Tuesday, March 02, 2021

Black and White Snapshots

It's time for more black and white snapshots. People either love 'em or they don't, I guess. I love 'em. 

Like this first example! As you can see, it is date-stamped "Aug 1959", and our star is this little girl, standing at one of the Tomorrowland souvenir stands in an area known as "Hobbyland". There are stacks of model kits, including the famous "Visible Man" to the extreme left. There's also a dinosaur skeleton, a koala clinging to a tree trunk, and Perri the squirrel. 

Perri was definitely one of the stranger models out there! But he was cute.

Zooming in, we can see that the girl is holding a tiny kitten toy (it looks pretty realistic in this low-fi picture!). Just behind her head is what appears to be a display of children's sunglasses. Until recently, I was only aware of two varieties of these, until...

... a collector friend of mine sent me photos of examples that he owns. I was stunned! With the exception of the Mickey Mouse glasses at the top left, and the Donald Duck glasses third down on the right, I had never seen any others. I love them, the Monstro glasses especially (though they are all fantastic). These things are small, they will only fit on a canteloupe-sized noggin. Many thanks to the mysterious person who gave me permission to share his collection with you!

As if that wasn't enough, here's one more vintage photo print.  I believe that the striped awning to the right of the two boys was for the Junior Autopia, which explains why several grown men are staring off into the distance (wishing they were kids again). To the left is the Viewliner station. Pretty neat.

 I hope you have enjoyed today's photos!


Nanook said...

Some lovely, sublime images, here: Hobbyland and the Junior Autopia. And, it's not everyday one can view a Revell Perrii Squirrel 'kit'... "It's fun to put together" - with a bottle of genuine Revell cement-!

Thanks, Major.

Melissa said...

Wow, that kitten really DOES look realistic! Even though the boys aren’t dressed exactly alike, they’re giving off a twin vibe.

When I worked for an agricultural curriculum materials service, we sold some third-party items along with our own stuff. One of them was the Visible Horse, from the same company that brought you the Visible Man and Woman. We used to joke about the Visible Chicken being sold out. (My sister and I had the Visible Woman as kids, but we got her secondhand and her kidneys were missing. We discovered that two dried kidney beans fit perfectly.)

Black and white pictures of Disneyland look so surreal. We’ve grown so used to that wonderful world of color.

I love the sunglasses! The Wicked Queen is a little off-model, but still very cool-looking.

JC Shannon said...

What a great collection your friend has. I don't remember those, but I woulda looked cool in em I'll bet. I do remember the Visible Man, though. He was usually next to the Visible V8 in the hobby store. My brother and I opted for Frankenstein's Monster. We were underachievers. I can still remember making cuffs on my jeans, they were cool back then. A pair of Keds, and a striped tee shirt and you were stylin. Thanks Major.

TokyoMagic! said...

I kind of want a Revell model of Perri, now. She can ride around on top of my Revell model of Herbie, The Love Bug!

Melissa, my brother and I had/have the Visible Man model, and ours was also second hand. My grandmother bought it for us at a church thrift shop, where she volunteered. She thought it would be educational. And it was. I took Anatomy years later in college, and I already knew where all of the organs were located, just from that model.

Nanook, for a second, I thought you were going to say, "It's fun to put together - with a bottle of gin!"

Stu29573 said...

Yeah, that kitten threw me for a second! I thought she had picked up a feral "Kingdom Kat." (That's the proper spelling...as far as I'm concerned)
Kids today have no idea the thrill of stepping into a well stocked hobby shop! Heck, kids today have no idea what a hobby is. Screens. That's it.
Now I'm sad.
Good pics, though!

Chuck said...

Oh, man! Look at all of those vintage kits just stacked up for a time traveler to come and buy. Hurry up, Mr. Peabody, and pick me as Sherman's replacement!

