Just when I think there couldn’t possibly be another Funko Pop! that I’d have to own, one just jumps off the shelf at me and yells “BUY ME!” And I do. Mrs. Nesbit is a funny version of the Buzz Lightyear character that appeared for a short cameo in the original Toy Story film. His/her claim to fame? Helping us all realize that a person can get drunk… on tea!
This version of Buzz is perhaps even funnier than Delusional Buzz (see Toy Story 2) or Spanish Buzz (see Toy Story 3). I can only imagine how much fun Tim Allen had voicing this segment!
And what Funko Pop! figure jumped off the shelf at me? This one:
“Don’t you get it? Can’t you see the hat? I am Mrs. Nesbit.”
Variant figures are the bread and butter of any franchise. You only have to look at the line of Cars merchandise to see just how many versions of a character Pixar can create to make money! Am I complaining? Yes… but also buying!
“The hat looked good. Tell me the hat looked good! The apron is a bit much…”
If they made a hundred versions of Mrs. Nesbit, I would buy them all! The hat does indeed look good, and the apron? Maybe it is a bit much.
Mrs. Nesbit comes with one accessory: Buzz Lightyear’s detached left arm, complete with tea pot clutched in the fingers.
In the world of vinyl figures, Funko seems to have the best line of IPs available. And there seems to be no end of new characters and variations coming in the future! I wonder what Buzz Lightyear would say if he knew that by becoming a Space Ranger, he’d missed out on becoming a star toy designer?
Before you explore The Art of Pixar – Volume 2, you may want to check out The Art of Pixar – Volume 1 first. That earlier post will fill you in on how I came to have these two pieces of collectible ephemera. It also contains images of how the box opens and what the contents look like, en masse.
So as not to repeat myself, I will simply show you the box and some of the contents from Volume 2:
Briefly, I will add that these postcards contain concept art and final frames from six Pixar films and all 18 of the Shorts that had been released up to the time this box set was sold.
The key difference between Volume 1 and Volume 2 is to be found on the backs of the postcards. In Volume 1, the back had the name of the art found on the front, the obligatory copyright stuff, and the stamp square. But Volume 2 added a line drawing of the character found on the front. This is a welcome upgrade!
As we come to the close of another post, I hope you all feel as warm and fuzzy as Andy does as he snuggles in for an afternoon nap with his friends! Now that’s a concept. Art.
Have you ever wondered what kind of crazy things you would see if you were strung out on drugs? Maybe yellow dragons? Talking trees? How about a golden flute with diamond acne? According to the world of Sid & Marty Krofft, that is exactly what they saw every week during the filming of the children’s (?) classic television show H. R. Pufnstuf!
“Can’t do a little, ’cause you can’t do enough (drugs)!”
Even the makers of this psychedelic program admit that it appealed on three levels: 1) to children 2) to adults, and 3) to hippies who were smoking the funny stuff! However, joking aside, Sid Krofft did clarify in the interview on this set that there was no overt attempts to add drug culture to the program. His brother, Marty, added that no one could produce a program of any kind while high on drugs! Makes sense. But you just know we aren’t done with the drug humor yet!
The complete series contains seventeen episodes that were originally broadcast Saturday mornings from September 6, 1969, to December 27, 1969.
Launched in 1969, labeled the Summer of Love by some, the show revolved around the adventures of Jimmy, a young boy trapped on a magical Living Island, where virtually every object, animal and plant can talk and oftentimes move. The evil Witchiepoo tries to steal Jimmy’s talking golden flute, named Freddy, while Jimmy tries to escape the island and return home. Jimmy is protected and guided by the island’s Mayor, a friendly dragon named H.R. Pufnstuf.
Drug culture references are heavily inferred against this program but cannot be justified. I’ve read articles on the connection of this show to illegal drugs, and although some seem plausible, many are a stretch at best. For example, many interpreted the H. R. in the main characters name to be code for “Hand Rolled”, with his title of the Mayor being short for “marijuana.” Again, Sid Krofft debunks this theory by telling us in the interview on this set that the H R was actually Royal Highness reversed, to represent Pufnstuf’s Mayoral standing. The main character name was simply a reworking of Puff the Magic Dragon, a popular song at the time.
This debate aside, you can’t deny this program was super trippy! But I think it was all in good fun, with the Fourth Wall being broken often, especially by Witchiepoo.
All 17 episodes are contained on this 3-disc set. The extras are wonderful! They contain interviews with Sid and Marty Krofft themselves, Billie Hayes (Witchiepoo), and Jack Wild (Jimmy).
I was also delighted to learn that former Mouseketeer Sharon Baird did several characters. She performed in the puppet costumes and provided the voices. Speaking of voices, many characters mimicked the sound of famous stars of old, such as Ed Wynn, Judy Garland, John Wayne, and others. It’s fun to try to recognize the nods to these well-known personalities!
