Tuesday, September 30, 2008

1957 Barratt & Co. Ltd. 2nd Series Candy Cigarette Cards

The following year, 1957, Barratt's issued a second series of 50 cards in Mickey's Sweet Cigarettes, this time featuring four characters from Alice in Wonderland.

The Mad Hatter (#1), the March Hare (#16), the Carpenter (#37), and the Walrus (#38).

Monday, September 29, 2008

1956 Barratt & Co. Ltd. 1st Series Candy Cigarette Card

I guess I'm showing my age when I say that I remember candy cigarettes (and bubble gum cigars too!), but I don't remember premium trading cards in the packs, maybe that was only a British thing? Anyway, here we have one of a set of 35 cards from Mickey's Sweet Cigarettes from England, made by Barratt & Company Ltd. Number 18 in the series is Alice. I have not come across any other Alice characters from the first series, although there are several from the second series (stay tuned).

Friday, September 26, 2008

Hassenfeld Brothers Pencil Boxes

Continuing with my Back-to-School theme (I only just realized tonight that I had a theme), Hassenfeld Brothers (later known by the contraction Hasbro) produced a number of items for the original release, most notably a series of playsets that were advertised in Playthings Magazine as well as the National Screen Service campaign book. These were the makeup kit, sewing kit and nurse kit (stay tuned for future posts on those items). But they also produced a pencil box that I have not as of yet found any advertising for.

I have found this pencil box in three sizes to date (small, medium and large) and two colors (red and blue). The contents of the various boxes is similar and pretty standard school supply fare. The illustration on the cover is taken from the makeup kit, if you look closely you can see that Alice is holding a powder puff and wearing nail polish.

The small box has a ruler, some pencils (custom printed with Alice in Wonderland on them), a nib pen (minus nib), a protractor, crayons, and an eraser.

The medium pencil box has the same as above, but also has a strange little drawer for holding bits of paper I imagine. I have found them with a weird poster of university pennants, and maps. The medium size also appears to be the most common of the three sizes, and blue is far and away the most common color as I have only ever seen one in red.

The largest box is essentially the same as the medium box, except that the drawer is deeper than on the medium box.

The upper tray has a different configuration than on the medium box, and does not have space for the protractor, so it probably didn't come with one.

Oddly, it is not really functionally deeper as there is a cardboard filler in the drawer making it shallower. I have no idea why they would go to the trouble to make a bigger pencil box only to remove the extra space.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Pencil Sharpener

Back in the days before mechanical pencils with refillable lead cartridges and erasable ink, people used good old fashioned wood pencils, #2 of course. To keep a sharp point on those wooden pencils you needed a sharpener. Most schools had those wall-mounted monsters that could grind a pencil into dust in mere seconds. But there were are wide variety of personal sharpeners about, and Disney licensed a couple of manufacturers, but most were made by Plastic Novelties Inc. Here we see the Alice sharpener from Plastic Novelties Inc. It comes in several colors, and both smooth edges or scalloped edges. Alice is probably the most uncommon of the Disney sharpeners, it was not that long ago that I even knew of its existence! I don't know if this is plastic or bakelite as I have not attempted the bakelite test, but I assume it is plastic.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #8

And finally, #8 in the series, the last one. Wonder why the title banner changed from yellow to pink? And Alice is sporting some pretty fancy shoes, where are we , Wonderland or Oz?

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #7

Getting close now, this is #7 in the series featuring the hapless Card Painters who just can't seem to get anything right.

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #6

Next is #6, with Alice joining the Mad Hatter and March Hare in a nice cup of tea. Wonder why the title changed from red to green?

Interestingly, while the characters and story snippet are in film sequence, this particular image is not. It is from the very end of the film when Wonderland is getting particularly weird as Alice flees the courtroom just before she wakes up.

This item is available in the Wonderland Bazaar.

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #5

And #5 in the series, with Alice being very nosy indeed, and eating things she shouldn't.

I don't understand why then chose to do two from so close together in the film when there are other segments and characters to choose from (Caterpillar, Live Flowers, Cheshire Cat, etc). I'm always personally affronted when the Caterpillar gets left out.

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #4

Continuing on, this is #4 in the series, featuring a very noisy White Rabbit bellowing for Mary Ann.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #3

Continuing with the Italian Quaderno series, this is #3, featuring the Walrus partaking of a little snack of oysters on the half shell.

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #2

Continuing with the Italian Quaderno series, this is #2, featuring Alice's encounter with the Tweedles.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Italian School Exercise Books - Quaderno #1

A few years ago I came across a series of school exercise books from Italy (Quaderno) with fantastic illustrated covers based on the film. Covers also display the RKO logo which dates them to the original release. I have found several variations of these exercise books including differing number of pages, regular lined paper, graph paper, ledger paper, square corners, and rounded corners.

