola crayons bought Silly Putty. While the product continued to sell, it wasn’t until the 1980’s that sales increased. Silly Putty’s 40th anniversary was held, ironically enough, at the International Toy Fair in New York in 1990, the very same place where people told Hodgson the product wouldn’t sell.

1995 brought a new kind of Silly Putty, one that could change colors from the warmth of your hands.  In 2000, for its Golden anniversary, metallic gold Silly Putty was created, then in 2001 Silly Putty was inducted into The National Toy Hall of Fame.

Today Silly Putty continues to entertain children and it looks like it has no signs of stopping. Here’s to 64 years of putty being silly. I hope it never gets serious.

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 1:17 am

Club Eternia 2015 is now open to subscribers

Posted on: June 27, 2014

Matty Collector’s 2015 Club Eternia is now opened to subscribers.  The presumably last year for Club Eternia is now open so if you want to complete the vintage line of Masters of the Universe Classics action figures, now is the time.

Also as an added bonus this year, subscribers who subscribe before the Matty Collector panel at SDCC in July will receive a free gift of Grayskull stands to display your classics’ figures.

From Matty:

 

2015 Club Eternia® On Sale Now:Purchase Now and Get a Free Set of Stackable Stands

 

By Tara Z.

Can you feel the power? The subscription period for the 2015 Club Eternia® is open now! This year fans know to hit that button early, because subscribers who sign up before Friday, 7/25 get a free set of Stackable Stands. And, there’s also another reason to sign up now.

This year subscriptions are limited to a set number, and once we hit that amount, that’s it… no more subscriptions will be sold. Kowl™, MOTUC’s Know-It Owl™ is helping us track the progress as we near the quota limit. We’ll be updating the Kowlometer twice a week, until the subscription quota is met or 8/18, whichever comes first.

2015 Club Eternia®Club Eternia

  • Early Availability Opens: Friday, 6/27 at 9 a.m. PT. No figures will be revealed, but everyone who orders by Friday, 7/25 at 11:59 a.m. PT gets a free set of Stackable Stands!
  • Club-Exclusive Figures Announced: Friday, 7/25 at 12:00 p.m. PT. Figures revealed at Mattypalooza Fan Panel at SDCC and here immediately after.
  • Subscription Period Closes: Availability continues until subscription quota is met or Monday, 8/18 at 11:59 p.m. PT, whichever comes first.

Get your 2015 Club Eternia® Subscription now!

 

 

 

Let’s send He-man and company off with the dignity this toy-line deserves and complete your classics collection by signing up today.

****Also as a reminder, there will not be any day of sale with the 2015 subscription so the only way to get your figures is through the subscription.

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 9:44 pm

I Geek Disney: Interview with Christian Willis, Webmaster of songofthesouth.net

Posted on: June 24, 2014

“It wasn’t yesterday nor the day before, but it was a long time ago…back when the critters, they were closer to the folks and the folks they was closer to the critters–and if you’ll excuse me for saying so, it was better all around” Uncle Remus from Song of the South

They sound like fond memories, much like many older fans have of seeing Song of the South when it was released. But that’s all they are now with so much controversy surrounding it.  Christian Willis is a fan of Song of the South; he’s also a collector of Song of the South merchandise. Even more, he’s the webmaster to http://www.songofthesouth.net/index.php, a website dedicated to the Song of the South feature, collectibles, history and to help people see that Song of the South is really not what they’ve been told it is.

Toy-Lines recently interviewed Christian about his website, collection, and all things Song of the South.

TL: Christian, thank you for agreeing to the interview.

Christian Willis: No problem! I’m always glad to answer questions about the movie.

TL: Why Song of the South?  How were you introduced to this Disney feature and how old were you?

CW: I believe I saw the movie in theaters when I was 6 years old (1986). Around that time, my grandfather also read me some of the Disney Uncle Remus stories (which I still have on cassette tape). I watched all of the Disney movies as a kid, so this was just naturally one of them.

TL: What made you create Songofthesouth.net?

CW: Back in 1999, there wasn’t a lot of information on the Internet about this movie. I originally started my web site just as a place for displaying my growing collection of Song of the South memorabilia, but I started getting a lot of questions from people trying to find out about the movie. I didn’t know the answers myself, so I started to build on a web site that would answer them.

TL: How do visitors to your site react? Do you get e-mails from them?

CW: Generally I get lots of positive comments, from people who are just learning about the movie to people who saw it back in theaters in 1946! I love hearing from people about the movie. I do get the occasional person who doesn’t like the movie and/or what I’m doing, but those are pretty rare.

TL: Why do you like Song of the South so much?

CW: It’s a fond memory from my childhood. Plus, I love collecting stuff, so the two just kind of converged! I can’t say the movie is in my top 10, but I’ve taken up the cause to present the public with information about this film.

TL: Favorite character?

CW: Brer Fox! I love his expressions and how conniving he is.

TL: Favorite scene?

CW: The scene where Brer Fox and Brer Bear are waiting for Brer Rabbit to stumble upon the Tar Baby. The comedic interaction between Brer Fox and Brer Bear always crack me up!

TL: Favorite song?

CW: Let the Rain Pour Down. I really like how the Hall Johnson Choir performed it, and the contrasting verses (upbeat in the morning, tired and slow in the evening).

TL: When did you first start collecting Song of the South?

CW: I was at an insulator show in Bakersfield, CA, in 1997 (I also collect glass insulators). Under an antique dealer’s table was a set of records. The familiar faces of Brer Rabbit, Brer Fox, and Brer Bear sparked my memory about a movie I had completely forgotten about. After that, I started looking in antique shops with my dad, picking up records and books here and there.

TL: What was your first item?

CW: The record set was the Tales of Uncle Remus from 1947, 78 rpm (Capitol CC-40).