To conclude, I’d like to share some of the lyrics from the opening credit sequence. It may just add fuel to the drug theory fire, but you be the judge:
“Once upon a summertime, just a dream from yesterday,
A boy and his magic golden flute heard a boat from off the bay.
“Come and play with me, Jimmy, come and play with me,
and I will take you on atrip, far across the sea.”
A trip, eh? Nothing to see here. Just a boy with a magic flute listening to and trusting a talking boat. Obviously this program wasn’t concerned with Stranger Danger! Fortunately (?) for this young lad, there’s another weird stranger about to come into his life. Who, you may ask?
“Whoa, I got, you got, everybody do got someone who cares, by the name of:
H. R. Pufnstuf!” (Mr. Hand Rolled Puffing Stuff)
FUN FACTS: The Krofft team had to sue McDonald’s for copyright infringement over how closely the McDonaldland Characters mirrored the world of Pufnstuf. This promotion was used in commercials from 1971-2003. The Kroffts also claimed that specifically the character Mayor McCheese was an infringement on their copyrighted character “H.R. Pufnstuf” (a mayor himself). After many years and appeals, the Kroffts won over one million dollars in damages. So if you ever wondered what happened to McDonaldland, and why it disappeared, now you know!
The Incredibles 2 movie came out in 2018 as a sequel to the incredibly successful first installment aptly titled The Incredibles. But in my opinion, the second outing was less than incredible. But these Incredibles 2 vinyl figures by Funko are incredible! And incredibly, I will likely have to use the word ‘incredible’, or iterations of it, many more times. Incredible.
The story told in the sequel follows the Incredibles as they try to restore the public’s trust in superheroes while balancing their family life, only to combat a new foe who seeks to turn the populace against all superheroes. Seems like a good premise. But critics found a problem.
The first movie was about a father who didn’t realize how much he needed his family. By the end of the story, he learned the value of teamwork, and the family agreed to face the world together from then on. Unfortunately, Brad Bird and the team decided to make this movie about how the mother goes off to fight the good fight… alone. Incredible. But not so much.
I bought these little vinyl figures because A) They are cute little dickens B) They have fun accessories, and C) I needed something to love about Incredibles 2.
Unfortunately the store where I got these four figures didn’t have the fifth and final character, Jack-Jack. So now I have to hunt him down like a maniacal Super Villain on a mission. Incredible. There’s that word again.
Funko has molded in plastic just about every IP known to fandom at this point. There truly is something for everyone in their product line. Or as in this case, something I didn’t really want until I found it on sale. Yup. The discount sucked me in again as I paid only just under $7.00 CAN each for these figures.
I did a post back in 2016 that has nothing to do with the Incredibles 2, but it does have Mr. Incredible in it. Why am I including it at the end of this post? Because I just re-read it and got a snicker out of it! If you are ready to titter, giggle, or just outright guffaw, check out the post entitled Pixar Character Lamp.
The Kingdom of Bhutan is a landlocked country in the Eastern Himalayas. But no matter how isolated they may be, they love Mickey Mouse! And in the year of the 60th Anniversary of Mickey Mouse, that being 1989, they issued a set of stamps to commemorate the event.
1928 to 1953 was the span of the original theatrical Shorts featuring Mickey Mouse as the star, but usually with one or more supporting characters. Donald Duck was to supplant the mouse as the leading box office earner eventually, but in his day, Mickey roared!
This set of stamps feature reproductions of the original promotional posters for various Mickey Mouse Shorts. The one above is a generic image that would have been displayed outside of a movie theatre for extended periods of time in place of swapping out posters for each new Short. Laziness is the mother of profit.
This Short starred several characters as they participated in Olympic-like games including boxing and diving. Mickey himself participates in the main event, a cross-country multi-sport race similar to a Triathlon, except it includes row boating instead of swimming. Of course, we need conflict, so another participant in the race tries to sabotage Mickey’s chances of winning.
Disney often exploited free promotional opportunities, so this Short was released to coincide with the 1932 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.
Just as a side note, ‘Barnyard’ antics featured in many Mickey Mouse Shorts, including a dance, a battle, a concert, a broadcast, then ending with the Olympics.
Mickey enters Pluto in a high society dog show, but gets kicked out. Go figure. He later re-enters Pluto in the “trick dog” category and puts a pair of roller skates on him. Meanwhile, Pluto falls in love with Fifi, a Pekingese also entered in the show, and saves her when the building burns down.
Notice that Pluto is given the ‘Lucky 13’ number for the show!
Mickey’s star was fading by the end of the 1930s as Donald Duck became more popular, as mentioned earlier. So Walt tried to boost his old pal with The Sorcerer’s Apprentice segment in his highly experimental theatrical movie Fantasia. The story was based on Goethe’s 1797 poem “Der Zauberlehrling”. Mickey Mouse, the young apprentice of the sorcerer Yen Sid (yes, that’s ‘Disney’ spelled backwards), attempts some of his master’s magic tricks but does not know how to control them.
Although this role didn’t do much for Mickey back in the days of its release, it has become iconic now! Mickey wasn’t washed up entirely though, and did continue in Shorts up to the mid-50s, but with fewer and fewer entries each year.
Mickey gives Pluto a bath, but the dog doesn’t like it and jumps out of the tub. Pluto then accidentally swallows the bar of soap and starts hiccupping bubbles. In a panic, Pluto starts running through the city, all the while hiccupping bubbles. People in town panic when they see Pluto foaming at the mouth, and assume he has rabies. Pete, the town dogcatcher corners Pluto in an alley at gunpoint. Mickey pleads with Pete for Pluto’s life, but to no avail. Finally Mickey throws a cat down Pete’s pants to distract him, while he and Pluto run home.
So apparently, Pluto wasn’t really mad, just a little distempered. Ill tempered? How about a little miffed?
Pluto acts as Mickey’s personal valet. The dog serves Mickey breakfast in bed and then is sent by Mickey into town to buy a newspaper. Yes, they could make a Short out of just about any premise!
The denominations on the stamps go from 1ch to 10ch. The currency of Bhutan is the Ngultrum which is divided into 100 chhertum. Hence the short form ‘ch’ on each stamp. Why the Shorts aren’t arranged from oldest to newest as the stamp denominations go up is a mystery.
Only Mickey and Pluto appear on the stamps for some reason. Maybe to keep the focus primarily on Mickey being as it was his anniversary Bhutan was trying to feature.
You can see many more Disney-themed stamps from my collection by typing the keyword ‘Stamps’ in the Search box at the top of this blog.
The smaller they are the cuter they get! That is certainly true of this Minnie Mouse miniature planter. Just big enough for one flower or succulent. But with Minnie, one flower has always been enough!
Rendered in a fairly crude style, some might lean toward the opinion that ‘she is so ugly she’s cute’, which is the case with most early Disney merchandise. But other than the wobbly face detailing, the rest of the piece is quite well done:
Minnie holds up a flower in her right hand while grasping an open bag with her left. So the concept is that she is carrying a bag of flower. Not ‘flowers’. Remember, there is room for only one!
These ceramic planters are notorious to keep clean if you’re not using them for their intended purpose. With the hollow body, dirt and dust can collect where it is hard to clean.
We have a trademark of Walt Disney and a place of manufacture simply given as USA. No other information is given, even on the bottom.
You may wonder why more colour was not applied in the painting. For example, why are her ears black but her head is not. This was likely done to make the manufacturing easier and less expensive. Also, the American Bisque Company produced a similar style of ceramic functional figures in the 1940’s that had the same basic design elements. So it seems it was an accepted rendering of the characters at that time. So this planter may be from the same period.
Well, not really. A popular thing to do at EPCOT is to Drink Around the World. This is where you buy an alcoholic beverage at each of the eleven countries represented in the World Showcase. I can’t say I’ve ever done this as it seems like it would be a tad bit expensive!
Also, my wife and I aren’t big drinkers. I hit the Coke Zero a little too hard and my wife, she likes the tea. But when we have company over, invariably they bring a bottle of wine. If it isn’t opened, it stays with us and finds its way into a cupboard until the next gathering.
We recently had some friends over and opened a bottle of wine but it wasn’t finished off. So what were we to do to keep it fresh? The cork wouldn’t go back in the bottle. And then I remembered something we had in the back of a kitchen drawer:
This is a solid metal stopper with the Hidden Mickey motif prominently in evidence. The rubber rings fit snuggly into any size of bottle neck.
I just noticed that I’m ‘triplicated’ in the reflection of the stopper. Wish I could claim to have done that on purpose to add photographic brilliance to the post!
Would you use such a device to keep your unfinished wine fresh for later consumption or does the Vino stand no chance of surviving to the end of one of your parties?
Okay, just how many companies are producing vinyl figures now? It’s beginning to feel like hundreds! Well, maybe not that many, but too many for sure. Now we have kidrobot throwing their hat into the ring with a Mickey and Friends line called Bhunny.
Why did I buy it if I’m fed up with the saturated vinyl market? It was on sale. Regular pricing is between $13.00 and $17.00 depending on who’s dollar your looking at, but I got mine for just under $6.00 CAN.
Kidrobot has released the Bhunny figure designed by Frank Kozik, world-renowned artist and Kidrobot Chief Creative Officer. The first series featured six iconic licensed characters. Since then, a modest amount of other IPs have been added. Included are Mickey and Minnie Mouse. The only other Disney character in this line to date is Winnie the Pooh.
This is the promotional spiel from the official website about the Mickey Mouse figure I am showing in this post: “Kidrobot brings to life the Disney characters that started it all. Introducing Mickey Mouse and friends Bhunny 4-inch Vinyl Figures designed by Frank Kozik, world-renowned artist and Kidrobot Chief Creative Officer. This Mickey Mouse Bhunny features the iconic anthropomorphic mouse in his signature white gloves and red shorts, and coming with a Disney keychain.”
I love when a package says ‘Collect Them All!’ on the back when there are only two figures available. I guess ‘Collect Them Both!’ just doesn’t have the same ring.
Is this figure as cute as a Disney Vinylmation, a Funko Pop! or Dorbz? You be the judge:
Rendered in his classic look with pie eyes and simple red shorts, Mickey looks happy to be here. As you can see in the first picture below, Mickey’s head swivels just like most other vinyl figures from other companies.
Have you noticed that all vinyl figures have oversized heads on top of tiny bodies. Ever wonder why? I think the designers are trying to cash in on the cuteness of babies. With their big heads and big wide open eyes, they just make you go ‘Aww!’ In real life, it makes you love and protect your child. In the store, it makes you buy vinyl figures.
Shown above is the plastic keychain that came with the figure with Bhunny on one side and Disney on the other.
At present, this company seems to have less than two dozen figures. Do you like the design? Are you looking forward to seeing some of your favorite characters rendered in this style? Me… not so much.
Pixar released its 15th full-length animated film in 2015 to rave reviews and viewer delight. I thoroughly enjoyed Inside Out! But what I really loved was finding my new ‘Spirit Buddy’ in the form of the character named Anger.
Just look at that face and tell me you haven’t felt that way at least once in your life:
Tsum Tsum have been around for awhile now and are found in many different forms. They started first with a line of small plushies, then moved to various sizes of plastic, like this one, and then finished up with a full line of other unique products. You can even watch some Tsum Tsum Shorts by clicking the link!
I usually don’t jump on the bandwagon at the start of each new craze Disney introduces to their merchandising chains. I know each new offering is just an attempt to milk my wallet for more of my hard-earned cash and so I resist for as long as I can. With the Tsum Tsum line, I was able to hold out for quite a long time until I found a bunch on sale. ‘On Sale’ is my Kryptonite! Now I have too many. Curse you Disney, stop picking my pocket!
I find it hilarious that Anger has his little necktie on his shirt front, but that it’s actually underneath him when you set him down ‘on all fours’. I am definitely easily amused.
The Jim Henson Company was founded all the way back in 1958 but was bought out by Disney in 2004. So merchandise that is marked Henson Associates, such as this one, is more valuable to collectors. They represent a time when things were more creative for the company, a time when the characters were being developed and grown.
Fozzie Bear was voiced by Frank Oz. Fozzie is a comedian (although that is debatable) and a bear. It’s hard to imagine just why he isn’t more successful with that combination!
This mug has a higher level of detail than mugs released later. His fur really stands out and the expression on his face is happy and inviting. His signature Porkpie Hat and polka dot bowtie are also well rendered.
I really believe that these face mugs should be for display only. If you look inside you can see all sorts of indentations and crevices that would be hard to clean. Some may use them to sip their morning coffee, but I prefer to display them on a shelf.
This mug was Made in Japan by Sigma the Tastesetter. Interesting tagline. And you can see the Henson branding clearly engraved as well. Henson Associates was the designation of the production company for Henson from 1979 to 1986. So this mug would have been released within that 7-year period.
For informational purposes, These are the other Production Company designations with their years:
Muppets Inc.: 1965-1969
Henson Associates: 1979-1986
Jim Henson Productions: 1990-1996
Jim Henson Pictures: 1997-2003
The Jim Henson Company: 2004-Present (Under Disney)
This should help you to date your Muppet collectibles in the future. It may seem obvious to simply check when the character was active, for example, Fozzie was on the Muppet show from 1977-1981, but he has starred in other vehicles and shows, so that wouldn’t be definitive. Also, merchandise is re-released and recycled long after a show is cancelled, especially if the character is well loved.
Now I would like to leave you with the most intelligent thing Fozzie Bear has ever uttered. It has inspired millions and I hope it inspires you as well. Ready?
FUN FACTS: Did you know that Fozzie Bear only said ‘Wocka Wocka’ once on the original Muppet Show, but it became his signature catchphrase only after the first Muppet Movie? Other famous Muppet catchphrases are Kermit’s ‘Hi-Ho!’ and Miss Piggy’s ‘Kissy Kissy’.