Kenner Strawberry Shortcake Strawberryland Miniatures Special Offer Set

Strawberry Shortcake Strawberryland Miniatures Special Offer Set

This Strawberry Shortcake Strawberryland Miniatures set is a great example of the Special Offer toys Kenner released in the late 70’s and early 80’s.  The Special Offer items were a way for Kenner to provide department stores with exclusive/added value toys.  The Special Offer advertisements were sometimes added to the package as a sticker, or printed directly onto the packaging like in this case.

For Strawberry Shortcake, Kenner packaged three miniatures together along with a cardboard backdrop.  The Strawberryland Garden Collector Set includes Apple Dumplin with Tea Time Turtle, Strawberry Shortcake with watering can, and Lemon Meringue.

Strawberry Shortcake Strawberryland Miniatures Special Offer Set

The back of the package also shows two other sets:

The House Collector Set – Raspberry Tart with a bowl of berries, Strawberry Shortcake with Custard, and Blueberry Muffin with her basket.

The Bakery Collector Set – Huckleberry Pie with Pupcake, Strawberry Shortcake with 3 berries, and Apricot with her bunny Hopsalot.

Strawberry Shortcake Strawberryland Miniatures Special Offer Set

The set contains a cardboard backdrop that measures about 4 1/2″ tall x 9″ wide, and also a small product catalog.

Strawberry Shortcake Strawberryland Miniatures Special Offer Set

The backdrop has die-cut windows that can be opened to create extra play value.

Strawberry Shortcake Strawberryland Miniatures Special Offer Set

Back in the day, the Special Offer toys probably really jumped out at kids and parents as they were walking down the toy aisles.  Today, the familiar red, yellow, and black offers also stand out to collectors.  The Special Offer toys are highly sought after additions to any collection.

 

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Kenner Fast 111’s double-sided metal store display

Kenner Fast111s Double-Sided Metal Store DisplayKenner store displays, or POP (Point of Purchase) displays as they are sometimes called,  are a really fun segment of toy collecting.  Kenner produced many different types of store displays over the years to help sell their product lines.  Some displays are relatively simple like printed cardboard shelf talkers, and others are so large and elaborate that you are in awe when you see them.  Individual displays and display sets could be purchased by toy store owners for use in their stores.  In some cases, the displays were thrown in as a perk to encourage large orders, or given to large retailers in hopes they would display them in the toy aisles.

This Fast 111’s store display is a large double-sided metal sign measuring 29 3/8″ wide x 15 7/8″ tall.  The display is made from two identical metal halves that are riveted together.  This allowed it to hang from the ceiling and be seen from both sides.  The display features the Kenner and FAST 111’s logo, as well as the tag line ONE OF A KIND LICENSE PLATES!  It also has the following copyright information on it:  ©CPG Products Corp. 1981, a subsidiary of General Mills, Inc. by its Division Kenner Products, Cincinnati, Ohio 45202.

One of the coolest parts of this sign is that many of the details are actually press formed into the metal to create a 3-dimensional effect.  You can see the raised areas in the image below:

Kenner Fast111s Double-Sided Metal Store Display

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Kenner’s hand crocheted Pigtail Play-Wig

Kenner Pigtail Play-WigIf you thought the Daddy Saddle was as far out there as Kenner dared to venture, think again.  Yes you are looking at a play wig Kenner marketed and sold in 1958.  What little  girl didn’t want to run around with a hand crocheted wool wig on her head?  I love this goofy thing!

Let me introduce you to Kenner’s Pigtail Play-Wig.  It ‘s a hand crocheted, wool wig that kids could wear.  I can only imagine how dirty and nasty this thing would get after a hard day of playing.  Would have been funny to see a kid get caught in the rain while wearing one!

The wig is attached to a thin cardboard cutout head and the overall packaged dimensions are about 13″ tall x 9″ wide.  The card reads:

HAND CROCHETED – ALL WOOL
KENNER’S PIGTAIL PLAY-WIG
FUN… COMFORTABLE
FITS ANY SIZE HEAD

SANITARY
THIS PIGTAIL PLAY-WIG HAS BEEN STEAMED AND IMMEDIATELY SEALED IN ITS PLASTIC BAG TO INSURE FRESHNESS AND CLEANLINESS.

WASHABLE
USE MILD SOAP OR FLAKES.  PRESS GENTLY BETWEEN TOWELS.  PULL INTO SHAPE AND ALLOW TO DRY.

PLAY-WIG IS MADE IN 2 STYLES:
STRAIGHT BANGS AND CURLY BANGS

EACH IN 2 COLORS:
BLONDE AND RED HEAD

MADE IN JAPAN. PAT. PEND.
©1958 KENNER PRODUCTS CO., CINCINNATI, OHIO

The Made in Japan is something I don’t remember seeing on a Kenner toy before.  Maybe the wig was only sold in Japan?  I’d love to hear from anyone that might know more about it.

The back of the cardboard is plain:

Kenner Pigtail Play-WigHere’s a close up of the card details:

Kenner Pigtail Play-WigIf anyone has a red head version, I am very interested in confirming that it was made.  Please let me know!

Kenner Pigtail Play-WigIn case you are wondering, yes there are plenty of modern versions out there!

 

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Kenner Model Shop dated hard copy Batman sample

This is a bagged Batman hard copy dated 3/15/00.  A hard copy is one of the earliest stages of a figure’s creation, and this particular hard copy is a dark blue resin material.  What’s interesting about this piece, is that it used to hang on a board in Kenner’s model shop at 615 Elsinore Place in Cincinnati, Ohio, along with several other bagged and dated examples.

Each of the bagged samples on the board had a different colored resin in them, and a date that corresponded with when the colored resin was used by Kenner.  My guess is that this was a way for Kenner to keep track of when the resin was used in an attempt to slow down some of the prototypes going out the back door and ending up on the collector’s market.

