Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Polaris Nuclear Sub, just $6.98

Here is a great 70's ad from inside a comic book. It's for the Polaris Nuclear Sub... for only $6.98. It's over 7 feet long, seats 2 kids, has controls that work, rockets that fire, real periscope, firing torpedoes, and an electrically lit instrument panel. This sub does everything but get wet!
This is one of those items that I remember seeing all the time in comics and wishing I could buy. Now as an adult, I wish I could buy one for two reasons; 1) it would be really cool to have this item in my collection - I'm sure the packaging is very retro cool looking. 2) I would love to see what it actually looked like. As a kid, I thought it was an actual sub that you could go into the ocean with and shoot rockets and torpedoes etc. I'm sure I never read the ad closely enough to actually read the fact that it was made of fiberboard - hardly something that was going to be seaworthy! Like so many of the items from comic ads, I would absolutely love to see the actual items today, just to confirm all of the thoughts I had as I got older, about how hokey these items really were, and to see how accurate the ad text of these ads really were!
Here is what the small print on the ad had to say about the Polaris Nuclear Sub. How proud you will be as commander of your own Polaris Sub - the most powerful weapon in the world! What hours of imaginative play and fun as you and your friends dive, surface, maneuver, watch the enemy though the periscope and fire your nuclear missiles and torpedoes! What thrills as you play at hunting sunken treasures in pirate waters and exploring the strange and mysterious bottom of the deep ocean floor!
Hours and hours of adventure. Sturdily constructed of 200 lb. test fiberboard. Comes complete with easy assembly instructions. Costs only $6.98 for this giant of fun, adventure and science. (Because of the Polaris Sub's giant size we must ask for 75 cents shipping charges.)
Money back guarantee. Order today and we will rush your Polaris Nuclear Sub to you. use it for 10 full days. If you don't think it is the greatest ever - the best toy you ever had - just send it back for full purchase price refund.
Luckily this item came with a 10 day free trail, so it had to be good, right!?

[since posting this, I found this great post over at the Secret Fun Blog. It includes a photo and description of the actual sub!]

Monday, July 30, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #18

Today's Little Golden Book is The Amazing Mumford Forgets the Magic Words! featuring Jim Henson's Muppets (1979). This book combines three of my favorite things; Little Golden Books, the Muppets, and magic! And I love the artwork in this one. Check out this two page spread from the book, which shows The Amazing Mumford standing outside the theater where he is about to preform. Luckily it looks like Santa Claus is going to be able to see the show as it is only ALMOST Sold Out.

I don't want to give the whole book away, but that "D" on the marquee is going to fall and hit poor Mumford on the head, and cause him to forget who he is and where he is. That sure is going to make things tough for him to put on a good show.

Happy Birthday Big Pile Of Stuff!

Today is the first birthday for my blog, Ronn's Big Pile of Stuff, which I posted the first entry to on July 30th, 2006. When I started, I thought it would be an interesting experiment to see if I could post an entry a day for a full year (or more). My experiment lasted 75 days, until on October 13th I forgot to post an entry, and my streak was over. Since then, I have not been posting daily, but I have been posting a few entries a week. I even started a weekly feature called "Little Golden Book Monday" where I post one Little Golden Book each Monday, and I have been thinking of adding a few more daily features. We'll see if I get around to it.
This blog has been a fun way to write about and show things that I am interested in, and I plan to continue posting stuff to the Big Pile Of Stuff for a long time to come.
Hopefully in our second year someone else besides myself will find the blog and enjoy it as much as I do!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Who Framed Rick Flint?

Yesterday while visiting some new thrift stores, I picked up some great records, games, and lots of books! I am a big fan of the 1988 classic Disney film "Who Framed Roger Rabbit?" and always love adding something new to my Roger Rabbit collection. I found these two great items;
1) Disney Adventures issue from April 1992 with Jessica Rabbit on the cover along with Daisy Duck and Minnie Mouse. Although Jessica is on the cover, there is nothing to do with Roger Rabbit in side this one. I also have another issue of Disney Adventures with Jessica on the cover - if I remember correctly she with standing with a bunch of Disney female characters and someone from one of the Star Trek series.
2) Roger Rabbit: Who Framed Rick Flink? from 1991 is a graphic novel style reprint of issues #10 and #11 of the Roger Rabbit Disney Comics. The title of this graphic novel comes from the title of issue #11, which is printed first in this collection. If you never saw the Roger Rabbit comics from Disney Comics in the 90's, they are well worth checking out. Being a big comic book and Disney fan, I bought all the comics that Disney put out in this line of comics including Roger Rabbit and Roger Rabbit's Toontown.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #17

Today's Little Golden Book is Cartoon Network's The Powerpuff Girls, Special collector's edition from 1999.
I remember seeing the first Powerpuff Girls cartoon "The Powerpuff Girls in: Meat Fuzzy Lumkins" as part of the Cartoon Networks World Premiere Toons show. Soon after, Powerpuff mania hit North America and Blossom, Bubbles and Buttercup hit the big screen in 2002 with "The Powerpuff Girls Movie".
Craig McCracken, a student of California Institute of the Arts, created The Whoopass Girls in 1992 in his short film The Whoopass Girls in A Sticky Situation. Spike and Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation selected the short in 1994; McCracken submitted it to Cartoon Network while working on Dexter's Laboratory.[2] As the word "whoopass" was deemed inappropriate for younger audiences, the word was replaced by "powerpuff".
This book titled "Big, Terrible Trouble?" is illustrated by Craig McCraken and Lou Romano. On the inside title page is states: Craig McCraken is the creator of the Emmy-nominated animated series, The Powerpuff girls. he wrote and illustrated this special collector's edition exclusively for Golden Books.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Goofy Card Tricks

I have loved magic ever since I was a young child. I even wanted to be a magician when I was younger and performed for kids parties etc. I had piles of magic tricks, was subscribed to the British "Magic Magazine", I used to get up early on the weekend to watch the Magic Castle TV show and I had two identical black gerbils which were a part of my act. I also loved to collect any books on magic I could find.
I remember that any trip to Disneyland (also Knott's Berry Farm) was a great chance to visit a magic shop.
This weekend I found a great used book shop where I ended up finding all kinds of treasures including this great 66 page, 1977 Walt Disney's Goofy Card Tricks book, which I image was sold in the magic shop on the Main street of Disneyland back in the 70's.
I can't pass along any of the tricks in the book, a magician never revels his secrets, but here is the introduction from the book:
Magic is fun... for the magician and for the audience. Magic can make people laugh [as a kid magician, my audiences seemed to laugh a lot!], it can make them wonder, it can make them marvel. The magical card tricks in this book are mystifying but easy and fun to do. Here are some tips from Goofy on giving a good magic show:
1. Never tell anyone your secrets-not even your best friend or your mother! [Ronn: go ahead and tell your dad though!] If you do, all the mystery will be gone!
2. Never perform the same trick twice in front of the same audience. The second time, your audience will notice much more, because they will know what to expect.
3. Practice, practice, practice! Learn to perform your tricks smoothly and with ease. If you can, practice in front of a mirror; this way, you will be able to see yourself as your audience sees you.
Good luck, and good magic!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Disney offers new CD format CDVU+

This week Walt Disney Co. music label Hollywood Records is offering a
new CD format with extra features to encourage compact-disc purchases
in a bid to reverse declining CD sales.
Hollywood Records on Wednesday unveiled its new CDVU+ (CD View Plus)
format with digital magazine extras, song lyrics, band photos and
other extras to boost fan loyalty. The new format also replaces the
traditional CD booklet and plastic jewel case with recyclable
packaging. Teen punk band Jonas Brothers will be the first act to use
the technology when they release their self-titled album on August
7.Disney executives hope to hold the interest of fans by offering
content similar to the extras on movie DVDs and convince them that
pure music products still offer good value. The content on a CDVU+ can
be downloaded and accessed online and off. The label said the extra
content had been produced for the new format rather than using the
band's outtakes or widely available material, such as existing music

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Black Hole Collectables

"A journey that begins where everything ends!"
The other day while searching though some local thrift shops I found two great Walt Disney "the Black Hole" items. The first is the Walt Disney Productions' "the Black Hole" coloring book from Whitman, and dated 1979. Amazingly, this coloring book is in mint condition and completely uncolored, which is not something you see very often from coloring books you find at thrift shops! I'm not sure what the original price of this item was, but I paid a whopping 25 cents.
The second item is the 1979 novel written by Alan Dean Foster, from Del Rey Books, with a cover price of $1.95. This one cost me 50 cents.
Strange that I found both items at the same shop. I wonder if they both came from the same home, perhaps belonging originally to another "the Black Hole" fan.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Happy Birthday Disneyland

Happy Birthday to Disneyland park which is celebrating its 52nd birthday today. The park opened to guests on July 17, 1955. I have had the opportunity to spend many July 17th's at the park, and I must say I wish I was there today! I'm going to watch my copy of "Dateline Disneyland" the opening day live special that is part of the Walt Disney Treasures DVD set titled Disneyland USA. Happy Birthday to you Disneyland!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #16

