Betty's Attic
Shop Betty’s for nostalgic collectibles. Betty's Attic offers baby boomer toys, dolls, puzzles and games plus classic television, movie and radio memorabilia… Recycle
Friday, November 17, 2017
Mrs. Beasley was one of my favorite dolls. I loved Family Affair and Buffy's frumpy little doll, so when I got one for Christmas, I was over the moon! I still have the original up in the attic somewhere, but I couldn't resist picking up a new one for my granddaughter. (And an extra for me.)

My brother got Lincoln Logs that year. He was mighty annoyed when he discovered that I was better at building than he was. His log cabins were always missing something - like windows and doors. Or they leaned this way or that and finally fell over from his constant fiddling.

Once he discovered action figures like Stretch Armstrong, his Lincoln Logs lay forgotten (which meant - by default - they became my toy!). We used to grab poor Stretch by his arms and legs and pull and pull and pull until the doll was as long as the kitchen table. It was one of his all-time favorite toys, so imagine my delight when I found out I could get him a new one this year.

Toy makers are going back to the pre-video game era this year. You can pick up lots of retro toys you remember from childhood and make new Christmas memories with toys from yesteryear.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, November 10, 2017
It's hard to crown a king when it comes to animated dogs. Snoopy has to make the top ten for sure. And then there's Pluto, Clifford, Goofy, and of course, Underdog. They're all fine examples of cartoon canines, but Scooby Doo tops my list of top dogs.

His "ruh-roh" voice, his absolute passion for Scooby snacks, and his uncanny ability to accidentally solve ghostly crimes made for some of the best Saturday mornings I can remember. Sitting in front of the TV with a bowl of sugary cereal and laughing milk out of my can't trade memories like that for anything.

It's hard to believe that Scooby is 48 years old. That's 336 in dog years! What might be easier to believe is I still watch the show whenever it's on. I happened to catch one of my favorite episodes last weekend. Titled "Decoy for a Dognapper", it was one of the first episodes of the first season. Scooby poses as a decoy for a nefarious dognapper and is kidnapped himself! But the dognappers soon find out that Scooby is a decoy and set him free.

Then comes the very best part (and the reason this is a favorite episode): Scooby gets recaptured and finds Daphne tied to a post in a dungeon surrounded by his caged dognapped companions. Daphne says, "Scooby! Untie me!" But Scooby doesn't...not until she promises to free his friends, too.

Finally, the whole menagerie - human and canine - catch the evil dognapper and bring him to justice.

After that, well, Scooby Snacks, of course!

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, November 3, 2017
I grew up on Monopoly. I was pretty good at it, too. Half my family still thinks I should have gone into real estate. The other half thinks I would have just used my houses and hotels to hold more collectibles. Both halves are probably half right.

The game's roots go back to 1903. First called "The Landlord's Game", it was invented by American Elizabeth Magie, but lots of people contributed to the development of the Monopoly game I came to know and love as a child.

On November 5, 1935 the first Monopoly board game hit store shelves. In honor of this illustrious birthday, here are a few little known facts about one the well known game:
  • There's no written rule about putting "Community Chest" and "Chance" money in the middle of the board and paying it out to the player who lands on "Free Parking". But that's how most people play it.
  • Low rent properties pay best. People land on them more often (so you collect rent) and they're cheaper to develop than a high dollar high rise in Marvin Gardens.
  • "Marvin Gardens" is a misspelling of an actual place - Marven Gardens - in Atlantic City. 
  • Over $3 trillion in Monopoly money has been printed since 1935. 
  • People play Monopoly in 114 different countries in 47 different languages.
When I was a kid Monopoly really was a "landlord's game". These days there are so many themes you can hardly keep up. No matter what movie, TV show, book, city, or sport you like, there's probably a Monopoly to go with it. The boards and pieces might have changed over the years, but the play is still the same. And so is the strategy. If you want to win, that is.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, October 27, 2017
Remember The Wonderful World of Disney? It first aired on ABC on this date in 1954. Generations of kids have been growing up on Disney ever since.

I watched the new episodes and the re-runs (they were new to me!). I especially loved it when Disney movies were broken into two or three parts for broadcast on television. Alice in Wonderland was the first, followed by most of Disney's classic library.

The show aired under various titles and moved from network to network until 2008. After a 54-year run, Walt Disney's groundbreaking series ended with another of my Disney favorites: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I watched, of course.

