POP! WDW 50 Minnie Mouse on Carrousel Vinyl Figure

Funko POP! vinyl figures have risen in cost over the course of the recent pandemic. From $12.99 CAN before to $17.99 now, that’s a significant increase! So when I saw a promotion for a $5.00 Funko when you bought three at the regular price, I decided to splurge.

The third Funko I purchased to get my discounted one was this POP! Walt Disney World 50 Minnie Mouse on Prince Charming Regal Carrousel vinyl figure:

I have a love-hate relationship with Funko. I don’t think they nail the look of the characters all of the time, and sometimes, they just seem light, uninspired, and cheap. But when they get it right, it is a magical thing!

Again, the 50th Anniversary packaging is quite nice with the reflective foil logo.

Just picking up this figure was enough to tell me that it had more value than the usual Funko. It. Is. Heavy! And the little carrousel horse it beyond cute:

I had seen this Funko earlier and passed on it because I only really noticed Minnie, which I wasn’t too taken with. But seeing the who figure together, Minnie on the horse, sold me!

Prince Charming Regal Carousel is indeed found in The Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. But it began life in 1917 and was originally known as ‘The Liberty Carousel’ when it was delivered to Belle Isle Park in Detroit, Michigan. The Disney company bought it in 1967 and refurbished it before installing it at WDW in 1971.

It was originally called ‘Cinderella’s Golden Carousel’. The name was changed to better fit the continuing story of the Land the carousel is found in. According to the Disney Parks Blog, this is the current story: “Following their fairy-tale romance and happily-ever-after wedding, Cinderella and Prince Charming took up residence in Cinderella’s Castle. With peace throughout the kingdom, Prince Charming had time to practice for jousting tournaments. In the countryside near the castle, he built a training device of carved horses, on which he could practice the art of ring-spearing, a tournament event in which a knight rides his horse full speed, lance in hand, toward a small ring hanging from a tree limb, with the object of spearing the ring. This event was known by various names throughout the lands, but generally came to be called “carrousel.” The carrousel device drew the attention of the villagers, who wanted to take a turn on this amazing spinning contraption. So Prince Charming had a second carrousel constructed closer to the Castle, where everyone could take a spin on this wondrous invention. Instead of a working knight’s training device, however, this new carrousel is more befitting its regal location in the Castle Courtyard – its rustic training horses replaced with ornately decorated prancing steeds adorned with golden helmets and shields, flower garlands, feathers, and other festoons. Prince Charming invites one and all to test their horsemanship skills and to enjoy their own happy ending.”

And now you know. Who would pay to see Princess Minnie take a stab at Prince Charming’s original training carousel?

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‘The Abominable Showman’ Amazing Spiderman Record

Power Records is actually a name used by Peter Pan Records. It seems that this alternate label is used when superheroes are the subject matter. When this is the case, as with Spiderman here, a repertory company of actors would perform the stories as audio dramas. But not very well.

The company only worked out of Newark, N.J., until the late 1970s. So this record would be from that time. The Marvel Comics of Spidey would have been popular then and the original 1960s Spiderman cartoon would have been fresh in the minds of children:

This record takes the corny jokes and campy style to a new level with bad voice acting and silly non-canon villains. Have a listen to Side A for an introduction to The Abominable Showman:

Yes True Believers, we have Merlin the Magician (very original), a robot, a monkey, and of course, Dope the Rope (?!?) to menace our hero! How will he ever overcome such peril?

The label has some nice graphics with artwork likely provided by John Romita. It would have been a stock image supplied by Marvel.

Are you on the edge of your seat waiting to find out if Spiderman is able to outwit Dope the Rope? Then listen on as we return to the Mighty Age of Marvel:

I sincerely hope the legendary Stan Lee didn’t have anything to do with this story! Although, it isn’t outside the realm of possibility. But Dope the Rope? I can’t imagine a writer wanting credit for that character!

Although unlikely, maybe this record did make some children scream

Make Mine Marvel!