In the second shot, you can see the Fantasyland Viewliner Station in the background to the left. That dates this photo to 1957 or 1958, but I'll say 1963 for consistency. It appears to be behind a low construction wall of some sort. I wonder if it was almost complete or had just closed for demolition? The Motor Boat Cruise is just out of frame to our left.

Melissa, I wonder if your Visible Woman woke up in a Barbie bathtub full of crushed ice? Glad you were able to get her a transplant; the Visible Dialysis Machine is a hard kit to find.

Andrew said...

Looks like the Bathroom of Tomorrow in the background of pic #1!

The sunglasses are neat because they look almost hand-made - the "copyright WDP" on one of the lenses is kind of weird, especially since it's only on two of the sets.

Chuck said...

TM!, I'm glad you know where all of the organs are located. I was worried that knowledge had been lost after the Wurlitzer shop closed on Main Avenue, U.S.A.

DrGoat said...

I'm with Chuck. Those models need rescuing. I got the Visible Man when I was a little too young and crazy to be putting serious models together. He ended up with a bunch of organs all painted a muddy red.
Is that fur in a bag inside the squirrel model? Assembly time for that squirrel must be about 5 minutes.
Wow, I've never seen any of those sunglasses except in a photo. Beautiful.
Stu, We're lucky here in Tucson. The giant Ace Hardware has a pretty big hobby shop with shelves of models, trains and all that good stuff. I go in there to browse and pretend it's 1960 again.
I love black and white photos, but you have a point. They make me feel a bit detached 'cause I'm in a lot of them we have. The Willoughby effect factors in.
Thanks Major. Great post.

zach said...

In honor of B&W photos, my comment is in B&W.

Models in DL always seemed strange to me, I don't know why. Seemed dissonant. I went to DL with a friend once in about 1964, on the train from San Jose, both ways, and he bought a 1964 Riviera model kit and built it on the train on the way home.

My brother had the visible V8. I had to settle for the Operation game for my anatomy lessons. Bzzzt!

I look a lot like those two boys in most of my photos from that period. And I never knew those glasses existed but now I want one.

The area those boys are standing in looks like it could have been in any amusement park of the day. But we know that Adventureland, Frontierland and the rest were close by, proving the genius of Walt Disney.

Thanks, Major.


K. Martinez said...

There's Perri, Walt Disney's only "True-Life Fantasy" as opposed to "True-Life Adventure".

Is that your "Perri" model, major? What a find if it is!

Those glasses are super fantastic! Just shows how vast Disneyana collecting is.

Love this post! Thanks, Major.

Nanook said...

@ Melissa-
That Wicked Queen looks a bit more than merely "off-model". She appears more like one of those images from 'plastic surgery gone horribly-wrong'.

@ JC Shannon-
I agree that 'look' you describe was definitely considered 'acceptable', but I would hardly refer to it as stylin'. Moms would call it 'practical'. In spite of its goofiness, one would likely not be laughed off the playground.

Anonymous said...

TokyoMagic!- There is a Perri model kit on eBay (at the moment) & no it is not my auction. A little pricey, but
it looks like it is all there. Just search for 1957 Perri Squirrel Model Kit.


Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, sometimes even a humble black and white print can make for a fun post. Ah, that model cement… I never sniffed it (like the hippies did!), but the smell takes me back.

Melissa, I wonder if that is a little Steiff kitten? My mom gave me a tiny Steiff bulldog when I was a kid. If only I’d taken better care of it! Maybe it would be worth money these days. The Visible Chicken; a future Marvel movie? I always wanted one of those “visible” models, but somehow never got one. And I was spoiled! Those sunglasses are so great, I’d make it my mission to collect them, except that they are SO rare.

Jonathan, you should see what else my friend has! The rarest of the rare. It’s incredible. Things I never knew even existed. A “Visible V8” sounds pretty neat! Kind of reminds me of when my dad too me to the L.A. Auto Show, and there was a huge cutaway model of a Wankel engine, it was cool. My brother and I were also into those Aurora monster models, I know I had King Kong, and my brother had several, being a better model builder than me.

