Vintage Halloween Postcard

Keep Off the Grass!

On Hallowe’en we’ll steal the gate
And kilter everything thats straight

I love the “keep off the grass” sign; it reminds me of my youth. Whilst trick-or-treating my mom was adamant that it was exceedingly rude to go from one house to the next by way of the side lawn; one must walk down the driveway, along the sidewalk, and up the next driveway. As my friends’ moms didn’t always enforce this rule with such vigor, I was often at the back of the kid-line at each house since the others had cut through the yard. I was a bit like Charlie Brown receiving the proverbial rock.

These pumpkin-headed youths taught a lesson to the homeowner that dared post this sign in front of their Thomas Kinkade-style cottage…don’t tell us what to do, or we’ll steal your sign…and your gate…and traipse across your grass!

Vintage Halloween Postcard

Tiki Magnum PI by Tom Thordarson

I make it no secret that I am a fan of Magnum PI and the man behind the mustache, Tom Selleck. What I do not often talk about is my love of Tiki culture. I just can’t get enough of it. So when I spotted this piece that combines both of my fandoms with one solid image, I was all over it.

In Tom Thordarson print, he has carved Selleck’s trademark character from the base of an old palm tree. To add a spot of tiki he sports a coconut lei, and to capture the Magnum PI magic, his trademark baseball cap. It would make a wonderful addition to any fan’s collection.

[via] Tom Thordarson [@] Etsy

The Smurfs Holiday Celebration DVD

It was the early ‘80s and I was a young gal swept up in the Smurf mania spawned by the Saturday morning cartoon powerhouse that was, The Smurfs. Beyond being a fanatic about the TV show, I was obsessed with collecting the PVC figurines. I had ‘em all: Racecar Smurf, Barber Smurf, Popsicle Smurf, Harp-playing Smurf, Tennis Smurf, Cowboy Smurf and more.

The best time of year to score some new Smurf figures was definitely Christmas. My mom was always looking for small toys to fill our stockings. So whenever she would announce that she was heading to Quaker Bridge Mall to do some Christmas shopping, I would offer to tag along. Naturally she could not resist my schoolgirl charms and off we’d go. She’d drag me around various stores shopping for clothes, house wares, electronics, etc. for various relatives.

At some point we would inevitably pass “Happiness Is…,” which was a store that sold a variety of trinkets, maybe Hallmark cards too, not sure. I was only interested in one item in the store, PVC Smurfs. I would point out the latest gems in the collection and beg my mom to purchase them immediately…knowing she wouldn’t. Instead, she would say something like, “Not now, but Santa’s coming soon, maybe he’ll bring you a Smurf if you’re good.” And “Santa” was never one to disappoint.

Come Christmas morning, I would tear my stocking from the door-pull of the Scandinavian wall unit – our version of a fireplace mantle – dump it out on the floor, sort through the riff-raff of chocolate Santas to find my little blue beauties. My parents were generous, so there were always at least 3 or 4 new friends.

Well, the ‘80s are long gone, but you can still fill your stockings with smurfy goodness with The Smurfs Holiday Celebration DVD. The DVD actually contains two prime-time episodes from the Hanna-Barbera series that I loved so much. As with most episodes of the Smurfs, the Christmas shows are sappy, but adorable, and always convey a moral lesson, such as helping those in need and sharing what you have with others.

The first story, titled “The Smurfs’ Christmas Special,” is from 1982. I really enjoy the animation style from the earlier seasons, so this special is especially smurfy. At the start of the episode we find the Smurfs readying the village for Christmas…decorating, making pudding, etc. Meanwhile, two kids and their grandfather ride in a horse drawn sleigh through the snowy woods. The sleigh overturns and the kids seek out help. Naturally, the Smurfs find the children and welcome them to their village where they share their Christmas goodies. The evil Gargamel conspires with a mysterious stranger to kidnap the children, but the wicked plot is foiled when the Smurfs sing (repeatedly) the song “Goodness makes the Badness Go Away.” A catchy tune that will really stick in your head…believe it.

In the second special, “‘Tis the Season to Be Smurfy” (1987), the Smurfs encounter an elderly doll maker and his ailing wife. Grandpa Smurf and Sassette conceive a plan to bring the old couple a bit of Christmas cheer, but when they struggle to persuade the other Smurfs to take the time to help, Papa Smurf must remind the Smurfs that the needs of the less fortunate are more important than their own holiday preparations; a valuable lesson for us all.

The Christmas episodes are not much different than regular episodes of the Smurfs, except that there’s a snowy backdrop, the Smurfs are repeatedly mistaken for elves, and Papa Smurf is confused with Santa Claus. But like the non-holiday episodes, the Christmas specials are a delight for all ages.

Get Your Copy of the Smurfs Holiday Celebration @ Amazon

Barbie Travelin’ Trailer, Yee-Ha!

The Retroist’s post yesterday on Barbie’s Ferrari got me thinking about the past. I guess that’s the Retroist’s specialty, right? Anyway, as a kid I wasn’t even aware of the Barbie Ferrari. Most of my friends had the pink Corvette. The ‘vette was sweet, but my Barbie felt that it was too high-maintenance…look at me, look at me. My Barbie had a more outdoorsy bent. A nature girl, if you will.

My Barbie tooled around town, or her ranch, in an off-road vehicle with horse trailer. The set was called the Barbie Travelin’ Trailer. Sadly, the trailer could only accommodate one of Barbie’s horses at a time. Naturally she needed two horses for galloping through the woods, or on the beach, with Ken. Barbie rode Dallas, Ken rode Midnight. When they traveled, they often took Dallas as her golden mane coordinated better with the beige horse trailer…my Barbie may have been a nature girl, but fashion was still important. But let’s not feel too badly for Midnight. He always got Dallas’ share of oats when she was away in the trailer.

One of the best features of the off-road vehicle was the hand winch and pulley that really did work, just like the box says! It was great for incline pulling and had a fab load capacity.

My mom still has this set in her basement…I’d better not tell her it’s going for nearly $500 bucks on Amazon, or it won’t be at her house the next time I feel like playing “Ranch” with Barbie and Ken.

Please enjoy these images of the original set from 1982…and remember to keep your trailer tidy!