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POP! Television Disney’s Zorro Vinyl Figure

Zorro starred Guy Williams (January 14, 1924 – April 30, 1989) and was based on the famous character created by Johnston McCulley in his 1919 novella. The series premiered on October 10, 1957, on ABC.

Financial disputes between Walt Disney and ABC cancelled the series too soon, but we still have great merchandise to remember it including this POP! Television Zorro vinyl figure:

The Scarlet Pimpernel, The Three Musketeers, Robin Hood, and Zorro. Could there be a more heroic lineup of daring doers? Usually high-born men with a sense of duty and honor, they would take on a secret identity and tick off the local bad guys. And no one dressed more snappily!

The box is resplendent in sepia tones and silhouettes with Zorro in his most iconic poses! But now let’s get right to the figure itself:

En Garde!

Unfortunately, poor Zorro has fallen victim to the Funko curse. His tiny little legs and feet just can’t keep his big head upright and he falls over if you let go of him. I don’t know why Funko can’t do more product testing before production to eliminate this annoying flaw!

Apart from Tyrone Power, the Zorro of the movies, I think Guy Williams gave us the most well rounded and perfect Zorro portrayal.

Out of the night when the full moon is bright, comes a horseman known as Zorro. This bold renegade carves a ‘Z’ with his blade, a ‘Z’ that stands for Zorro

You can never get enough swashbuckling goodness, so be sure to check out my posts featuring a Zorro Mask and Cape, a 78 RPM vinyl record filled with theme music from the series, and an awesome Zorro Puzzle.

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Disney Bamboo Reusable Travel Mug

When ya gotta go, ya gotta go! I mean, when you’re late for work, you have to hurry and need to take your coffee with you. What were you thinking?

And if you’re planning to take a pipping hot beverage with you in the morning, why not do it in style with this Disney Bamboo reusable Travel Mug:

Classic Mickey and Minnie Mouse adorn the sides of this mug in a repeating wrap-around pattern. And of course, as befits sweethearts, they are depicted floating in hearts!

This mug is produced under license by Skinnydip Limited but is made in China. It is intended to be environmentally friendly as it is made from Bamboo, corn powder, and melamine resin. For all intents and purposes, it feels like plastic.

Who is Skinnydip London? The official website answers: “Launching our first phone case design in 2011, it’s sure to say that we’ve been on quite the rollercoaster ride since. Co-founders James, Lewis and Richard started Skinnydip shortly after the Apple iPhone launched, quickly realizing that fun phone case designs were incredibly limited. They had just the idea that was about to change that forever, and that’s when Skinnydip London was officially born. Since launching, we’ve grown a lot, and quite frankly matured like a fine wine when it comes down to serving up the most fun and quirky accessories, clothing and lifestyle products for all to love and enjoy all year round, no matter where you are.” And apparently that growth led to reusable travel mugs!

I guess the only problem with environmentally safe products is that they can be limited in uses, such as when it comes time to heat up your beverage or clean them. So no microwave use for this product but you can pop it in the dishwasher.

Disney is well known for it’s reusable plastic travel mugs. You can check out all about them here!

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POP! Walt Disney World 50 José Vinyl Figure

Walt Disney’s Enchanted Tiki Room is an attraction located in Disneyland and in the Magic Kingdom at Walt Disney World. This Funko figure is patterned after the character found in WDW and is to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Resort. José is the Master of Ceremonies and leads the other birdies that never fly away in song and hilarity.

I was delighted to find this POP! Walt Disney World 50 José vinyl figure:

Wally Boag voiced the iconic character to perfection! You can check the link to see him in another of his famous Disney turns as depicted in a print advertising page.

Again, the 50 boxes are wonderful with their reflective foil accents and clear images of the characters within.

But we’re all here to see the figure itself, so here we go:

He better be careful, for with beautiful plumage like that, he just may end up on a lady’s hat!

