You Know, For Kids!

From the Grand Forks (ND) Evening Times, December 15th, 1911, a great idea for under the Christmas tree!

guns-gifts-for-boys-and-girls

Accurate .22 rifles — take your pick from Stevens, Winchester, Remington, and Savage brands!

Granted, in 1911 in North Dakota a rifle was a practical tool for farm work — it wasn’t a toy, it was something necessary to getting things done, from shooting pigeons in the barn to hunting dinner…and what kid is going to start taking pot shots at the neighbors?  Well, maybe guns aren’t the best thing to give a kid…but sometimes the kid isn’t the one who shouldn’t be messing around with a gun.  And yet nobody let Ralphie have a BB gun.

Come Sit For A Spell, Kids, & Meet Mr. Mod Bunny Rabbit!

Back in 2008, we showed you the fabulous TV Tuffets of the 1950s. But now we can do even better.

This here is a large Mid-Century modern stuffed white bunny rabbit with a turquoise vinyl seat — because it’s a stool for kids to watch TV on!

vintage kitsch mod retro stuffed animal stool chiar for kids

Just imagine the joy of watching TV on an old television set with rabbit-ear antennas while holding the ears on this bunny!

This plush white rabbit is at least 15 inches long, roughly 13 inches wide, and the seat is approximately 8 inches off the ground. This stuffed tuffet of a kids chair was made by the Atlanta Novelty Manufacturing Corporation sometime between the late 1950s to mid 1960s.

And, yes, you can buy it from me. I’m downsizing my collections. (More details here.) And with all our pets this raving beauty is one of those gems that remains hidden to remain safe. But I do love it so… Better buy it quick — like a bunny — before I change my mind.

vintage kitsch stuffed huge white rabbit

mid-century modern stuffed kitschy bunny

mod bunny rabbit kids stool

Right Down To The Miniature Cash Register

If you love dollhouses, shadowboxes, and other miniatures check out Miniature Shops How to Design And Make Them by Margaret B. Duda. It helps you make everything from a Victorian millinery to an ice cream parlor – complete with tiny hats, hat boxes, and a cash register.

miniature cash register

miniature antique shops

Going Where Boys Dare To Go

Around here, we joke that I’m only allowed upstairs— which is a euphemism for the fact that maybe I shouldn’t go out in public much. Mainly because I get emotional. If I’m not easily amused (or even more easily confused), I’m infuriated. And pretty much all the emotions in between. Case in point, last weekend’s trip to the Mall Of America where I was amused by several of the displays at The Boys Adventure Store.

Perhaps mannequins with heads would be better used to sell camping — especially with the large bear looming behind them. I’m a mom. I worry about these things.

headless campers

I did learn something though: rabbits can survive in black holes.

bunny & black holes

As far as the shop itself goes, The Boys Adventure Store is a JMCremps creation, which means it has religious tones. Meh. Maybe that’s why they insist on marketing this as “for boys”.  But, yeah, why can’t this outdoorsy fun adventure stuff be for girls too?

In terms of shopping, the items are either for real little boys (toys to push, toys to ride on, and the like) or stuff that seems to leap light-years into adulthood. Teaching kids how to throw knives and tomahawks? (When I held that up in the store, my mom read it as “Kite Throwing” — that makes far more sense, I think.) If you have older kids, and kids you can trust and will supervise, then check out the shop and the official blog. (Admittedly, the blog is far more sane sounding.)

 

Butts In The Air, We Just Do Care

In response to this post about vintage ceramic animals, Butts In The Air, Like They Just Don’t Care, Nina writes:

Hi Deanna!

I came across an old blog post of yours when I was researching a vintage dog figurine for my Etsy shop. It has it’s butt up in the air and a hole where the tail should be. Ring any bells? Anyway, I thought I’d write you, firstly to ask if you ever found out what the use was for these kitschy creatures? And secondly, to let you know, in case you’re still collecting them that I just put one up in my shop.

Great blog! I’ll be back to check in, I do love the kitsch!

Nina

Here’s the vintage little dog Nina has:

vintage dog from thebakerandthebar

To answer your question, Nina, the fact is that hubby & I still debate this. He still thinks there was some sort of a “bobble” type tail. Butt However until I see one like that I remain unconvinced…

I often look for such items. So far, I have not found any (other than more modern plastic ones — which look quite different). However, you do see quite a number of dogs with spring tails. Most people are familiar with the antique postcards featuring dogs with metal spring tails.

1912 bulldog postcard metal spring tail

There are other examples too. Like these antique cast iron dogs with spring tails. You can see that the metal spring tails are attached to a “docked” nub of a tail on the dogs, which would not work on the vintage ceramic pieces we have.

antique metal dogs with spring tails

Today, however, I ran into this rather unusual version. This urinating dog is about six inches long, is marked ‘Germany’ on the bottom, and the seller calls it “Rockingham glazed.”

vintage Rockingham glazed ceramic dachshund dog

vintage Rockingham glazed ceramic dog made in germany

Aside from the dog lifting his leg to pee, this vintage ceramic dachshund is also a decanter of some sort.

urinating lifting leg to pee vintage dog

The metal spring of a tail is attached to a ceramic piece which holds a cork. The opening for the cork stopper has raised edges, so it is quite different from the vintage ceramic dogs that Nina and I have. Although, I could see that some sort of stopper is a possibility… But then what would these little ceramic dog decanters for?

cork tail with spring

container tail cork

raised hole for cork with spring tail

I’m wondering if this was some sort of inkwell for a dog-themed novelty desk set. (See also: Scotty The Pup Desk Accessory.) Perhaps it was a flask?

If you have any info on this dog — or any of these dogs — please let us know!

Image Credits: Antique postcard with bulldog with metal spring tail via Ernies Postcards; cast iron dogs with spring tails from Shusues Collectibles; and the photos of the urinating dog decanter from Orygun Trail Antiques.

The Roof Is On Fire, Oh, And The IRS

We’ve been listing old Model Railroader magazines lately, and I loved my little model railroad when I was a kid.  I had all kinds of funky buildings and stuff, and I even threw in some Robotech stuff that was the right scale, and all sorts of things that were wildly not to scale. On one hand, realism is a goal, on the other hand having weird stuff is par for the course.  Hence, the existence of this:

the-irs-is-on-fire

Why the IRS?  Who cares!   Why not just a plain and austere IRS building for the train set?  Of course not – burn that sucker down!

You can still buy the set today from Model Power, complete with flashing fire lights and a tiny smoke machine, all of which you can see here, with a special appearance by King Kong.  Why not?  Model railroad guys are freakin’ crazy.