Wednesday, January 1, 2020

The 1969 Tournament of Roses Parade

Happy New Year, everyone! I thought for today, we'd travel back to January of 1969. While I have never been to an actual Tournament of Roses Parade, my family has gone a few times to view the "parked" floats after the parade, and this was one of those years. My dad took the color snapshots of the floats, included in today's post.

The parade's theme was, "A Time To Remember."

This Dr. Pepper-sponsored float was titled, "Playmates" and featured the characters from the story of Pinocchio. Walt Disney's Pinocchio was reissued in 1962 and 1971, so this would have been in between re-releases. I wonder if these were not supposed to be the Disney version of the Pinocchio characters?

A photo of the float, appeared in the Los Angeles Times.

Here is the original artwork for the float, taken from the Official Parade Program. The artwork definitely looks like the Disney characters.

After writing last month's post, I thought it would be fun to show some childhood toys (again), that relate to the floats in my dad's pictures. Here is my brother's Pinocchio marionette, which we saw in last month's post.

My brother and I also had a few Pinocchio children's records. Each of them included a song "From The Original Soundtrack" on one side, and "A Story From Pinocchio" on the other side. I've always liked the artwork on the Disney 45 RPM record sleeves.

We also had this "non-Disney" Pinocchio record.

Next, we have the Sunkist Growers' float titled, "Return of Doctor Dolittle." The original version of Dr. Dolittle (with Rex Harrison playing the title character), had been released in theaters thirteen months earlier, in December of 1967.

My brother and I had quite a few Colorforms sets, including this Doctor Dolittle set. Does anyone remember the jingle from the Colorforms commercials?

♪♬ "It's fun to play, the Colorforms way!" ♬♪

For those of you who aren't familiar with Colorforms, Wikipedia gives this description of them: "Colorforms is a creative toy named for the simple shapes and forms cut from colored vinyl sheeting that cling to a smooth backing surface without adhesives. These pieces are used to create picture graphics and designs, which can then be changed countless times by re-positioning the removable color forms."

Colorforms are still manufactured today. For a decade by decade history, check out their official site at:

Here's the background for the Doctor Doolittle play set.

And here are some of the pieces. Unfortunately, a few of the pieces were lost over the years.

This photo from eBay, shows what the complete set would have looked like.

The instruction booklet gave an example, of how you could arrange the pieces.

Getting back to the parade, the "Friends of Dr. Seuss" float was sponsored by the City of South Pasadena and featured The Cat In The Hat, as well as other Dr. Seuss characters.

The Cat In The Hat book was written by Theodor Geisel under the pen name, Dr. Seuss and was first published in 1957. This float would have been appearing in the parade two years before the book was adapted into an animated television special.

My mom enrolled my brother and I, in a "book club" for the Dr. Seuss books. I can't remember the frequency, but every so often (maybe monthly?), we would receive a new book in the mail.

Back then, the books came with dust jackets. It appears that the original books, with their dust jackets still intact, go for big bucks on ebay!

St. Paul, Minnesota sponsored a float titled, "Minnesota Fun - Winter and Summer." The float featured a giant "jack-in-the-box," representing Minnesota's Winter Carnival.

My brother had a generic "clown" version of a jack-in-the-box toy:

And I had a "Flipper" version, which was given to me on my third birthday. Neither one of our jack-in-the-box toys survives today, but I found the ones that we had, on eBay.

This Universal Studios-sponsored float was titled, "Remember When." After the parade, the float was taken to Universal Studios and could be viewed by guests on the tram tour. This photo is used here, courtesy of "Matterhorn1959" (and originally appeared on his blog, "Stuff From The Park," in September of 2012.)

I'm including a few other pages, from the Official Parade Program.

The 1969 Tournament of Roses Royal Court:

Information on post-parade viewing of the floats in Victory Park:

Various advertisements from the Official Parade Program:

The back cover of the program:

Once again, a VERY happy New Year to all!

Friday, December 6, 2019

Sears Christmas Catalog / Wish Book - 1972

In 1972, the Sears Christmas Catalog (or "Wish Book," as they used to call the Christmas version of their catalog), featured the characters from Disney's "Winnie the Pooh."

Not only were the characters on the cover of the catalog, but they were also on the first several pages, along with stories of what Christmas was like for children in various countries around the world.

First up was Holland:






Let's go back to those pages with the Sesame Street puppets. I had that Roosevelt Franklin Puppet (and the Ernie and Big Bird too). My brother had Bert and the Cookie Monster (and also Oscar the Grouch and Grover, which aren't pictured). We briefly saw Roosevelt Franklin on the Sesame Street float in my 1971 Rose Parade post, back in January of 2017. Roosevelt Franklin was the first black-influenced Muppet and was co-created by Jim Henson and Matt Robinson, who played the role of "Gordon" on Sesame Street.

My brother and I still have all of our old Sesame Street puppets. Here is what my Roosevelt Franklin puppet looks like today:

Out of all of the original boxes that the puppets came in, the one for Roosevelt Franklin, is the only box that managed to survive. And incidentally, he didn't come from Sears. The top of the box still has it's original "Gemco" price tag of $5.19!

It's interesting for me to go through this catalog now and see what other items my brother and I had, and in some cases, still have. My brother had both the Pinocchio marionette and Danny O'Day ventriloquist dummy, shown below. He even had the ventriloquism instructional record that is listed on the same page (but not shown).

Here is a shot of my brother playing with his Pinocchio marionette on Christmas morning. I still have that stuffed Santa Claus visible in the background and that red wagon (which had "SEARS 300" painted on the side of it). I wish we still had that portable record player!

And here is my brother the following year, with his Danny O'Day ventriloquist dummy.

I remember him listening to this record and trying to master "Instant Ventriloquism."

I had the Disney "Shaker Maker" figure set, pictured below. And my brother had the "Cool Cast Very Scarys." In fact, he got that at the same time that I got my Roosevelt Franklin puppet. I remember we were both playing with our new toys and some of his "RUBBERGOO" accidentally shot out of the squeeze bottle and landed on Roosevelt Franklin's shirt. Even though there was an attempt to wash it out, it left a stain that is still detectable today!

For the Shaker Maker figures, you added water to the provided powder mixes and mixed them in sort of a plastic cocktail shaker. The character mold was down inside the shaker, so after shaking you just turned it over and let the mixed material partially dry, before pulling the mold apart.

After the figure dried, you could paint them....or like the side of the box says, "Paint Like Wild!" What does that mean?

The original instruction sheet even managed to survive all these years.

"Over 5 million little girls have learned how Kenner's Easy-Bake Oven earned it's name!" What about all the boys, huh? How about some non-gender-specific advertising? Okay, was the seventies. And no, I didn't have one of these Easy-Bake Ovens! However, I did have an "Incredible Edibles" gummy candy maker. The metal cooker was sort of in the shape of a flying saucer and it would get REALLY hot. When I ran out of the gel that was used to make the candy, my mom took me to the local "Karl's Toys" store to purchase refills, but we were told that it had been discontinued, because too many kids were burning themselves on the metal cooker. I never got burned! It had a big plastic knob on top to open the lid and plastic tongs for lifting the metal candy molds out. I'll have to post some pics of it in the future.

Anyway....I did have the Hasbro "Frosty Sno-Man" sno-cone maker, pictured below the Easy-Bake Oven.

And here is what it looks like today.

The catalog featured many Pooh-themed items for children:

I was given the Winnie The Pooh "Grab Bag Game" (pictured below) for my 5th birthday.

In this late 1960's/early 1970's picture taken inside of a Sears store, the sign for the Catalog Sales desk can be seen on the far wall. Other interesting things to note in the photo, are the cameras in the glass case, and the typewriters on display just beyond the cameras. What's a typewriter?

If we zoom in, we can see Polaroid's "Big Swinger" camera on sale for $9.88, and there are movie projectors in the glass case below them. There are also greeting cards visible off to the right, in the stationary department. At one time, Sears sold almost EVERYTHING! There is also a sign in the background for "Karnival Korner," which was a snack counter that sold hot dogs, soft-serve ice cream, large pretzels and Icee's. Popcorn and warm nuts were sold over at the candy counter, which would have been located directly behind the person who took this photo.

And for anyone who's interested, here is what the Sears candy counter looked like. This photo was taken around Easter time. Notice the Easter baskets, plush bunnies and other furry critters for sale!

We will end today, with the back cover of the 1972 Sears Christmas catalog. The Kenmore (Sears' brand) appliances were available in "Tawny Gold" and "Avocado" for only $5.00 more than the standard "White." My mom's appliances were all "Avocado" green....and so was our shag carpet!

Happy holidays, everyone!

*****POST UPDATE*****

While looking around on ebay, I came across the same Hasbro Frosty Sno-Cone Machine that I had, still in it's original sealed box! The seller states that it is "Old Stock" and is asking a "Buy It Now" price of $399! (It can be found here, if anyone is interested: New/Sealed - In Original Box)

Someone else is selling a used one, but with it's original box, for $115! (That one can be found here: Used - In Original Box)