TL: What is your favorite item?

CW: That’s a really hard question to answer! I suppose if I had to pick one, it would be the 1956 “Big Surprise Package” record set from Disneyland:

http://www.songofthesouth.net/memorabilia/records/detail.php?id=15

I’ve seen exactly two of these since I started collecting. In the Disney record price guide I have, it’s briefly mentioned but has no value because they have never seen one.

TL: How many collectibles do you have of it?

CW: I’ve slowed down over the past few years, but at last count I believe I was at about 515 items

TL: What was the most expensive item you ever bought?

CW: I believe that was the 1956 Scotch Tape lobby poster set. Another one I’ve yet to see another of!

http://www.songofthesouth.net/memorabilia/theater/decorations/56-posterset.html

I paid a lot more than the original cost of $3.50, that’s for sure…

TL: Do you have the Japanese Song of the South laser disc?

CW: I do. I understand there are a couple of different variants, but I just have the one. Sadly, I have no way to play it!

TL: Are all the items on the site from your collection?

CW: For the most part. There are a few books and records here and there that I have listed even if I don’t own them, in the hopes that someone out there has one and is interested in selling!

TL: What does your friends & family think of your collection?

CW: They’re supportive I suppose. They’ve been putting up with my weird collections since I was a little kid!

TL: When was Song of the South first released?

CW: It was released on November 12, 1946 in the United States.

TL: Was it ever re-released theatrically again?

CW: Yes, it was re-released 4 times: 1956, 1972/73, 1980, and 1986.

TL: But it never aired on television, The Disney Channel or for home viewing?

CW: Bits and pieces aired over the years in the U.S., but I’m honestly not sure if it was ever aired in its entirety. In other countries, like the UK and Australia, it was still being aired as recent as the 2000’s.

TL: Song of the South is based off of Joel Chandler Harris’ Uncle Remus tales. Have you ever read them?

CW: I own and have read parts of the book “The Complete Tales of Uncle Remus”. While I recognize Harris went to great lengths to reproduce the dialects in writing, it’s a very hard read at times!

TL: There is much controversy surrounding the film.  I feel that most comes from people who don’t know the truth of it, for instance, that the film is set after the Civil War when slavery is abolished.  Would you agree?

CW: Yes; I believe at least part of the reason this movie is so shrouded in mystery and controversy is because it’s unavailable to the public. Regarding the slavery aspect specifically, the general public probably doesn’t know that the Joel Chandler Harris stories occurred after the Civil War. Back in 1946, Walt Disney may have thought setting the date was unnecessary. Today, however, I think it would be wise to make that clear by prefacing the movie somehow.

TL: Do you think Disney is helping The Song of the South by not releasing it or explaining this crucial fact or hurting it?

CW: I believe they are hurting the movie, without a doubt. After all, this is an Academy Award-winning movie we’re talking about. In my opinion, Disney needs to bite the bullet and release the film, with a preface or introduction explaining when the film was made, what era it depicts, and what Walt’s vision was when he made it.

TL: It’s been said that Brier Rabbit represents the slaves while Brier Fox and Brier Bear represent the slave owners.  In the tales Brier Rabbit always outsmarts them.  Is this true?

CW: Yes, that’s the general consensus. Although, in the movie, Uncle Remus is telling the stories to Johnny (Brer Rabbit), who uses the morals to outsmart Ginny’s bullying brothers (Brer Fox and Brer Bear).

TL: What’s the best way to explain The Song of the South to people so they see it in the proper way?

CW: Walt Disney grew up with these stories, and always wanted to bring them to the screen in a way that only he could (combining live action and animation). This was a product of the 1940’s. While it may contain what some would consider stereotyping today (as quite a lot of the movies did at the time), I don’t believe Disney had any malicious intent. He was simply telling an interpretation of Joel Chandler Harris’ stories.

TL: What kind of reaction do you get when you tell people you collect Song of the South?

CW: I guess surprise would be the best way to describe it. And sometimes confusion, until I describe the movie

TL: How do you feel about Splash Mountain being a ride based off of Song of the South having the characters in it but no mention of Uncle Remus? Does this help or hurt the controversy?

CW: I think it was a clever way for the Imagineers to keep Song of the South alive. Even if they don’t mention Uncle Remus anywhere, if guests do enough digging, they’ll find out what the ride is based on!

TL: Many African-Americans support this film, like Floyd Norman, Disney’s first black animator, Hattie Davis, who played Aunt Tempy in the feature, as well as James Baskett who played Uncle Remus. Why does Disney never use this info in support of the film?

CW: I wish I could answer that; I’m not sure. I guess it could be said that the critics are more vocal than the supporters. Disney is always under pressure to not ruffle any feathers.

TL: James Baskett won an honorary Oscar for his role of Uncle Remus, the first African-American male to do so during those years. He also voiced Br’er Fox.  Did he provide any other voices?

CW: According to the 1946 press book, he originally was trying out for the voice of a butterfly in the film. He also supposedly filled in for Johnny Lee (voice of Brer Rabbit) during the Laughing Place sequence because Johnny Lee was called away on a USO tour.

TL: For how long did the “Uncle Remus and his tales of Br’er Rabbit” Sunday Comic Strip appear? Was it ever released in a collection and have you ever read it?

CW: Good question! I believe it ran from 1945 until well into the 1950’s (if not later). Unfortunately I don’t know the exact dates. I don’t believe it’s ever been released in a collection, but I do have several Sunday proof copies. I was fascinated by all the different characters they came up with, and once upon a time I was going to create a Brer Encyclopedia to catalog them all. Unfortunately, it’s just too hard to find the comic strips.

TL: Were there ever any Br’er Rabbit comic books?