Today's Little Golden book is "Quick Draw McGraw" and is copyright 1960 by H-B Enterprises. As always, this one is filled with wonderful artwork, and who doesn't love Quick Draw and his sidekick Baba Looey.
On the first inside page it says, "This is a brand-new book, illustrated especially for Golden Books".
Something a little unusual for me is the back page of this one. Instead of the familiar Little Golden Books characters and story of Little Golden Books, this one has an ad for Golden Capitol Adventure Kids - These handsomely boxed kits (15 x 10 x 1 1/2") contain all the equipment and information the junior natural scientist needs to begin his hobby. $2.95 each." Titles include; Rocks, Sea Shells, Insects, Birds, Stars, Weather, and Plants.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Coming July 15 to a theatre near you

Back in 1937 Walt Disney released the first full length feature film "Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs" which went on to be rereleased many times over its 70 years. Here is an ad for its July 15th, 1983 theatrical rerelease in North America.

Walt Disney's New characters in his first full-length production!

The Happiest, Dopiest, Grumpiest, Sneeziest movie of the year.

The Best Loved Musical Of All Time

The Show Sensation Of The Generation!

Walt Disney's First Full Length Feature Production

Behold - The Miracle Of The Movies! - Coming To Amaze You, Charm You, Thrill You!

The One That Started It All

Still the fairest of them all!

Monday, July 09, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #15

Today's Little Golden book was picked out by my 2 year old son Kaden. It's called "Make Way for the Highway" (edition 310-55, 1961) and is all about the construction of a brand new highway using lots of big vehicles.
When I saw the cover I immediately thought of Kaden as he is always pointing out diggers and other assorted large vehicles while we drive around town. He loves construction vehicles.
I also got a kick out of the title which seemed to say, "the highway is important, and everything else better get out of the way!" As I read though the book, it certainly delivered on it's title.
On page 4, we see Mike and his bulldozer pushing a rock out of the way, which displaces a family of foxes, "Under the rock lived a mother fox and her four babies. When the rock began to move, they got scared. The mother fox and her babies dashed off toward the woods."
On the next page we again see Mike, this time, "turning his bulldozer toward a clump of bushes. A cottontail rabbit who had his home in those bushes shook with fear when he saw the great machine coming. Away dashed the rabbit as fast as he could."
Then, "Mike steered the bulldozer toward a tall elm tree. The tree had been there for a hundred years. But now it had to go. Away flew a pair of robins whose nest was in the tree. 'Sorry,' called Mike, 'but the highway must go though!'"
Four pages later, "All at once Mike stopped his bulldozer. Right in the path of the highway stood a little old house. Tall trees grew around it. Yellow roses climbed over the front door. 'I Guess we'll have to take that house down,' said Mike. Mike's bulldozer could knock a house down in a half hour."
"No you don't," said the little old lady who lived there.
"You'll be paid for your land," said Mike. "Money isn't everything," said the little old lady. Mike scratched his head. "I'll have to talk to the Big Boss," he said.
Next day, the Big Boss came to the little old house. "I'm sorry, ma'am," he said, "This house must come down."
"Young man," said the little old lady "I've lived in this house for seventy years. I watched these trees grow. I planted that rose bush. I'm not leaving."
"But the highway must go though," said the Big Boss. "People want the shortest, quickest way these days."
"What's their hurry?" asked the little old lady.
The Big Boss shook his head. He didn't know.
[Sarcastic mode on] Luckily for everyone involved, Mike and his crew were able to save the little old ladies house by directing the highway around the old house. Now the little old lady is able to enjoy all the sights and sounds of the highway right outside her front door [sarcastic mode off].

