Thursday, February 27, 2014

Jaymar Wooden Inlay Puzzles - Do They Exist?

One of the interesting things about reading through the Character Merchandising Division catalog is seeing just how many items were planned that seem to have not been produced.  Jaymar as we know did a vast number of puzzles across the entire spectrum of Disney characters, in a variety of formats.  But this page from the Alice CMD announces a new format, the Jaymar Wooden Inlay Puzzles.
This announcement prominently features art for four different Alice puzzles in this wooden inlay format.  I'm sure most of you have played with this kind of puzzle when you were a wee tot, big wooden board with very large pieces that fit nicely into place.  I myself have a vivid memory of playing with one when I was on Romper Room waaaaaaay back in 1969 at the ripe old age of 4.
Unfortunately it appears as though these particular puzzles were never made.  I've never seen nor even heard of one in existence.  Perhaps by the time the puzzles were ready to be manufactured the writing was on the wall for Alice and Jaymar cancelled them.  Of course this is all speculation on my part, and if there is anyone out there with one or a picture of one, please share!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Jaymar Jigsaw Puzzle - Wonderland Friends

The last of the Jaymar jigsaw puzzles is also the rarest in my experience.
Titled Wonderland Friends, this features a new piece of art that has most of the Wonderland crew present.
While this art is new for the blog, I'm quite certain most everyone has encountered it as some point in the past, albeit not looking quite so nice.
This art graced a ubiquitous mug that was sold at Disneyland and Walt Disney World for what seems like 100 years, although it was probably only 30.  And as you can see, the art degraded somewhat in mug form.
The art originally came from a model sheet, a special one that illustrated the comparative sizes of the Wonderland characters which was purpose-built and not assembled from existing animation drawings..
Although as you can see, they trimmed off a few characters for both the puzzle and mug.  Poor Bill.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Jaymar Jigsaw Puzzle - The Mad Tea Party

Third in the series of Jaymar jigsaw puzzles is The Mad Tea Party.
Again, entirely new art for this puzzle, unlike any other we've seen before.
In fact, I don't think I've seen this art anywhere else other than on this puzzle.
I must admit, I don't really care for it, the composition is just plain odd.  The White Rabbit looks disturbed and Alice looks vacant, must be the lack of pupils in her eyes.  I much prefer the Welcom Blue Box Tea Party art.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Jaymar Jigsaw Puzzle - Alice's Dream

Next in the series of Jaymar puzzles is Alice's Dream.
Again two different box colors
and what looks to be custom art, or at least customized art.  While this scene of Alice under the tree with Dinah is fairly common, having the Mad Hatter and crew in the background is certainly out of the ordinary.
Notice also that Dinah is black like Figaro again.  See this post for discussions about Dinah vs Figaro and see the original licensee still on which this art was based.

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Jaymar Jigsaw Puzzle - Down the Rabbit Hole

To round out our journey through the world of puzzles, we come back to the good ole USA, and Jaymar jigsaw puzzles.  The Jaymar Specialty Company was founded by Jacob Marx, father of Louis Marx, whose company was responsible for lots of tin toys, not to mention Disneykins.  Who knew that Dad's company made puzzles?  In the minutes of extensive research I did on Jaymar, it appears as though it may have closed in the 1980s.  I do know that they made puzzles up to The Fox and the Hound, but can't be sure they still exist.
First in the series of four is Down the Rabbit Hole, featuring art of Alice chasing the White Rabbit away from his house, with a couple of Bread and Butter Flies thrown in for good measure along with a few of the Live Flowers!
What's really odd about this series of puzzles is that it came in tow different colored boxes:  the common fuscia colored box above, and the extremely rare teal box we see here below.  I cannot tell you how long it took be to get a full set of teal boxes, but it was upwards of 20 years.
The title of the puzzle is printed on the side of the box.  The number you see here is probably the series number for the Alice puzzles, as the same number appears on all four titles.
As the box says, the pieces in this puzzle are quite large, and it is a simple puzzle to put together, making quite a large finished product, 19x14 inches.  During the "Great Sort" back in 2008, a friend of ours assembled every puzzle (we had vast numbers) to determine if all pieces were present.  She discovered that each and every puzzle uses the same jig - the template from which the pieces are cut - and that there are some very fun shapes, including a car, a dog, and a hat!
She put together so many of these puzzles that by the end she was having us time her to see how quickly she could put one together.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Blue Box Series from England - #12 The Mad Hatter's Tea Party

And finally the last in the Blue Box series, #12 The Mad Hatter's Tea Party.  At least they used different art for this version, I'm sick of that other art.
The color on this particular puzzle is quite vivid, I just love all the paper lanterns and the bright pink and red tones throughout.
I've had two of these puzzles over the years, and this particular one took me a long time to find with a not too terribly distressed box.  Below you see what is a typical state for all Welcom puzzle boxes.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Blue Box Series from England - #11 The White Rabbit's House

Third in the Blue Box series is #11 The White Rabbit's House.
Again with the slightly unusual art, clearly by the same artist.  But on the up  side, Bill!  This time carrying a broom (?) instead of a ladder.  Or perhaps it is a chimney sweep.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Blue Box Series from England - #10 The Walrus & The Carpenter

