Sunday, February 5, 2012

Colorform Snoopy Come Home

I'm about to start into one of my old man rants, so prepare yourself.

When I was a kid, we didn't have video games and movies on demand to entertain yourself!  Okay, we did, but that was later on.  In my day, by which I mean prior to about 1980, if you wanted to recreate scenes featuring your favorite characters, you could draw them yourself or pull out the Colorforms.

Colorforms were invented in 1951 by a couple of married art students who discovered vinyl would stick to their tiled bathroom walls.  They left a roll of vinyl and a pair of scissors in their bathroom and invited guests to create their own artwork while they were otherwise preoccupied.  Though initially targeting other adult art students, Colorforms eventually found their niche in children's licensed characters.

I had a variety of sets when I was younger ranging from Batman and Robin to Mickey Mouse and Peanuts.  So when I came across these sets at a local (and quickly becoming my favorite) thrift store Value Village, the memories came flooding back.  Okay, I know what you're going to say.  Isn't this a garage saling blog?  Yes, but it's my blog and I can bend the rules when I see fit.  Besides, I paid garage sale prices, dropping little over $2 for both sets.  Both are in nearly pristine condition (with the exception of prices written on the box tops by the thrift store -- what are they thinking?!) and surprisingly missing very few pieces.

First up is the incorrectly named Come Home, Snoopy set.  Surely based on the feature length movie Snoopy Come Home, the misnaming may have occurred while the name was still in limbo, a la Revenge of the Jedi, or was simply a typo by the manufacturer.  Missing just one baseball, this set is practically complete with a solid box.

Next up is a set from one of the lesser movies from the Disney canon, Robin Hood.  My Aunt and Uncle took me to see this movie in 1973 and I recall standing in the lobby of the theater waiting to see it, but that's about it.  Apparently, I fell asleep immediately once I was seated.  I didn't see this movie until years later with my own kids on DVD and was surprised to note that the opening song Whistle Stop hummed by Roger Miller is the source, albeit sped up, of the early days of the internet's hit The Hamsterdance Song.

Colorforms are still made, but seem to go more for generic rather than licensed characters these days.  I did see a Spongebob set that is promoted as 3-D with a pop-up board, but it gets pretty bad reviews on Amazon.  I'm not sure if that reflects a change in Colorforms or our expectations of entertainment.

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