Wednesday, August 23, 2023
Wednesday, July 19, 2023
Good-Win (Strome & Co Ltd) of London, England was a manufacturer of games and puzzles in the early to mid-twentieth century. While I have been unable to find much information on this company, they appear to have primarily made dominoes, jigsaw puzzles, and a few other games as well. The parent company of Strome & Co. does appear in the catalog for the British Industries Fair from 1947 as a maker of a variety of toys and games.
To date only one Disney series has been identified from Good-Win, a series of three Paint Your Own Figures sets featuring ceramic pieces manufactured by Weetman. These date from 1952 or earlier based on the characters available: Mickey & Donald, Tweedle Dee & the Mad Hatter, and Flower & Thumper. It is possible that other items exist since the box for this item pictures additional Disney characters from Cinderella, Pinocchio, Dumbo, Pluto, and the Three Little Pigs.
All items by Good-Win carry their logo of a boy crossing the finish line of a track race with the words Good-Win Reg Trade Mark.
The Paint Your Own Walt Disney Figures in Pottery set for Alice appears to have been made at the time of the film’s release in the UK, 1951 or 1952 at the latest. A hand-written price on the label of 6/3 equates to about $0.88 in 1951, and $14.14 in today’s dollars.
The set for Alice contains figures for the Mad hatter and Tweedle Dee, as identified by the label on the bottom of the box. The contents consist of one each of the small white ware figures manufactured by Weetman, with a paint brush, tray, and four tubes of paint. An instruction sheet is also included, with some advice on how to glaze the figures with some sort of varnish when you are happy with your results - varnish not included of course.
Monday, June 19, 2023
From their series of Disney coloring books “¡Ven a Pintar!” this is the fourth in the series, featuring Alice. Consisting of 16 large pages to color or paint, the line art is quite good and appears to be either copies of or redrawn from the Whitman Paint Book.
I've seen Alice depicted with the pink pinafore and stockings a few time from South American countries, but have never been able to figure out why.
Wednesday, June 7, 2023
Previously we've seen serialized adaptations of the Alice film in comic strips and magazine from the US, the UK, Turkey, and Belgium. It turns out there is another, also based on the Belgian Mickey Magazine adaptation, that appeared in a weekly women's magazine in the Netherlands.
Published from 1938 through the current day, Margriet ran a serialized adaptation in Dutch from December 22, 1951 to April 19, 1952. While almost exactly the same as their Belgian counterparts, the individual installments do have one unique feature: color scheme. Each issue (at this time anyway) is two-tone, but the non-black color varies from issue to issue, being one of green, red, or yellow.
Sunday, May 21, 2023
Y-485 Alice in Wonderland
EYA-46 Alice in Wonderland
Friday, May 12, 2023
Thursday, May 11, 2023
Wednesday, May 3, 2023
Monday, May 1, 2023
Below is an except from the forthcoming book.
The Oak Rubber Company was one of the largest manufacturers of balloons for nearly 80 years, and a Disney licensee for 33 of those years.
Oak Rubber Company was founded by Paul Colette and John Shira in Akron, OH in 1916, but moved to Ravenna, OH the following year, which was already a rubber manufacturing center in Ohio. The company started out, as most companies do, with a handful of employees, but grew quickly; this forced the company to expand into new and larger buildings in Ravenna. But, on March 15, 1920, a fire completely destroyed their factory as well as several other properties and many feared the company was finished.
Happily, the company reopened in November 1920 with a full complement of 125 workers, and immediately began to produce up to 150,000 balloons per day. By 1921 company sales were over $1 million dollars, and by 1923 was the second-largest producer of rubber balloons in the country.
Initially producing only pure rubber balloons, in the 1930s they launched the “Oak-Hytex” line, which employed a new process using liquid latex (rubber tree “milk”) for making balloons. The Hytex line became the predominant brand for all but the most specialized balloons. Incidentally, Oak-Hytex was also the sole supplier of balloon “bubbles” for Sally Rand’s infamous “Bubble Dance” made famous at the 1934 season of the Chicago World’s Fair.
The company continued to make balloons and other rubber products until the company closed in 1993.
The Oak Rubber Company received their Disney license in 1934 and held it for 34 years with a small break during WWII. The company made a wide range of “toy balloons” featuring many Disney characters from the shorts and feature films. Perhaps their most iconic creation was the Mickey Mouse “head” balloon which they introduced in the mid-to-late 1930s, a balloon that, while no longer produced by Oak Rubber, is still sold in the Disney theme parks today.
The balloons were sold in a variety of styles and packages including counter-top boxes and illustrated card sets. All the various types of packaging were imprinted with their distinctive yellow and black logo.
The Alice in Wonderland line of toy balloons was released at the time of the film’s original run in 1951 (along with those sold by the Eagle Rubber Company oddly enough). Prices for individual balloons ranged from $0.05 to $0.25 each, corresponding to $0.52 to $2.61 in today’s dollars.
While the balloons themselves are unlikely to exist in anything other than very poor shape, a wide variety of styles, sizes, and sets were sold. Notice the advertising photos featuring several characters in the ‘head’ style like the famous Mickey balloon.
Even though most, if not all, of the balloons have not survived, any display cards, boxes, or other packaging may still exist, but I have as yet been unable to locate any.