What are some of the popular toys from the 1980’s?

Every decade sees toys become extremely popular for a certain amount of time.  The Barbie doll started to gain popularity in the 1960’s, and the pet rock was popular in the 1970’s.  What toys were popular in the 1980’s?

1983 saw the Cabbage Patch Kids hit the toy shelves, and the rush was on to grab one anywhere that it was sold at.

When 1984 came about, The Transformers cartoon hit the airwaves.  The toys quickly followed, and they were as popular as the show was.  The race was on to find figures like Optimus Prime, Bumblebee and even the evil Megatron.

Nintendo released the Gameboy in 1989, and you quickly saw people playing games like Super Mario Land and even Tetris.

This is only a handful of the toys that were popular in the 1980’s.  What do you remember playing with?

Changing to the Kennedy Half Dollar

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

When John F. Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Mint Director Eva Adams was seriously considering changing one of the bigger denominations (either the dollar, half dollar, or the quarter dollar) to feature a portrait of John F. Kennedy.  Several days later, Eva Adams called up Chief Engraver Gilroy Roberts and told him that it was authorized.

Jaqueline Kennedy had expressed that she would love to see John on the half dollar, her reason was that she did not want George Washington to be replaced on the quarter.  This was taken into consideration and was also approved.

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

There was one problem, and it was a pretty big problem.  There are laws on the books that state that United States coin designs can’t be changed for 25 years without Congressional approval.  The current half dollar design that was in circulation at the time features Ben Franklin on one side, and the Liberty Bell on the other (this design was first issued in 1948, some 16 years before the Kennedy design). 

Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.com

The good thing is that the new half dollar design passed with overwhelming support from Congress.  The Kennedy half dollar is still being made, but not many of them are readily seen in circulation today.  What’s better is that you can find new copies either from a coin dealer that is in your area, or you can order the coins directly from the United States mint.

Since there are plenty of Kennedy of half dollars that can be bought from either the bank or reputable dealers (both in a store setting and online), you can put together a complete set of coins for not that much money.  There are even people that look for different die varieties or coins that have errors.

Have you picked up one of these coins lately?

Inexpensive artwork ideas to hang on any wall

Looking for a new and inexpensive wall hanging for the house or apartment?  Have you ever thought about framing a piece of sheet music?

Old sheet music can be picked up cheaply at most flea markets that are near you.  A lot of the time you will find a stack for you to go through to find a potential candidate.

American illustrators have created many colorful images for music pages—historic scenes, beautiful landscapes elegant ladies and gentlemen, funny (even cartoonish) like figures.

Whatever you like can be found as an illustration.  That and a cheap frame and voila! Suddenly you have a new masterp

This is a few items that you can use as artwork.  What have you found to turn into a great wall hanging?

Photography tip: How to hold an item up to help with photos

Not to long ago, I ran into an interesting problem when I was taking some photos of an old oil can spout.

I wanted to take a photo of the spout with it standing up, kind of like how it would be when it is on an oil can.  Then it hit me—prop it up on something.

I tried a few different ways to prop it up, but nothing really worked that well.  Then it hit me—what if I prop it up on something like a pencil or a dowel rod?

As you can see at the bottom of the spout, the tip end of the pencil is in a hole on the table while the end with the eraser is holding up the spout.  It worked great to help hold up the spout so I can take some photos to look like it is being used like in the photo below.

This would be easy to set up—you can hold the pencil or dowel rod up in a vise or even prop it up in the top of a bottle.

You can see the oil spout in my Etsy shop here.

This is one trick that can help with taking photos for the items that you are going to sell.  What are some of the tricks that you use?

There’s a coin reference book for every collector

When you first start to collect coins, the first book that you will most likely get (or at least look at) is, “A Guide Book To United States Coins”.  After a little bit of collecting, you start to narrow down what your interests are.

Wither it be large cents, Morgan dollars, or even hard times tokens, you start to look for at least one book to help you out in your collecting endeavors.

There are many books that I have picked up over the years that are very helpful to me.  The first one is called, “Encyclopedia of Morgan And Peace Dollars,” and it was written by Leroy C. Van Allen and George Mallis.

This one covers both Morgan and Peace dollars and their die varieties, which are called VAM’s (which is a play on the two author’s last names, Van Allen and Mallis).

The next book that I picked up is called “Hard Times Tokens 1832-1844,” and the book was written by Russell Rulau.

This book gives you a really good view of what tokens were made during this time frame.  I like the fact that it’s broken down by the state, and then lists the tokens for that state.

There are plenty of both new and used books that you can pick up once you narrow down the area that you want to collect.

What kinds of books have you already found?

What happened in the year 1950?

There are times that when I try to get some info on an item that I recently bought, I run across some bits of interesting information.

Here’s a few things that I have run across for the year 1950:

January 15—The Red Wings’ rookie goalie Terry Sawchuk records his first of 115 career NHL shutouts when Detroit beat the New York Rangers at Madison Square Garden.

March 4—the movie Cinderella was released by Disney.  Based on the fairy tale of the same name, Cinderella is the 12th animated film by Disney.

October 7—The first of the collectible Peanuts comic strip was published on this date.

The fall of 1950 saw the release of the Broadcaster and Esquire electric guitars made by Fender.  These two guitars were the first mass produced electric guitars with solid bodies.

This is a very small look at what happened during the year 1950.  What have you run across?

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?

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?