Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Going to the Dogs

She was especially naughty today, but here’s a picture of the little maniac anyway:

There’s no story behind the contender for World’s Ugliest Afghan on the couch. It’s just a huge, hideous conversation piece that came in an auction box lot several years ago. (How huge? We sometimes use it as a slipcover - for the couch!)

Work took me within a couple blocks of the main branch of the Detroit Public Library yesterday, so I took advantage of the proximity to do a little research. Six hours of hardcore page turning, and I barely made a dent in the stacks!

I found tons of stuff: most of it was confirmation of facts we had already intuited from other known sources, but it’s good to have dated materials to back up your conclusions. One of the first things I found was Lassie, featured here in the "New Toys on Parade" section of the January, 1956 issue of Toys and Novelties:

The fact that it’s the January issue, and not the March suggests that Breyer might have Lassie on the shelves by Christmas (March = Toy Fair.) Absent any concrete evidence of that, I’m completely fine with assigning a 1956 release date for the mold.

Another interesting piece of information comes out of an article in the August 1955 issue of the same magazine. In it, they list several licensors and their respective licensees. The entry for Lassie lists Breyer as one of that property’s licensees, but the entry for Rin Tin Tin does not.

(As far as I know, there’s no familial relationship between the Stones of Stone Associates, and the Stones of Breyer.)

But we’re pretty sure that Rin Tin Tin came out by 1956, too. It had been assumed from the 1955 copyight date on the original Rin Tin Tin box that he may have even predated the Lassie. The earliest mention I’ve been able to find of Rinty, though, is in a full-page ad for Breyer’s manufacturer representative, Krenzien, Krenzien & Dunlap, in the March 1956 issue of Toys & Novelties (i.e. their "Toy Fair" issue.) So, what’s up with that?

It could have been a simple omission, or perhaps an issue with the license came up. The date on the box could be referring to the show itself. (Complicating that assumption is the fact that the show premiered in late 1954, not 1955.) Or, I’m just missing some data, somewhere.

It might be a little while before I get back to the DPL and find out for sure - time and money are the issue here, not safety. I have plenty of fresh material to process in the meantime, and you’ll get to see a good portion of it over the next few weeks.

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