CW: Absolutely, lots of them! I have a whole section in my memorabilia for comics: http://www.songofthesouth.net/memorabilia/books/index.php#comics

TL: Have you ever read Floyd Norman’s “Zip-a-dee-doo-dah Christmas” comic strip?

CW: No, I haven’t! I’d love to learn more about that!

TL: What’s the deal with the “Splash Mountain” rap? Shouldn’t that be banned for how terrible it is?

CW: As a child of the 80’s, that makes me cringe. Ernest Goes to Splash Mountain, however? I LOVED Ernest as a kid (still do), and I’ll never forget watching that on TV when it aired! I forgive them because of that.

TL: Looking through your site one of my favorite things is the live action stills, especially the ones of Uncle Remus sitting with Johnny and the one of Uncle Remus with Ginny, Johnny and Toby. What are your thoughts on these two stills?

CW: From the movie standpoint, I think it shows that both Uncle Remus and the children didn’t care about race, and surely that’s the most important thing to take away from this movie. From an acting standpoint, these pictures tell me that James Baskett was a real class act. It’s truly a shame he passed away before he could add more movies to his career.

TL: How many Song of the South characters make a cameo in “Who Framed Roger Rabbit” (1988)?

CW: I’ve seen Brer Bear, the Tar Baby, the 3 moles, and the 3 hummingbirds.

TL: How many items did Disney sell when Song of the South was first released and is there a “Holy Grail” for Song of the South collectors?

CW: There were several books available, the Tales of Uncle Remus 3-record set, and sheet music for 6 of the songs:

http://www.songofthesouth.net/movie/campaigns/1946.html

In my opinion, the “holy grail” from 1946 would be the campaign book. It’s chock full of articles, ads, merchandise, and photos:

http://www.songofthesouth.net/memorabilia/publicity/press/46campaign.html

TL: Is new merchandise made today?

CW: Absolutely. Disney continues to profit off this movie today, releasing limited edition pins, figurines, etc. I have to admit, I stopped keeping track. I couldn’t keep buying these items with the knowledge that they are making money on Song of the South while refusing to release the actual movie. It seems awfully hypocritical to me.

TL: In your opinion do you think people think the feature is controversial because they’ve been told so and never saw it for themselves or learned anything about it for themselves to make a decision?

CW: I certainly think that’s part of it, yes.

TL: Your “In Humble Defense Of” section on your site is very well written and thought out.  How long did it take you to write it, and in essence would you say that this is what your site is about?

CW: Thank you! That’s my second version, by the way. The first version was terrible (I was still young and trying to figure out what I was defending about this movie). Since then, I’ve had a chance to really refine my stance. It probably took me a week or so of writing. It really just boils down to Disney deciding for all of us that we cannot watch this movie. I have a problem with that. Whether you love or hate this movie, it should be available for future generations to learn from it.

TL: Do you think Disney will ever release Song of the South?

CW: Yes, I do. At the end of the day, Disney is a business, and they’re out to make money. I would bet they’ll release this movie before the copyright expires.

TL: You were selected to write praise for Jim Korkis’ “Who’s Afraid of the Song of the South? And Other Forbidden Disney Stories” alongside legendary film critic Leonard Malton and Disney’s animator Floyd Norman, as well as being named in the Acknowledgement section.  How did this happen?  Were you given an early copy to read and did you prove any help to Mr. Korkis?

CW: I was honored to be contacted by Mr. Korkis about his book in May 2012, and was given an early copy to review. I helped out where I could, but the overwhelming majority was all Mr. Korkis. I also have a ton of respect for Floyd Norman and Leonard Maltin, so to be asked to contribute a quote alongside them was a real honor too!

TL: Do you have any last words to readers in defense of Song of the South who don’t know what a treasure it is?

CW: My advice: Watch the movie all the way through (it’s usually available on YouTube), and look at it through two sets of eyes:

1) The eyes of a child. Is race even a consideration? Do they treat each other any differently?

2) The eyes of Walt Disney. What was he trying to bring to the world? Racial stereotypes or racial harmony?

TL: Christian, thank you so much for the interview.  I wish you the best of luck with your website and here’s hoping we one day get a Blu-ray copy of Song of the South released from Disney.

CW: Thank you again for the opportunity! Here’s hoping!

Sincerely,

Christian

To visit Christian’s Song of the South website please click the link http://www.songofthesouth.net/index.php

The Toy-Lines Crew

Filed under: Blogs,I Geek Disney,Interviews — admin @ 1:01 am

Toy-Lines Presents: A Labor of Love – The Slinky

Posted on: June 22, 2014

“What walks down stairs, alone or in pairs, and makes a Slinkity sound?

A spring, a spring, a marvelous thing, Everyone knows it’s Slinky…

It’s Slinky, it’s Slinky, for fun it’s a wonderful toy

It’s fun for a girl or a boy”

I still remember that jingle from the television commercial from when I was a kid as if it were yesterday (though there were several variations of the song). Who knew that the creation of the Slinky was actually an accident, one that would wind up being in every child’s home.

The Slinky was created by engineer Richard James while working on a project in 1943 involving springs.  When one fell to the ground it “walked” before coming to a stop.  It was then that an inkling of an idea was born for a toy, and for the next two years James would toil with his idea, trying to find the best type of coil and spring to use, letting the neighborhood kids try them out to test their reactions. It was his wife, Betty James, who thought of calling the toy “Slinky”.

Ready for the 1945 Christmas season, James presented the Slinky at Gimbels Department Store in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania during a 90 minute presentation. Worried that the Slinky would be a flop, Richard had a friend attend the demonstration in secret to buy one to get the crowd going.

Except he didn’t need to. The shoppers in Gimbels were so fascinated by the Slinky that James sold 400 of them that night.

In 1946 the Slinky premiered at the American Toy Fair, the place where toys make or break into the toy industry.  For the Slinky, it made it.  With $500 in start up, Richard and Betty founded The James Spring & Wire Company. While not the most impressive of names, it did have a most impressive toy. With his engineering degree James was able to develop a machine to create the Slinkys.  Each one was made from 80 feet of blue-black Swedish steel.  The machine would take the straight wire, and as it’s fed into it, it would flatten it out, then wind it around a spindle to make the coil shape. To make one Slinky took 10 seconds and the end result was a 2.5 inch Slinky with 95 coils.  The same machines that James created are still used today.

The James Spring & Wire Company was renamed James Industries in 1956; however by 1960 the James Industries was in extreme financial trouble. Richard left the company to follow a religious missionary in Bolivia where he spent most of the company’s fortune.

Just like the women of World War II took over the jobs of men who went off to fight the war and took to building planes, tanks, bombs and other weapons, creating the character “Rosie the Riveter” and her expression “We Can Do It”, Betty James became the “Rosie the Riveter” of the Slinky empire.

With six children to support and employees counting on her for their jobs, Betty started making changes to the company that would lead to financial success. She moved the company from Philadelphia to Hollidaysburg, Pennsylvania (where it remains today), changed the steel the Slinky wire was made with from Swedish to silver colored American, and had the edges of each Slinky crimped for safety.  She also hired Homer Fesperman and Charles Weagley in 1962, with what might have been the best advertising decision ever, to write the Slinky jingle for television commercials. She also kept the toy priced low at $1.00, so that every child could afford one.

Of the many versions of the Slinky that were made, from the Slinky Caterpillar, Turtle and Train, perhaps the most famous is the Slinky Dog, made ever popular thanks to the Disney/Pixar movies Toy Story (1995), Toy Story 2 (1999) and Toy Story 3 (2010). (Slinky Dog was voiced by Jim Varney for Toy Story 1 & 2, after his death Blake Clark voiced Slinky in Toy Story 3.)

Betty James created several Slinkies while she ran the company including the Slinky Jr., the Plastic Slinky, Slinky Pets, the novelty glasses “Crazy Eyes” (which was a pair of glasses with fake eye balls hanging from the lenses by Slinkies) and Neon Slinky.

In 1998 the Slinky was purchased by Poof Products. The Slinky continued with success and fame.  In 1999 it appeared on a U.S. postage stamp.  2001 saw the state of Pennsylvania name the Slinky as the state’s official toy. 2001 also saw Betty James inducted into the Toy Industry Hall of Fame. She died in 2008 at the age of 90.

In 2003 the Slinky made it to the Toy Industry Association’s “Century of Toy List” which listed the 100 most memorable and creative toys of the 20th Century, and the Slinky is also on exhibit in the Smithsonian Institute in Washington, D.C. plus the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.

Even though the Slinky is a toy, many people have found other uses for them including: using them in pecan-picking machines, holding drapery, creative light fixtures or window decorations, gutter protectors, a useful tool to keep pigeons away and  bird house protectors (wrap the Slinky around the pole the bird house rests on and the squirrel can’t climb it). During the Vietnam War U.S. Soldiers even used the Slinky as a mobile radio antenna.

While the Slinky still “walks down stairs”, its creative use is only inhibited by the users mind.

Ray: “You mean you never even had a Slinky?”

Egon: “We had part of a Slinky. But I straightened it.”

Ghostbuster 2 (1989)

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 1:38 am

Toy-Lines interviews former toy package designer and co-owner of Kasual Friday Danny Burau

Posted on: June 19, 2014

Toy-Line: How did you get started in the toy industry?

Danny Burau: I basically got into the industry by coincidence. I had studied advertising and art direction at the University of Colorado, Boulder. I spent three years out of school working at an agency in town, developing skills and learning a little about the agency scene. While there, I started dating my future wife, who went on to graduate school at Brown. We moved to Providence and I started working freelance gigs until I blindly applied for a temp position doing “packaging design.” I applied, did an initial interview, and then discovered that it was a job at Hasbro on the packaging team that handled Playskool. Obviously I jumped at that. I actually hadn’t even realized that Hasbro was in RI until that interview.

TL:  What’s involved in “packaging design”? Do you get to design the package on your own or does the company approve things first before you get involved?

DB: The whole process of packaging design really starts with a brief from the marketing team or whoever the driving force behind the project might be. There are a variety of issues that come into play. On something like Playskool, it really is an internal project, so we have less accountability to any outside decision makers. The marketing team will determine who the target consumer might be (basically always mom) and then we work from there within the guidelines they set forth. Color scheme may be discussed, or particular style of design. From there, the packaging designer will take over, laying out graphics, using content from the copywriter, and working alongside a packaging engineer. We generally worked very closely with the packaging engineer, proposing structure ideas, working on product layout in the package, and eventually, the engineer provides a final dieline, which we as designers would work with. Of course, all through the process, the marketing team and other invested parties would share their input and give approvals.

On the Marvel product team, we had a great deal of input from the Licensor (Marvel). That’s the standard for any product line from a licensor who will be looking to get product in stores to support their overall brand. For example, my first projects on the Marvel team were for Captain America: The First Avenger. I came in part way into the project, and the design team had already worked to establish a line look for the figures using supplied Marvel assets, such as actor imagery generated by Marvel artists, and any key assets such as logos or other specifics. I was part of the whole process on The Avengers product line. We went down to Marvel headquarters in NYC and got to read the script in an early format. While locked in a corner conference room, all recording devices (phones) held from us to protect this highly sensitive information, we sat and read for a couple of hours. And I must say, it was a page turner, as we all found out.