Here are all the pieces from the bag:

Here is a picture showing just a few of the other bagged and dated samples that were hanging in the model shop:

If anyone has a photo of all of the samples hanging on the model shop’s board, I would love to add it!

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Kenner Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears Friend Bear at Cincinnati Zoo

Kenner Care Bear and Strawberry Shortcake at Cincinnati Zoo

This image was scanned from a slide that was found with a large group of Kenner internal slides.  The image shows Strawberry Shortcake and Care Bears Friend Bear posing with kids at the Cincinnati Zoo, probably around the mid 1980’s.

My guess is these are Kenner employees that drew the short straw, or this is part of some kind of internal Kenner rookie employee hazing.  Either way, if you are out there Strawberry Shortcake lady, we would love to hear from you!

Plaidstallions.com has posted a similar picture of Batman, Robin, and Penguin at the Cincinnati Zoo.  There’s a good chance these were from the same day.

Also, don’t forget about the awesome internal Brainiac costume we posted here!

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Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters and Rat Fink mashup sculpture

Kenner Real Ghostbusters Ed Roth Mashup

How cool is this?  If you’re a fan of Kenner’s The Real Ghostbusters toy line from the 1980’s and the Rat Fink toy line from 1990, here is a mashup that will leave you begging for more.  Artist Paul E. Francis has completed work on a three dimensional Rat Fink style sculpture of the famous ECTO-1 ghost-busting vehicle driven by Slimer.

Rat Fink was created by the legendary Ed “Big Daddy” Roth and Kenner produced Rat Fink Rad Rods and Rat Fink Hydro Racers cars in 1990.

Let’s hope Paul can get enough interest to offer these to fans and collectors!  Click here for an awesome step by step look at the molding process on the sculpture.

Thanks to Proton Charging for the heads up!

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Our little bird is introduced to a galaxy far, far away.

starwarshumble1

This is an amazing picture showing George Lucas, Gary Kurtz, and Bernard Loomis meeting to discuss the licensing agreement reached between them for rights to produce Star Wars toys, games, and other products.  Bernard Loomis was president of Kenner Products from 1970-1978.  Its great to see that from humble beginnings come galaxy sized results!

starwarshumble2

 

This is what the original announcement looked like in a trade magazine.  Its kind of crazy to think in todays “connected” world with the marketing machine churning at full speed what news like this would look like today.

Thanks to PlaidStallions!

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A look at the original Kenner Star Wars toy anticipation on this Force Friday

Kenner Collector Joe Mendelsohn

If you have any Star Wars toy collectors on your Facebook feed, then you already know what today is.  It’s Force Friday, the official release day for the new Force Awakens Star Wars toys.

ABC News has a look back out the excitement surrounding the release of the toys for the original Star Wars movie, with news footage from November 30, 1978. There is some great behind the scenes footage of toys being assembled and packaged in the Kenner factory. Also an interview with Joe Mendelsohn, who took over as president of Kenner in 1978 when Bernie Loomis moved up to manage the General Mills Toy Group.


ABC Breaking News | Latest News Videos

Here’s a direct link to the video.

Kenner Collector Star Wars factory toy assembly

Careful with those boxes lady, collectors like our packaging in mint condition!

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Mark Boudreaux, the toy designer behind every Kenner/Hasbro Star Wars Millennium Falcon

Kenner Collector Bloomberg Mark Boudreaux

Bloomberg has posted an interview with Mark Boudreaux, the man who has been working on Star Wars toys for over 40 years.  Mark started out creating toys at Kenner in Cincinnati as a student, and now still works for Hasbro.

Boudreaux has been behind the scenes all along, crafting Star Wars merchandise since he was a 21-year-old industrial design student at the University of Cincinnati. He landed a paid internship in January 1977 at nearby Kenner Products, which at the time was best known for making dolls based off The Six Million Dollar Man television show.

The article includes some great behind the scenes images, and a look into Hasbro’s current Star Wars design area.  Check it out here!

Image property of Bloomberg Business.

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1978 POPAI Outstanding Marketing Achievement Silver Award for Star Wars Action Figure Floor Display

The POPAI (Point of Purchase Advertising Institute) was established in 1936 and is an international trade association for marketing in retail industry.

It serves as the premiere source of education, learning and future-oriented research in retail marketing.  For over 50 years, it recognizes the most effective and innovative in store and at retail displays with gold, silver and bronze Outstanding Marketing Achievement awards (OMA).  The OMA was given in four forms, a silver statuette (best of category), antique bronze statuette (best of class), gold statuette (best of industry) and a Cartier Baccarat Crystal Obelisk atop an ebony base (display of the year).  The statuette features a stylized version of the cigar store indian, one of America’s earliest forms of p.o.p. advertising.

Kenner’s Star Wars line was one of the most successful toy lines in history.  The line defined the 3 3/4-inch scale toy and set the standard for movie merchandising moving forward.  How the toys looked in the stores was at least as important as how they worked at home.  To that end, Kenner’s Star Wars displays were eye catching as well as functional.  As it turns out, from the very beginning, they were also award winning within the toy industry.

In 1978, Kenner received the POPAI Outstanding Marketing Achievement Silver Award for their “temporary floor display of action figures”. This is the statuette that Kenner’s representative received for this honor. Temporary, in this case, simply means the product could be removed and the display was not a permanent fixture.

Thanks to the POPAI for providing additional information about this award to us, as well as scans from the original 1978 Award Program.  Additional thanks to the owner for giving us the opportunity to share this with everyone and to The Star Wars Collectors Archive for color images of the ‘Star Wars Action Figure Floor Display’ that won this award.

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