TokyoMagic!, I wonder how much a complete Perri model (in box) would go for? Maybe less than we think, since it’s not a cool airplane or monster, or some other boy thing. Just think, if you’d gotten the whole set if “visible” models, you might be a famous surgeon today! Is that gin quote from “Lucy”?

Stu29573, I assume the feral cats at the park have litters of kittens? Or maybe they spay and neuter them. It would be a shock to find a tiny kitten! As for hobby shops, I have one near me that has been in business since the 1940’s, I’ll go there and buy things just because I want them to keep existing (rather than buying stuff on eBay or Amazon).

Chuck, I know, it makes any former kid want enough money to buy ALL of those models! I do mention the Viewliner Station, for the record (your honor). But I did not pick up on the construction wall, I’ll bet you’re right, the Viewliner was probably slated for removal. Kind of sad, even though we got the Matterhorn and Monorail (and Subs). Also, where do all those kidney thieves come up with so much crushed ice? That stuff is a luxury!

Andrew, aha, good eye! You are right, definitely the Bathroom of Tomorrow. And MAN, I would love to have all of those sunglasses. The only pair that belongs to me is the Donald Duck example.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, say, what kind of monkey business is going on here?

DrGoat, as much as I would want a bunch of those models, I think Mom and Dad might balk at having to carry one (or two or three) around for the next few hours. I wonder if they would ship them home at a reasonable price? I thought the organs in the Visible Man were pre-colored, didn’t know that you had to paint them yourself. I could have fun with that! An electric-blue brain? Check! Green kidneys? Check! I think there was some sort of “flocking” material that could be glued on to the Perri model, though I’m not sure how that was achieved. The completed models that I’ve seen photos of always looked suitably fuzzy. I used to go to a hobby shop when I was a kid(“Marty’s”), it was nice and claustrophobic inside. They moved to a huge space a few miles away, and it has lost all of its charm.

zach, hmmm, I wonder why you feel that models are out of place? They were a popular pastime for boys especially back in the ’50s, ‘60s, and ’70s. My brother and I built lots of WWII airplanes, and I had a battleship model that was way too complicated, I never could get the pieces to fit together. I’m sure I glued everything poorly. I’d love a Visible V8 even today! The way the pistons and valves do their thing - very cool. Those kid’s dark glasses are so tiny, you probably can’t wear them if you are more than about five years old. And yes, the Viewliner was stuck near the back of the park where there weren’t many notable features back then.

K. Martinez, I wonder if Perri is on Disney+? I’ve never seen it! And no, I had to scrounge online to find that photo of the Perri model. I feel like a fraud. I wish you could see the other stuff that this collector has, it would blow your mind.

Nanook, somehow I find the crude artwork to be part of the appeal of those things. I was always drawn to Disney bisque figurines, cheaply manufactured in Japan in the 1930s. The weirder they look, the better I like them. Hey, I would still wear cuffed jeans, Keds, and a striped shirt!

DW, neat! I don’t think that $80 seems that unreasonable for a complete model kit like that, in the box (good condition). Not that I know anything about collector values for that sort of thing. Still, it’s neat!

Melissa said...

I’ve read that they do (or used to do, anyway) Trap, Neuter, and Release on the Kits of the Kingdom, but even if they still are I’m sure the occasional mama cat slips through the cracks.

DBenson said...

Zooming on the box I see it promises a "natural furry coat", which I assume is the powdery-looking stuff in the plastic bag (or bags). You just know that didn't end well for countless would-be squirrel builders, especially if they were working on the kitchen table. My own experience with non-furry model kits was discouraging.

Old enough to remember when they had that fenced-in circle where hobbyists would fly those little gas-powered planes on tethers. Also the animation exhibit, which had a kind of you-can-try-this buzz.

It seemed faintly sacrilegious to buy anything in Disneyland or other tourist meccas that was available in the real world. It still does.

Anonymous said...

I never knew that model kits were sold in Disneyland.

