‘The Sword and the Rose’ Advertising Page

After the Second World War, Disney had money trapped in Europe. He couldn’t remove the funds for use in America so he decided to use it to make live-action films in England. Although you likely haven’t heard of this particular one, it is a worthy addition to this period of Disney history!

The actual story wasn’t original to Disney, but was based on the 1898 novel When Knighthood Was in Flower by Charles Major. It was originally made into a motion picture in 1908 and again in 1922. So Walt must have thought that anything worth doing twice was worth doing again! Disney’s version of the film was shot at Denham Film Studios in England.

FUN FACTS: The Sword and the Rose (1953) was the third of Disney’s British productions after Treasure Island (1950) and The Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men (1952).

Story Synopsis: At the royal court of Henry VIII, the King has decreed that his sister, coquettish Princess Mary Tudor, should wed the elderly Louis XII of France. But Mary falls madly in love with handsome, dashing Charles Brandon, an ambitious young man bound for America. The headstrong Mary defies her brother and leaves with Charles’ party disguised as a boy. Pursued and captured by the King’s men, Charles is imprisoned in the Tower and Mary is sent to France. Against all odds, Charles must mount a daring escape and rescue Mary, leading to the spectacular climax pitting him against the villainous Duke of Buckingham in a chivalrous duel to the death. – Disney.com

And that rather long introduction brings us to the advertising page that I found at a local flea market:

Framed as Artwork

I enjoy collecting ephemera, which are items of collectible memorabilia, typically written or printed ones, that were originally expected to have only short-term usefulness or popularity.

Advertising materials and movie posters fall under this category. But I think you’ll agree that they can have lasting value as collectibles!

Let’s have a closer look at the details of this page. The artwork is amazing:

Above we see Henry VIII and his royal court. Note how the characters get less detailed as they are positioned further into the background. Great technique!

The reference material is presented here in bold red letters. When I first saw the title ‘When Knighthood Was In Flower’ I thought it was a strange way to describe the time of battles, chivalry, and sacrifice for King and Country, but what do I know!

Maybe ‘When Knighthood Was In Fashion‘? ‘Was Awesome!’? Anything but ‘In Flower‘!

Richard Todd was a big star for Disney’s overseas productions. He played the lead in the aforementioned Robin Hood film, and later the lead again in Disney’s Rob Roy, the Highland Rogue (1953).

Glynis Johns also starred in Rob Roy with Todd but may be better known to Disney fans for her role of Winifred Banks in Mary Poppins (1964).

I hope you liked this little look at a piece of Disney history that was meant to be thrown away with the magazine it appeared in. For more Disney advertising pages, just click the link. It contains three unique examples. For another, check out The Great Locomotive Chase advertising page as well!

Posted in Movies, Ephemera, Advertising | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

‘Something Wild!’ Card Game of Character Combos

I’ve been collecting a few Funko Pop! figurines but only recently knew that the company also produced a card game called Something Wild!

Let’s have a look at the packaging:

This game comes in a few variations with each containing a different Funko character figurine. Now we’ll unpack the box:

The box says the game can be played by people ages 6 and up. I find that hard to believe after reading the instructions! But maybe I’m not smarter than a 5th Grader, or whatever, and maybe you’ll understand better. So here are the instructions:

Okay, are you ready to play? I’m getting that you pick up and play cards hoping to obtain ‘power’ cards that will give you an advantage. To use these cards you have to have the character figure in front of you. The idea is to collect at least three ‘power’ cards to win!

Yeah, maybe it requires a 6 year old to explain it?

Above are another five Disney variations of the game. But I’m pretty sure I saw a box showing a different IP in the store where I bought mine.

I thought the character pictures were cute and should be fun to play with. There’s even a young Pete without his peg leg!

Above you can see a collection of ‘power’ cards.

Are you ready to play now?

If you like games, check out this vintage Mickey’s Poppin game, based on the old Trouble game format.

Posted in Characters, Figurines, Games | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mickey Mouse Collectible Spoons by Monogram

I promise this is my last post on spoons! Until I buy more.