I also learned a few fun facts about one of America's oldest and best-loved television series:
  • While other film studios feared that the 'newfangled technology' would ruin the movie business, Walt Disney embraced television wholeheartedly. 
  • So maybe it's no coincidence that Disneyland was the first successful TV show ever created by a movie studio. 
  • It was also the first television show to generate a spin-off - the Davy Crockett miniseries, which created a nationwide craze that included a chart-topping song and warehouses of "frontiersman" merchandise.
  • Though ABC broadcast in black-and-white, Walt Disney filmed in color, so most of the earlier shows could be rebroadcast when the show moved to NBC's all-color network. (The show was renamed Walt Disney's Wonderful World of Color for NBC.)
  • Ludwig Von Drake, Donald Duck's uncle, was the first Disney character created for TV. When the show first aired on NBC, the bungling professor explained the principles of color TV to viewers.
I remember that Donald's goofy uncle was one of my favorite characters on the show. Most people (including me) can't pick a number one favorite character from the Disney Universe - they're all so lovable.

But I will say this: I still have my very first Mickey Mouse watch. And just like Disney movies and characters, I still love it. But best of all? Just like the magic of Disney, it still works!
Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, October 20, 2017
On October 23rd fans will celebrate what would have been Johnny Carson's 92nd birthday. Carson was (to me) the best late-night television host in the history of TV. My parents never missed his show. Me either.

Johnny's guests were some of the funniest comics on the scene, including Robin Williams, Rodney Dangerfield, Richard Pryor, Lucille Ball...the list is almost endless. Even the politicians he interviewed (like Senator Ted Kennedy) got in on the late night laughs.

Of course, there were his signature skits like Carnac the Magnificent and his banter with Ed McMahon and Doc Severinson, which are still some of the Tonight's show's best of the best segments.

But my favorite moments of every single episode of The Tonight Show: Johnny's opening monologue - even when the jokes bombed. Or especially when the jokes bombed. When Carson told a "stinker" his reactions were priceless - and 100% unforgettable.

Maybe that's why - even with all the late and late-late shows on these days - Johnny Carson still remains the undisputed King of Late Night.

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, October 13, 2017

This might come as a surprise to regular readers, but The Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my all-time favorite holiday films.

Of course I love the classics like A Christmas Story and It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol, but Nightmare has something they don't: it combines two of the most wonderful days of the year: Halloween and Christmas.

Since we're approaching the Nightmare season, which runs from Halloween all the way through Christmas, I thought I'd share some of my favorite moments from this heartwarming holiday classic:
  1. Watching Jack Skellington discover Christmasland for the first time made my heart swell. It almost was like watching my kids' first Christmases. Just a little creepier.
  2. When Jack first reaches for the door to Christmasland, you can see the surrounding dark forest in the reflection off of the doorknob.
  3. Jack's Halloweentown friends' confusion that the "sock" he brought isn't supposed to have a foot inside.
  4. The sad but triumphant moment when Jack realizes that he's not very good at Christmas, but he's still the King of Halloween!
  5. And last, but definitely not least, the touching moment when Jack and Sally realize they are made for each other. 
I know it's a little weird. Strangely dark. Maybe a little spooky for the little kids. But it has all the trimmings of a great holiday story - love, giving, discovery, and even a miracle or two. Which is why Tim Burton's creepy classic makes my all-time favorite list!

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink
Friday, October 6, 2017
The sleek, bullet-shaped Airstream trailer has been around since the 1930s when a lawyer named Wally Byam started building them in his backyard in California. Since then the trailer has become synonymous with freedom. Life on the open road. And loads and loads of style.

We lived next door to one when I was a kid. It belonged to our neighbors the Alexanders who have used to have "camping parties" when they weren't traveling. They'd invite everyone in the neighborhood to bring a own chair and beverage and we'd sit in a little circle around the Airstream's front door while Mr. Alexander cooked burgers and dogs on a small grill outside and Mrs. Alexander brought out lemonade for us kids.

I loved that little trailer. I loved that it was all round inside. It was cozy and inviting. Plus, it always smelled really good inside the Airstream - like the scent of Adventure!

Every time I see one on the road, it takes me back to those neighborhood 'campouts' at the Alexanders' house and I remember how much I wanted to live the "Airstream Life", too. I never got to buy one for myself, but I as it turns out, I didn't have to - you can rent one these days. Maybe I'll start saving for next summer and finally have an Airstream Adventure of my own!

Posted by: Betty | 8:00 AM | permalink

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