I was a model building fiend as a kid. I had all kinds of hot rods, boats (The Queen Mary), planes, space ships, including the original Enterprise kit, and a Batman hanging from a tree branch by his bat glove. Also, like most of the rest of the Junior Gorillas, the Visible Man. Oddly I can't remember if his organs were painted or left as-cast. Never a squirrel though.

I remember that solvent glue. I also used the breakfast table to build the models and the glue melted little craters in the formica plastic top. I had to put newspaper down after that, but there was no way to fix it. Mom took it pretty well, but I knew she was unhappy.

Chuck, from now on, I am just going to assume that all black and white photos on GDB date from 1963, it is the safest course. I kind of wish I had seen the Viewliner, but not at the expense of missing the Matterhorn, Monorail and Submarines.

Those sunglasses are pretty wild, Major. I agree, Monstro the Whale is the one to go with. Whale sunglasses, two words I never thought to combine in a sentence.

Cheers all. Fun thread today.


Stu29573 said...

They should have had Fudgy the Whale sunglasses...I guess the Matterhorn wasn't built soon enough.
Do you realize how little sense that statement would make to a non GDB reader?


For many years you could find the Revell PERRI Kit at model shows and later on Ebay for pretty cheap - it wasn’t something really sought after. Today more collectors like esoteric and odd type things in their collection and a un-assembled or unsealed parts bag kit of the Squirrel is harder to obtain. Revell also did the Disneyland Fantasyland JOLLY ROGER model kit - in two American releases - the first in the 1950’s abd again in 1969 with a much nicer revised box art. A friend of mine who is a big vintage model kit collector - has a Revell announcement flyer given out at a 1956 Model and Hobby dealer show in New York - at the time Revell was very big at entering the model railroad market - but in the flyer it announces the Disneyland model series - the first being the Fantasyland Jolly Roger ship and to “watch for more exciting Disneyland models in the future “ . The model instructions says the model was developed directly from Disneyland blueprints. Apparently no addition Disneyland models ever followed by Revell - I wish they did! In 1969 Revell had a new license and added models of Herbie and into the 70’s Robin Hood - including a figure set and a cool Royal Coach kit.

Strombecker models Had the Disney Man In Space series and also did the Tomorrowland Moonliner in two releases : again the 1960 release has much nicer packaging. They also dud the frontierland ConCord type StageCoach - and this was not some existing model kit re-packaged but specifically Disneyland in its scaled down proportions. No Covered Wagons or Mud Wagons ever joined the line.

In the 1970’s MPC releases a extensive line of Pirates of the Caribbean model kits with a rubber band movement called ZAP-ACTION. While the packaging and instruction graphics are very Park based ... none of the kits are scenes from the actual attraction except for Ghosts of the Treasure Gaurd Kit. The rest are mostly inspired by the skeletons in the DEAD MANS GROTTO scene.
In 1974 MPC—Fun-Dimensions did a Disney’s Haunted Mansion model series - again these had some character or prop elements from the attraction but only one scene - the organ player resembles an attraction scene. Both the pirates and the mansion kits have been recently reissued my Lindberg Models in their Round 2 series of models.
In fact the organ player kit comes out this March.

Melissa said...

"They should have had Fudgy the Whale sunglasses...I guess the Matterhorn wasn't built soon enough.
Do you realize how little sense that statement would make to a non GDB reader?"

It could only be improved by Dick Contino wearing the sunglasses with his hostess pants to a screening of The Happiest Millionaire.

Chuck said...

Melissa, I think the Major has a 1963 photo of that.

Chuck said...

Major, yes, I see now you did mention the Viewliner station. That's what I get for trying to read GDB, feed the cat, make breakfast, and package home-made beef jerky at the same time.

"Lou and Sue" said...

Do you realize how little sense that statement would make to a non GDB reader?

Stu, most of what is said here would make little sense to a non GDB reader.

LOVE today's post, pictures and comments! Thank you, all!

Major Pepperidge said...

