A numerical dilemma: The Elephant in the Room!

Cover. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Greetings vintage mates. Since 2011 TVTA has been diligently keeping track of the number of vintage print advert and catalogue images it has been archiving for your viewing pleasure. To date, prior to this post, our print archive stood at “4,998” images! Why, that’s “Enough print to encircle the planet three times, hot enough to fry an egg, deep enough to contain six Olympic swimming pools, and faster than a cheetah driving a Formula One racing car!!” or so our blurb says!

So… only two print images to go until we reach that magical figure of “5,000” archived images. Goodness! Whatever shall we post here today to celebrate such a milestone?

Well, how about this… a 1967 Corgi Toys advert featuring the Batmobile and Batboat! Bam! Pow! Kersplowie! Cool, “4,999” images! We only need one more ad to reach our 5,000 target!

Corgi toys. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Fine. So how about print image N° 5,000? What will it be?

How about this one?

The Fright Factory Thingmaker horror kit by Mattel! Y’all know how much TVTA loves horror and Halloween, right?

Fright Factory by Mattel. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Cool! But, then, how about this… The Sound of Music Dolls by Madame Alexander?

Yodel-me-not, for we do not kid around! Here it is in all its glory:

Madame Alexander Sound of Music Dolls. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Okay, but how about the splendid joy of the Teleidoscope and Musicalscope… TVTA dares you to look into the eyepiece of toy goodness and not be bedazzled by the sight and sounds which await!

Teleidoscope and Musicalscope. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

However… how can one resist the lure of Lincoln Logs?

Lincoln Logs. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Or, Winnie the Pooh toys and books?

Winnie the Pooh toys and books. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Gosh-durn-it on a biscuit, what about the Hound Hotel and Bear Outing playsets that probably no one’s ever heard of but wishes they had?

Hound Hotel and Bear Outing toys. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Or the Hurricane Galloping Horse toy? Giddy up!

Hurricane Galloping Horse toy. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue

Don’t know about you, vintage mates, but we here at TVTA are finding it hard to simply pick two adverts to reach our goal of 5,000 archived images!

How about some Dinky Thunderbirds toys?

Dinky Thunderbirds. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue.

Or a Bilofix building set? (free pipe included for Dad to smoke on while he helps out building boats and stuff on Christmas day)

Bilofix building toy. FAO Schwarz 1967 1968 catalogue

We could always ask our TVTA intrepid office cat Wooof what he suggests as our 5,000th print image…

TVTA’s intrepid office cat, Wooof (in one of his latest incarnations. Wooof has had more nine lives than you’ve had hot dinners!)

Wooof says: “Miow, mewl, myaw, meeeow, myah, myah, myah, mioooow!”

Translated: “Dear editor of TVTA, why not just post everything you just scanned, and then we can have another week off work? You silly, human twit, you.”

Dang. So, as usual, the cat wins. Hence, TVTA is proud to announce that we have now archived “5,010” print images. Excellent. Right, we’re off to set up the Bilofix and light our pipes! As always, thanks for looking 😁

Toy shop goodness: Hamleys of Regent Street, London W.1.

Peter and Jane: We Have Fun. Lady Bird Books. 1964 / 2004.

Hamleys toy shop based in Regent Street, London, England, was founded in 1760 by William Hamley. It is the biggest and oldest toy shop in the world, and prides itself on selling not only traditional toys but newer toys that enter the market. Hamleys Book of Toys, Sports and Games, Christmas 1983 states

“Whilst traditional toys and dolls are as popular as ever, a vast revolution has nevertheless taken place in toyland. Electronic games and home computers have captured the imagination of children and their parents throughout the world.”

The Hamleys book goes on to announce the creation of a vast 4,000 sq. ft electronic games complex called ‘A Step Ahead’ with trained technology advisors on hand to guide customers through what surely must have been described back then as ‘video game heaven’.

A Step Ahead. 1983. Hamleys.

Hamleys also announce another new department ‘Small World’ featuring international dolls furniture and miniatures, as well as extra space given over for their ground floor Star Wars department.

The 123 page Hamleys Christmas book is wonderfully presented with photographs and descriptive text, giving us a sense of not just what the toys looked like back in 1983 but what they did, too. Enjoy the scans!

The 1983 Christmas Book of Toys, Sports and Games by Hamleys. Front and rear cover. The front ‘cover subject’ is “Toy Lady” while the back features one of Hamleys famous bears.

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Top ten toys that are freaking me out right now! (ptII)

Pelham Puppets. FAO Schwarz 1974 1975 catalogue. US.

Greetings, vintage mates! This is a fun “part 2” to a post I made way back in 2020, in which I showcased some particularly disturbing toy adverts which were leaving me, quite frankly, completely freaked out!

yet, here I am again, once more a sucker for punishment, as I present 10 further foul examples of nightmare-inducing toy monstrosities!

As such, with my latest batch of creepy adverts, I think I’m pretty close to the stage of the below definitions:

Pediophobia or “the fear of dolls” is a specific type of phobia characterized by irrational and intense fear or worry of dolls. Pediophobia is closely related to Automatonophobia.

Automatonophobia – morbid fear of ventriloquist’s dummies, animatronic creatures, wax statues or any inanimate object that simulates a sentient being.

Is it just me… or am I the only one to feel disturbed by my post header advert for Pelham Puppets? Take your pick, each puppet may surely possess the power to ‘string you up’ and leave you suspended in fear as they torture your dangling body…

Maybe it is me.

Maybe not.

Anyway, I’m not taking any chances, and neither should you!

Be warned…

Here is my latest top ten toy adverts that are freaking me out lately…

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Happy Star Wars Day! May the Black Series be with you!

Back in Black!

In 2013, Hasbro began releasing their highly anticipated line of Star Wars action figures known as the “Black Series”. The first wave of 6 inch figures proved highly poseable due to their large number of articulation points. Great attention was made to detail and paint applications, both in the figures and the accessories, along with the stylish window boxes which housed each figure, giving the brand a unique style that differed from previous incarnations of Star Wars packaging.

Indeed, the Black Series was firmly aimed at the adult collector rather than children, and with its no-nonsense, no thrills, black is black identity, many of the range sold out shortly after their appearance.

TVTA is pleased to present its thus far collection of Black Series 6 inch figures. Enjoy the pics. Happy Star Wars Day!

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Hello? Fisher-Price toys customer services department? Yes, can I get a sniffer dog please?

The Fisher-Price Chatter telephone. 1963 catalogue detail.

Greetings, vintage mates. TVTA is pleased to add to its archives a selection of scans for Fisher-Price Toys. Who among us, as children, didn’t own or have a friend who owned the Fisher-Price Chatter Telephone? Or how about the Snoopy Sniffer dog? Or the Little People (formerly known as Play Family People)?

Little Snoopy and Snoopy Sniffer dogs. Fisher Price. 1968.

Fisher-Price is an American company founded in 1930 during the Great Depression by Herman Fisher, Irving Price, Helen Schelle, and Margaret Evans-Price. The company can proudly claim a long tradition of producing delightful preschool and early-years toys made from durable materials, and designed to last throughout generations of family members as the perfect hand-me-down toy.

Presenting: complete scans from the 1963, 1965, 1968 and 1970 Fisher-Price catalogues, each featuring toys a good deal of us will remember all too fondly.

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FAO Schwarz – the unique toy store, 1974/1975 catalogue

Cover. FAO Schwarz Fall/Winter catalogue. 1974/1975. US

FAO Schwarz was established in 1862 in New York and is one of the oldest toy stores in the world, in a spirit similar to that of the UK’s Hamleys.

FAO Schwarz (FAO = Frederick August Otto) offers children and parents a choice of quality and long-lasting toys, games, hobbies, books and crafts. The company continues to operate to date.

Thanks to a very kind donation by our friend Anna (thank you Anna), TVTA is pleased to acquire a number of vintage FAO Schwarz catalogues spanning the 1960s to early 1980s.

Today we present selected scans from the 1974/75 fall/winter catalogue.

Enjoy the toy goodness!

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Tonka Toys – mighty toy truck mania!

Greetings vintage mates. TVTA is pleased to welcome a new toyline to our archives – welcome Tonka Toys ! I already had a handful of Tonka adverts from the 1986 to 1997 period, but nothing prior to these dates and worth making a category for. Thanks to a kind donation by TVTA friend, Anna, I now have two catalogues circa 1963 to add to my archives. Thanks Anna!

Catalogue #1. Cover. Tonka Toys Incorporated. Circa 1963. US.

Catalogue #2. Cover. Tonka Toys Incorporated. Circa 1963. US.

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