Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs Squinkies

What are Squinkies, you ask? I’m surprised you don’t know! They are… um… okay, hard to describe! Maybe you should just click the link for a very thorough look into their history and availability today (Spoiler Alert: They are currently on ‘a break’ as a product).

But at one point they had a licensing agreement with Disney and produced this fun little character set featuring Snow White and Seven Dwarfs. And here they are, in all their Squinkiness:

Snow White w/Apple

These are less than one inch high but gargantuan in cuteness! Each has a childlike look and are completely squishable. Yes, you can squeeze them and they giggle. Actually, they don’t giggle. But they look like they might!

Snow White gets two figures, one with an apple and one without. We knew the Prince would show up someday. Notice that they are looking sideways at each other when you stand them together?

Hi Ho! Hi Ho!

This great silhouette image was actually animated on the wall of a Disney Store! The Dwarfs would march across the log from time to time. Their famous call ‘Hi Ho!’ song would play as they did, and it reminds me of a post I did about the Hi Ho Diner and how they obtained the license to use the Dwarfs to theme the restaurant. Check it out! But I digress…

Who can name all seven of the Dwarfs without cheating? Me neither. So let us cheat together and look at the Squinkies versions of each:

Doc was the leader with Grumpy having the most lines after him. But the last Dwarf didn’t have much to say at all:

Dopey – Bringing Up the Rear

Dopey was always lagging behind… except when it came time to steal an extra kiss from Snow White. And he got it! Who’s the silly ones now, you other Dwarfs?

This link to the Names of the Seven Dwarfs from Snow White is interesting. It gives a nice overview of the background of the dwarfs and how they traveled from literature, to Broadway, to Walt Disney. It’s a trip worth taking with them!

Neither of this woman’s looks were particularly inviting, were they? But I guess the version on the left was less menacing… until you realize that she was the one who wanted to rip out Snow White’s heart! Yikes. Maybe I’ll take my chances with the poison apple!

We are at the end of the post, so only one thing remains to do. I have a question for a certain ‘someone’: “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the greatest blogger of them all?” Can you guess who I’m hoping he says?

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

Disney Store 25th Anniversary Lady and the Tramp Figurine Set

1955 saw the release of Disney’s 15th animated feature film, Lady and the Tramp. It was based on the original 1945 Cosmopolitan magazine story “Happy Dan, The Cynical Dog” by Ward Greene. 2012 saw the release of the Disney Store 25th Anniversary Lady and the Tramp Figurine Set. There were just 1955 of these sets produced to commemorate the date of the films original release.

Each box was approximately 3 1/2″ high by 10 1/2″ in diameter and came with a Certificate of Authenticity, like this one:

Each ceramic figurine is hand-painted with a gloss finish and is between 2″ and 4″ tall, depending on the character. Would you like to meet the pack?

First Day with Darling & Jim Dear

As you saw in the opening image, to give a nod to the film, these figurines came in a pink hat box, just like the one Baby Lady is sitting in above.

As we all know by now, the film tells the story of a female American Cocker Spaniel named Lady who lives a refined life until she gets mixed up with a male stray mutt called Tramp. After a few adventures together, they fall in love. Precious! I resisted the temptation to use the term ‘Puppy Love’ and… Doh!

Si & Am

It seems almost every Disney animated classic has a controversial scene or character in view of modern sensibilities, and the Siamese Cats called Si and Am are this films shame. I don’t believe the fact that they are Siamese is the problem, but rather that they used stereotypical ‘mangled’ English in place of a real Asian accent.

Whether you have a problem with them or not, they did provide a nemesis for Lady and a vehicle to move the story along, which needed a way to get Lady banned from the house.

Every protagonist needs a faithful friend or two to support them in their darkest hour. Jock and Trusty certainly fit this bill for Lady!

“What a Tramp!”

Even when Lady ended up in the Dog Pound, she had a helpful companion in the form of a feisty street-wise canine named Peg (voiced by Peggy Lee).

