As the school year starts to encroach on what has been a largely Thunderbean-drenched summer, I’m both happy and a little sad that this period is transitioning back to spending a large amount of my time back at my full-time job. This week (the second to last before going back) has been largely about following-through on finishing this or that aspect of a project, switching gears a lot from the digital world of all this stuff and back into building or fixing this or that at home. Over the summer many of the special sets were finished as well as nearly finishing four “Official” sets. I’m pretty happy to see things moving forward well.
Dave Gerstein has nearly wrapped up all the bonus features for the first Flip the Frog disc of the two disc set and is making short work of the second disc’s special features. The Van Beuren Tom and Jerry set has a majority of the films scanned and cleaned up, the Stop Motion Marvels set is all mastered and off to replication. Another small batch of films are starting to gather for the next scanning sessions and things are gong back to all the people that were kind enough to lend them.
As all these are finishing off I’m looking at the next projects with excitement. Work has started in getting the Bunin Alice materials finally scanned after a long wait. The collection of Mid Century Modern 3 films have started scanning, and I’m most excited about scanning the rest of the Technicolor Rainbow Parades and Comi-Color shorts. The efforts of so many people have helped to move these things forward really well- that community involvement can’t be understated. Beside the stuff I can talk about, there are other projects I can’t talk about yet— but when I can I’ll be so happy to share them.
I’m working right now on combining the Comi-Color cartoon Puss in Boots together from the negs to premiere in a little more than a week at Cinecon in Los Angeles along with some of the Flip the Frogs. If you’re in Los Angeles, be sure to go to one of the shows. There’s more cool things being shown there than you can believe.
I started pulling out the Halloween and spooky cartoons this week, and it’s almost a tradition now – so we’re working on a special disc (BDR) called “Secret Halloween 2022”. We’re getting a little bit bigger of a jump on it this year compared to past years and plan to have it shipping by the end of September or earlier. It’s available at the Thunderbean shop for just a short time. Thanks to everyone for supporting this small company through all these years.
So, instead of a cartoon this week, let’s look at some cartoon-related talking dolls!
As with records based on cartoons, the talking dolls of the 50s into the 70s often had the same voices. I find these toys especially fun- and was amazed at how much fun the commercials are as well as people playing the pull-strings of the toys now.
This commercial is maybe the most fun of all talking doll ads- and this kid’s parents really made a bad choice in buying all those dolls for him. I have a pull-string Bugs Bunny that uses this same recording – clearly Mel Blanc doing Bugs and Grace Stafford doing Woody here. Thanks to Ira Gallin for posting these!
This Beany and Cecil ad in a similar vein is also super fun- although I find Mattel’s design on Beany to be a little scary:
And another too:
And here’s June Foray doing voices for.. everyone except the dog?
This Flip Wilson doll is about the strangest of any of the talking dolls I’ve ever seen. It almost seems like a parody doll made for adults! I had a friend who had this one when we were kids:
This ad has the Bugs Bunny my brother had as a kid. I still have it and it works, but this one works better honestly….
This Tom (with Jerry in his hand?) toy is especially strange since the characters usually don’t talk- but I guess they do now.
And Now — fixing a talking Popeye toy box from when I was a kid!
I managed to fix a toy that had been broken since the 70s this week; I was amazed that I was able to find one of the Ozen talking boxes in brand-new condition on Ebay. This toy was designed and made in Japan and was used in lots of talking toys. It was maybe used the most in a ‘talking bag of laughs’ toy in the 60s and 70s. My talking Popeye doll broke sometime in the 70s, and I think my dad opened it up to see if he could repair it, but of course it wasn’t fixable. My mom kept the Popeye record all those years, and this week I put it back together and, happily, it actually worked! Here’s the video of how this toy worked- and how the little record works inside it. I have the Popeye toy still too, but he’s at the office. He’ll reunite with the talking box this week for the first time in almost 50 years soon.
Now, what talking toy did you have as a kid- or did you?
Have a good week all!