Monday, August 03, 2020

More From the Box Full o' Fun

The response to my first "Box Full o' Fun" post was so well-received (I got a congratulatory call from Spielberg, for all you know) that it is time for a followup.

First up is this little item known as a "cello flip" - made of celluloid, and mounted on a simple pin that could be flipped over, ya see. This one features "Nipper", the mascot of RCA who was entranced by "His Master's Voice" coming from the horn of a phonograph. Who doesn't love Nipper? This is a sample version, though it would also be fun to have a specific old store's name stamped on the back. "Marty's Phonographs and Records". 

I have two very small pins - less than .75" wide - from the 1933/34 Chicago World's Fair. The first, from 1933, features the art deco logo, with swirls radiating from the planet Urf. The second pin (from 1934) shows the three fluted towers of the Federal Building. Fluted, I say!

Here's a tiny plastic child's ring featuring "Madam Mim", the mischievous witch from "The Sword In The Stone". I don't know if this was a prize kids would have received from a gumball machine, or if they were cereal prizes, or what

Yes, that cigar box has a lot of World's Fair stuff in it, including these two little gummed stickers. The one on the left advertised the General Electric "House of Magic" (cool name!) which featured such wonders as lightbulbs that worked without power cords, and popcorn popped with microwaves. Goodness gracious!  

The Oppenheim Collins sticker advertised a women's specialty clothing store based in NYC. And by "specialty clothing" I mean superhero costumes.

Here's a little tin litho badge featuring Aunt Jemima. I see these passed off as Disneyland collectibles, and while it is certainly possible that they were handed out at the park, there were many Aunt Jemima restaurants throughout the country.

And finally (for today), here's a glow-in-the-dark plastic clip/pin from the 1964 New York World's Fair. There are many different variations of this pin, with the most common saying "New York", "Pennsylvania", and so on. "California" is pretty rare. There are also versions with the names of foreign lands such as "Ireland" or "France" (maybe you've heard of them!) that are even scarcer. I have no doubt that there are collectors who are trying to get as many different examples as possible. I am not one of those people.

I hope you enjoyed today's Box Full o' Fun!


Nanook said...


You should trademark the "Box Full o' Fun" - as it certainly is, and also worthy of your ownership-!

Seems as if the folks over at Mattel missed the boat by not having a 'House of Magic' for Barbie. I have a large pinback button from the Aunt Jemima Breakfast Club, but those Chicago World's Fair pins are the real beauties.

Thanks, Major.


Nanook : “ Box Full O’ Fun” is a trademark of the Pittsburgh Rodent Trap & Novelty Game Company.

Major: for the 1964 Ford glow-in-dark pin : all I need is LUXEMBOURG and I have the complete collection!!!
I’m kidding of course.
I have a New York version from my grandparents who went in ‘64 ...... and while they came from NY , they had been living in California since 1959 ..... I wonder if they told the Ford Pavilion host / hostess that they were FROM New York ???

I may have mentioned this before but growing up as a kid I saw images of the Ford Disney Fair pavilion on postcard and other souvenirs from the fair .... but always thought they related to a local Ford dealership in La Mesa ( in San Diego) it was a copy of the Ford rotunda at the 1964 NY World’s Fair ...... sadly just as there was a movement to get it protected , the new dealership owners had it torn down literally about 2 years ago. Another one of San Diego’s Mid Century Masterpieces fallen!!

TokyoMagic! said...

Major, these are all fun items! I especially like that Ford pin from the '64/'65 New York World's Fair! Did all visitors to the Ford pavilion, receive one of those pins?

I hope you wear that Madam Mim ring on your little finger, every single day!

Thanks for sharing more with us, from your "Box Full o' Fun"!

Anonymous said...

Regarding the Madam Mim ring, there are currently two Sir Ector rings on eBay. But no indication of their history.

dennis said...

I remember we got our Ford pavilion pins at a small kiosk outside of the pavilion. You told them where you were from, and they gave you your pin. The clip on the back usually broke off before you got home, but I still have mine and its in good condition.
Dennis, Levittown, Long Island NY

DrGoat said...

Really into Box Full O' Fun stuff. I still go through stuff from my own boxes all the time. I seem to be pretty comfortable living in the past lately.
The Ford clip pin is cool. My Dad really wanted to go to that fair, having moved from NYC 10 years before, but Mom nixed it. Too far from Tucson or something. We did make it to the Park and Knotts that year so it worked out.
I don't remember the Aunt Jemima pins at all. Doesn't mean they didn't have them at the Park. Memory a bit cloudy that long ago.
More Box O' Fun stuff always welcome.

DrGoat said...

Oh and thanks Lou & Sure and Major of course.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, I don’t know if I’m the first person to use the term “Box Full o’ Fun”, but I will sue the pants off of anybody who infringes on my intellectual property! A “House of Magic” for Barbie sounds pretty cool, and she could go buy fancy clothes at Oppenheim Collins.