Anyhow, we took that info back to work and started focusing on what we saw as major elements from the movie. We started receiving assets from Marvel in the form of artwork hinting at Stark tower, character imagery, and a few other key graphics. From there, we really got to work through various designs. I did stacks of layouts for basic 3.75″ figures, and working with other designers, we we arrived at a line look that the team liked and that Marvel was comfortable with. The real structure design began then, developing the larger boxes, key elements that tied the line together, and laying out as much uniformity as we could across all Avengers products. Once those things were all established, it was really my responsibility to be sure that every item in the line worked together to form a cohesive statement at retail. We worked with outside illustrators, our photographers, and models to tie stuff all together.

But definitely some of the most fun stuff was the Marvel Universe and Marvel Legends line. We had a lot of freedom there and got to come up with crazy structures for SDCC and worked directly with Marvel comic illustrators to create character poses for the standard Marvel figures.

TL: From start to finish, how long did it take to design the package?

DB: Tough question to answer exactly. For an established line look, just adding a product, the time is relatively short to send files to the printer. For example, if you are adding a new wave of figures to Marvel Universe, you’re looking at a few weeks. And a large portion of that is working on the illustrations with the artist.

If it’s a brand new line look, at a corporate location, three months for a basic blister card from initial concepts to printable artwork with product photos and all.

For Kasual Friday, the actual package design was a line look that would make several licensors happy, one that we liked, and one that could have legs for a long time. From the initial pitched concepts, working with a freelance engineer for the blister and inserts, submitting to licensors, I bet we spent six months on the cards.

So, there’s really a variety.

TL: What was a day in the life like to work on a package design?

DB: Most days would just be coming in and getting to work on whatever existing project I was working on. Trying to finesse a design element from the meetings the day before. Frequently, the day would end with a conversation with marketing about something on the package, we would discuss the direction, and then jump on that the next day. A lot of sketching out designs, maybe again talking to the marketing team, or at least the other designers on my team, then start putting the designs together on the computer.

Several times a week, we would get a call from the model shop that some new prototype toy or figure had been hand-painted and was ready for photography. So we would go collect a tray with all the pieces of a figure (head, torso, arms, legs) and then go build them up using sticky wax to pose them. Looking at the back of toy packages, you will almost never see an actual figure. You are looking at a figure that has been grown on a 3d printer, painted by hand, then assembled just long enough for the photographers to get a bunch of photos taken to the designer’s liking. The photographer would composite a bunch of images together to give us an optimal image, and we would continue on our way processing the photo and dropping it onto the package.

On occasion, we would need to photograph models for our packaging. So, a couple of times per launch (be it Playskool or a Marvel movie property) we would get a bunch of head shots from a casting agent, pick 4-5 kids we wanted to come in, and we would go to a photo studio off-site to do a shoot. The kids would sit at a table and play with the toys. These were honestly some of my favorite days. By the end of it, you may have 500 photos of basically the same shot to go through. There were times when you still didn’t nail it, so we would “Frankenstein” together a shot of a kid’s hands and torso, with a different kid’s head from one shot, eyes from another, and mouth from another shot. When all was said and done, we would have spent hours and hours getting one photo on the back of a package.

So, a day was largely things behind the design. Coordinating the project, sketching, talking to engineers, casting agents, photographers, photo processing, Little Debbie Zebra cakes mid-afternoon, then finally getting to sit down and getting to assemble the design into something you could print out and try to get approved, justifying all of the little decisions that went into a simple package.

TL: How long did you work for Hasbro, Playskool & Marvel?

DB: I spent one year working on the Playskool team and then applied to transfer over to the Marvel packaging team. I worked on that team for one year. I left Hasbro as my wife was finishing grad school and we were moving back to Colorado.

TL: What were your favorite package designs you worked on?  Your least?

DB: Honestly, I have loved working on all of the Kasual Friday packaging. But it’s very much mine, so it’s a bit like saying your favorite people are your family.

On the side of being an employee for someone else, the favorites I have worked on have to be the Comic Con exclusives for the Marvel brands. Probably the Thor hammer for the re-introduction of Legends was a highlight. I worked with a lot of cool people on that one, too.

Although, I did love the whole new Marvel Legends line look we developed. That was a lot of fun.

I definitely had my difficulties working on a few of the Playskool packaging projects. There was a short-lived line of dinosaur toys for Playskool that was just a pain. It actually was my first project at Hasbro and it drug on and on, just taking all of the fun out of the design process.

TL: I’m glad you mentioned Kasual Friday, because that was going to be my next question.  Can you tell us a bit about that?  How it got formed, what the goals are?

DB: Kasual Friday is a business started by a couple of us former Hasbro guys. I was approached after I had left by the lead marketing guy for Marvel toys about my willingness to jump in on a potential apparel and toy business. He had left Hasbro as well, and he had this great idea. Really, the goal was to serve as an outlet for the dedicated fans of under-represented properties to get some gear.

The name actually arose out of a particular shirt one team had made for a Comic Con. It was a black, button down, short-sleeved shirt with some related graphics on it. Fans wanted the shirt, offering big bucks to buy it off of some of the Hasbro employees. We thought about why that shirt was so desired. You could wear that shirt to the office on a casual Friday without drawing too much attention. You could represent, let your fan out, and still be within requirements. Basically, we wanted to let other fan boys be fan boys. And there were a lot of licensors out there that were willing, and even excited, to let us put their properties out there.

Obviously, all of us at Hasbro had a passion for toys, and loved the pop-culture aspect of working on Marvel properties. So, the idea of doing our own thing was always boiling in the back of our heads. “Wouldn’t it be cool if…?” Fill in the blank. We wanted to do things and try things that obviously weren’t viable when you’re dealing with so much money and responsibility. So, Kasual Friday was born. Looking to search out those beloved properties of the under-served fans and put stuff out there.

TL: So, how many of you are involved in Kasual Friday?