So we’ve talked before about how Disney likes to imprint single images on many different products. Here we have an example of the same image being imprinted on basically the same type of product, but with a twist:

Is there a difference? Only their Barista knows for sure. And anyone else with a pair of eyes and a basic level of observation skill.

In this case, you could have either the standard spoon shape or a shell variant.

I love it when I find small items like this still in the original packaging!

The back of the spoon tells us that this was made by Monogram Products of Largo, FL. They have updated the look of their logo but they still produce Disney products, such as Toy Story, The Little Mermaid, Mickey & Friends, Winnie the Pooh, Nightmare Before Christmas, Monsters Inc. and more!

However, it was manufactured in New Zealand, of all places!

These contain no Disney trademark, but from the design of Mickey, I’d say we can date the spoons from the 1980’s.

Here’s a little blurb from www.discoverahobby.com about spoon collecting, in case you’ve been bitten by the collecting bug: “There are certain tips that every spoon collector would benefit from. The main thing is to decide as to what kind of spoon you would like to collect in your collection as part of your hobby. There are different kinds like the antique spoons and there are also modern-day souvenir spoons. Some people can even have two collections, one of each of these types. There are many other themes based on which you can collect spoons. These could be based on the interest in birds, animals, (Disney – our addition), and or only souvenir collections.”

Who knows, maybe you have a collectible spoon in your kitchen drawer right now!

Posted in Characters, Collectibles | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

TIN TOY Short by Pixar – Tinny Collectible Figurines

“Tin Toy” marked the first time a character with lifelike bendable arms and knees, surfaces, and facial components was animated digitally. The challenge was balancing its “cartoony” look with a baby’s real looks. If you’ve seen the Short, I think you’ll agree that Tinny came off looking WAY better than the baby! The reward: an Academy Award® for Best Animated Short Film.

At first, there wasn’t a lot of merchandise featuring the character of Tinny. But as Pixar films and subsequent characters from them became immensely popular, it was only a matter of time before earlier efforts were exploited for toy dollars!

And that’s fine with me when the marketing people come up with wonderful things like these:

On the right we see a pretty faithful model of the character. It is metal and waddles across the floor when wound up. You can watch the video below to see him in action! He has an unusual winding mechanism.

On the left we have a vinyl figurine from the Disney Store Remix series featuring classic Disney/Pixar characters reinvented as LGMs (Little Green Men) from the Toy Story franchise. It just sits there.

“About face! March!”

“Parade… Rest!”

I thought this was a plush figure when I picked him out online and so was surprised when this small vinyl figure arrived instead. Shows the importance of fully reading the description before putting things in your cart! Still a nice addition to my collection, though.

If you want to see what I thought I was getting, you can check out my complete collection of Remix Plushes by clicking the link.

I can’t remember where I purchased this little guy but I remember being instantly smitten with him when I first saw him!

And as previously mentioned, below is a short video of Tinny in action:

Do you enjoy the very early Shorts by Pixar? If so, you should try to find some of their even earlier work on commercials. The animation is very interesting!

“Viewers… dismissed!”

Posted in Animation, Characters, Collectibles, Disney Store, Figurines, Pixar, Toys, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Subtracted Density Photographic Artwork

I took the Art Fundamentals course at Sheridan College in Oakville, ON. It exposed students like me to the widest variety of art forms in the hope that it would help us to pick a main avenue of artistic study. I didn’t continue in the Arts. However, creativity has never been far from my life over the years.

What I am showing today is a project from the Photographic Studies part of the course. It is a process where one manipulates photo paper before the developing process called Subtracted Density.

Reaching Arm

Most efforts along this line tend to be abstract, but I chose to include one recognizable shape, the arm, but I still leave it up to the viewer as to what it is doing there.

To achieve such effects, you can scratch the photo paper, sand it, or otherwise ‘damage’ it. When the light is shown on the finished product, it interacts differently with the affected areas than with the untouched ones.

Lightning

Although more abstract than the first image, I still chose to give it a title, as the end result reminded me of lightning.

Another project involved adding material to the photo paper before developing, and this was called (wait for it) Added Density. I do have one project left showing this technique but I don’t feel it’s very share worthy!

Have you kept any artwork from your earlier days? Or are you still creating personal masterpieces to this day?

