Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Licensed Product Time

Today I am sharing an unusual (and possibly rare?) Disneyland toy that I was very happy to acquire several years ago. How many of you remember "Rub-Ons"? The Hasbro toy company produced Rub-Ons from the early 1960's up into at least the 1970's. I had a "Zorro" set when I was a kid, my grandparents gave it to me when I was sick, and I loved it.

The "magic" was in the full-color picture elements that were printed on translucent pieces of paper. Kids could transfer this artwork onto pre-printed backgrounds by rubbing it with a high-tech wooden tongue depressor, and voila! Instant customized happiness.

Little did I know that there was a Disneyland version of Rub-Ons - awesome! The box is undated, but we can place it somewhere between 1962 (because the Swiss Family Treehouse is represented) and 1966 (when the Flying Saucers went bye-bye). Here is the box... a bit warped, but not too bad....

I am a sucker for Disneyland maps, and even though this barely qualifies as a map, I still think it's neat. Look at all of that empty space, just begging to be filled with itty-bitty people, ride vehicles, and characters! As the box says, this piece unfolds to an impressive 36 inches long - ordinarily Rub-Ons were much smaller, which might explain the use of the word "PICTURAMA" for this set. I had to knit several scans together to get this composite.

This toy was complete with all five unused sheets of Rub-Ons. The paper is a sort of parchment, leaving the artwork looking kind of foggy or waxy until it is transferred... then it turns bright and beautiful! I adjusted the photos to try to enhance the way they look. 

The first sheet on the left is devoted solely to moms, dads, boys and girls (of the "Leave it to Beaver variety) - with a few tour guides and so on. The sheet on the right has various characters from Disney animated classics - Sleeping Beauty, Dumbo, Alice in Wonderland, etc. And there are natives, hula dancers, jungle critters, a skyway bucket, and more.

On the left, more classic characters. You know them well! To the right, more jungle pals, denizens of Nature's Wonderland, motor boats, Autopia cars, Tinker Bell... even a swan.

The last sheet incudes the helicopter to the Disneyland Hotel, two Astro Jets, the Town Square cannon, a few Flying Saucers, some teacups, and hey, I just noticed the newer rectangular Skyway bucket in the lower right corner. That would help to date this to 1965, I believe.

I hope you have enjoyed these Disneyland Rub-Ons!


Pegleg Pete said...

What a great item! I would have been the happiest child on earth had I received this – although the hoarder in me would have been reluctant to rub the images on to it. Thanks for sharing it.

Melissa said...

SO COOL! I would have spent hours poring over these as a kid. Probably still will. (Even though they didn't include any ladies in babushkas.)

K. Martinez said...

Beautiful set. I used to have a few Rub-On sets when I was a kid. So when are you going to rub the images onto the Picturama map? ;)

Major Pepperidge said...

Pegleg Pete, I would never be able to decide where to put each item! The smart-alecky kid in me would want to put things where they don't really belong, because that would be "hilarious".

Melissa, I am pretty sure there was a sixth sheet of just babushkas.

K. Martinez, NEVER!

Anonymous said...

Whoa, what a find. Major, this is really cool.

Of course I remember Rub-ons, but never had any Disneyland type like these.

Thank you for sharing this with us.

I notice that all the visitors are much thinner than the current crop, too.


PsySocDisney said...

Oh wow this is too awesome. I associate rub-ons with my grandparents too, they had some haunted house ones I think that I used to play with as a kid! Thank you so much for sharing, and bringing those memories back. :)

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I was very happy to find this item (on ebay)... much to my surprise, it did not get many bids. Lucky for me!

PsySocDisney, oh man, if I had known there was a haunted house version of Rub-Ons, I would have definitely wanted that set! I was crazy about all things monster-ish.

Chuck said...

This is wicked cool!

I share your Disneyland map affinity, Major, and even though this one isn't "anatomically correct," I would have spent HOURS just looking at the blank fold-out. In fact, could still do that today.

[Two hours and forty-three minutes later]

Wow, are my eyes tired. I probably should have blinked.

I love the whimsical repositioning of classic Disneyland elements in this - a "natural" arch from Nature's Wonderland next to the Matterhorn, the Teacups in Frontierland, etc. - but it works as a playset.

Interesting that the set includes both versions of the Skyway buckets. I wonder if this was produced during that brief period when the Skyway to Tomorrowland was using the square buckets and the Skyway to Fantasyland was using the round ones?

jedblau said...

Never, ever seen this before. Awesome!

Snow White Archive said...

Snow and the Dwarfs made it onto the sheets too. :)

Schneidertime said...

Holy cow! I HAD one of these when I was a kid. And the funny thing is, I remember being so particular about where to put the rub ons, so it would most realistically represent the real Disneyland! Of course that was darn near impossible. Can only imagine where it ended up (*sigh*)

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, there was definitely a LOT of artistic license taken, but that's what makes it cool. As for the Skyway buckets, I wonder if the artist who produced the Rub-Ons transfers worked from various photo sources, and inadvertently used both versions?

Jedblau, I am surprsied that you haven't seen this before... I guess it IS pretty rare.

Snow White Archives, SW, Malificent, Alice, Bambi.... all of the favorites!

Schneidertime, wow cool! I was wondering if anybody would have personal memories of owning a toy like this, so far you are the only one.

Okie said...

Those are super fun. Thanks for sharing. What a rad souvenir! :)

Unknown said...

That Hasbro Rub-On set brought back memories for me! I had the large sized board version ("Picturama" I guess they were called, though I never would have remembered that name); only mine was a battle scene (a beach, if I recall) and you were supposed to have them hitting the beach against enemy opposition. Mine had a bunch of sheets of soldiers, tanks, cannon, landing craft and that sort of stuff -- enough to really fill-in the whole scene. I believe I got it for my birthday in February 1968. I had hours of fun looking over those sheets, and carefully deciding where to place everything. I had to laugh at your description of the "high-tech wooden tongue depressor" used to rub them onto the board! Yep, that's all you needed. I seem to remember putting it on the wall of my room with thumbtacks, but I sure can't recall what ever happened to it. Thanks so much for posting those photos... not only is the Disney one terrific, but I hadn't thought of mine in many, many years!

Major Pepperidge said...

Unknown, while researching this set, I was surprised at the variety of Rub-Ons you could get. I'll bet I know what happened to your example… your mom got rid of it! Isn't that what always happens?