If you're in the UK and would like to be on TV, Twofour Broadcast are looking for collectors to participate in an upcoming factual TV series.
They're looking for people whose passion for collecting... anything has taken over their home / life to the point where it's driving them and their family to distraction. If that's you, and you think it might be time to take stock of your hoard and rationalise your collection, then their new show would love to help! Give them a call on 0870 062 5090 or email email@example.com for further information.
It's going to be a great Christmas for the V&A Museum of Childhood in Bethnal Green, East London - they've just been given a £250,000 grant from the British National Lottery Fund to archive some mega-rare catalogues and papers from four of Britain's best-known toy manufacturers.
The material was donated by Mettoy, Lines Brothers (Tri-Ang), Abbatt Toys and Palitoy when they went out of business. Mettoy, of course, made Corgi cars (and Spacehoppers!) while Abbatt made early-learning toys and Palitoy was the home of Action Man. Lack of funding meant that although the museum had all the items for several years, they couldn't archive them or put them on display. The archiving will take three years.
Welcome to the Doll Land of Sha Bebe.
Sha Bebe Dolls are collectibles cloth dolls and not meant for play. The dolls live in the sugarcane fields of Louisiana. Where ever you see a patch of trees in a circle in the sugarcane, that part of the field is enchanted. They enter human land by way of a magic flying quilt, and they bring love, happiness, and hope to the humans. At the end of each month, they have the Run-of-the-Quilts.
Queen Faustina rules the land. Madame Plume POPS the boys and girls to life with her magic wand. Madame Poulette uses her magic wand to make the magic fly quilts. They are the only two who have magic wands.
Miss Betty Lou is the school teacher. She teaches all of the boys and girls common sense and good manners. They can not leave the land until they learn this. The Sugar Mill Ladies cook and clean in the land, and Marie La Vie is the healer (traiteurs). Bagasse Man is a pest who stinks and can't enter the land.
In the last book about the dolls, Antoine Clement Hebert, was introduced as the Cajun Wizard. His role in the land will be explained more in the fourth book. :) He is The Wizard of Swamp Alley.
The Land of Sha Bebe is a positive place in which to live.
They love to dance along The Braided Rug Road
It might only be July, but it’s that time of year when retailers reveal which toys children up and down the country will be putting on their Christmas lists. This year Argos (the UK's largest toy seller) announced the top ten toys for 2008, a poll has shown that Lego is the nation’s favourite but Scalextric was the toy most Britons always hoped to see under the Christmas tree.
The poll looked at the top toys over the last 35 years, from Tracy Island and Castle Grayskull to Barbie and Sylvanian Families. A resounding 56% of people rated Lego as their childhood favourite with the famous bricks topping the list for all ages and genders.
But when asked which toy they always wanted, it was Scalextric that was on the wish list but never got to be unwrapped. A quarter of all men polled said they had wanted the thrill of racing cars round the famous Scalextric track, but never got to possess one of their own.
As well as being an all-time favourite, Lego, which is 50 years old this year, also appears in Argos’ top ten toys for 2008, along with a host of more high-tech choices. A waterproof digital camera, a light and sound gadget watch, digital makeover system and electronic touch-and-talk reading device, are all expected to be high on the modern kid’s Christmas list.
Blythe was designed at the famous Marvin Glass toy design studios, by Allison Katzman. Very little is known about Blythe pre-production days; initially Kenner was planning 4 different dolls for the Blythe line, each with a different name: Blythe, Karess, Willow and Skye. Their eyes would open, close and change direction but not color.
At the same time as her 1972 release in the USA, Blythe was also marketed for the Japanese under the name "Mahou no Hitomi AiAi Chan" which means "The eyes of magin AiAi Chan" and licensed by Tomy Corp. toys. The doll was basically the same with some discreet differences, like shiny eyelids, softer hair and 7 lines of writing on her back instead of 6. Her packaging and outfits were completely re-designed; to no avail though as AiAi bombed at the Japanese market just as Blythe did in USA. AiAi Chan is extremely hard to find these days and insanely expensive.
The complete AiAi Chan line up minus the "bride" doll.