Posted in Artwork, Photography | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney MGM Studios Decorative Plate

Disney and MGM have gone their separate ways now, but the partnership did yield some great synergy (The Great Movie Ride) and some great merchandise.

It may not look like much, but a closer inspection should give us some reasons to love and appreciate this wonderful decorative plate:

First: I love the gold lettering

Second: The Hollywood Strobes are a nice touch

Third: Grauman’s Chinese Theatre makes a very impressive appearance

Forth: A long line of limousines are dropping off the elite of Hollywood

I’d like to muse a bit on this point if I may. I wonder if this feature of the image was a nod to another attraction that didn’t do so well: Superstar Limo was situated in the Hollywood Pictures Backlot area at Disney’s California Advernture and was one of the original attractions featured on the park’s opening day on February 8, 2001. The ride included figures of celebrities which were stylized and caricatured. And, apparently, it sucked!

Fifth: The Sorcerer Mickey Hat isn’t blocking the view

And it has palm trees, I guess?

Can you see why the limos couldn’t be a nod to the failed Superstar Limo ride? Yes, you guessed it, this plate was minted in 1987. Four years before Disney’s California Adventure even opened! Oh well, it was a thought.

If you like plates, check out the one I have from Tokyo Disneyland and A Disney Original (hint: It’s Walt Disney!)

Posted in Collectibles, Movies, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Theme Park Spoons from Walt Disney World

Disney’s business model when it comes to the Theme Parks is simple: They count on your vacation dollars staying in the Parks first by admission prices, then with food, and then with every imaginable product they can slap a Disney character on. And we love it!

And like any retail business, they know that volume trumps price, and so Disney offers lots of little items to entice us. Like these wonderful Theme Park Spoons:

Pretty in a Row

I only have three spoons from this set. I imagine there would have been a spoon specifically for the Magic Kingdom, but I could be wrong. Also, there wouldn’t be a spoon for Disney’s Animal Kingdom, as it wouldn’t be built until 1998, some time after this set was released.

Let’s start with the first spoon featuring Walt Disney World:

A vintage-looking Mickey Mouse and Minnie Mouse wave amidst a flower garden in this very 80’s image. Walt Disney World was opened in 1971 but, as we will see, this spoon was released much later.

So let’s continue with the next spoon, featuring Epcot Center:

A very nice artist rendering of Spaceship Earth here. Epcot Center opened in 1982 and had it’s name changed to EPCOT in 1994.

More on what these dates mean later, but now let’s have a look at the third spoon featuring Disney MGM Studios:

Dapper Mickey and Glamorous Minnie are stepping out for a movie premiere in this image. Disney MGM Studios was opened in 1989 and renamed to Disney’s Hollywood Studios in 2008.

Trademark Stamp

The Disney Trademark shown above doesn’t really help us to date these spoons. This trademark has been used across many decades and periods of Disney merchandising. But we can say with certainty that they were produced between 1989 (when Disney MGM Studios opened) and 1994 (when Epcot Center changed to EPCOT). Sound reasonable?

Makers Mark

It’s very unusual to find Disney merchandise Made in Australia! As you can tell from the tarnishing, these spoons are silverplated.

Base Detail

This leaf embellishment is a very nice touch on the back of each spoon. Although it’s hard to figure out what it has to do with the overall Theme Park motif.

I hope you enjoyed our look back at the Theme Parks via these small pieces of merchandise! How many of your Disney Dollars have been left behind in the Parks?

Posted in Characters, Collectibles, Theme Parks, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Popcorn Light Fixture from Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort

Today, January 13th, is our 31st Wedding Anniversary! I can’t help but think of some of the firsts we embarked on together, way back then. Like our first stay at Walt Disney World which lasted 14 nights and 15 days. A long time but well worth the expense! The year was 2006 and we were there to celebrate our 16th Wedding Anniversary.

We stayed at Disney’s All-Star Movies Resort and were blown away by the theming! I remember being particularly taken with this lighting fixture on the wall. It was just beside the window to the right as you entered through the door:

Funny story: When I decided to film the room, we turned on all of the lights, including this popcorn box fixture. As I panned the room, I passed the fixture, and it looked like any other light with no image apparent.

