8/15/14

View-Master Show Beam Cartridge (GAF, 1980)

Here is an earlier version of the later version that we saw a while back....note that even two years later, the poor boy child was still having to operate as a screen! Couldn't the family afford a bedsheet or something?
Also, I'm not sure about the line "Flash your favorite characters," even in 1980.
You will also notice that the list of other available cartridges is a bit different (wait, KISS? Really?).  There was an "I Can Learn By Myself" series for ignored or abandoned kids, to teach themselves Numbers (I prefer Exodus), Alphabet. Time and Colors...although the more I think about this concept, it makes no sense.  A literate child doesn't need the "Alphabet" cartridge, and one who can't yet read would just be all around screwed.  Talking View-Master might work better for such an endeavor.  No word on whether Morris Day appeared in the "Time" cartridge.
Also, I don't think we have to wonder too much why the "Party Games" category disappeared by 1982.  It's hard to imagine a game called "Dunce Cap" that didn't end with someone in tears, or a trip to the emergency room.  There was also a little-known Southern version of the cartridge called "Hey Y'all, Watch This" that caused several deaths.  Okay, I made that up.

8/12/14

View-Master Monster Gift Pak (GAF, 1978)

Well, we all knew it would happen, at least I sure did...but I finally scored one of the elusive MONSTER GIFT PAKs made by View-Master in 1978.
There were several themed gift "paks" offered by View-Master in the late 70's, and it gave kids a good jumping-off point into the world of 3D viewing, as well as handy storage for loose reels that tended to pile up.
I was surprised that the canister was the size of a large coffee can, because I had seen auctions that included more than one View-Master viewer (turns out it came with just one).  So this left plenty of room inside the can for storage.
Included is a viewer, as well as a useful plastic box containing seven reels of Dracula, the Wolf Man, Frankenstein ('s  Monster), and Godzilla.  The only drawback, as I've mentioned before, is that only one reel from the "Godzilla's Rampage" set is included, so you'd still have to seek out that set to see the entire story. 
I believe this completes my Godzilla View-Master collection.  Up next is an earlier version of something we've already looked at!

8/10/14

Popeye's Songs About...Health Safety Friendship Manners (Golden, 1961)

I'm just going to go ahead and apologize for this right now.  I love Popeye.  If I saw this on a blog, I'd be downloading it.  In fact, I have several other Popeye albums, and stories, that I've gotten from other places.  When I saw this at my local thrift store, I snatched it up.  Add to that the fact that the originals, Jack Mercer and Mae Questel, are present, and it makes it all the more desirable.
There's just one problem:  it's awful.  I mean really, eye-gougingly awful.  I hate to just throw superlatives out there with no explanation, so I'll do my best.
First off, for the most part, it matters not that it's a Popeye album.  It could be Captain Kangaroo, Donny and Marie, or Baby Snooks singing horrible, musically identical songs about washing your hands and not playing with matches.
Secondly, Mercer and Questel were icons, and defined the characters they represented, but they can't sing seriously in character....think about it.  In the cartoons, there may be a line or a brief tune here and there, and Popeye always could handle his theme song, of course, but this is different.  The songs are not only rotten, but they are obviously having trouble at several points...and Olive Oyl's shrill warbling is downright painful.  
Also, it's kind of lame that Wimpy and Swee'pea are present, but have to be voiced by Mercer and Questel also (even though I believe that was exactly the case in the KFS cartoons, which were done during the time of this LP, but I still don't like it.)  There are points where you can't tell if it's Olive or Swee'pea that's singing, or even if it matters why.  Even the title of the record is a grammatical mess.
You would think there would be more moments that were funny if taken out of context, but I only found one.  There is literally a line where Popeye says "I try to always be a good influence...now just let me light my pipe," that cracked me up for a moment, before the pain of the next song began.

You've been warned: LINK.


8/9/14

GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND ad slicks (alternate set, 1978)

Here is a second set of ad slicks for GODZILLA ON MONSTER ISLAND.  The first set I posted a couple of years ago is 8.5" x 11", and this set is 11" x 17".

Detailed scans:







7/31/14

Baby Snooks & Friends (Capitol, 1977)

This is one of those album covers that make you do a double-take, when you are flipping through LP's at your local thrift store.  This is a weirder team-up than that time Spider-Man was paired with the first cast of Saturday Night Live (in MARVEL TEAM-UP).
But of course, this is a compilation album, and the only thing shared between Baby Snooks and the Warner Bros. characters is the cover.  In fact, the contents of both sides of this disc were first released by Capitol's "Bozo" subsidiary in the 1940's and 50's.
I have to confess, even though I grew up listening to OTR, and heard my share of Fanny Brice, Baby Snooks is somewhat lost on me, and it makes it all the worse to have her cloyingly sing to me about not crossing the street, or taking a bath...and, why in the world is her name "Baby Snooks," when she is old enough to attend school, and has a baby brother who is an actual infant?
Also, there are a few interesting moments where she receives more than one earnest spanking from her father. And if that's not awkward enough to listen to, see if you can keep from squirming when her father wrongfully accuses her and allows himself to be the recipient of a spanking...wow.
Some of the original artwork (which, as you can see, is where the art for Baby Snooks was lifted from).
Side 2 has three Looney Tunes adventures,voiced by the incomparable Mel Blanc, and the last two were new to me.  Interestingly, at least one other uncredited voice artist shows up (for one, as the uncle of Yosemite Sam, which according to a website was Pinto Colvig)...which reminds me, I swear that Arthur Q. Bryan (voice of Elmer Fudd) appears on the Snooks side, as a man who nearly runs over Baby with his car (too bad he missed)!



7/29/14

Godzilla Puffy Stickers (Medium sized, 1979)

I recently picked up two unpunched examples of another size of the "Godzilla Three Dimensional [sic] Stickers" made to promote the Hanna-Barbera animated series.  These measure 3.5 x 8.25" and have header cards of two different colors.

7/24/14

Canned Kaiju (E-bay Ephemera: part five)

Concluding our tour of the backwoods of Ebay, here are a few final Godzilla items that you probably haven't seen before.  First up, a weird series of "Canned Kaiju," made by Takara.  You will note that they come in a sealed metal can, complete with can opener on the lid! My understanding is that there was a plush kaiju inside, but anything is possible.

Here are two photos of another one, canned Godzilla.  You can see from the box that there were six! Anybody knows what was in the cans, post it here....it would be hilarious if it was potted meat, but then again, I'd rather have a stuffed animal.
This is a poster that's a very clever ad for a "Cup O'Noodles" product.
You've seen these "swinging character" toys.  I even have a Mickey Mouse one from the mid-to-late 70's, when I was small.  There's an Ultraman one on Ebay also, that is equally adorable.
Oh, Hello Kitty, ambassador of Japan.  She really deserves the credit for bringing lots of Japanese pop culture to the West.  She's the Marco Polo of kawaii.  (Wait, that was China.)
Here's an interesting sheet of stamps, issued at the time of TOKYO SOS...Kind of a rip-off though, as they only used half of the available space to place movie images.
From 2011, here's a sheet of stamps dedicated to the work of director Honda! They are awesome, and from...........Mozambique? Wait, what?
Here's a full-page ad for Aurora monster models that appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES in 1966.  Godzilla only gets a tiny appearance at the bottom, but it was too cool not to include here.
And finally, anyone on the Internets knows that there's a huge market for fan-made, gray-area products, especially T-shirts, and there are several out there with excellent art!  Here are just a few.
It's this last one, though, that I want to really spotlight.  I even ordered one for myself.  This amazingly awesome shirt is my vote for T-Shirt of the Year! I LOVE this shirt:

Godzilla vs. King Kong Cartoon (circa 2002)

I was cleaning up some old posts on The Sphinx, and wanted to re-add this cartoon I did years ago.  I watercolored it, and ended up using it as the cover for one of my compilation discs.

7/15/14

King Ghidorah Book! (Japan, 1984)

Fresh out of the mail, comes this amazing "Godzilla vs King Ghidorah" book from Japan.  Printed in 1984, it was the third volume of a series, as we shall see on the inside back cover.  It measures roughly 7.5 x 8.5 inches, is 40 pages, and is printed on sturdy, thick, glossy paper, stapled together like a magazine, and then glued into a thick cover.  Very well made, and a testament to this is that it's still pristine after 30 years.
Besides great photos from his movie appearances up to the time, there are three works of art in this book that were so amazing, I had to get them onto this blog somehow.  Luckily, I have one of those backwards, top-down scanners with a transparent glass lid, which made it easier to know I was pressing firmly enough to capture the image.  Stitching them together is never fun, but I think you will enjoy what you are about to see:
First up, a cutaway diagram of King Ghidorah anatomy! Pictures like this were a mainstay in Japanese kids' magazines and books since the 1960's.  The next time your school-age kid needs a science project, feel free to use this diagram.  And let me know what happens; the description of the look of frightened befuddlement on the teacher's face will be enough for me.
Next up is this gorgeous painting.  The battle described is from GHIDRAH THE THREE-HEADED MONSTER, which is one of my very favorites.  The one problem I have with this painting is that poor Mothra is experiencing a serious injury to its shell, and that really bugs me--which is weird, I know, especially upon noticing that Godzilla is taking a Ghidorah lightning-blast to the crotch...!
Another sweeeeet painting! I love Godzilla's red eyes here.  It's hard to say exactly if this is supposed to reference a specific movie, but I know what I like, and I like this painting.
The inside of the back cover, which at least gives us publication date, and shows us all five volumes in this series.  No doubt the word balloon over Godzilla's head is telling us to buy all five volumes.  Would if I could, Godzilla.
The glorious back cover of this glorious book!

7/10/14

Rocky (and Bullwinkle) Kaleidoscope Puzzle (1969)

I am not only a sucker for vintage "Rack Toys," but also vintage Rocky & Bullwinkle stuff, and I just picked this up from Ebay last week.  The back of the card is unfortunately blank, but when I was examining the puzzle, I realized that the shapes looked familiar.  It turns out, they are identical to a larger, wooden version of this puzzle that I have, where the object is to build a 3-dimensional rectangle, SO, this puzzle had two different objectives, which is pretty cool...although, poor Rocky can't seem to figure it out!

6/26/14

Godzilla's Hawaiian Attire: E-bay Ephemera (part four)

More spelunking into interesting crevices of Ebay.  First up, I discovered only this week that there is a companion piece to the Mothra Fishing Lure we talked about earlier, and it's none other than Godzilla himself:
You can run into lots of great fan-made T-shirts, but this one was so good, I bought several...one for myself, and several to give away.  Unfortunately, the seller told me they were going to stop producing them, so I don't think they are made any more:
 The Japanese have not lost the important, child-like ability to see things in bizarre and different ways.  For instance, put Godzilla on the end of a stick, and what does it look like? Why, a hammer, of course.
This toy noise-making hammer was made by Takara in 1991:
Here's a neat, stylish, and very clever poster that was included with a version of the Japanese "Mothra vs. Godzilla" soundtrack LP:
Isn't that wonderful? I'd love to find a better scan or photo of the artwork.  It gets better every time I stare at it.
And finally, this summer wasn't the FIRST time that Godzilla went to Hawaii.  A company called Bou-Ken-Oh produced a line of amazing shirts several years ago, and they are mind-altering.  I'd not be caught dead in a Hawaiian shirt, but I would wear these everywhere, they are that amazing.  This first one is called "Godzilla Movie Monsters:"
 Let's look at some close-ups while we all recover from the awesomeness:





Oh, my stars.  Words just fail me.  Ebirah? Gorosaurus? Are you kidding me?! That's truly something.  And I have a good look at one more, called "Godzilla's Revenge:"

Even the box is stylish!

I'd love to print this hugely, for wrapping paper!
 

Look closely at the paperwork, and you can see that they made several other movie-themed shirts, such as GIGANTIS THE FIRE MONSTER (hey, another American title, that's weird), GODZILLA AGAINST MOTHRA, DESTROY ALL MONSTERS (awwwww MAN I want to see that one!), and many more!