Enter ‘The Scamp’

A direct-to-video sequel, Lady and the Tramp II: Scamp’s Adventure, was released on February 27 of 2001. I think we can safely say it wasn’t the classic its ma and pa were! Was? Doesn’t matter: Wasn’t!

These little woof-woofs are adorable and now sit upon the dresser of my wife. The same woman who tried to talk me out of buying them! Strange how things work out, isn’t it?

Posted in Animation, Anniversaries, Ceramics, Characters, Collectibles, Figurines, Limited Edition | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pixar’s CARS – Leroy Traffik with Snow Tires Die Cast

Into every small town must come a guy who is just passing through. He’s not interested in stopping for gas, in soaking up the local atmosphere, or buying a souvenir. So don’t ask him! He’ll just set his car alarm and keep on driving.

At least that’s what Leroy Traffik did when he mistakenly ended up in Radiator Springs while lost with his wife. He just wanted to know how to get back on the Interstate. And although he turned down everything from a night at the Cozy Cone to a new paint job, he did end up with a bumper sticker.

Do vehicles sleep in Queen-sized beds?

And at some time in the future, a set of Snow Tires from Luigi’s, of all things. After all, he was travelling through the desert! So it seems to be a strange purchase.

Pixar’s CARS franchise is a license to print money as just about every background character and crowd scene participant has earned their own die cast figure. And multiple variations. I believe I have another Leroy wearing (is that the right term for these guys?) just his normal radials!

But I just had to have this variation of a mini van with large tires. And Disney/Pixar goes ‘Ka-Ching!’

And he even had snow tires! Still crashed…

I will say that these die cast models are well crafted and aren’t just cheap plastic or some other light-weight material. These are hefty metal cars with fine detailing. So I don’t feel too bad about collecting way too many of them! And Disney/Pixar goes ‘Ka-Ching!’

I really wish they’d stop doing that!

Posted in Characters, Collectibles, Die Cast, Merchandise, Pixar, Toys | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grenada Disney-themed Sports Stamps

Grenada is an island country in the West Indies in the Caribbean Sea at the southern end of the Grenadines island chain. It consists of the main island of Grenada, two lesser islands, and several tiny islands as well. The main island is is 348.5 square kilometers (134.6 sq. mi).

Okay, the geography lesson is concluded for today, class. It’s now time for our Art Class. Please open your stamp collections and follow along with the rest of the post:

Play Ball!

This nice set of stamps was released in 1979 with artwork provided by Walt Disney Productions. This would have ensured that the characters remained ‘on model’ and recognizable to the world.

Mickey Mouse himself throws the opening pitch with a baseball themed 1/2¢ stamp. And he is appropriately playing in the Mouseketeer League!

I’m Pretty Sure That’s Cheating!

Donald Duck engages in some hijinks (see what I did there?) and I think a bit of cheating to win in the High Jump. I wouldn’t give a 1¢ stamp for his chances with the judges!

Does That Make for Extra Points?

And… Goofy is being goofy. I guess he decided to give more than his 2¢ worth and just throw his whole body at the net!

The Steamroller Dash

And… Goofy is still being goofy. This time he’s upped the antae to 3¢ but it doesn’t seem to have improved his results! Unless this is a new race where you are supposed to knock down everything in your path.

That’s One Way to Deal with a Water Trap!

It’s fitting that Donald is on the 4¢ stamp as I’m pretty sure he will be yelling ‘Fore!’ after he hits the ball out of this water trap! If he hits it. The bag might sink first.

Tea? That’s Cricket!

As with other islands from the Caribbean, cricket is the national and most popular sport and is an intrinsic part of Grenadian culture. The British did have dominion over the islands at one point and no doubt brought along the game and a pot of tea. If I had a 5¢ for every cup of tea I’ve sipped, I’d still need to work full-time!

I hope you’ve enjoyed our humorous look at sports with Mickey and friends. If you’d like to know more about Grenada and the vacation opportunities it offers, please visit the Official Website here and learn all about The Spice of the Caribbean.

Posted in Artwork, Characters, Collectibles, Games, Sports | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Places: Historic Kinsol Trestle Over the Koksilah River

There are many out-of-the-way places on this Earth. Finding them is an adventure and experiencing them, a privilege! My wife and I just recently enjoyed a visit to a historic landmark in British Columbia, Canada.

The Koksilah Bridge, or Kinsol Trestle, was completed in 1920. It is twelve stories tall and made entirely of wood likely harvested from Vancouver Island itself. It had a rich history of service before being decommissioned, abandoned, restored, and then reopened to the public as a tourist attraction.

Upon arriving in the rather small parking lot, you are greeted with this introductory signage:

We are now a ways along the Cowichan Valley Trail which was an integral part of the Great Trail route of Southern Vancouver Island. It’s a short 1.2 km walk (about 3/4 of a mile) from the sign to the beginning of the trestle:

Again, we are greeted by another sign to update us on our progress:

We learn that we have about 187 meters (or 615 feet) to go to reach the other side of the trestle. Let’s get started!

As you can clearly see, some of the most beautiful views are going to be available from this vantage point!

We are now almost completely across the trestle and ready to explore the other side. There are three levels for observation: From the trestle; From a secondary viewing plateau, and from the bottom of the valley.

There was also a small covered kiosk with more informational signage and this uniquely wrapped utility box:

Before we continue with more images and text, please enjoy this short video:

Panoramic View of Kinsol Trestle

Perhaps you’re wondering just how high twelve stories feels like when you look straight down! Well, wonder no more:

It’s a Long Way Down!

The following image should also help to establish just how high this trestle is:

Secondary Viewing Plateau & Bottom of the Valley

We arrived at the parking lot about 6:45 pm on Saturday, September 18th. By the time we walked to the trestle, explored, took photographs, and read up on our history from all of the great signage, it was time to make our way back to the car before nightfall. After all, it was going to be a brisk walk through bear country. so…

It had been raining off and on all day and this made for some fantastic shots of the trees and mountains. We paused just long enough to take one more shot:

Okay, now it was time to hike it on out of there! I would highly recommend this attraction to anyone. It is wheelchair accessible and easily reached by even the youngest of children. The walk out is not too long and is certainly picturesque. But what awaits you is breathtaking and well worth the effort!

If you would like to visit this historical site yourself, here are the coordinates:

Latitude: 48 degrees 40′ 6.34″ N

Longitude: -123 degrees 41′ 37.77″ W

I believe the nearest city to this location is North Saanich. It’s also quite close to Maple Bay. If you like the great outdoors and unusual manmade structures, this is for you!

Posted in Attractions, Excursions, History, Nature, Photography, Places, Travel, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney’s Pocahontas Character POGS

POGS are a cardboard or plastic disk printed with a design or picture which are collected or swapped by children or used in games. The game aspect started as Milk Caps and through the magic of commercialism and marketing became POGS and a worldwide sensation.

I’m not a POG expert, so if you’d like to know way more than necessary about these small picture-laden discs, you can click the Brief History here.

Yes, my post is simply to share the Pocahontas set that I have. I should say that it’s very incomplete, but still provides a nice cross-section from the set.

This set came with 8 red ‘Slammers’ which are the discs used to launch the POGS. It appears that there were 78 picture discs with most sets containing anywhere from 40 – 100 discs. This set was released in 1995 to promote the release of the feature-length animated film.

With so few characters and so many discs, obviously each character makes multiple appearances.

John Smith makes his dreamy self known throughout the set.

Meeko is happy to be included.

Many characters from Pocahontas’ tribe are also depicted.

Governor Ratcliffe heads the Rogues Gallery.

Artistic design discs are also included.

You can see Flit (a Hummingbird) in one of the prism discs above.

And even the supporting cast is included, such as Thomas, a loyal friend of John Smith.

Would you like to know how to play with POGS? Give a little click to this How to Play link and you will learn all you need, not only to play… but to WIN! But please don’t play for money, it’s a kid’s game, so that would be wrong. Maybe that’s why some schools banned POGS?

Posted in Animation, Artwork, Characters, Games, Merchandise, Princesses | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Found Disney: Miscellaneous Mickey Mouse Merchandise

Try saying that three times fast! I love to browse through antique malls and charity shops looking for the next treasure to add to my growing collection. But there are times when I find things that are just not cool enough to come home with me but too cool to go unappreciated. Then there are those things I’d love to have but my wallet says ‘No!’ Other times I buy.

This post contains all of these types of situations. They feature a certain mouse of note. So let’s see what I saw, pondered, and bought, at some of my favorite local resellers:

Rescue 911

I liked this because it is an example of consumerism. This is when something exists solely for the purpose of making money, and not for any artistic value, or because it makes sense. This is labeled as a Walt Disney World Fire Chief vehicle, but no such vehicle exists at any of the Parks found there. So this is just a generic car some company had a mold for and they slapped some stickers on it to make it ‘Disney’. I came so close to buying it!

Bounce & Pounce

I had a generic monster version of this toy. Mine had horns to hand onto. This version is pure brilliance with Mickey’s ears being the handles. I also love the detailed markings on the ball itself! But price made the decision to leave it hanging from the rafters.

Peek at Choo

This is an example of something with very little monetary value but lots of fun appeal. I got it for a few dollars. They don’t work. In fact, I think you can see farther without them! But you can’t help but smile when you look over and see Mickey spying on you!

Faux Flying Squirrel

Lastly, I found this awesome Flying Ace Mickey somewhere, I remember not where. But again, you can only imagine how much it would cost! Obviously, I didn’t buy it. But of all of the Disney-related items I have seen in my collecting life, this is definitely one that I dream about. This is the King of the Big Figs!

Do you enjoy finding little and big collectibles when you’re travelling around?

Posted in Characters, Collectibles, Found Disney, Merchandise, Toys, Walt Disney World | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Finding Nemo Fun Shapes Stamps

By now, we’ve all found Nemo. But back in 2003 the whole world was still looking! Today Marlin and Nemo, Dory and the rest of the fishy school are all a part of the Disney/Pixar family, and near and dear to our heart!

So naturally, there is a ton of merchandise to help us feel connected to them. And in this post I would like to share some appropriately tiny items:

Not a Complete Set

I picked these up a Charity Shop in a value bag. This is where they shove a dozen or so related items in a zip lock baggy and sell it for a buck or two. I’ve since sold these off at a yard sale, but I wanted to see what the print would look like first.

Ready to Print

There would have been more stamps with other key characters from the movie, but I only got these four. Amazingly, the stamp pad still had some ink in it and it wasn’t all dried out!

Messy but Imprinted

Just think about the many creative places the children of the world found to stamp these images upon! The mind reels.

For a cool Easter Egg from the sequel to Finding Nemo, entitled Finding Dory, check out my post Dory and Hank Swim with Herbie. You won’t believe how the Love Bug came to swim with the fishes!

Posted in Animation, Characters, Crafts, DIY, Merchandise, Movies, Pixar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Disney’s Sing-Along Songs – Disneyland Fun

This playful little VHS tape was released on August 14, 1990 to tie-in with Disneyland’s 35th anniversary. The premise of the series, this is Volume Seven, is that we can all sing along to the on-screen lyrics as we enjoy classic Disney characters in memorable musical scenes captured throughout Disneyland!

Movie Night for Mickey & Minnie

So are we all ready to celebrate a musical day at Disneyland – the Happiest Place on Earth? Then let’s turn over the post to our host Mr. Owl:

Much of the imagery in this production was recycled from older releases. It may be from a theatrical Short or Package Film or just a television special. For instance, Mr. Owl is the main character in the Disney series Adventures in Music that started in the 1950s. The segment he appears in for this video is replayed but with new words dubbed in. So, if you own old Vacation Planning tapes or have seen Disneyland Anniversary Specials, you likely will recognize much of what you will see on this tape.

That said, it’s still fun to see the park as it was in 1990. Many of the rides and attractions featured are no longer in Disneyland and so this tape becomes a trip down Memory Lane!

Main Street USA – Empty!

Each of the thirteen songs shared (in just 29 minutes) are introduced with a Title Card:

Song Title Card Example

Once the Title Card fades, the music starts and the words appear on the screen. You can sing along, obviously, as that’s the whole point! You can see just some of the extinct attractions that get one last hurrah in this production pictured below:

The last image is of Goofy in a cooking pot being carried by King Louie. In case you were wondering.

Fantasmic!

Time flies when you’re singing and the tape soon comes to an end. Mickey does his famous ‘Fireworks Sparkler Fingers’ thing which he would do most notably in the show Fantasmic! just a few years later after this video. But now…

… It’s time to say ‘Goodbye’

Again, this is Volume Seven of the series, but it is the first live-action Sing-Along Songs video and the first to be located at Disneyland.

Back of VHS Cover Sleeve

These are easy to collect as most Charity Shops will have a few copies of the series in stock for just 99 cents each. It may take some time to get the whole collection, but searching is half the fun!

FUN FACTS: The song about Parades actually features several different parades, such as the Disneyland State Fair Parade and the 1989 Disneyland Christmas parade. Also, you can see a few scenes from the Party Gras Parade. So pay attention!

Posted in Characters, Disneyland, Music, Resorts, Soundtracks, Theme Parks, Videos | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Book Review: The Celebrated Cases of Dick Tracy

Publisher: The Wellfleet Press

Year: 1990

Pages: 291 

Type: Hardcover

ISBN: 1-55521-620-X

Little crimes lead to big crimes.” – Dick Tracy

This is an interesting collection of some of the ‘cases’, or strips, of Dick Tracy. But before you get to them, you are treated to a rather lengthy interview with Chester Gould himself. He opens up about his influences, the genesis of the detective in question, and other works he did.

Next is a two-page introduction by another writer of crime and mystery, Ellery Queen.

But as the cover flaps tell us, it all started back on a Sunday, October 4th, 1931…

As you read Tracy’s first appearance, you’ll notice that his signature appearance and toughness is not yet evident. In fact, as we learn soon enough, he wasn’t even associated with the police at this time! That came a bit later, almost as an afterthought. This is common for fictional characters as the creators often take some time fleshing out their ideas and finding a footing.

Dick Tracy stories were serialized over many daily strips, so it took some time to complete a case with him. And as you would see from reading through this book, not all of the stories lasted the same amount of time.

This book is fun to read and makes a good primer for those who are familiar with the character but not so much with the actual material he appeared in.

The book also gives some informative one-page spreads to highlight the Rogues Gallery and Scientific Arsenal that made Tracy so unique among fictional detectives.

Perhaps the most famous item associated with Dick Tracy is his Video Wrist Watch. Not quite an Apple Watch, but definitely a foreshadowing of things to come!

Back Cover

Disney released a live-action adaption of the character in 1990, the same year this book was released. So the publisher was no doubt hoping to capitalize on the interest generated for the character by the movie. But it kind of flopped, so…

I would give this book 4 out of 5 Stars because I feel it achieves what it sets out to do. It gives an introduction to the character, a glimpse into the mind of Gould himself, and just enough stories to whet your appetite. There are more comprehensive collections of Dick Tracy strips that you can purchase if this book gets you hooked!

I purchased my copy at a Yard Sale for just two bucks, but you will have to pay upwards of $30.00 US to obtain a copy on Amazon or other Book Selling sites.

Posted in Artwork, Books, Characters, Comic Books, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment