Toys that were popular in 1960’s

Every decade has toys that are extremely popular—the 1980’s saw the Cabbage Patch craze while the 1970’s saw the Pet Rock.  Here are some of the toy’s that were popular in the 1960’s:

Anything Batman—There were so many different Batman toys on the market, and the variety would make your head spin.  There were art toys, games, costumes, model kits and even a Batman walkie-talkie.  Figures, airplanes, radios hats and a dart launcher are a small portion of some of the Batman related toys that were on display at the 1966 Toy Fair in New York City.

The G.I. Joe Doll—Hasbro debuted this doll in the mid-1960’s, and there was one for the Army, Navy, Air Force and the Marines.  The word “doll” was never used by Hasbro when developing this toy, the only term that was acceptable was “action figure” since this was intended for boys.

Hot Wheels—this toy line was debuted in 1968, and it was in direct competition with Matchbox.  Matchbox had been selling toy cars for 10 years when Hot Wheels came about.  The Camaro, Firebird and even the Mustang are a few of the cars that were in the initial Hot Wheels line.

This is a small look at all of the toys that were popular in the 1960’s.  What toys do you remember that are from this decade?

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Fun vintage accessories for the television to look for

The television has been around since 1927, and there have been quite a few items come about for you to use with the television.

Here are a few of those items that you can run across:

When 1950 rolled around, the first remote control designed for televisions appeared.  Zenith was the first to release it, and it was called LAZY BONES.  It allowed you to control the TV from as far away as the couch (as long as the wire on it could reach).

In 1975, Sony released an item called the Betamax.  It was in direct competition with the VHS machines, and this eventually became a flop.  The great thing about this is that you can still find big name movies like STAR WARS to add to your collection or to watch.

Inventor Hugo Gernsback released his invention called the “teleglasses”.  This invention allowed you to wear a television like a pair of eyeglasses, and this item anticipated virtual reality.  Hugo Gernsback is also best known to science fiction fans as the founder of Amazing Stories magazine.

This is a small handful of accessories for the television.  What items have you run across?

Alternate comic book cover art

This is an area of collecting that I found out a while ago while I was at a local comic book shop.  This applies to the front cover that is on comic books, and it can be a fun area pf collecting to dive into.

When a publisher like Marvel, IDW or DC puts out a comic book, they can give it another cover to help commemorate a special event like a new character coming about or it being the first issue of the series.  Because of this, collectors will often pick up to issues to get the different covers.

How do you know when you have an alternate cover on a comic book?

One way to help you out is the look at the corners of the cover.

This will provide you information on who made the comic and the issue number.  If this is the same, then you stand a good chance that you have the alternate cover.  Another thing to remember is that sometimes the comic producer will put an “A” or “B” after the number to help with identifying what the comic is.

Another place to look is at the copyright information on the bottom of the first page.  With comics, the producers will change the volume number if they to decide to either do a reboot of the series and start fresh or if a totally new chapter is starting with the character or series (like what Marvel did with the HEROES REBORN storyline that took place with several titles several years ago).  If the copyright information is the same in both books, then you are one step closer.

The last thing to do is to flip through the comic book itself.  What you are looking for is to see if both books you are looking at are the same all the way through—the covers on both books will be the only thing that will be different.

So, if the content is the same, you most definitely have the alternate cover of the comic. Do you have a comic book with the alternate cover?

How do you know when it is ok to restore a vintage item?

Restoration is a topic in the world of antiques and collectibles that is discussed quite a bit.  There is one question that comes up in the discussion—when is it ok to restore an item and when do you leave it alone?

There are a couple of things to keep in mind when it comes to doing a restoration.  The first is how complete the item is before restoration.  How much time will be spent looking for parts to help complete the restoration?  There may come a time that you may have to make a part (or parts), and this could drive up the cost of the restoration quite a bit.

The second thing to remember is the cost of the restoration.  If the cost is more than the value of the item, then you need to leave it be.  When you are figuring the cost of the restoration, you can also figure out how much it would cost to simply repair the item.

The third thing to remember when you restore an item is pretty simple—what is the value before and after the restoration and how much value will be added when the restoration is done?  If the value does not go up that much, then you might want to make sure the item is simply functional rather than completely restored.

What items do you know of that benefited from a restoration?

What happened in 1957?

Whenever I buy an item that I don’t know a lot about, I do a little research on both the internet and in reference books that I have around the house to see what I can find out about the item.  There are times that I run across fun bits of information about other items.

Here’s some of what I ran across for the year 1957:

January 6th—Elvis Presley appears on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW for the 3rd and final time.  This broadcast is known for Elvis being only shot from the waist up.

January 13th—Wham-O produces the first Frisbee.

September 4th—this is when the Ford Motor Company introduced the Edsel.  When the car was released, Ford proclaimed September 4th as “E-day”.

October 12—on this day, the famous Christmas book HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS! By Dr. Seuss is published.

This is just a handful of all the things that happened in 1957.  What have you run across?

Wow, is that a piece of Gabriel Bloodworth art glass?

Woah, what a great art glass piece!

Gabriel Bloodworth made this terrific art glass decorative flat pitcher, and it was made in the Springfield, Missouri area.

The cool thing about it is that it has a blue and white speckle pattern to it.  The flat pitcher also has silver trim at the top and a silver handle. The handmade piece also sports a pontil mark on the bottom, and it is also pretty big—it measures 12 ¼ inches tall and 7 ¼ inches wide.

Because of the size and shape, it would be perfect for either the table or the mantle.

You can see this great piece in my shop here.

What a beautiful art glass piece to display in your house or to give as a gift!

Sometimes directions can help you out in collecting paper money

Directions play a part in quite a few different ways in life, including when you collect paper money from the early 1800’s. During this time, it was up to the banks to produce paper money. The banks would file for a charter with the United States government—this would allow the bank to produce their own paper money.

Collectors often look for paper money in a couple of ways for their collections—and going a certain direction will often help them out. They will look for a certain bank, city or even the state the money was produced in. I have even heard of collectors looking for anything that is west of the Mississippi. You could even look for something in the southern states like Alabama or even Louisiana.

The east coast area has quite a few different banks that offered paper money. This was true up to the Mississippi (the father west you went there were fewer banks to run into). The gold rush in California that started in 1848 was what helped bring some banks (and eventually a United States Mint in San Francisco) that far west.

If there was a major metropolitan area, the more banks were likely to be there. One way to keep things interesting is to only look for banks that were on the east side of town.

Even up north in places like North Dakota, Washington state and even Alaska have very few banks at all. There have been a few bills (collectors also call them “notes”) to turn up for a few banks in these states. For obvious reasons, these are highly sought after.

What cities and states have you seen on this type of paper money?