Beany & Cecil Cartoon Kit (Colorforms, 1962)

And now, back to the Beany and Cecil Onslaught...more than one generation of children grew up with Colorforms, amazing and simple playsets that allowed hours of fun and customization, long before computerization took over.  Colorforms were available in just about every franchise imaginable; I still have my prized Pac-Man and Spider-Man sets...no Star Wars though, although today I bet there would be.
The description on the box explains how they worked:
Colorforms sets consisted of a plastic-coated backdrop, which fit into the lower half of the box.  Pieces were stored on removable flaps that were held into the backdrop by slots.  This insured that everything had a place for storage, which is always a good idea.
For a Spider-Man set, the backdrop is a cityscape; for Beany & Cecil, it is the beloved "Leakin' Lena," naturally with some sort of body of water for Cecil to populate.  Now, let's look at the pieces included:
The first card holds Cecil, Captain Huffenpuff, and some accessories, although I'm a little confused as to what the little round thing is...a throwing star? A peppermint candy?  These were usually the first pieces to be lost, although the original owner of this set was pretty fastidious, I have to say...even the filler piece inside of the life preserver is still present!
The second card has the villain, Dishonest John (or "DJ").  It's cool that Colorforms separated his body parts, because it allows for more poses during play (or amputation).  We get two different poses of Beany (with separate Beanie), and some random pieces.  The bird is actually Crowy, who belongs in the crow's nest, but we also get an oversized mutant seahorse, a sweater (?), another fish, and a snail shell, which is a bit puzzling.
And finally, the booklet itself, which is a great find, because like the tinier pieces, this would also be completely discarded:
"Besides, Mother will thank you!" I can feel the teeth of a thousand feminists grinding! Can't Father be responsible for the little snot once in a while???!?!
Some of the other sets listed are interesting (well, okay, not Shari Lewis, that's nightmare fuel), and are from a wide range of licenses.  If you want them, all you have to do is ask your local "toyman." Wait, what?


"Variable UNCANNY EMBRYO Horrible" (Woy Wes, 1990s?)

I talked about this before, in a series of articles on bizarro Ebay items, because I really never thought I would end up with one.  Most opening bids are ridiculous, which is true throughout Ebay these days.  However, I recently bought an interesting lot of Godzilla items, and this was included, so Godzilla item + bootleg + Engrish = score!
One thing we can say about this item is that it was made to try and capitalize on the ALIEN(S) craze, which the box art clearly tells us.  After that, things start to get confusing.  Surely this was molded from an existing, motorized Mothra toy? But the question is begged...why?
And another thing:  the seller thought it was produced in the mid-to-late 1980's, presumably to line up with ALIENS, but I am thinking it's really from the 1990's.  Note all of the warnings and CE symbols, above.  Those make me think it's a bit later than first thought.
This thing is about a foot long, and, not surprisingly, is made of the cheapest materials imaginable.  The rubber body is very thin, like an inexpensive Halloween mask.  In fact, the plastic button on the left side of the picture (which I suppose anchors the body to the frame) crumbled when I was adding batteries, so there you go.
So now the question is, does it CREEP IN DARK? Well, yes, actually, but if you let this thing creep up on you, you are quite deaf.  I added two batteries, (which was very difficult to do because the battery chamber is undersized) and switched it on.  Not only did the eyes light up (green, which Mothra larvae eyes never have been), but it zoomed across the table about two feet, and then stopped, emitted a high-pitched groaning sound, and then folded in half, with its front half raised up (you know, like a Mothra larva about to spray silk), and then repeated the process.  The box art would have you believe that it flops erratically...?
This is cool, and all, but once again, it's nothing like anything from ALIENS.  But, after all, I suppose that's not the point of bootlegs anyhow, and I wanted a Mothra larva anyway. 
As a side note, apparently this item was also available in green, which I guess is a step closer to being "Alien," but I'm glad I got the, uh, taupe(?) one.
Random Ebay photo


Cecil in the Music Box! (Mattel, 1961)

This has to be one of my most prized possessions, and favorite collectibles that I own.  This is a unique jack-in-the-box made to tie in the with Beany & Cecil animated cartoon, and it's stunning.  It has no rust, no damage, works perfectly, and included the original box!
Front (and also back) artwork
The graphics are wonderful to behold, and of course, the tune it plays is the Beany & Cecil theme, which ends right before Cecil springs up.
Left side
Right side--note that three characters are repeated, but with new artwork
And now, on to the original box:
Front and back artwork
Artwork on both sides
Box lid artwork

Inside flap of box


Alternate Godzilla Puffy Stickers (1979) and others!

From an interesting lot that just arrived in the mail, here is a small set of Godzilla "puffy stickers" that I almost overlooked.  While the stickers are the same as the previous version we have seen, the artwork on the header card is a mirror image of that other release (and a bit sloppier).  It also has a completely different item number!
Here is the one we have looked at before.  The difference is, the previous one was sold in a Godzilla wall display with pockets, and this new one came from a rack display of various stickers (more on that momentarily):
There's a photo of the full display somewhere on this blog...it's not letting me search for it at the moment, though!
Now back to this current one:  The fine print gives copyright credit to H.B.P. (Hanna-Barbera Productions), Toho Co Ltd, and B.P.C. (Benedict Pictures Corporation), all without a clue as to the manufacturer.  The "No 6000" is probably the assortment number, as the other stickers we will see below have that same number also,
and all came together.  There is actually a complete store display of these items on Ebay right this minute, and the complete display looks like this:
Note Scooby-Doo, but also other non-HB properties like Mr. Magoo, Underdog, and this:
I thought this was really cool, although I have no idea what the middle character is on the bottom row...it looks like Sonny from Cocoa Puffs holding a pie.
Also, if you were a kid in the late 1970's, you will undoubtedly remember all of the generic items like this that were around:
Why pay for licenses for super-hero characters? Just make your own; nobody will notice...except that these are the most phoned-in, ridiculous half-attempts that you could imagine...I especially like the bottom right corner: "Flash Gordon Alien Head In A Bundt Cake Pan Man." They had a Star Warsy-ripoff too in this assortment called "Space Warriors," but it apparently was just as random.


Cecil Disguise Kit (Mattel, 1962)

I guess technically, the full title of this item would be "Lovable, Plush Cecil and his Disguise Kit."  This is another of the stellar Mattel products made to support the 1962 cartoon series, and once again, Mattel designers exceed expectations.  This is definitely one of my favorite Beany & Cecil items (well, Cecil item, to be fair).
Inside the box is a wonderful plush Cecil, along with piles of costume pieces that can be used by creative kids in a variety of ways.  Kind of a dress-up doll for the cooler kids, and a toy that would appeal to both genders...back when we acknowledged things like that, of course.
And here is what's included! A ton of stuff...hats, a black cape with a collar that can be reversed, a black beard/wig, a large blonde swatch that can be hair (or a mane), a metal sherrif's star (that pins on), a set of tusks, two different sets of teeth, a large moustache, glasses, a grass skirt (!), a garland of flowers, and a button-up vest! Oh, and Cecil really does have a tail, I inadvertently kept the cartoon's running joke going, there.
Also, as the back of the box implies, there is a heavy wire inside of the plush Cecil, which would allow some posability.  Interestingly, the box mentions 18 as the number of disguises, but only 17 are shown, scattered all around the box artwork.  Let's look at them now!
1) Judge (a popular choice in any kid's pantomime, of course); 2) Hula Dancer (a little Bugs Bunny cross-dressing going on, there); 3) Pirate; 4) Sherrif; 5) Walrus (!);
6) Cannibal (Oh dear! OH dear...the less said the better); 7) Bandit; 8) Granny; 9) Indian (Oh dear again...but you know, it hardly works here...there's no way to even get the grass skirt to do that, because it ties on!);
10) Lion; 11) Dishonest John (villain of both the TIME FOR BEANY puppet show and BEANY & CECIL cartoon series);
12) Devil (woah, there, "What are you doing in there, Johnny?" "Nothin' Ma, just talking to the Devil!"); 13) Auntie (..."auntie"?);
14) Horse; 15) Cowboy (just never at the same time);
16) Super Cecil (this actually refers to something that would happen in the original cartoon, so points for that...but apparently the only item my set is missing is the triangular "S" insignia, I guess.  Of course, it would be easily reproducable, thanks to the artwork here), and finally, 17) Farmer.
So there you have it; everything you need to turn your Cecil into a variety of things: some creative, some delicately offensive to various races.
Definitely one of my favorite vintage collectibles! And at the top of my Beany & Cecil list. Way to go, Mattel!


Godzilla New Cap Collection Set (1995)

Who remembers milkcaps? No? Okay, try this: who remembers Pogs? Now I have your attention.  Of course you do.  If you were alive in the mid-90's, there was no escaping what was the ultimate marketing ploy...because they were extremely cheap to produce by the bazillions, of course.  Just in case you just flew in from Pluto: Pogs were the brand-name of an older game that was brought over from Hawaii (mostly), in which the cardboard discs from the top of milk bottles were stacked and knocked over by another disc (a "slammer," although I wonder what they used originally), and in doing so, you would win some of your opponent's discs, sort of like marbles.  It was a huge fad in the mid-1990's that was everywhere, and then, like all fads, burned out and went away forever.
At the time, you could buy milkcaps of just about any licensed character, although the Pog brand mostly produced their own designs and artwork.  I must have had a thousand of these things, including Spider-Man and Star Wars sets.  But, upon reflection, I have to say that I rarely see any used ones in thrift stores, probably because if you played with them enough, they wore out, and were basically disposable.  
Pictured: not Godzilla
This set was produced at the height of milkcap-mania, to promote Godzilla's upcoming death in GODZILLA vs DESTOROYAH in 1995.  Like the larger sets, it included a "stage" to play on, and two "slammers," which gave you everything you would need to play.
Destoroyah "Slammer"
I have some other Godzilla-related milkcaps that are much older, and may even be unauthorized, that I will have to scan and post here sometime.
Spacegodzilla "Slammer"


Mickey Mouse Picture Cubes (West Germany, unknown)

You probably had a set similar to these; I know I did as a kid.  While these haven't completely vanished from the toy landscape, there are still a few sets of "Puzzle Blocks" being made today.  Basically, these were six puzzles in one, made up of wooden cubes, each with 1/12 of the image glued to them.  Usually they came in a tray or carrying case, allowing the owner to have a place to assemble the pictures.  
Like so.
Unfortunately, I don't know much about the origin of this set, other than it was made in West Germany (at a time when the "West" was still specified), and some of the art is a bit wonky.  Unfortunately, there's not a year anywhere to be seen.  Also, I cleaned the crayon off of the case, but not until AFTER I had taken the photos...
If you are more than the casual D*sney fan, then you are in luck.  The artwork on the carrying case will teach you the names of two of the Three Little Pigs...
...as well as the name of only ONE of Mickey's nephews, in this case Morty.  Strangely, some of the art is repeated from the back, and on this one side, the manufacturers revert to German.
These puzzle cube sets also usually came with a set of "cheat sheets," so you could see the complete picture of the puzzle you were trying to complete.  Usually, these got damaged and lost.  I have 4 out of 6 here.
And now, on to our six puzzles, in no particular order:
Donald's nephews feed Dumbo a bucket of something, and either offer him popcorn, or possibly root beer..?
Yet another D*sney situation that wouldn't exist today: that of gun-toting Mickey.  He has brought his rifle out into the jungle, but only stands around offering the hand of friendship...and then the shooting started.
This time, TWO situations that wouldn't exist today! Mickey with rifle, among the Indian...ducks, that is.  And, apparently, they have kidnapped one of his nephews? It's a D*sney SEARCHERS.
It's hard to tell if slightly-off-model Mickey has even launched his zeppelin yet...but since there is half a crow, we are led to believe he is in flight.  Note that this is the second puzzle so far that includes half a crow...oh, and Donald is the worst uncle ever.
Here, the Three Little Pigs are about to become dinner, and are serenading Thumper.  Isn't that Thumper?

Pretending to be a family, Donald takes his brood to the beach...only two nephews are shown, because one fell out of the blimp from Donald's negligence.  Oh, and one is riding a dolphin (?)...also, Scrooge McDuck is digging furiously, either digging up or burying the treasure chest.  I can't imagine he would be burying it though...maybe it contains the third nephew!