You can see how it looked by viewing the image below:

Where’d the popcorn imagery go? It was cool to discover that when you turn it on, the picture disappears! But if you stare long enough, you can just make out the popcorn image.

The trick, or optical illusion, is achieved because the metal screen is perforated with small holes. When light shines through, it blurs the image, fooling your eyes into seeing only white. An opaque plastic sleeve is fitted behind the metal screen to further diffuse the light.

The above picture shows the back of the fixture. You can see where the wire protrudes from the fixture. This would have been connected to the power wires in a hexagon electrical box. But now it has been retrofitted with a cord and plug. But not up to code, as you can see!

Old School plug with no ground. The safety just keeps getting better!

So how did I come to obtain this piece of the All-Star Movies Resort? Well, it’s surprisingly easy to steal fixtures when you travel with a complete set of tools!

Only kidding! Actually, move forward to probably sometime around 2015. I arrive at that year because it seems that All-Star Movies finished a complete renovation sometime in 2013, so it is likely props and furnishings would have been sold off after that time. I was browsing in an Antique Mall in Belleville, ON. In a back room I saw, not one, but two of these lights lying on the floor! I instantly remembered them from my first Disney Resort stay and just had to have one. I wanted both, but I couldn’t afford that at the time! I paid $100.00 CAN for one and have regretted not finding the money to buy the other ever since.

I’ve been looking for years through my archives for the video footage mentioned earlier but just couldn’t locate it… until yesterday! Just in time to edit it into this post. So without further ado, here it is:

This is in my Top Five Disney Finds!

And after I put the film camera down, my wife took this picture:

Just Another Goof!
Posted in Movies, Resorts, Videos, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

THE CHILD from Disney+ Series The Mandalorian

The debate waged as to whether this little green guy was somehow Yoda or some other being from his race. I think we all knew it couldn’t be the Jedi Master, but it was fun to argue about it in true Star Wars fashion!

But now we know he is a separate character, initially called The Child, and now named Grogu. I found this collectible at Wal-Mart. It features The Child in his signature Hover Carrier:

Grogu didn’t get his name until well into Season Two of The Mandalorian, so this piece of merchandise still labeled him as The Child.

This is part of The Bounty Collection (Series 2) and features six distinct figures, all variations on costumes or situations The Child was put in, mostly from Season 1 of the series.

Unboxed

Nothing but cute until you realize that he’ll eat anything, living or dead, without a second thought!

This piece has some nice detailing and is quite heavy for its size. So this isn’t a cheap offering in quality but is a deal with a cost of only around $10.00 CAN.

We have Hasbro to thank for the manufacture of this wonderful toy!

The Mandalorian is the first live-action series in the Star Wars franchise developed specifically for television. The story begins five years after the events of Return of the Jedi (1983). The Child has certainly become the breakout character of the series!

Posted in Characters, Television | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Orange Sipper with Mickey Mouse Image

Due to the citrus theme of the sipper it was likely sold in Walt Disney World in Florida. Walt’s second Park used to be covered in orange trees, so it’s not a stretch to connect this collectible to that location.

Let’s have a taste:

Walt Disney Productions

So when was this sipper produced? Here is what an earlier article on this blog had to say about the WDP trademark: “Walt Disney Productions 1929 until 1986 – This trademark crosses the most amounts of years. So one piece trademarked ‘WDP’ could be old and valuable while another could be newer and relatively worthless. This trademark can be spelled out in full or shortened to the ‘WDP’ letters, or even to ‘Walt Disney Prod’ with all versions being fairly common. It usually depended on how much room was available on the piece in question as to which one was used.” You can read the full post to learn more about Disney trademarks by clicking here.

If it is from Walt Disney World, that would place the manufacture and sale of this sipper between 1971 and 1986.

Plastic Fruit
Missing Straw

Am I worried that the value of this collectible is diminished by the absence of a straw? Not at all! Cast Members likely used generic straws when selling this sipper to guests.

I don’t know about you, but I’m thirsty!

Posted in Advertising, Characters, Collectibles, Food | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments