Tuesday, September 20, 2022

Lenticular Pinback Buttons

In an attempt to add more kinds of "content" to GDB, I recently photographed a whole bunch of pinback buttons (mostly non-Disney). That's right, buttons! I love them, and hopefully after you see some of them, you'll love them too. Most of the examples that I took pictures of were larger than usual - often over 2.5" in diameter, and sometimes as large as 4" in diameter.

Today I am sharing photos of some Disneyland pinbacks; these are all lenticular varieties, also known as "flashers". You've probably seen these before, but hey, it won't kill you to see them again. I wanted to be sure to get pictures of them with both of their images, which was not easy. But they turned out pretty good!

Let's start with possibly the most popular of them all, Mickey Mouse. There he is, looking very much like he did on the Mickey Mouse Club TV show.

"I Like Disneyland", you can't get more concise than that.

I liked to get the presumably earlier versions of these buttons with the blue backs that say they are "From the ART CORNER"!

Mom from GDB's "first family" is wearing one of these Mickey pins!

This next one seems to be a little harder to find than some of the others; it's Tinker Bell, looking adorable as always.

I "Tink" It's Great!

Another Art Corner back. As you can see, these were produced by the Vari-Vue company.

Here's a classic image of Goofy...

...who happens to be Goofy about Disneyland!

I don't mind that somebody wrote "1964" on the back of this pin!

Another lenticular pin that is a bit harder to find is this example featuring Donald Duck.

"Disneyland is Ducky"? I don't even know what that means!

I have never seen a version of the Donald Duck flasher with a blue Art Corner back, which leads me to believe that the Donald pin was introduced later. As far as I can tell, all of these lenticular pins were sold at the park at least into the 1970s. 

I hope you have enjoyed today's LENTICULAR pins!


Nanook said...

Ahhh... Disneyland flasher pinback buttons. A really nice job capturing both "sides" of the images. (I wonder if the story of the Vari-Vue Company is one of interest to 'us' folks-?)

Thanks, Major.

JB said...

The Mickey flasher: (that sounds kinda naughty) A nice portrait of the Mouse. Next to the 'rubber hose' version, I like this depiction of him the best. So happy and friendly. I'm fairly overwhelmed by the forcefulness of the text. They didn't go with "I Love Disneyland" or "I [heart] Disneyland" (I'm sure that wasn't a thing back then. Do we know the year of the Mickey button?). Just "I Like Disneyland". I feel like I need to quickly add "But I Like It A Lot!"

The "First Family": Every couple of years you re-introduce us to this photo, and the sight of it always brings up warm, fuzzy, nostalgic feelings. Not just for the mom and her son, but for GDB and everything that has transpired since; the people we've lost, the online friends we've made.
I know you've rescanned and cleaned up the photo since GDB's first post. I just looked at the original again; what a difference!

Tinker Bell: (I decided not to say "The Tinker Bell flasher"; out of respect to Ms. Bell) She really does look adorable... always! I think it's the knot of hair atop her head. And the slightly hunched shoulders. The text is more fun and creative than the Mickey pin.

Goofy: I love this portrait of Mr. Dog. (He IS a dog, right?) And the text is very appropriate; both, the wording and the font. This is my favorite pin in today's offerings.
Ah! "1964". Well, now we know when the pin was purchased, but not when it was made.

Donald: He might be my favorite Disney character. I'm drawn to his irascible, temperamental personality. He's always bringing his troubles on himself. I'm not too thrilled with this depiction of him, though. Maybe it's the red sailor hat. Or the green border. Something doesn't seem quite right.
I think "ducky" was popular during the 'roaring' 20s. In the fifties, it would be "swell". Nowadays, it would probably be "meh, whatever".

A fun set of pins and photos, Major. Thanks!


Is that the complete set major? It’s interesting that a few of those designs were adapted for use at Walt Disney World when it first opened …. But they were just sold as general souvenirs since WDW had no actual Art Corner. Kinda cool the original owner marked the date ( on the backside thank goodness)

A follow up to yesterday’s Columbia Pictorial Post : the Disneyland grooming guidelines state that sideburns cannot extended below the ear : if you look at the second view of our Columbia shipmate , on the ropes , you get a view without a shadow on his face …. And his sideburns Do not extend past his ear making him
A cast member in good standing. All of us here in 2022 viewing someone wearing his sideburns to the Disneyland limit back in 1979 might appear to us as “mutton chops” since generally long sideburns on men haven’t been very fashionable since the late 1990’s : but they’ll be back again someday.

TokyoMagic! said...

I love these lenticular buttons. I have the Mickey, Goofy and Tink versions, but they do not have "Art Corner" on the back and they are red. The Mickey was mine from a childhood visit to the park, in the early 1970s. The Goofy pin was my brother's, and the Tink one I got on ebay. I thought that was the complete set, but when I posted them many years ago, I remember you telling me about the Donald version. I used to check ebay for it from time to time, but it always seemed to go for more than I was willing to pay.

Nowadays, it would probably be "meh, whatever".

JB, I can picture one today with "Disneyland. Riiiight?" on it.

TokyoMagic! said...

JB, how about "Disneyland Is Legit!"?

TokyoMagic! said...

Of course, they could make self-serving ones like, "Genie+ Is Awesome And Affordable!" The image would be the Genie from Aladdin, smiling and holding a fat bag of cash.

Chuck said...

Interesting to note that the first three were made in New York (and two carry a union label for Amalgamated Lithographers Union Local No. 1) while the Donald Duck pin was made in Japan. Not sure what that means other than that I can read.

The slogan on the Duck pin is a bit odd. Disneyland looks nothing like Jon Cryer.

Nanook, I can’t speak for the rest of the rabble, but the history of Vari-Vue interested me. I found a brief summary at this link, which appears to be a wormhole to 1997.

JB, thanks. Now I’m craving cherry-flavored PEZ.

Stu29573 said...

I think the first slogan was piggybacking on the "I like Ike" craze, which, admittedly, would have been pretty cooled down at this point. Plus it doesn't rhyme. Oh well.
Chuck, the Jon Cryer deal fell through when they couldn't get Molly Ringwald for Tink. In hindsight it was probably for the best. Except that Cryer then had to go live with Charlie Sheen in Malibu for all those years.

Bu said...

Jon Cryer? I don’t get it…kind of a hack…sorry Jon, you did well anyway…Lenticular. What a complicated name for “button”. Cool pins, like troll dolls I “collected them all”…these might be the very ones. Who knows. I don’t understand the pin trading of today and those lanyard things interfere with costumes. Seems like another extortion scheme, but people seem to enjoy it. The pins, I’m not sure they are aware of the extortion, or perhaps may be in denial. All good (I guess.) I concur with MC on mutton chops and sideburns. Although some guys would take it riiigghttt to the line. Which in my day in the post disco era was kind of odd from my perspective. Emulating the Tom Jones or Englebert Humperdinck’s of the world seemed slight dated to even mention such things, but if it wasn’t in print, I suppose guys would be sporting long hair and beards…which ultimately came to pass as we know. I am not amused by the leniency. It looks sloppy. Not in real life, but at Disneyland. Tom Jones came back into the phone room when he visited. He is a very striking fellow. He didn’t have full chops, but he did have rather longish sideburns. My mother was in love with him. I think a lot of mothers were. Certainly, many Tour Guides were also swooning. Back to pins: classic Disneyland designs. I “heart” should only be attributed with I (heart) NY. There was some copyright thing- the designer gave it to the city of New York or something…it’s a thing- look it up. For a fundraiser we made DL shirts that said I (heart) ER. This was before the series. The Heart had a little mouse cut out. I liked it because it was a polo shirt and not the usual T shirt. Mortals thought ER was emergency room “why do you love the ER?!” ER was “early release”. Put in for an ER at the beginning of your shift and you are the first to go. ER’s were first come, and seniority based. It seemed everything was seniority based. 8 hour shifts rarely were 8 hours. They could dismiss us after 4 hours if they so pleased. This all depended upon what Union you were in, as different ones had different rules. We weren’t Union, so there were no rules…but we used Master Services as a (loose) guideline. Not being in a Union have us (them) much flexibility into what we did, how we did, and how long we did. Which is why I had so many jobs as we were loaned out. I do drone on…thanks for the Pins!

Chuck said...

Stu, that's too bad about Molly Ringwald. I think Pretty In Tink would have been awesome.

DrGoat said...

Donald's my favorite too. The green looks a little off, but it works for me today. I think it is that red cap that throws that image off.
Speaking of sideburns.
So glad you kept all these wonderful pins Major. They make a great showing. They're all a sight for sore eyes.

JG said...

Major, this is such fun! Thank you!

I had the Mickey pin, but with a red back. I don’t remember when I got it, but I recall the minute I let it go. I wish now I hadn’t, but you can’t keep everything, at least at that moment, I couldn’t.

Any idea when those pins were sold? I’m guessing I got mine in the late 60’s.

JB, you have summed up my feelings pretty exactly.


Kathy! said...

These are fun; like my favorite cone hats, these are a souvenir that you immediately put on after buying them. “You know what, I like it here. I’m going to advertise that to everyone!” Donald does look odd in a red cap. That’s a cute and lively picture of Goofy, and all the hand-drawn lettering is nice. I would wear these and strike various poses to show off both images. Thanks, Major.

Chuck said...

DrGoat, I knew you were going to link that picture. Love it!

DrGoat said...

Chuck, can't help myself. Chalk it up to accelerated decrepitude and prescription drugs from my Dr. Fortunately he's not a goat. Probably the only day I was glad I wasn't a cast member.
Good call, and no, I left my all in one LOTR book at home that day.

Major Pepperidge said...

Nanook, that was a long day of photographing lenticular pinback buttons! I have a bunch of other (non-Disney) lenticulars for future GDB posts too. I have read a bit about the Vari-Vue company, but can’t remember where…

JB, yes, that is the classic Mickey Mouse Club portrait of the mouse, so I think it evokes happy memories, even for people who didn’t necessarily watch the original TV show. I’ve always wondered if the first “flasher” pin was just Mickey, and then they decided to expand it to more characters? Or perhaps Mickey and Goofy, those seem to be the most common examples. I wish they’d done more! As for Goofy, I believe he is a dog, although I remember listening to an mp3 of a 1930s Mickey Mouse radio show, and Goofy is introduced as “Goofy the horse”. Which was so weird. Even THEY didn’t know what he was! You’d think the long ears would nix the idea of a horse. I admit that the Donald portrait does not show him at his best, and the colors are weird.

Mike Cozart, as far as I am aware these are the only vintage lenticular character pinback buttons. I have seen some WDW versions, but I don’t typically collect WDW items (with a few exceptions). I’m bringing mutton chops back immediately!

TokyoMagic!, the Art Corner closed in 1966, and I believe that they continued to sell these pins way into the 70s, maybe even into the early 80s. It’s cool that you have yours from childhood!! I don’t think I paid much for my Donald, but maybe word has gotten out that it tends to be scarcer than the other three.

TokyoMagic!, nobody uses the word “bitchin’” anymore, I guess?

TokyoMagic!, yes, “The More You Spend, The Happier Mickey Is!”. “Long Lines Are Fun!”. “Five Rides a Day Is Plenty!”. The possibilities are endless.

Chuck, I assume that the Donald Duck pin is still from Vari-Vue, though it lacks their mark on the back. Clearly production was moved to Japan for all the reasons that we are familiar with. Now I notice that the Mickey pin was produced by Vari-Vue in Tuckahoe, NY, while the other two Art Corner examples say they are from Mr. Vernon, NY. Thank you for that link, I believe that’s the website that I saw long ago! Also, I never crave PEZ.

Stu29573, oh interesting, I didn’t consider the “I Like Ike” connection, but it sounds plausible. Molly Ringwald as Tink. Hmmm, I sure thought Molly was the bee’s knees in the ‘80s!

Bu, you need to watch more John Hughes movies. You collected troll dolls? I can understand the pin trading craze, you could get nearly infinite examples, usually for not much money, and I’m sure it was fun to trade with fellow enthusiasts. I used to have some of those “enamel” style pins, but sold almost all of them. Boy, it must have been good to be Tom Jones, he just had that animal magnetism. Do they allow long hair on male CMs at Disneyland now?? I am glad you explained the “I (heart) ER”, because I didn’t get it at all.

Chuck, I would want Molly’s red curls, don’t make her wear a blond wig!

DrGoat, I guess they were just trying to make the Donald button noticeably different from the other three? I think your sideburns qualify as mutton chops! ;-)

JG, it’s funny how we all had stuff when we were kids, and at some point decided that it was just “junk”, only to realize later that we should have kept it! Since the “first family” photos are from sometime around 1957 or 1958, we know that the Mickey pin was sold at least that early, and maybe earlier. As for when they stopped selling them, I don’t really know, as I said to TM, I think it was well into the ‘70s.

Kathy!, the Mickey and Goofy pins are plentiful enough that you could probably buy examples for a low-ish price on eBay, and actually wear them! That Goofy image was also used on an Art Corner postcard, interestingly.

Chuck, how did you know! ARE YOU A WITCH??

Chuck said...

Major, since I weigh the same as a duck, it's entirely possible. Same with Jon Cryer. Which explains his character name in Pretty In Pink.

Melissa said...

At first I was wondering why Pictorial Productions would have moved from Tuckahoe to Mount Vernon, since it's just a few miles away. The it occurred to me that "Tuckahoe 7" must have been the telephone exchange, like "Butterfield 8." I've been thinking about all the stories Mom used to tell from working at the phone company for the last few days, since I came across this article about a new rotary cell phone.

Major Pepperidge said...

Chuck, Pretty In Pink, yet another movie that I've never seen. I also just listened to a podcast covering Grease (RIP Olivia) and realized that I have somehow avoided that film as well. Not the songs though.

Melissa, I wondered about the "7", but thought it was weird that they would put it where you would expect an address, or at least just the name of the city. No idea. Too bad we don't have all of your mom's stories written down! I remember when my grandmother was very old, she once picked up the phone and said, "Hello, central?". My mind boggled.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?

Dr. Goat, that is the definitive muttonchop pic.

Major, I'm sorry, re-reading my question, I realize it isn't clear. I was wondering when the pins changed from blue backs to red ones, that's all.


Chuck said...

DrGoat, I think that was a good call on your LOTR all-in-one. That’s something you treasure and try to keep nice. I don’t even read mine in the bathtub. Well, at least not with water in it.

JG, I so desperately want to do the next line, but it’s just not true. That would be Charles. No, a different one from me.

Melissa & Major, I think “Tuckahoe 7” makes more sense in context as a postal zone than a telephone exchange. The US Post Office Department started using postal zones in 1943 for larger cities in an effort to speed mail sorting and delivery. The Zone Improvement Plan (ZIP), which gave us the modern ZIP code, was implemented in 1963. So I am going to postulate that the Mickey pin was produced no later than 1963, which I think is pretty cool, coming before the Tencennial or even the NYWF. Wouldn’t it be even cooler if it was the very same pin worn by the GDB First Family’s mom in the photo re-shared today? And wouldn’t it be even coolerer if you both gave me $153.27?

Nanook said...

@ Chuck-
You're undoubtedly correct about "Tuckahoe 7, N.Y." referring to a postal zone, as the city of Tuckahoe has only one postal zone [now Zip Code], which was '7'; now '10707'. Address all your correspondence accordingly.

Anonymous said...

Chuck, before you know it, strange women in ponds will be lugging swords at you.

I'm sure Charles III would make allowances.


Melissa said...

"So I am going to postulate that the Mickey pin was produced no later than 1963, which I think is pretty cool"

Uncle Google tells us that 1963-4 was an interesting time for Pictorial Productions (best known for producing the iconic "I Like Ike" button). Apparently they fired the founder, president, and general manager of the company in '63, and he sued them in '64 to get out of his non-compete clause on the grounds that the process behind making lenticular images was well-known enough not to be considered a trade secret.

GDB has sent me down some interesting rabbit holes over the years!

TokyoMagic! said...

I know that my Mickey button and my brother's Goofy button were souvenirs from an early 1970's DL visit. I'd say pre-1974, because I remember a girl wearing her "I Tink It's Great" button to school, and I already had my Mickey version at that time. One last memory of the buttons. I went to DL on July 17th, 1981, and I wore my Mickey button. While sitting in one of the Horseless Carriages and waiting for it to fill up with riders, I remember the driver (who was older) looking at my button and saying, Wow, they don't sell those anymore!

Today they could make one with Chewbacca saying, "I'm Wild About Wookie World!" Of course, my version would read, "Wookie World Is A Waste!" and have a picture of a DL trash can.

Major Pepperidge said...

JG, I assume that the buttons were changed after the Art Corner closed in 1966.

Chuck, I know that Tolkien really intended for “Lord of the Rings” to be released as a single volume, but I sort of like the more manageable three-volume version, plus a nice boxed set can look pretty sweet. Thank you for the info on postal zones, which I am sure you had in your brain, and did not need to supplement by Googlin’! Hey, I’m going to assume that I really do have the same pin as worn my the First Family’s mom. Nobody can prove that I don’t! Now I want to make an action movie called “Tuckahoe 7”, is Lee Marvin available?

Nanook, I am going to have to look up images of Tuckahoe, NY. Maybe I will want to move there when California runs out of water.

JG, can I have an allowance?


TokyoMagic!, ah, the days when kids might wear their Disneyland buttons to school. With no fear of mockery. I love your story about wearing one in 1981! Cool that the driver noticed it and commented on it. I wish I could make custom flashers, they could say all sorts of rude things.

Bu said...

Tuckahoe...home of "Maude" and next door neighbors: The Harmons. Lady Godiva was a freedom rider...she didn't care if the whole world looked...Mrs. Naugatuck, not actually from Naugatuck, CT where Naugahyde was created and made...still around, though now in Wisconsin...home of cheese...

"Lou and Sue" said...

Tink and Goofy are my favorites, today. Donald does need a 'little more expression.'

The "I Like Disneyland" saying is rather blah. I like Pepsodent. I LOVE Disneyland.

DrGoat, your DL photo is a GDB classic! I hope you find lots more photos to share with us.

Thanks, Major.