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!


K. Martinez said...

How cool! My favorite Walt Disney animated feature of all time is "Pinocchio".

Love the Dr. Pepper "Playmates" parade float. Especially Figaro gazing at Cleo in the fishbowl. Figaro is meowing his new mantra "Fish are my friends".

In regards to The Sunkist Growers "Return of Dr. Dolittle" parade float, I was so disappointed in the 1967 film with Rex Harrison. My dad read the Dr. Dolittle books to me as a child and when I finally saw the movie when it was released in theaters it didn't match up to my imagination. That's when I learned at the early age of 7 that most of the time the book is better than the movie.

Wow! That Flipper jack-in-the-box is super cool. Too bad you didn't hang on to that one. Very unusual. It makes me want to break out and sing "They call him Flipper, Flipper, faster than lightning, No-one you see, is smarter than he..."

There is so much fun stuff in today's post. Great star to a new year! Thanks, TokyoMagic! and Happy New Year!

"Lou and Sue" said...

Happy New Year, TokyoMagic!

Lots of wonderful memories are coming back to me, as I look at your post, today:

The first movie I saw at a drive-in was Pinocchio. My friend's dad was a saint, as he loaded up a bunch of us kids into his car and took us to see it, maybe around 1972(?).

Colorforms were a big part of my childhood. I had a Disneyland colorform set and LOVED it. I'll have to look up that Colorform web site, when I have more free time.

That McDonald's ad is sort-of strange . . . "Watch for the band whose pants don't match." Multi-million-dollar advertising agents put their heads together and came up with that?!?!

Continental Airlines! That was the airline that our family always took when we flew to California (to Disneyland). Wonderful memories! This ad's slogan is, "The proud bird with the golden tail," but their other slogan was "We really move our tail for you." I can still hear the music/melody that went with that slogan.

Thanks for the wonderful post, today! Am looking forward to seeing what you have in store for us, this coming year!


TokyoMagic! said...

Ken, I'm glad that you enjoyed this post! I found "Dr. Dolittle" kind of difficult to sit through, as well. I looked it up while writing this post and I guess it was a box office flop at the time it was released. My grandmother gave me one of the "Dr. Dolittle" books and I also had a "Pop-up Book" version. I was going to include them in this post, but I never got around to scanning or photographing them.

I wish I still had my Flipper jack-in-the-box! Oh well! I have a lot of stuff from childhood. I guess it wasn't possible to save everything! I didn't mention it in the post, but my brother and I actually had a third jack-in-the-box. It was a Bugs Bunny version. I couldn't find one of those on ebay, which was in decent enough condition. It seemed like they were all in pretty bad shape, so I didn't include a picture of that one, either.

Happy New Year to you, too!

TokyoMagic! said...

Sue, wow, a car full of kids at the drive-in! Funny thing is, I never went to a drive-in as a kid. We saw all the Disney movies when they were re-released, but we saw them in walk-in theaters. I did go to the drive-in once as a teenager (to see "Superman") and twice as an adult as part of an antique car club's special event. There is still one drive-in here in Southern California, that I know of, but most of the others are long gone.

I bet your Disneyland Colorforms set was pretty neat! I'll have to do a search for that to see what it looked like!

I agree with you about that McDonald's ad. It is strange. And that must have been strange to have a band marching down the street in all different colored costumes.

I am familiar with the "Proud Bird" slogan for Continental. In fact, there is a restaurant near Los Angeles International Airport, called "The Proud Bird." It has been there for decades and it has several retired airplanes (mounted on posts), all around the outside of the building. I don't know if it ever had an association with Continental Airlines, or if the owners just borrowed the name from their slogan.

Happy New Year, Sue!

MRaymond said...

Love the posts today. I actually went to one Rose Parade back in the late 70's. It was fantastic. Looking at the picture of the Rose Bowl I remember that my great uncle owned a house on the hill, and you could see into the Rose Bowl from his back yard. I couldn't tell you where his house was today.

TokyoMagic! said...

MRaymond, for many years, I have thought about going to the Rose Parade. But then when I think of the huge crowds and all of that traffic, I always decide to just stay home. We went to the "post-parade" viewing three times when I was very young. I didn't do it again until I was an adult, but even THAT draws a big crowd of people and parking can be a pain!

Do you know if your uncle ever watched a game or event from his home, using binoculars or a telescope? I imagine if he lived that close, he could also hear all of the cheering.

Thanks for checking in! I hope you have a very happy new year ahead!

Major Pepperidge said...

Wow, it's a super ultra mega post! Thanks for all of the extra stuff, the toys (love those Colorforms), the vintage ads, the records, and even Dr. Seuss. When I lived in Pasadena, I would sometimes drive down Colorado Blvd. a week or two before New Year's Day, and would see an unfinished float go by on a cross street. There was one that had a group of giant horse heads. Pretty trippy! And I even got a kick out of the fact that the parade route has a painted pink line on the street, so anytime you happened to be driving on that route, it had the usual street markings plus the pink line. I don't know, just kind of fun.

The Rose Parade used to be such a big deal when I was a kid, we'd get up early and my grandma would make a big breakfast and we'd watch the parade on their TV (on a rolling cart) in the living room. It really was an event! Now I might watch it on a repeat airing, ha ha.

I've mentioned how my family went to see the parade in 1994, William Shatner was the Grand Marshall, and he didn't wave or smile as he rode by on his horse. It was weird. I'm sure when the cameras were on him he looked like he was having the time of his life.

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, that must have been surreal, seeing the unfinished giant horse heads going down the street without the rest of the parade. I think I've told the story before, but I was eating at a restaurant on the corner of Colorado and Sierra Madre Boulevards, about two or three days after the parade. We were looking out the window and all of a sudden a single float came down the street and stopped at the light (I think it was being towed, but can't remember for sure.) Then another one went by. Then another. That continued for a while. It turned out to be the last day for the viewing of the floats (up the street where they park them), and now they were all going back to their respective cities, companies, etc. So basically, we had a front row seat for the parade, several days after the parade. We told ourselves that we would go back to that restaurant in future years, just to see the floats come down the street...but we never did!

I had forgotten about that pink line down Colorado Blvd! I wonder what year they first painted that on the street? Hopefully, there aren't any color blind float drivers. You know what happened at Disneyland, with those color blind bulldozer operators!

As a kid, I always got up to watch the parade live on TV. Now, like you, I might watch the repeats of it later in the day. At least, I'll have the TV tuned-in to it, but it doesn't usually get my full attention.

Gee, it sounds like William Shatner was a real curmudgeon!

Anonymous said...

Wow, Tokyo, your posts never disappoint.

The family went to a Rose Parade once when I was very young. Our cousins lived in La Crescenta (?) that year, which was the same year we visited Santa's Village.

All I recall of that parade was being cold, crouched on the concrete curb, waiting for something to happen. I found a few photos of floats in my Dad's stuff.

Looks like you held on to a lot of your toys. Mine are mostly gone. I have a Spirograph set (not sure why, I thought it was kind of dull) and the complete original set of Hot Wheels, that's about it.

Thanks for sharing all this fun stuff.


TokyoMagic! said...

JG, Gee....thanks! I have some slides that my dad took from the grandstands, of the 1967 Rose Parade. I have to get those scanned and posted. I even purchased a 1967 souvenir program, recently, so I can include scans of it, when I get around to doing that post.

I did hold onto a LOT of my childhood toys. I think it really helped that we never moved! Some of my toys and games are still over at my mom's, even now! I had/have a Spirograph set, too! I remember wanting it, but yeah, shortly after getting it, it lost it's novelty!