Saturday, October 1, 2011

Golden Book Catalog - Fall 1949

Next in the continuing series of Golden Book catalogs comes the second catalog for 1949, the Fall edition.  Highlights of the catalog include Cinderella Puppet Show, Mr Toad Big Golden Book, first mention of the Golden Story Books including Mystery in Disneyville, lots of new Little Golden Books, Little Golden Records, books illustrated by Richard Scary, Gustaf Tenggren, and lots more.
Cover features Mickey Mouse hitching a ride from Mother Goose; one of the very few Disney covers in the batch of catalogs that I have.  Full PDF download available here (33MB).

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Golden Book Catalog - Spring 1949

Second in my series of Golden Book catalogs is this one from Spring 1949, the first time the catalog was split into seasonal editions.
Cover by Richard Scary from the book Mouse's House.
Full PDF download of the catalog available here (5MB)

Monday, July 11, 2011

Playthings Magazine - March 1938

Playthings from March of 1938, again featuring a Snow White cover.  At least this image is large enough to really tell what's going on.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Playthings Magazine - January 1938

Playthings for January 1938, featuring a Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs cover.
 This picture is pretty crappy so it is hard to make out, but the cover features a picture of the Time magazine cover picturing Walt with a bunch of dwarfs that had been published the month before.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Playthings Magazine - June 1937

A truly hideous color assaults the eyes on this issue of Playthings from June 1937, but a great image of Mickey!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Diary of a Disneyland Mermaid

Some of you may remember my post from back in August of 2010 regarding a set of photos I had acquired of the Disneyland mermaid tryouts.  I was recently contacted by Mermaid #1, a lovely woman named Edie, and she was kind enough to share the following with me.
Edie in 1966 at the tryouts
I grew up on the beaches of Southern California.  Only three girls at our high school surfed and I was one of them, so everyone assumed I was a good swimmer.  Not so.  My survival depended on a blend of backstroke and desperate spurts of dog-paddling. 
One more time - the camera loves you!
Thus, when I found myself standing in a circle of ninety girls around a pool at Disneyland, waiting for the mermaid try-outs to begin, I was plenty nervous. There were two requirements for mermaids: long hair and being a good swimmer.  Six of us were chosen.
from left to right:  Edie, Judy, Lynn, Marcia,
and Cynthia with Jini in the water.  She was the
head mermaid, the only one from the previous year.
Being a professional mermaid for Walt was nothing to take lightly.  The Productions Department measured us from hip to toe for neoprene tails, complete with large flukes, and green starfish bras.  We were taught to slither into the Submarine Lagoon from a hidden chamber and dolphin kick underwater to magically surface in the center of the pool.  There we sat on a rock and untangled our hair with immense blue and yellow plastic combs, and plucked ersatz lyres.We worked in shifts of two, and traded off hourly.
Photo from Edie's local paper
Each time a submarine passed, we dove underwater to frolic about, hang upside down by spinning our tails, and to wave at curious faces plastered against the portholes.  With practice we learned to smile without emitting bubble screens that would distort our faces into repulsive creatures from the deep.  For all this we were paid $1.85 an hour - a whopping net of $59.55 each week. 
Edie's offer letter
Each weekend flotillas of sailors in dress whites draped over the handrails around the Lagoon, ogling with off-duty exuberance.  They rolled quarters inside dollar bills and tossed them into the lagoon for us to retrieve,a lucrative bonus to our income.One young hero flung himself into the water and swam to our rock. He basked between us,waving to his howling buddies, until Security retrieved him.
A princely sum to be sure
A section of the Monorail hung above the Submarine tank.  It was a ride that gave passengers an aerial view of the entire park and had several stations for boarding, one of which was next to the Lagoon.  Three flights of stairs zigzagged up, giving visitors a bird’s eye view of our rock. One of the Monorail conductors told me of a conversation he’d had with an elderly lady:
         “Are they real?” she asked.
         “Oh yes.”  He replied, assuming she thought we might be robots.
She sighed in amazement and said, 
         “I wonder where they found them . . . probably the Sargasso Sea.”
Edie today
During our hour between shifts we were supposed to stay in a trailer behind the border of the Park (unseen) - they gave us colorful short muumuus to wear.  But we ran around inside the Park - the cutest guys were in Adventureland.  Some of us would go underwater and “re-arrange” the fish, which were attached to rocks by fishing line (to hold them in place).  We would place them in groups, etc. - really fun.
Still a kid at heart

I want to thank Edie for sharing her story with me, and for identifying herself and her fellow femmes of the fin.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Playthings Magazine - April 1937

This is the first issue that I've see that sports the updated logo, one that would last until 1952.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Monday, January 31, 2011

Playthings Magazine - January 1934

Time for a new series, the Playthings Magazine series.  Playthings was and still is the preeminent magazine for the toy trade in the USA.  And for decades, the cover was devoted to Walt Disney characters.  I will document here the covers to all the Playthings magazines that I have been able to find over the last 15 years.  I do not own any of these except for those that have Alice in Wonderland covers, all of these covers were taken from ebay listings I have observed since 1995.  If any of you have scans of issues I am missing, I would greatly appreciate them.

This first issue is the earliest I have seen, January 1934.  Pretty damn early for Mickey Mouse merchandise as well.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cool Site for Movie Poster Images

What a great site.  If you love movies like I do, and movie posters too (wish I had infinite wall space), you'll love this site.
Love this German poster for Tangled.