There are eight different quaderno in the set, each is numbered on the back, and the illustrations follow the storyline of the film (pretty much). This is number 1, with a very nice illustration from the opening sequence with Alice's sister reciting the history lesson and Alice making the daisy chain for Dinah.

The back covers also have a synopsis of the segment of the film illustrated on the front. The art on the back cover is the same for each of the eight quaderno in the series.

I do find it odd that the font on the cover used for 'Alice nel Paese delle Meraviglie' looks like it belongs on a Chinese restaurant menu rather than an Italian school book.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Original 1951 40 x 60 Movie Poster

US Movie paper for Alice in Wonderland's initial release is by and large fairly rare. They made the standard set of sizes (1-sheet, 3-sheet, 6-sheet, etc) but here is something I never thought I'd see - I wondered if it even existed at all since it is not listed in the campaign book!

This is a 40x60, slightly smaller than a 3-sheet (41x81). The major difference is this is printed on a single sheet, and it is a heavier paper stock, more like lobby card or half-sheet stock. It does have the NSS number 51-408 printed in both the upper and lower margins.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Evan K. Shaw Alice Teapots

Today's entry selected by my lovely wife Wendy. When Evan K. Shaw produced the figures for the Alice film they also did a set of four teapots, as pictured below in a catalog page from the year of the film's release. The figures themselves are pretty hard to find (with the exception of the Mad Hatter who seems most common of all), but the teapots seem to elude us entirely. But, I was fortunate enough to acquire two of the four from a former employee of the Metlox pottery some years back.

This first teapot is called Tea 'n Cream in the catalog. I love the angular handle, looks like it is arguing with the Mad Tea Party guests with arms akimbo.

This second teapot is called Magic Tea and resembles Aladdin's magic lamp. Unfortunately at some point in its history it has lost the top finial of its lid, but still, I've not come across any other examples of any of these teapots since.

I would love to find the other two teapots, Tea 'n Sugar and Tea for Three, they must be out there somewhere.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Zaccagnini King of Hearts

Perhaps the most elusive and sought after of all Disney ceramic figures are those produced by Zaccagnini of Italy. Not a lot is known about this company - at least in this country. I believe it was located in Florence, and produced figures after the war through the mid 1950s. They did LOTS of characters, and in some cases in multiple sizes! In the early days of Disneyana collecting, the name of the company was not even known, just that they came from Italy. At one time a few surfaced with paper labels that said Concessione Walt Disney, which led to the mistaken belief that Concessione was the name of the company. In reality concessione means 'copyright' or something similar. The actual makers mark is a stylized 'Z' on the bottom of the figures.

Here we see one of two known figures they did for Alice in Wonderland, the King of Hearts.

The king is about 6 inches tall, and is beautifully modeled and glazed, as are all the Zaccagnini figures. If anyone out there has pictures or examples of any of the other figures from the Alice set, I would be most interested in them!

Thursday, September 11, 2008

100th Post

Wow, 100 posts already. Doesn't seem possible. And I'm famous! Well, ok, not really, but I did get interviewed at the ephemera blog.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Mickey Magazine #57 from Belgium - November 10, 1951

From Belgium, a pair of Mickey Magazine issues from its second year, dated November 10th, 1951, just in time for the Christmas release of Alice in Europe.

The only thing more difficult than collecting 57 year old comic books from Belgium, is collecting 57 year comic books from Belgium in two languages, and the completest in me must have both the French and Dutch versions. I guess the fact that the French version was also sold in Switzerland and the Dutch version was also sold in the Netherlands is some small consolation.

There is no adaptation in this issue, the cover is merely a teaser for the upcoming adaptation that ran in issues 69-86.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Press Preview Ticket - June 28th, 1951

Perhaps my favorite piece of ephemera is this original press preview ticket for a showing at the Academy Awards Theatre, a full month before the world premiere.

This is one of a pair I received from a truly great guy, John Kukasakis, of the dearly departed Freedonia Funnyworks in Southern California. He acquired them from the estate of a newspaper reporter (if memory serves) and I have always been most grateful to him for thinking of me.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

New Mary Blair Book

A slight departure from my usual posts, but this one is worth it. A great new book released on Tuesday (mine arrived today!) with lots of fabulous art by Mary Blair. Great images in here, including several never published before (at least I've never seen them).

If you love Alice or Mary Blair, this book is for you. Click below to order from Amazon. The previous Cinderella book is excellent and the upcoming Peter Pan will be as well.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Japanese Victor Record - Title Song

What a great label. This 78 from Japan Victor Company is the title song Alice in Wonderland. The custom label is really cool, and not very common from what I've seen in general for vintage Disney records; most record companies just used generic labels. Flip side of this is from Cinderella.

Interesting to note that the Japanese entity of RCA Victor later left records entirely and moved solely into electronics (JVC is Japan Victor Company), although in Japan they still use the Nipper logo.

UPDATE: Take a listen!

Cool Stuff At Amazon