DB: We’ve got a pretty extensive team of people from marketing, sculpting, painting, graphics, etc, some on consulting basis, and then a core group dedicated to KF.

TL: How long has Kasual Friday been around?

DB: We really got moving in early 2012 trying to make it to the convention in Philly. We came out of the gate with a few exclusives and we partnered up with another vendor there to get some shirts on the market and start building our name. It’s been a solid, continuous growth since then to build capital and produce more.

TL: The Kasual Friday toys have a great style.  Do you decide on the style of them then get the company’s approval of who owns the rights to the characters?

DB: Yeah. We like that exaggerated style, but not too bubbly and cartoonish. Seeing as no one else is owning that expression right now, it worked for us.

We worked with some toy designers and sculptors from our years past to come up with the concept drawings, which then get approved by the licensors who hold the rights to the characters.

The real process is getting the license first (paying for the right to use their brand), then starting concepts. They approve drawings, then digital sculpts, then paint scheme, and eventually final approval before we go to production.

TL: Who sculpts the toys?  Where are they made? Has the rising cost of tooling in China affected your company?

DB: We have a variety of sculptors that we have worked with over the years that we work with.

The production figures are coming from China.

As we haven’t been producing figures for too terribly long, we haven’t experienced much change or impact from changing prices.

TL: Does KF promote its’ products only on its’ website or have you been to Toy Fair?

DB: We have been to a variety of events, including Comic Cons and Toy Fair, as well as sales through distributors and retailers.

TL: Will the toys and clothes be sold only on the official KF website or in stores too?

DB: Most everything is already available on other resources such as Big Bad Toy Store and Entertainment Earth, as well as through Diamond.

TL:  Are there any movie properties Kasual Friday would like to get involved with? Any new properties you can tell us about?

DB: On a personal level, there are a lot of 80s movie properties that I think would be fun to play with, but there isn’t anything we’re pursuing right now. We’re really focusing on doing solid work and filling out the offerings for the licensors we are currently working with.

TL: Danny, thank you for sharing your knowledge of the toy industry with us. Toy-Lines wished you the best of luck with Kasual Friday.  It’s a great site and products and we hope it does well.

If you’d like to check out Kasual Friday’s site and products, please click the link: http://www.kasualfriday.com/

The Toy-Lines Crew

 

Filed under: Blogs,Interviews — admin @ 12:26 am

Diamond Toys Select Announces SDCC Exclusives

Posted on: June 15, 2014

It’s almost time for Comic-Con International in San Diego, and Diamond Select Toys will be hanging out at Booth 2607, showing off some cool new products and selling some amazingly cool toys! Check out the exclusives Diamond Select Toys, Diamond Comic Distributors, and various retailers around the show floor will be offering at SDCC!

Godzilla Burning Godzilla SDCC Exclusive Vinyl Bust Bank
A Diamond Select Toys Release! Godzilla is more than just a giant lizard – he’s also a walking nuclear reactor! This new, limited-edition vinyl bank of the King of All Monsters depicts him as he appeared in 1995’s Godzilla vs. Destoroyah, when his atomic heart began to overheat. With an all-new black-and-orange color scheme, this 8-inch bust bank features collectible-quailty paint applications, as well as a coin slot on his back and an access door in the base. Limited to 1000 pieces. Packaged in a clear polybag. Sculpted by Gentle Giant! (Item #FEB148247, $30.00

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Walking Dead Minimates Days Gone Bye B&W SDCC Exclusive Box Set
A Diamond Select Toys Release! The Walking Dead has reached its 125th issue, and is still one of the top-selling comic books in America! DST is commemorating the anniversary with a four-pack of key characters and zombies as they appeared in the very first story arc, “Days Gone Bye.” Rick, Shane, Glenn and a zombie all appear for the first time in glorious black-and-white, just like the comic book! Each fully poseable Minimate mini-figure stands 2 inches tall and features interchangeable parts and accessories. Limited to 3,000 pieces. Packaged on a full-color blister card. Designed by Art Asylum! (Item #FEB148244, SRP: $20.00)

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Marvel Minimates X-Men Days of Future Past Comic SDCC Exclusive Box Set
A Diamond Select Toys Release! The newest X-Men movie is blowing minds and setting records with its time-travel storyline, and now DST is going back in time to 1981! That’s when the original Days of Future Past story line came out in Uncanny X-Men, and this 4-pack of Minimates captures four of the storyline’s most important characters! Future Wolverine, Future Kitty Pryde, Mystique and a Future Sentinel each stand 2 inches tall and feature interchangeable parts and accessories. Limited to 3,000 pieces. Packaged in a full-color window box. Designed by Art Asylum! (Item #FEB148243, SRP: $20.00)

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X-Men #23 “Days of Future Past” Minimates Cover
To celebrate Diamond Select Toys’ exclusive Minimates box set, Minimates are taking over the cover to Marvel Comics’ X-Men #23! This variant cover features Wolverine and Kitty Pryde drawn in the Minimates style, a tribute to John Byrne’s classic cover to Uncanny X-Men #141. Artwork by Barry Bradfield! (Available through various retailers, Item #APR148247, SRP: $3.99)

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Sin City Select Bloody Marv SDCC Exclusive Action Figure
A Diamond Select Toys Release! With a new line of figures based on the groundbreaking film hitting stores soon, DST is pleased to present their limited-edition exclusive Sin City figure for SDCC: Bloody Marv! This version of Marv features a unique paint scheme, with a bright red spatter of blood standing out against his black-and-white face and clothes. Marv also comes packaged with a sculpted diorama display base and a variety of deadly accessories he’ll need on the streets of Sin City, all packaged in the famous Select display packaging, complete with spine reference artwork. Limited to 1300 pieces. Sculpted by Jean St. Jean! (Item #FEB148221, SRP: $25.00)

