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American Bandito Pop-Culture Roadshow for Dec 23, 2019

Hey! This is another pop culture roadshow thing, where I look at some of the collectibles that I bought or have and just learn something about them. Try to find out a little bit of the history of the weird things that I've picked up.

Superman Colorforms Set from 1964

Picture of a vintage superman toy in the box from the 1960s

The first one I have this set of Superman Colorforms from 1964. So these are really... they're actually super cool. It's in great condition. Everything's in primary colors. The villain's really cool like it almost looks like something out of an indie comic.

The people have detachable arms and legs so you can pose them. Normally Colorforms, they would only have characters in different poses. Inside is a background painting of Metropolis. It also comes with the original instructions.

History of Colorforms

So the person who invented Colorforms, it's a kind of a husband-and-wife team. Harry and Patricia Kislevitz, invented them in 1951. They were art students and the husband was away in the Army or something like that. He didn’t have either the money or the actual access to oil paints and wanted to do some painting. There was all of this rubber vinyl stuff around so he tried cutting out shapes just so he could make something to pass the time.

Turned out he discovered that they would stick to anything that was like glass or tile or anything with a smooth surface. When he came home his wife had a bathroom that was all painted with this enamel paint and they would cut out shapes and do like little artwork things all over the walls. And then people would go use the bathroom and they would play with it and the word got out.

Colorforms for kids

They ended up selling them as ways for kids to make art. And they were one of the first toy companies to advertise on the Captain Kangaroo show in, 1954 I think it was. Which is a pretty quick start from like 1951 when they first invented it.

Later on, they sold the business to Toy Biz which then was owned by Marvel. You can still get the original version of the Colorforms that was just the shapes as well.

Harry Kislevitz, thought it was fun to create this product, it made them money, but he was still an artist at heart. Once his kids grew up he gave them the company.

An E.T. TV Tray from 1982

Picture of a metal tv tray from the 1980s

One thing I will say about E.T. I do remember that when home video was all the rage and I had seen E.T. I always wondered, when was it going to come out on home video? And the whole thing was is they had so much marketing tied into like sponsorships from Reese's and all that kind of crap. That made it so selling the distribution rights for home viewing of the movie was very difficult.

So E.T. actually didn't come out in a home video for like I want to say 10 years? But don't quote me on that.

Who invented the TV tray?

Anyway, what I really wanted to know was who invented the TV tray? Nobody knows. Or at least there's no documentation of who actually invented the TV tray that I can find.

Was the TV tray was invented because of the TV dinner. No, it's the other way around. The TV tray came first because of the invention of the TV. They wanted to keep people sitting in front of it starting out with just normal dinners.

Who invented TV Dinners?

Then Gerry Thomas invented the TV dinner so the TV dinner came afterward and he did it because... I don't know? So I looked all that up and I didn't look up why he invented the TV dinner!?

Snow White And The Seven Dwarfs See & Hear Book & Record 1966

Photo of read along record on a white background

There were read-along books, read-along records and then later on read-along cassettes. I looked up who did the very first read-along book and it was actually Disney. Disney started the entire read-along book thing back in 1965. That was when the first read-along book happened.

They were all narrated by the same person Robie Lester for many many years. And that sound, that turn the page sound that everybody knows, that is Tinker Bell. You hear Tinker Bell's sound I guess.

Later on, Disney started licensing the golden books stories and putting those out as well. But that's where the whole concept came from, it was from Disney.

Kiddie Fondue Candy Coated Treats Set by Kenner 1974

Picture of a vintage toy in the box with a white background

This one seems neat, it's actually not. So in the 70s fondue was a thing. People would melt cheese have a big festering pot of cheese in the middle of a room and dip all kinds of stuff in it like fruit or more cheese. Kids were like “I want to be like mom and dad.” So they made a kiddie fondue set.

It was made by Kenner and I know it seems dangerous, like "oh my god fondue set for kids?!" Don't get too excited. It is pretty much just a vessel.

You got these packets of dried chocolate, strawberry and vanilla. Then you would take hot water pour it into the different sections of the pot add the flavor packets and basically, it would just become a syrup and that's all it was. That's all it is. There's nothing dangerous about it whatsoever.

Those are the things that I found out about today and hopefully you found it interesting. If not, I enjoyed it.

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Artwork for the original Candy Land game by Milton Bradley from 1955.

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