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Lakeside's Demolition Derby

This weekend I found a few new thrift stores and I ended up finding some great stuff! Among my finds were 10 Whitman "Tell-A-Tale Books", 12 Little Golden books, another 15 assorted books including a Walt Disney "Black Hole" novel, 7 Disney records, and a very cool Demolition Derby game from Lakeside games.
From the box: "You do the steering - smash the pop-up cars - race the closing gate"
"On your make! Get set! Open the gate! 12 pop up cars are on the field! Demolition Demon is moving out! He pops one in the air! CRASH! The Demon bounces off the wall! He fishtales across the field! BAM SMASH! Two more pop out, they're flying high! 10 seconds to go. The pit stop is closing up! Get back! Hurry up! 3 more gone! As he slides home safe! What a champ!"
The plastic gameboard, which is about 13" square, has a series of two-dimensional colored plastic target cars set on it which are triggered by rubber bands located beneath the board. A small area of the board is sectioned off (the Pits) behind a gate which serves as the timing mechanism for each person's turn. A small car (the 'Demon') that relies on a ball bearing for mobility is placed behind the gate which is released by an opponent when all the targets are in position.
The instructions describe several variations of the game but all basically involve bumping into as many of the target cars with the Demon as possible and returning to the Pits before the timing gate closes.
As soon as I saw this on the shelve I knew I had to have it! The great artwork on the box first drew my attention, and when I saw it was a demolition derby game, I snapped it up! As soon as I got home I had to try it out and luckily almost everything was still in the box. It is missing two of the plastic target cars and the two handles for moving the board are missing - but it is easy enough to more without the handles. I popped in the target cars and proceeded to move the board up and down to direct the Demon car to fly around the board bumping into the other cars, sending them flying into the air!
Ahh, what fun to be had for a buck!

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Flake Magazine

I have previously posted about my cereal box addiction, but here is some proof of how addicted to cereal box collecting I was. Back in 1993, I had a subscription to Flake Magazine, the Breakfast Nostalgia Magazine. That's right, an entire magazine dedicated to cereal and the boxes they come in!
For me, cereal box collecting started innocently enough. I was buying many breakfast cereals with cartoon characters on the boxes, and I started keeping the ones I especially liked the looks of. Some time in the late 80's the cereal manufacturers started going crazy creating new cereals to tie in with new movies, TV shows etc. A trip to the supper market cereal isle and you would be inundated with all kinds of amazing boxes filled with some pretty amazing looking stuff - not good tasting most of the time, just amazing looking!
I used to pick up all the new and cool looking cereal boxes and when I got them home, I would carefully open the bottom of the boxes and take out the bag of cereal to give to my mom who would give them to the food bank. I wasn't gonna eat that stuff, and I figured that some poor kid might be thrilled to get the chance to eat some florescent blue and pink cereal filled with crunchy marshmellows. Better them than me!
Two of the silliest cereal boxes I own are: Urkelos (Steve "Did I do that?" Urkel from the 1991 TV sitcom Family Matters) which was basically a two colour Froot Loops, and Mr. T Cereal which was pretty much Cap'n Crunch.
My favorite tasting kids cereals of all time were 1984's Strawberry Shortcake Cereal and Cap'n Crunch Peanut Butter... mmmm, my mouth is salivating just thing about them!

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Pizza Hut Pete

On June 15, 1958, brothers Frank and Dan Carney took advantage of the "pizza craze" sweeping the country by opening the first Pizza Hut in Wichita. A year later the first Pizza Hut franchise opened in Topeka, and the move to become a national chain was on.
One of the first symbols of the company was "Pizza Hut Pete," shown here in the form of a plastic sign that was part of Pizza Hut oven toy for children. I found this one at a local thrift shop. Too bad they didn't have the toy oven to go with it. I'm sure my son would have loved it, as we love going to Pizza Hut every Friday afternoon for the "All You Can Eat" pizza buffet. Pizza Hut was one of the first things Kaden learned to say!
"Pete" was used by the company into the mid-1970s, when the familiar red roof logo began to appear. "Pete" might simply have outlived his usefulness, or perhaps he was seen as too much of an Italian stereotype to be an effective image for the company.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Little Golden Book Monday #14

Today's Little Golden Book is Disney's Home on the Range.
Home on the Range is a 2004 animated feature produced by Walt Disney Feature Animation and released by Walt Disney Pictures on April 2, 2004. The film is the forty-fourth animated feature in the Disney animated features canon.
Prior to the film's release, Disney stated that it would be their last film in their animated features canon to use traditional animation. Although Disney animated films have featured some computer-generated effects for many years, Disney announced plans to move entirely to computer animation after Home on the Range, beginning with 2005's Chicken Little, and laid off most of its animation department. However, after the company's acquisition of Pixar in early 2006, new leaders John Lasseter and Ed Catmull decided to revive traditional animation, and announced the upcoming 2-D film, The Princess and the Frog. Still, Home on the Range is the final feature in the canon to use the CAPS system, which was first fully used in The Rescuers Down Under.
As you can see from the cover drawing, the characters in this book are drawn in a "cute", "cartoony", "little kids" style unlike the actual movie characters. It would seem they were trying to appeal to a young toddler crowd with this release. It does make for a fun read.