Second in the series of Blue Box puzzles is #10 The Walrus & The Carpenter.
What a great puzzle, I love the art, something you don't see too much on vintage merchandise.  The Japanese would go crazy over this one.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Blue Box Series from England - #9 Tweedledum & Tweedledee

Less well known than their black box brethren are these blue box puzzles by Welcom.  An altogether different series which seems to include other characters than just Alice, the first Alice puzzle in the series is #9, Tweedledum & Tweedledee
Besides the different color box and larger series of non-Alice characters, these puzzles are also smaller and much easier to assemble - only 72 pieces and 9½ x 7 inches, half the size of the black box puzzles.
Let's talk about the art, shall we?  This art is based on a promotional still that we saw in the Color Glos post here.  But the art here, shall we say, is a little odd.  I'm pretty sure this art was done in house at Welcom, or at least in England.  It very much resembles the art found in an English book which I hope to post in the not too distant future.
Advertised as Big Piece puzzles for Younger Folk, it makes sense that these are easier to put together.
As with the black box puzzles, the box is fully illustrated on all sides although the long sides have the same illustration, one would assume that these characters adorn other puzzles in the series.
Company name boldly emblazoned on one end, and the full list of puzzles in this particular series on the other.
As with the black box puzzles, it was difficult getting nice images of all sides of the box.  All boxes by Welcom seem to be of the glued flap persuasion.  I put together a full box image below by scanning the best bits of several boxes.
Share and enjoy!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Black Box Series from England - #4 Wonderland Croquet Game

Last in the series of Black Box puzzles from Welcom is #4, Wonderland Croquet Game.  We've seen this image before too, in the Valentine jigsaw puzzles.
This puzzle, or rather the box, presented me with some difficulty.  The previous owner, having dutifully assembled the puzzle, put it back in the box and reglued it shut.  Unfortunately the glue ran down the inside of the box and a few pieces got lightly stuck.  So once I pried the flaps open, I had to unstick a few pieces.  But, at least they are all here :-)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Black Box Series from England - #3 The Garden of Live Flowers

Third in the series of Black Box puzzles from Welcom is, you guessed it, #3 The Garden of Live Flowers
OMG, this puzzle was a bitch to put together.  The lower left and upper right corners drove me up a wall.  But don't you just love the art, especially with that fantastic Rocking Horsefly?

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Black Box Series from England - #2 Alice's Wonderland

Second in the series of Welcom black box puzzles is #2, Alice's Wonderland.
This puzzle features another example of the assembled art that I call the Wonderland Scene.  Perhaps I should start calling this Alice's Wonderland.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Welcom Jigsaw Puzzle Black Box Series from England - #1 The Mad Hatter's Tea Party

And now we come to perhaps the best known of the English puzzles, the Welcom puzzles.  First up, you guessed it, the Mad Tea Party!  Made by the Williams, Ellis & Co., Ltd. (Welcom) of London.  Sadly this company appears to no longer be in business.
I guess technically it is called The Mad Hatter's Tea Party, but geez, can we please get a new image already?  Oh yeah, tomorrow.
This is a pretty decent puzzle, it took me about an hour to put this together.  It is (as the box says) 9½ x 14 inches, and over 200 pieces.  I counted 204, so yes it is just barely over 200 pieces.
The black box series is a full set of Alice puzzles - called Alice in Disneyland - four in number, and are pretty hard to find.  Make that damn hard to find.  The boxes are nicely illustrated on all sides, with the top and bottom featuring the same art of Alice, the top with the picture of the puzzle, and the bottom with the list of available puzzles.  I must say Alice is slightly off model, and looks like she was rendered by the same artist as in a bizarre English book that I'll post soon.
Even the sides have cool headshots of various Wonderland denizens.
There is even a Baby Oyster!  And Bill!  And the Caterpillar!  Way ahead of their time...
Company name boldly emblazoned on either end.
I must admit, it was difficult getting nice images of all sides of the box.  As I alluded to in an earlier post, these boxes were really more like wrappers.  They are cardboard, but pretty thin cardboard, and they have end flaps rather than lids, and the end flaps are glued shut.  So to open the box you have to tear open the box, instantly destroying it.  I do have a full box unopened, but even it is in pretty bad shape since the puzzle itself takes up almost no space inside, and the boxes are easily crushed.  I put together a full box image below by scanning the best bits of several boxes.  Probably way more trouble than it was worth.  Like I've got better things to do with my spare time.
Share and enjoy!

Friday, February 14, 2014

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

Happy Valentine's Day to all my faithful readers!  This valentine card is very similar to the ones I posted here last year and here the year before.  It is tri-fold with the same color scheme as last year's, but this it is not die-cut.
I place this as the newest of the three variants, based on the fact that it is no longer die-cut and therefore cheaper to produce.  I recently came across this picture of a full package of Disney valentines, of which this was one.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Winter Wonderland

So today it snowed like hell.  Took this picture of Wonderland with the 12" of snowfall and drifts.  And it is snowing again.  Joy.