Tuesday, June 30, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Lobby Card #7 - Alice and the Caterpillar, without Caterpillar

Number 7, another Alice as she encounters the Caterpillar, but this time without the Caterpillar.

This is my favorite scene from the movie, and even though the colors are wonky on this card, it is still pretty great.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Sunday, June 28, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Lobby Card #5 - Alice and the Tweedles

Number five, Alice encounters Tweedledee and Tweedledum, who launch into the story of the curious oysters (poor things).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Happy Birthday Kathy!

Today is Kathryn Beaumont's birthday, many happy returns Kathy!

This is a National Screen Service still portrait of Kathy from the original 1951 release. NSS stills carry the NSS number just like the movie posters.

1951 National Screen Service Lobby Card #4 - Alice at the Trial

Fourth, Alice stands before the bar awaiting sentencing from the Queen of Hearts (and the King).

Friday, June 26, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Lobby Card #3 - Alice in the White Rabbit's House

Third in the series, this card features Alice in the White Rabbit's house just after consuming the 'Eat Me' cookie.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Lobby Card #2 - Painting the Roses Red

Second of the lobby cards, Alice watching the Card Painters having a field day with the Queen's roses.

Interestingly, the color of the roses is correct on this card, even though almost nothing else is.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Lobby Card #1 - Mad Hatter and March Hare

The first of the lobby cards. There was a total eight lobby cards issued, with no title card. This is #1 (numbers appear in the lower left corner) - the Mad Hatter and March Hare at the tea party about to 'fix' the White Rabbit's watch.

All the lobby cards also suffer from the wacky color syndrome we saw on the insert.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Insert

I've always thought these were strange. An 'insert', what the hell does that mean? And why the screwy size? Did some guy just not have that much wall space to devote to advertising upcoming films?

Here it is, all 14x36 glorious inches of bizarreness. Another poster to have the odd color palette, which is doubly odd in this case, since it is the very same art as on the one-sheet and three-sheet. And it is not as if it was a reduced 2-color process, it is still full color, just weird colors.

Even though these were issued flat, they almost always turn up folded due to their shape - it was simply easier to fold them after use.

Monday, June 15, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Half Sheet Poster - Style A

This is the A style half sheet. Alice, like lots of other films of the day, would often have several different poster styles, sometimes in all formats. Alice only had multiple styles of half sheet - A and B.

Half-sheets are 22x28, approximately half the size of a one-sheet (natch), and is of a heavier paper stock, almost card stock, similar to the paper stock used for lobby cards. The art is the same as on the six-sheet from yesterday, although the six-sheet has correct colors whereas this one does not, something that we will see later as well. This is also the same art used on the cover of the herald from this post.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Six-Sheet Poster

This is a biggie, the six-sheet, measuring a whopping 81" x 81", that's almost 7 feet square. Ya gotta have a lot of wall space for this sucker. I don't have a lot of wall space, but have one rolled up in the Tulgey Wood anyway.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

1951 National Screen Service Three-Sheet Poster

This is the original release three-sheet. It has dimensions of 41" x 81", which is equivalent to three one-sheets (go figure). All three-sheets of this period were printed in two pieces, and occasionally you'll get a pair that don't line up that well, but this one has great registration.

What's interesting about this poster is the art. It is the exact same image as on the one-sheet, but more of it. If you notice on the one-sheet, you cannot see the Cheshire Cat above the Mad Hatter, you only get a fragment of his tail.

Friday, June 12, 2009

1951 National Screen Service One-Sheet Poster

Thought I'd do movie posters for a while. This is the original 1951 one-sheet as issued by National Screen Service (NSS), dimensions of standard one-sheets from this era are 27" x 41".

All the Alice movie paper its identified by is NSS code 51/408 - which means this was the 408th film that NSS recorded in 1951.