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Star Wars Spirit Yoda SDCC Exclusive Quarter Scale Vinyl Bank
A Diamond Select Toys Release! Toys, exclusives… a Jedi craves these things! DST’s 7-inch Yoda bank returns in spirit form, as a translucent blue vinyl figure exclusively available at SDCC! In scale to previously released Ultimate Quarter Scale action figures and banks, this new limited edition of the original Yoda bank includes a separate cane accessory, and has a coin slot on the back as well as an access door in the base.  Limited to 1000 pieces. Packaged in a clear polybag. Sculpted by Oluf Hartvigson! (Item #FEB148245, SRP: $23.00)

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Star Trek Battle Damaged USS Excelsior SDCC Exclusive Electronic Starship
A Diamond Select Toys Release! All hands brace for impact! The U.S. S. Excelsior has engaged the enemy, and it shows in this new battle-damaged edition of the original Excelsior-class starship! With new paint applications showing damage from the Battle of Khitomer, this limited edition of 100 ships will only be available at Comic-Con! Push a button to light up the bridge, deflector dish, impulse engines and warp nacelles, and trigger dialogue by George Takei as Captain Hikaru Sulu!  Limited to 100 pieces. Packaged in a window box with try-me feature. Designed and sculpted by Art Asylum! (Only available at Booth 2607, $70.00)

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World Debut: Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back Cocknocker Retro Action Figure
A Diamond Select Toys Release! Rescued from the DST warehouse and being sold for the first time anywhere, Cock-Knocker is making his debut at SDCC! Originally made in 2001 for the release of the Bluntman & Chronic movie, this 8-inch, cloth-costumed figure of Cock-Knocker was believed lost forever… until now! In scale to the other two releases in the line, Bluntman and Chronic themselves, Cock-Knocker has one giant fist and his energy sword, and is the missing piece in any Bluntfan’s retro-style figure collection! Packaged in resealable clamshell packaging with full color artwork. Designed and sculpted by EMCE Toys! (Item #FEB148248, SRP: $20.00)

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Filed under: Articles — admin @ 5:31 pm

Father’s Day

Posted on: June 15, 2014

For years, fathers have taken a less active role in their child’s life, leaving the work to their wives, and only being involved when it comes to taking the training wheels off their bicycles or teaching them to like their favorite sports team.  These fathers’s might go to their daughter’s dance recital, or son’s piano concert, but they spend those moments staring down at their smart phones instead of their child.  Just because you go to work to earn money to buy them food, put a roof over their heads or buy them clothes doesn’t automatically make you a father.

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Being a father is a thankless job, and Father’s Day seems like a useless holiday.  Yet, there is more to being a father than most men know.  A father is there to chase the nightmares away from their kids, to be there to comfort them when a thunder storm rolls in, to read to them as a child, play Candy land 5,001 times because their kids likes that game, to know, when they get older, exactly who their friends are, their parents, the music they listen to, the TV shows they watch, the movies they watch, the video games they play, the websites they look at.  They’re there when their kids are having a problem at school because the kids go to them.  These fathers put down their phones, turn the TV off, and actually listen to them.  They instill in their children values, discipline them when needed, teach them how to behave, and always love them, much like God loves us, when they do something wrong.

That is what a father is.

Even if they don’t know the answer to a problem, they’re there for their children ready to help them figure it out. Studies show that a father who is home with their children and a part of their life have huge impacts on a child’s emotional, physical, mental and intellectual growth.

By being there, toddlers become better at problem solving, boost their daughters self esteem, decrease the risk of their children suffering from anxiety, depression, more likely to get better grades and graduate from both high-school and college, and just by being a part of their life, help their children stay away from drugs, alcohol and early sexual activity.

Being a father means you have a great power in your child’s life, and with that power comes a great responsibility.

Being a father, just like a mother, is a tough job, but one so worth it.  So to all those dad’s out there who do put down their cell phones, know their children’s friends names, deny them access to inappropriate material like violent music, television, video games and websites. Toy-Lines wishes you the happiest of Fathers Days and wish you to continue what you’re doing.

Darth Vader & Son     Vader's LIttle Princess

 

The Toy-Lines Crew

Filed under: Blogs — admin @ 2:13 am

I Geek Disney: The Orange Bird

Posted on: June 14, 2014

Years ago in Walt Disney World’s Adventureland there was a bird selling refreshing drinks in the hot Florida weather. This wasn’t Zazu or Iago, this fellow was way before them and was a local bird to Florida only, though you wouldn’t find him on any bird guide if you went hiking.  You could only find him in Walt Disney World, serving delicious orange drinks with vanilla ice cream that could rival the legendary Dole Whip.

Who is this bird? The Orange Bird of course.

The Orange Bird didn’t exactly fly South for the winter, but for years wasn’t seen in Walt Disney World, lost all but to nostalgia, that is, until a few years ago when he returned home with his drink.

The Orange Bird doesn’t look like an ordinary bird.  He has an orange for a head and green leaves for wings.  While most birds sing and chirp, the Orange Bird couldn’t, so he communicated through “thought form”, little orange smoke clouds that appeared over his head like the word balloon in a newspaper comic strip. Created in 1971, The Orange Bird graced the Sunshine Tree Terrace in the Magic Kingdom as well as walked around for meet & greets outside the Tiki Room (one could only imagine what Iago would have thought of this “loitering” while he was manager). The Florida Citrus Commission (or the Florida Citrus Growers) licensed the Orange Bird for merchandise which appeared in citrus and fruit stands across the Florida highways and state. In exchange for the license, The Florida Citrus Commission sponsored the Sunshine Tree Terrace and was one of the first sponsors in Walt Disney World.

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In 1971 the Sherman Brothers wrote six songs for a Disneyland long playing record that told the origin of the Orange Bird.  The record came with a full color book written by Jimmy Johnson and starred Anita Bryant. During the 1970’s the Orange Bird became the spokes ”bird” for The Florida Citrus Commission, appearing in television commercials and other forms of advertisements. The Orange Bird also appeared in the educational film “Food & Fun: A Nutrition Adventure” in September 1980.

Between the years of 1971-1987 Orange Bird merchandise could be bought in Disney World (as well as those Citrus & Fruit stands along Florida’s highways). One of the most common souvenirs was the cup the drink was sold in. But in 1987 The Florida Citrus Commission ended their sponsorship, and the Orange Bird went away.

But that wouldn’t be the last Disney fans would see of the little orange guy.  In 2004, for Japan’s annual Orange day celebration, the Orange Bird flew to Tokyo Disneyland where he found new friends and new merchandise was made. Then in 2012, at a D23 convention, he made a cameo appearance and returned once more to his home in Adventureland. For this happy occasion the original Orange Bird statue was found in the Disney Archives, sent to Walt Disney World Imagineers to be refurbed, and sits once more at the Sunshine Tree Terrace watching Guests enjoy his drink.

Today Orange Bird merchandise ranges from car antenna toppers to pins, “Mickey Ears”, figurines, magnets, throw pillows, t-shirts, and pitcher & juice glasses.

They say you can’t go home again, but for the Orange Bird, it looks like you can, and that’s just what he did.  Welcome home, old pal.

 

Dedicated to my wife, whose idea it was to write this piece for I Geek Disney.

 

Filed under: Blogs,I Geek Disney — admin @ 1:18 am

DST Mr. StayPuft Contest Winner

Posted on: June 13, 2014

We asked you to shoot your 24-inch Stay Puft Marshmallow Man bank somewhere near where you live, and now we’re ready to choose the winner for the month of May! It’s Jon Tilson of Alabama, who shot his Stay-Puft in the center of Dothan, AL, the peanut capital of the world! Mr. Stay Puft seems to have found an ally in the giant, peanut character who serves up his own kind. Who knew marshmallows and peanuts would get along so well!

Jon will get $200 worth of DST prizes, including a Godzilla bank, a Knight Rider vehicle, an Amazing Spider-Man movie bust, and a variety of Ghostbusters items, including a Slimer bank, Slimer gelatin mold and a Ghostbusters Silicone Tray! Look for your box in the mail, Jon!

But the contest isn’t over! We’ll pick a new winner every month for the rest of the year, so keep sending in your photos! Got an idea for where to shoot your Marshmallow Man near your hometown? Check out the rules below, submit your photo and we’ll pick the next winner in early July!

Here’s what you do: Simply photograph your 24-inch Mr. Stay-Puft (either good or evil variety) somewhere near where you live. It could be the beach, the forest, the desert, the mountains, a city street, or even in front of a sign welcoming people to your town — we just want to see where Mr. Stay-Puft has been! Send the picture off to collectdst@gmail.com, and each month we’ll post a new batch of pictures on our Facebook page. One of the pictures we post will be randomly chosen to win that month’s prize! Prize packages will include $200 worth of toys and collectibles from DST!

Rules: Photos must be at least 600 x 800 pixels. One entry per person per monthly cycle. Duplicate entries will not be included in the drawing. If you do not win, a new photo can be submitted after the start of the new month. A previously submitted picture cannot be submitted again. All entries become the property of Diamond Select Toys, and can be used on various Websites and social media sites. Prize package value is based on suggested retail price of all items combined. Winners are prohibited from entering any DST contest again for one year.

 

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Filed under: Articles — admin @ 4:35 pm

Exclusive Unmasked Spiderman

Posted on: June 13, 2014

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has amazed audiences around the globe, and love for the wall-crawling hero is stronger than ever! The top-grossing movie sees Spider-Man’s friends become his worst enemies and his personal life get turned inside-out, so it’s fitting that Diamond Select Toys has teamed up with marvelshop.com to grant fans early access to an exclusive unmasked action figure!

Starting on June 9th, marvelshop.com will be the only place to order the Marvel Select Unmasked Spider-Man figure, featuring an exclusive head sculpt of Peter Parker as played by Andrew Garfield. An interchangeable masked head will be included in the packaging, as well as a variety of interchangeable hands, a pair of detachable web sprays and a modular 2-foot webline! All will come packaged in the famous Marvel Select packaging, suitable for display and featuring spine artwork for easy shelf reference.

After June 30, the Marvel Select Unmasked Spider-Man figure will be made available on disneystore.com, and will begin to make their way to Disney Store shelves in the U.S. and Canada.

Marvelshop.com is also your source for the Marvel Select Unmasked Captain America figure, featuring a battle-damaged uniform and an exclusive head sculpt of Steve Rogers, as seen in Captain America: The Winter Soldier. An interchangeable masked head is included, as well as a battle-damaged version of Cap’s shield and a diorama display base modeled after the SHIELD helicarriers seen in the film.

 

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Filed under: Articles — admin @ 4:31 pm

Funko POP! Buffy the Vampire Slayer

Posted on: June 13, 2014

Pop! Television: Buffy the Vampire Slayer

If the apocalypse comes, beep me.

We have more exciting news for Joss Whedon fans today!
BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER POP! SERIES!

The Chosen One and her crew are ready to navigate the treacheries of Sunnydale!

Are you Team Buffy and Angel or Team Buffy and Spike?
You decide!
Luckily, we made both Angel and Spike Pop!’s so you can have it your way.
Willow, The Gentleman, and Oz are also here to help you relive the magic of Buffy the Vampire Slayer!

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Coming in September

Filed under: Articles — admin @ 4:29 pm
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