Walt Disney himself financed the original attraction with his own money when he couldn’t find a sponsor. It no doubt had a special place in his heart!

To see a nice artistic rendering of the original show building, along with the Barker Bird that sat outside (also voiced by Wally Boag), just click this link to see my WDW Metal Lunch Box. Who knows, it may even help you to learn to sing like the birdies do!

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Book Review: The Charlie Brown Dictionary

Publisher: Scholastic Book Services

Year: 1973

Pages: 400

Type: Softcover

ISBN: N/A

“…a picture book, and a book of knowledge.”

Charles Monroe Schulz was born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on November 26, 1922, and passed away in the year 2000. His popular Peanuts comic strip was well established by the time of this books publication in 1973. The characters would certainly appeal to children between the ages of five and eight years old, the target audience.

This dictionary is actually based on an earlier tome from 1947 called The Rainbow Dictionary. Schulz made some additions and deletions to reflect the changes in modern language known to the children of the 1970s.

The idea was to include only the words that would be most used by children. Eight lists were consulted to ascertain these words including, appropriately, an analysis of the comic pages of standard Sunday newspapers sampled over a period of one year.

The layout follows from Aa to Zz with every letter in-between:

Schulz’s faith was complex and personal. When he taught Sunday school, he would never tell people what to believe. God was very important to him and he often touched on religious themes in his work on Peanuts, including in the classic television cartoons.

It can be noticed then that in this dictionary he does include an entry on GOD with a basic Biblical definition of what that meant to him. It can also be noted that he does not include an entry on EVOLUTION, which may or may not be significant here. As noted earlier, only words used often by children are included in this dictionary.

No set format was adhered to when presenting the words. Some are singular, some plural, some have multiple parts of the verb listed. Only the forms of the words that a child would regularly use are included. I guess the other variations would come later from reading other books?

All of the words are defined in some way. You can see that most are used in a sentence for context. The Peanuts characters are added to ‘speak’ by actions the words to make it easier for children to grasp the concepts.

The style of language throughout the book is simple. The expressions are those of children, and the ideas and situations are within the range of the common experience of children.” – Page 7

I would give this dictionary a 4.5 Out of 5 Stars. I’m not sure how I feel about the selection process whereby only words already used by young children are included. Wouldn’t adding new words to grow their vocabulary be appropriate? Regardless, you can’t beat the inclusion of the Peanuts characters!

Amazon has old copies available for under ten dollars in both soft and hardcover versions.

For more scholastic fun with Charlie Brown, check out my Book Review of Charlie Brown’s Super Book of Things to Do and Collect. Another great book for children!

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POP! Walt Disney World 50 Mickey Mouse Vinyl Figure

2021 marked the 50th Anniversary of the Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida. It opened on October 1st of 1971 but was closed down due to Covid-19 for this momentous occasion.

But that didn’t stop Disney and Funko from releasing a whole line of awesome merchandise! Like this POP! Walt Disney World 50 Mickey Mouse vinyl figure:

Mickey is dressed like a typical tourist, complete with a Hawaiian shirt, a Dole Whip treat, and a spork. He’s switched his signature red shorts for a pair of Khakis. He’s definitely rocking his new look!

Sometimes the box for these figures can be as fun and collectible as the characters themselves:

The back of these boxes for this collection all have a foil Castle with the 50 logo. It shines and is a nice touch.

Let’s have a closer look at Vacation Mickey himself:

Check out the handle of that spork: It’s in the shape of the head of a parrot. Very tropical!

By the way, a ‘spork’ is a spoon-shaped eating utensil with short tines at the tip. And now back to Vacation Mickey:

Is he getting ready to eat that Dole Whip treat or is he offering the spork to us? Nah. No one shares a Dole Whip!

Mickey meets Mickey, but will they share their treats?

To see more of Mickey and his Red Mickey Bar, check out the link. It’s a Hot Topic!

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Classic Series Hotwheels Diecast Gold Batmobile

Yes, it’s the same Bat-time on the same Bat-site to see yet another of the Dark Knight’s famous vehicles. This time, it will be both familiar and different.

Behold, for reasons unknown, the Classic Series Hotwheels Diecast Gold Batmobile:

If you’re as rich as Bruce Wayne and have a few days to waste, why not create a solid gold car? Because it’s ridiculous, that’s why!

Rainbow Batman debuted in 1957’s Detective Comics #241, by Edmond Hamilton and Sheldon Moldoff. Batman seems to start wearing costumes in all kinds of bright colors and, by the end, has an entirely rainbow suit.

Did he drive a gold Batmobile during this weird time? I just don’t know!

To see more from the Batcave, check out my earlier post featuring two Batmobiles, different in size rather than colour this time! You’ll also find two links for the Batboat and Batcopter.

ZOWIE !

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Karina’s Shining Stars Disney Cup Sleeve

We recently celebrated our 33rd Wedding Anniversary and received some very nice gifts from friends and family. What do you get the Canadian who has everything?

A Karina’s Shining Stars Disney cup sleeve to keep his Tim Hortons coffee warm, that’s what:

This was hand made by a local crafter specifically for Tim Hortons cups, although I’m sure they’d fit other brands as well, both Canadian and American (Dunkin Donuts, anyone?)

I’m showing the sleeve with a large cup. This sleeve would fit a medium if you pushed it up higher towards the rim, but I don’t believe it would fit a small.

The fabric is likely a generic Disney pattern that can be bought at craft shops like Michaels or others. Karina then just cut it to size and shape and sewed it all together.

It’s nice to support local retailers and artisans whenever possible. What they create will always make for unique gifts!

For a more vintage way to drink your morning coffee, check my WDW Thermo Mug. It’s a real blast from the past!

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Book Review: Disney’s Family Fun Crafts

Publisher: Hyperion

Year: 1997

Pages: 256

Type: Hardcover

ISBN: 0-7868-6304-8

Don’t worry about getting a little paint on the pages.”

Back in the 90s kids still liked to make things. Crafts were all the rage and Disney’s FamilyFun Magazine was happy to supply all kinds of fun ideas. Don’t have the time or budget to collect a stack of back issues? Then this book is for you:

Disney Wiki has this to day about FamilyFun: “(It) is a family magazine published 10 times annually by Meredith Corporation. Launched in 1991 by Jake Winebaum at Disney Publishing Worldwide, the magazine is written for parents with children aged 3 to 12, and focuses on family cooking, vacations, parties, holidays, crafts, and learning. Meredith acquired FamilyFun from Disney in 2012.”

The idea was to supply children with the plans for making fairly simple craft projects with a minimum of parental supervision. The hope was that it would foster creativity and independence. As you can see from the contents pages above, subjects included recyclables, paper play, sculpting, toys, wearables, and a bevy of holiday themed items.

Being as this magazine was associated with Disney at one point, it’s surprising that no Disney characters were used. This could be because the magazine was sold off to another publisher later in its run.

Some crafts are covered in only one page while others span two or more pages. Obviously there are varying levels of complexity. The crafts contained in this book would make great activities for children’s parties.

With over 500 crafts to chose from, your child should be able to find something to interest them! Real parents, not those fake ones, were consulted to compile the book. The last line of the text above claims the book has a spiral binding so that it will lay flat, but this edition does not have that feature.

This book is edited by Deanna F. Cook who has written dozens of award-winning children’s cookbooks, including Baking Class, Cooking Class, and Cooking Class Global Feast! She has been the creative development director at FamilyFun and an editor at Scholastic and Disney and is currently a children’s book and cookbook acquisitions editor at Storey Publishing.

Amazon currently has used editions for just under $2.00 and brand new hardcover editions for just over $20.00 US. Spiral bound editions are also available for slightly less money.

I would give this book a solid 4 out of 5 Stars. If I could test out some of the crafts with children to see if they really are as easy as the book claims, this rating would easily be higher.

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