Mike Cozart, I can’t tell if you’re kidding about the Pittsburgh Rodent Trap (etc) thing! For a second you had me going, I was all excited that you only needed Luxembourg. I have no idea how many variations of these badges there were. Did they really have all 50 states? I’m surprised that they had specific countries such as Ireland, rather than a more comprehensive “Europe” badge (though I think they had that too). Cool that you have a badge that your grandparents picked up in person. I knew about the mini-rotunda in La Mesa, but did not know that it had recently been torn down. WHY? Such a unique and cool thing, gone forever, probably replaced by something unmemorable.

TokyoMagic!, I believe that visitors to the Ford pavilion got those badges if they wanted them. I almost wonder if they molded them on site? Probably not, but they must have had giant boxes of New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, and all those “near New York” states, and tiny boxes of “Hawaii” or “Montana” badges. I would wear the Madam Mim ring, but am too worried about being mugged!

Anon, Hakes auctions sold a set back in 2007, they merely say that the rings were cereal giveaways; I have the feeling they would have been more specific if they knew for sure. The set they sold had: Wart, Sir Ector, Archimedes, Kay, Madame Mim, Fish, & Wolf. It was missing Merlin and Squirrel.

dennis, I’ve seen some of the badges with broken clips, and even with the “Ford” broken off. I’ve always wondered how they gave these out, so thank you. Now I know! Glad you still have yours.

DrGoat, yeah, going through these boxes of little treasures is a lot of fun for me. When my niece was little, she used to be fascinated by all this stuff that is from decades before she was born. She’d come to visit and ask, “Can we look at your little stuff?”. Curiously, she seemed pretty bored by the many pinback buttons that I have, some going back to 1898, I thought she’d like those! Bummer that your mom nixed the trip to the Fair, but it sounds like you had a pretty good summer trip anyway.

Melissa said...

The marvelous, mad Madam Mim! She’s one of my all-time favorite Disney characters. Agreed that the ‘33-‘34 WF pins are the stars of the show today.

Stu29573 said...

I like the Ford pin because it glows in the dark. Everything is better if it glows in the dark. Except maybe people that work in a nuclear power plant. That's not so beuno.

JG said...

Major, thanks for sharing these treasures, it truly is a "Box Full o' Fun."

You got me going through some of my old stuff, with one of the results being the gold dust from Knotts' last Saturday. Hope that brought back a memory or two for someone.

Thanks for reminding me of the cool things I used to remember in the garage. I've got some more that might be worth sharing.


"Lou and Sue" said...

My favorite's the Ford glow-in-the-dark pin, but it's fun to see all of these, Major! That's sweet that your niece was interested in your are probably her favorite uncle (I can only imagine how much fun and laughs she had/has with you). I had a favorite uncle that I LOVED spending time with...I do miss him.

I have a shoebox of items from the 33/34 Chicago World's Fair that I'll have to dig out. I don't remember what's in there?? Maybe Mike's missing Luxembourg pin?! ;)

JG, please do share more of what you find.

Thanks, Major!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, the famous duel between Madam Mim and Merlin is the highlight of “The Sword In The Stone”!

Stu29573, I’m with you, I like anything that lights up or glows. When I was a kid I put glow in the dark stars on the ceiling of my bedroom - hundreds of them. Now that is the guest bedroom, and whenever people stay in there they remark on the starry “sky”!

JG, I wonder why I love this stuff so much; my sister is the least sentimental person I know. Or as she says, “I’m sentimental about people, not things”.

Lou and Sue, I am lucky to be very close to my niece; ever since she was a baby I feel like we’ve had this bond. I still text her almost every day. I have a number of items from the 33/34 Chicago Fair too, since Chicago is my “home town” originally. You can find rare color footage of that Fair, it looks so bright and amazingly colorful (vivid blues, oranges, greens, etc), that would be way up there among my “time machine destinations”.

Anonymous said...

Major, I understand completely. I have a lot of weird keepsakes from the past.

My Mom was a packrat who couldn't bear to throw anything out. I'm much like her, I have boxes of her stuff I can't bear to open even after 20 years. Dad was pretty easy-going about keepsakes, but even he had a tiny "Box Full o' Fun", which I still have, and a collection of pocketknives and matchbook covers.

My daughter is more like me and her grandmother, she saves almost everything. M my son isn't attached to things at all. He gives stuff away in the blink of an eye to travel light. And I love them both.


Dean Finder said...

Was that GE House of Magic the same at San Francisco Golden Gate Exposition and the NYWF those years?

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I definitely picked up the collecting bug from my mom. I hope I am a little more “in control” than she is! During those rare times when she’s decided that the house is too full of stuff, she will get rid of useful tools, or books that belonged to my dad, but getting rid of her own stuff (no matter how inane) seems to be just about impossible. Speaking of my dad, after he died I found that he had also saved things from his youth - I have some of those objects now, including a large “Pogo for President” button. He used to claim that he had an Action Comics #1 and that his mother threw it away when he left home for college!

Dean Finder, I honestly don’t know if both Houses of Magic were basically the same. It seems so strange that the U.S. had the Golden Gate International Exposition AND the New York World’s Fair - so two World’s Fair - at the same time. Not sure how that happened!

Kathy! said...

The Box Full o' Fun lives up to its name! I like the Nipper pin and Ford pin. And I honestly believe that every room should have some small glow-in-the-dark item in it that will make surprise someone in the dark.