Thursday, February 28, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - the Walrus and the Carpenter Paired with Alice and Daffodils

Fourth in the series is this of the Walrus and the Carpenter walking along the beach, paired with Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers talking with some Daffodils.  This example is interesting in that it retains its censor stamps.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Alice and the Doorknob Paired with Bill, the White Rabbit and the Dodo

Third in the series is one I do not own (but would certainly like to, hint hint), and features Alice talking with the doorknob paired with Bill, the White Rabbit and the Dodo and Alice's foot.
photo courtesy of eBay
Apparently Bill is less than excited about his 'monster' task.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Alice Falling Down the Rabbit Hole Paired with the Mad Tea Party

Second in the fotobusta series is this, featuring Alice falling down the rabbit hole and all its various oddities, paired with Alice and the Mad Hatter (complete with Unbirthday cake) at the Mad Tea Party.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Italian Fotobusta - Alice, Dinah & Alice's Sister Paired with the Caucus Race

Some of the coolest movie posters from Alice's original release came from Italy.  Among those are an amazing set of 12 fotobustas, something like a large lobby card or a small half-sheet.  Alice fotobustas are 35x50 cm, aproximately 14x20 in.  This was standard until the late 1950s when fotobustas changed to 50x70 cm or approximately 20x28.

As I said earlier, there are 12 fotobustas in the Alice set.  This is an educated guess on my part as I've only seen 11 so far, but 12 was a common count in those days, and I have it on good authority that the printer of these fotobustas (Zincografica Firenze) produced either 10 or 12 in a set, so 12 seems likely since 11 are known.  Also, I only own 9, the 2 others for which I have photos came from eBay and I'll note them as such.

All the Alice fotobustas feature the same border with the title at the bottom and the March Hare in the lower right corner holding a sign that says "In Technicolor", with the central image being an open book with two images from the film, one on each page.
First up is this fotobusta featuring the opening scene with Alice sitting in the tree with Dinah, and her sister on the ground reading aloud; paired with the Dodo standing on the rock on the beach of the Sea of Tears directing the Caucus Race.

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Nursery Play Toy by Chad Valley of England

This is a picture heavy post, so bear with page load times.  Quite possibly one of the coolest toys to come out of the original release overseas is this set of tin blocks by Chad Valley of England.  Called 'The Nursery Play Toy', this set eluded me for years, but I finally acquired it, in its original box!!
The set consists of a set of five cylindrical tin block that nest together, each lavishly illustrated with a scene from the film.
The box itself has some fun illustrations as well including baby oysters on the lid!
The side panels of the box have large illustrations of the characters including the White Rabbit
the Mad Hatter's Tea Party
the Walrus and the Carpenter
and a few flowers on the bottom.
The largest of the tin blocks features Alice, Dinah and her sister with the White Rabbit racing by.
The top of this tin features Alice riding the bottle on the sea of tears.
The next size down features Alice in the Garden of Live Flowers
and the Caterpillar.
and a Rocking Horse Fly.
The Dodo makes an appearance on the top of this block.
Next size down features all the denizens of the Mad Tea Party
with the Cheshire Cat on the top.
Down one more size we have the White Rabbit and Bill the Lizard outside the White Rabbit's house
and the White Rabbit on the top as well.
The smallest block has the Cards painting the roses red
with the King and Queen of Hearts
and of course Alice on the croquet grounds.
A not very attractive image of Alice adorns the top of this tin.
This is a very rare toy indeed.  In the more than 25 years I've been collecting this is only the second complete set I've ever seen.  A partial set was on eBay a few weeks ago, and went for big bucks even though it was missing the smallest of the blocks.

Chad Valley toys is a very old brand in the UK, makers of fine toys for most of the 20th century.  The brand is still active, most recently purchased in 2009 by Argos which exclusively offers Chad Valley toys today.

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Valentine's Day - 1960s Tri-fold Valentine Variant

Happy Valentine's Day to all my faithful readers!  This valentine card is very similar to the one I posted here last year.  It is die-cut and tri-fold, but this time the inner heart is hot pink instead of red like the outer heart.
I'm guessing that this variant is slightly newer than last years variant, given the color scheme, but still fairly old as it is still die-cut.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Alice in Wonderland Tune-Dex Cards

When I first saw these, I thought they were those miniature sheet music cards used by marching bands in the attachments on their instruments.  But not so.  These are Tune-Dex cards.
What are Tune-Dex cards you say?  That is a very good question, and one that I spent some time finding the answer to, thanks mostly to an in-depth article on pop-song piracy in the Spring 2004 issue of Stay Free magazine, a portion of which is reprinted here with permission.
"In 1942, George Goodwin, a radio-station director, initiated a subscription service, the Tune-Dex, which he hoped would serve as a card catalog for the music industry, helping individuals in film, radio, recording, and advertising in the day-to-day routine of operations involving programming or licensing. 
The front of each 3- by 5-inch card gave the most familiar phrases of a pop-song melody, with lyrics and chord symbols--shorthand guides to piano and guitar accompaniment. 
The back of each card identified the copyright holder and the performing-rights agency controlling the song's licensing, and it gave references to published versions of the song.
In May 1942, Goodwin sent out the first monthly issue of 100 Tune-Dex cards. The Tune-Dex was a huge and immediate success, adopted industry-wide. 
It ran to 25,000 cards and ended in 1963 only because ill health forced Goodwin's retirement. (He died in 1965.)"
So, gentle readers, what we have here is a piece of pop-music history!  A small part of the music industry's card catalog of popular music if you will.
I've never seen any other examples of Tune-Dex cards from the Alice film, but there must be more out there somewhere, locked away in some radio station filing cabinet.

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Tweedledee and Tweedledum Dolls by Marina Schneider of Mexico

Apologies for the dearth of posts, the missus and I have been victims of the various illnesses that have been rampaging about the countryside lately, not nearly as much fun as a canary yellow gypsy cart I must say.  But we are (nearly) recovered, so let the posting resume.

I recently acquired these two fabulous dolls of Tweedledee and Tweedledum.  The person I acquired them from said that they were manufactured exclusively for the Tinker Bell Toy Shoppe at Disneyland, but I have not been able to confirm this.
I love that they have their little flag tassels on their hats, and their names written on their collars.
They each still retain their original hang tags, indicating that they were manufactured in Mexico by Marina Schneider.  Concesionaria Exclusiva roughly translates to Exclusive Manufacturer.
I have not been able to find any reference to a maker called Marina Schneider in any of the Tomart books, nor online, so I have no idea exactly when these were made, or for what market.  But they are very very cool indeed.  If they didn't have their hang tags, I would have assumed they were Italian Lars dolls!

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