Skip to main content

R.L. Stine Joke Book, Block Puzzle, Raccoon Mario & Wooden Pig Tom Ray's Pop-Culture Roadshow 200904

This time on the show I learn the story behind these vintage/retro items. A Hermann Eichhorn block puzzle, Raccoon Mario figure, and R.L. Stine used to write joke books under the name Jovial Bob Stine! Plus, a wooden pig. 

Check out all the retro pop-culture items in my eBay Store -

Subscribe to my YouTube Channel - Tom Ray's YouTube Channel

This is another episode of my Tom Ray's Pop-Culture Roadshow, where I look at toys that I've collected and try to find out a little history or interesting facts about them. 

In the video:

Hermann Eichhorn block puzzle 

picture of vintage block puzzle on white background
Hermann Eichhorn Block Puzzle

This is a vintage Hermann Eichhorn block puzzle. They started making them around 1949 I believe? Block puzzles originally were wooden blocks that they would make where they were just different colors and you would shift the puzzles around.

Then printing became available for the blocks and at first, it wasn't very good and then Hermann Eichhorn decided to do full-colored printing onto these wooden blocks. They had six sides so you could do six different puzzles.

Take them out mess up the blocks and then put them in order. The puzzles would come with a guide that would show you what each side of the puzzles would be.

A lot of them they said were more adult-themed, adult theme meaning that kids would find them boring not like they were sexual. Kids were kind of bored with what some of the puzzles were so they started making fairy tale themes.

Later Hermann Eichhorn made more types of wood-based toys like train sets with tracks that interlocked like a jigsaw puzzle and they still make them to this day and that's what they're known for.

Raccoon Mario Figure 

picture of retro game figure on white background
Raccoon Mario Figure 1989

This is a figure that I have from 1989 and it is Raccoon Mario. This Mario has ears he has a raccoon tail. In Super Mario Brothers 3, he turns into after acquiring the super leaf and acquiring the super leaf. Because of the tail, he can slowly fall down when he falls off of something and attack enemies with his tail by spinning.

There's another version of Mario that is full-on wearing like what looks like a raccoon costume instead of just having ears and a tail and that one is actually called Tanooki Mario. Now what I found out about that other Mario he's got the ears and tail everything else just his face is sticking out and it was attained by donning the Tanooki suit and gave the abilities of raccoon Mario.

Tanooki an animal in japan often depicted in folklore. When they first put the Tanooki Mario in the game the person who made it basically said that they knew that it would confuse people outside of japan because nobody would know what it was but he was excited to do a Tanooki version in the game. So he kept it in and kind of said, I don't care if it confuses people because I think that it's awesome.

R.L. Stine Joke Book and Ghosts of Fear Street Book

picture of two Vintage Paperback books
R.L. Stine Joke Book and Ghosts of Fear Street Book

This one was a fun discovery. I sell a lot of R.L. Stine books and I was looking up information on this Ghosts of fear street book. Now I'm familiar with the Goosebumps books and he has a lot of different book series he wrote.

Ghosts of fear street is a series that he only wrote for like two years, technically.

He first wrote a series that was called just called Fear street, which happened to be stories that happened on a street that was called fear street to a set of people that lived there things like that. It was meant for more mid-teen aged people.

Then what he wanted to do was create a series for younger kids like Goosebumps which is supposed to be more for like 10 to 13 year old kids. So he did Ghosts of fear street for them. I love that is this version being for the younger kids it's kind of like saying it's the baby version of fear street. You know, like Fear street kids.

The funny thing is is he actually didn't write any of these Ghosts of fear street books, they were ghost written (Ha!) by other people.

Then while I was looking it up I saw that he did other types of books. He wrote teen drama stuff early on. One of the books was called "Phone calls" It was stuff like teens calling each other on the phone and talking about homecoming. And another series called "Cheerleaders" that was also more of a teens going through teen stuff.

I wanted to know how did R.L. Stine start out?

There used to be these magazines that scholastic would put out when i was a kid, one was called "Dynamite" and another was called "Bananas". They were magazines with stories for kids and had activities in them. They also had interviews with popular television personalities at from the time.

They also had a jokes section with drawings and jokes and R.L. Stine started out working for the "Bananas" magazine and he would write for the joke section. He wrote using the name Jovial Bob Stine.

Which I never put that together because I collect these old joke books from the 70s and 80s and the name that's always been on them is Jovial Bob Stine! R.L., Robert L. Stine!

I'm like holy crap!? I've been collecting these books and it never occurred to me that r.l Stine wrote these! I just found that really funny that he wrote horrible jokes and that's how he started out.

Wooden Pig

picture of a wooden pig sculpture on white background
Wooden Pig

I have nothing I found about this. I have no new information about it. I just have this it's a wooden pig sculpture with dangly limbs. I just wanted to let you know that. Because it's fascinating to me. Just a wooden clump made to look like a pig.

That's all I got for today! I was pretty psyched about what I learned and I hope you enjoyed it too!

Check out all the retro pop-culture items in my eBay Store -

Listen To The Podcast


New song! Variation witch

Keeping up with my plan to release new music every month.  This time around I venture into the punk blues realm. Sort of a mixture of The Black Keys and The Eels . This is a song called "Variation witch" by my band Lorenzo's Music .  The cover art is actually an antique top that I have in my collection. What I liked about it was the striped disc kind of like something in a Tim Burton film.

A quick peek behind-the-scenes of a new webcomic series. Coming soon!

I've recently paused my usual diary comic to dedicate my attention to an exciting new project—a fiction webcomic series featuring two characters that may be familiar to my long-time followers.  These characters, Bobert and the Monster have made appearances on my website before , and now they're taking center stage.  I'm working diligently with the hope of launching the series shortly.  In the meantime, I'd like to share this behind-the-scenes video of the drawing process for one of the upcoming pages.  Stay tuned for more updates as I bring this creative vision to life.

Working on a new comic

Drawing tablet screenshot I've been working on a new comic book idea. These are some screenshots of a few panels of a comic I'm drawing on my tablet. It's actually based on some characters I've had for a while called Bobert and the Monster . I don't even really remember how I came up with these characters themselves but the concept is:  It's a world made of monsters and humans are the ones that haunt and terrorize them. Specifically, Bobert the human haunts and plays tricks on the main character who is just called "Monster".  When I first started drawing them years ago they were just one-page gag comic strips. I was inspired to draw these characters based on those in-between comic stories I read in those old Gold Key and Dell comics from the 60s and 70s. Those comics would feature a main character like Yogi Bear or Huckleberry Hound . Then there were random one-page stories with a different character in the book to fill it out.  I had drawn a few o

How I use one Gmail address for multiple Soundcloud accounts

Do you know the Gmail "+" trick to use one email for multiple accounts on one service? Here's a little trick I use that works for any service.  I talked about this on the podcast episode I did with artist Mortimur K . In this case, let's say I used up all the uploads I have for my free Soundcloud account . With this trick, I can open a new free account and use the same Gmail address. I don't want to create another Gmail account to sign up again.  Using my one Gmail address for multiple accounts on the same service I don't remember when I learned this but you can alter the name on a Gmail address. Like, let's say mine is "". To be clear that is not my email. I wish it was, but this is just a short example. Start with the original Gmail address Add a "+" after the email name Where it says "tom" on the address I can put a "+" after that. Add a "+" after the email name After that "+" I ca