Monday, February 15, 2021

In-Store Advertising Poster for Walt Disney Presents & Disneyland Records 1959

 Alice in Wonderland has had a love affair with Christmas throughout the years.  Most fans know that Disney's first TV show was One Hour in Wonderland on Christmas Day in 1950, and the film (edited) was broadcast on the second episode of the Disneyland TV show in 1954.  But did you know it was on TV a second time on Christmas Day?  In 1959 on Walt Disney Presents (the next incarnation of the Disneyland TV show), Alice in Wonderland was again broadcast.  And for whatever reason, promotional adverts were created for stores that sold the various Alice records.  This is one such poster, about the size of a lobby card, advertising the show itself on Christmas, and the records for sale in the shop.  

The first record advertised is the "Story-teller Record and Book" for $3.98.  That record is the first pressing of ST 3909 as told by Darlene of the Mouseketeers.  This first pressing is fairly scarce, being replaced by the much more common plaid-cover "Magic Mirror" record a few years later.  Collectors refer to this record as the "Enchanted Circle" cover.

The second record advertised is the "Original Hit Song Sound Track" for $1.98.  That record is the first pressing of DQ 1208 which is identified by this red cover with a back cover featuring 9 color images of other DQ records.  Second pressings have 5 black and white images.  Later pressings of this title have a purple cover of Alice sitting with the Cheshire Cat.  The DQ 1208 record was the successor to the exceptionally rare WDL 4015.

In today's dollars those records would be about $35 for the storyteller, and $17 for the soundtrack.

Friday, February 12, 2021

Better Living Magazine - September 1951, Featuring McCall's Sewing Patterns

Every have one of those things you've been searching for, a small little insignificant thing that is in no way truly important yet still compels you to keep searching for it?  Well this magazine was one of those items for me.  I've known of its existence pretty much since the beginning.  It appeared in a magazine index (remember those) at my local library in which it listed the article "Straight from Alice in Wonderland," which of course intrigued me.  But I could never locate an issue.  Until now.

Thirty years in the making have brought you this post.  This magazine was new in 1951, this being only issue #5, which probably helps explain my difficulty in finding it.  In the periodical publishing/distribution world, issues are ordered three months in advance.  So a retailer in this case would have ordered issues 1-3 before ever actually receiving an issue.  By the time issue #4 was ready to be ordered, they would have received and been selling issue #1, this influencing their orders for #4 and so on.  Thus, if sales of the first issues was not up to expectations, they would most likely reduce their order.  This being issue #5, sales for #s 1 and 2 would have been available, and order adjusted accordingly.  Now, as I said, I knew of this magazines existence, but I had never seen ANY issue in the wild until eBay came along, but never this issue.

One thing going for this issue is the cover, featuring Luana Patten from Song of the South and So Dear to My Heart.  Always good to have a cute kid movie star on the cover of your new and not original women's magazine in the 1950s.

Table of contents lists pretty standard fare, of course with the object of my search on page 48.  Note also the thumbnail photo of the cover with Luana in the upper left.

And at last we've reached the object of my years long search, a two page sponsored article by McCall's featuring a cute little girl dressed in the Alice clothes from the sewing pattern posted here.  I like the photo on the right with her playing with the Peter Puppet Mad Hatter marionette as posted here.  I must say in that photo on the left our little Alice has definitely had enough for the day.  Note also the single line of text below the photo that says "WHERE TO FIND IT page 80."

Where to find it is just that, it lists where to get the patterns, and includes a handy order form to order them directly from Better Living.  It also includes where to get the Mad Hatter marionette.

So, thirty years later, was it worth the wait?  Probably not.  But I am glad to have it.