Melissa, yes, I think I have also read that they neutered and spayed the kitties (I’d never head the phrase “Kits of the Kingdom” until TokyoMagic’s comment!). And I agree, once in a while they must get some surprises!

DBenson, I can only imagine the mess that a kid could make with that bag of fluff! Nowadays with spray glue I’ll bet you could make Perri nice and furry without much a problem, but using standard model cement… yikes. Cool that you remember the Flight Circle! I must have seen it when I was little, but I don’t remember it. My brother swears that we saw the 20,000 Leagues walk-thru as well - another thing I’ve forgotten. Maybe it’s just nostalgia at work, but somehow it doesn’t bother me that kids could buy regular plastic model kits in Tomorrowland (and possibly elsewhere?). I’m not sure what else they would sell in that land in large quantities.

JG, it sounds like you really were into models! It’s a fun hobby. I bought a few simple models for my nephew when he was younger, but what he really liked was those Lego Star Wars kits. He could put those together surprisingly quickly, much to my dismay. One of those spaceships would cost me $80, and in less than two hours, he’d built the thing and was bored with it! We used to like to make “spiderwebs” with model cement, and would wrap up plastic army men in cocoons as if they’d been wrapped by Shelob. I have a hard to choosing my favorite among those glasses, the Dumbo pair is good too.

Stu29573, I’m not sure Disney would be able to handle lawsuits from the powerful Carvel company! And ha ha, yes, a non-regular reader would probably think you’d lost your marbles!

Mike Cozart, I think that the oddity of the Perri model kit is a big part of why it appeals to me. I certainly don’t need a model of a squirrel, we have enough of those dumb rodents around to last me a lifetime. Sure, they’re cute, but they are also destructive. I used to think I wanted the Jolly Roger model kit, but never got around to getting one (since I only wanted one if it was “minty”), and now the desire has cooled a lot. Revell and Aurora were the big names in model kits when I was a kid, or they are the ones that I remember best at least. Your friend’s announcement flyer is cool! I have one of the Moonliner kits in the box (the first version), and I really regret not buying the Strombecker Stagecoach model that was offered to me, in great shape and with the original box. The price was just a bit higher than I wanted to pay, but in retrospect it wasn’t too bad. I had one of the Pirates of the Caribbean ZAP-ACTION models, I thought it was funny that they used the same kind of rubber bands that my brother wore on his braces - little, strong rubber bands. I assume my mom must have thrown the model away before one of our many moves, I would never have parted with it! I still remember painting it so carefully. Thanks as always for another fun-filled comment!

Melissa, would Dick Contino wear a babushka?

Chuck, I’m saving it for a special occasion - maybe the 15th Anniversary!

Chuck, I just wanted people to know that I am not completely hopeless. Just a little hopeless!

Lou and Sue, ha ha, that’s true, but once you are an “insider”, that’s half the fun!

TokyoMagic! said...

Chuck, yes...I know where ALL the organs are located, and ALL the bodies are buried. Walt is in the basement, underneath Pirates of the Caribbean.

DW, thank you for that link! That does look like a nice new, unassembled model kit, but I agree with you, it is a little too pricey.

Major, that "gin" quote was not from "I Love Lucy," believe it or not! I honestly thought for a second, that that's where Nanook was headed with that sentence.

I forgot to mention that my grandmother bought me a pair of sunglasses at Disneyland, back in the summer of 1973. I still have them, but they are just generic children's sunglasses and do not have any markings on them, identifying them as being from DL, darn it!

Melissa and Stu, "It could only be improved by Dick Contino wearing the sunglasses with his hostess pants to a screening of The Happiest Millionaire." Wow! A hostess pants and a Happiest Millionaire reference in the same sentence....AND, as a response to a Fudgy the Whale statement! It doesn't get much better than that!

Anonymous said...

I love all this stuff. You folks are my kind of crazy.

Major, you are right about legos, my kids loved them, and never were even vaguely interested in the model kits that I loved.