A lot of people mistake these numbers for the dreaded Limited Edition number that has become rampant in the contemporary world of 'collectibles'. But it has nothing to do with number printed, it is merely an identifier for NSS purposes.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Danish Mad Hatter Postcard

Just a quickie today. This is a vintage postcard from (I believe) Denmark, featuring the Mad Hatter. Interesting to note that the price tag on the Mad Hatter's hat is no longer in shillings/pence but rather in Danish krone - although it would be a rather expensive hat in that currency in today's money market.

Card was made by Crome & Goldschmidts, and it appears as though this company was in existence until at least 1987, and may still be in existence.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Disneyland C & H Sugar Packet

Ok, I have to admit, even for me this is a little weird. This is a sugar packet from Disneyland, probably from either the hotel or one of sit-down restaurants. Why do I have this you might ask?

Because on the back is a picture of the walkaround Alice, Mad Hatter and White Rabbit. The image is taken from the Donruss Disneyland set, card #12.

Who knows how this survived, and it wasn't even in a scrapbook, it still is full of sugar!

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Royal Stars of Wonderland

This past week on eBay saw two pictures cut from the back of pudding boxes fetch more than $200. Seems like a good excuse for a post to me!

One of the largest national promotions for Alice's original release was the tie-in with Royal Desserts during the months of August and September 1951. As they had previously done for movie stars and baseball players - and would later do for Howdy Doody - Royal printed 16 scenes from the film on the back of their packaging. According to the campaign book, the tie-in was set to appear in more than 250,000 retail stores.

A later publicity press release sets this number at more like 200,000. Radio spots were recorded with Kathryn Beaumont and were to be played on 154 stations throughout the US. It also mentions that newspaper ads were planned, but the same later press release does not mention it so I don't know if these ads were ever created.

Royal also ran full-page color ads in comic books, with an estimated distribution of 34,000,000! That's a lot of comics. Consequently, the comic book ad page is fairly well known.

The cards were on the back of all their various products including pudding, custard, gelatin, and *new* lemon.

Despite the (presumably) large number of product packages produced, very few of these have survived. I have never seen a complete set, and only have 9 of the 16 myself.

The packaging mentions that you could send away for an album to hold the collection of 16, I have never seen one.

Thanks to Tick Tock Toys for sharing their images of cards 7, 8, 9, 11 and 16.

Ah, the 1950s, when every advertising campaign had some sort of jingle or rhyme to it. Some of these are pretty dreadful.

Monday, June 1, 2009

1951 Walt Disney Character Merchandising Division Catalog

I've mentioned this item in several previous posts, thought I'd devote a post entirely to it - the Character Merchandising Division Catalog.

This is another one of those things that most people don't believe exists. And in a sense they are correct, it is not a traditional Kay Kamen catalog - his death bringing about an end to that era - but rather an internally produced merchandising division catalog, or as it says on the cover, News About Walt Disney Character Merchandise. Even still, so rare that it was thought not to exist, although there is a photo of the cover in the TOMART condensed edition on page 280.

I have only seen two of these ever - mine (which I got from the estate of a Retlaw employee) and one that Disney sold on eBay a few years back (when the Disney Auctionears was still in operation). Mine is a folder (like a Pee Chee for those who remember them) containing a large number of loose leaf, 3-hole punched pages. The one from Disney auctions was spiral bound, but I imagine it was similar, probably the folder was cut down to page size and then the whole thing bound. I do remember that the spiral binding was a little odd in that the spiral was longer than the actual height of the catalog by a couple of inches.

This is an invaluable tool, with tons of illustrations of rare, and sometimes unproduced, character items. It is not limited to Alice in Wonderland, but rather is a snapshot at what was planned for the 1951 season. Of course Alice dominates the catalog. Also included is a listing of the licensed manufacturers, unknown how complete this list is though. Its target audience was, I presume, the toy retailers.

I have been slowly scanning the pages, usually in support of a specific post on an item listed in the CMD. Posts with scans of pages from the catalog are tagged with the CMD tag. At some point I will consolidate the scans, perhaps making a PDF of the entire thing. But that is for another time.