ICONIC COLLECTIBLE: Myth-busting I Love Lucy Comic, January 19, 1953

Written By: Greg Howell - Jan• 27•18

27067325_163157917741882_5593628774096240740_nThe “I Love Lucy” comic strip began January 2, 1953 and ended late November, 1954 in newspapers across the country. On the morning of Monday, January 19, 1953, the strip’s subject was the birth of the Ricardo baby, and announced “It’s a BOY!”, about 14 hours BEFORE the famous baby episode aired at 9pm.

Every account since then claims that the national audience was unaware of the sex of Lucy’s and Ricky’s baby, and the show and network kept the secret; however, that is the stuff of legend. Obviously, anyone reading a newspaper that morning was in the know! Additionally, the baby’s sex was announced in many papers in a syndicated column the day prior, Sunday, January 18, 1953, the day before Lucille Ball had her baby and Lucy Ricardo had her Little Ricky.

In the end, it mattered little, as the show exceeded all expectations and remained the most watch show ever for the next 15 years!

ICONIC COLLECTIBLES: TV View-Master Reels, 1950’s, 1960’s, & 1970’s

Written By: Greg Howell - Jan• 23•18

If you purchased the collection (represented in the video), at the time of their original release, the entire group would have set up back about $100. If you still owned these today in mint condition, the entire set would sell for about $2000, not counting the View-Masters or the store displays! The most valuable individual sets are the “Here’s Lucy, ” “Gunsmoke,” “Bonanza,” and the “Dark Shadows” reels. Each are priced at about $50 each!

Created in 1939, the View-Master viewer and reels contained 14 images, creating 7 stereophonic (3-D) images created when viewing 2 identical images simultaneously through the viewer. The viewers were made of heavy bakelite until 1961. After that date, lighter weight plastic was used.

Until the early 1950’s, the reels consisted of nature scenes and tourist destinations; however, Mattel’s viewers reached their height of popularity once popular television shows were licensed. Beginning with Disney in 1954, and then other children’s shows and cartoons, the reels began to showcase colorful television shows loved by children.

Most all the popular shows with children were showcased, with the occasional oddity thrown in the collection, such as 1973’s “The Walton’s,” 1968’s “Julia,”NBC’s “Joe Forrester,” “Hello, Larry” and 1974’s “Apple’s Way.” Several shows, such as “Bewitched,” “The Lucy Show” and “I Dream of Jeannie” were surprisingly never represented on View-Master reels.

ICONIC COLLECTIBLES: Buffy and Mrs. Beasley Dolls, 1968, Family Affair

Written By: Greg Howell - Jan• 16•18

ICONIC COLLECTIBLES: Buffy and Mrs. Beasley Dolls, 1968, Family Affair

The 101/2 inch Talking Buffy and Mrs. Beasley doll, made by Mattel Hawthorne, was one of the hottest, most successful products from a television show of the entire 1960’s. Mrs. Beasley became one of the most iconic dolls of all time, and was also mass produced in several formats long after the 1966-1971 show left the air! This version, complete with original box, can fetch upward to a $1000 in antique stores and online auctions today.


Written By: Greg Howell - Jan• 16•18

I Love Lucy merchandise made millions of dollars for Desilu Studios throughout the 1950’s. The most collectible of these products were manufactured in the earliest seasons of the show.

Pictured below, the I Love Lucy-Lucy Ricardo rag doll and the rarest, most valuable I Love Lucy collectible, The Desilu Studios I Love Lucy cigarette lighter with cartoon Lucy Ricardo. These two items are the possibly the rarest collectibles in the entire TV collectibles market. I have searched Ebay, antique stores, and pawn shops for years looking for either, and not one time have have I found one. I once held the lighter in my hand, as I was visiting one of the best collections of TV memorabilia ever assembled. I have not found or seen one since.



GREAT ICONOGRAPHY: The Farrah Fawcett-Majors Poster, 1976

Written By: Greg Howell - Jan• 16•18

Rare MINT condition Farrah spiral notebook, 1977, undoubtedly responsible for distracting thousands of students in classrooms.

6 months before the premiere of the series, Charlie’s Angels, and just weeks after the surprise success of the March 21, 1976 television movie of the same name, ABC hired photographers to shoot images posters of the three new sensational angels in bikinis. Only Farrah Fawcett-Majors accepted, but with a demand for complete control and absolutely no bikini. After a couple photo shoots, Farrah disliked all the photos, and requested photographer Bruce McBroom.  He wound his way through the Hollywood Hills’ to Mulholland Drive, the scenic home of Lee Majors and Farrah, both long-time friends of his, excited to shoot her against this beautiful, picturesque backdrop.

McBroom recalled for Time Magazine that Farrah did her own hair, makeup, and selection of suits, and they dedicated rolls of film to various images by the pool, overlooking Hollywood, but Farrah still was unhappy. Finally, she changed suits once again, this time into the classic red one-piece now so famous.

And I literally said to myself, “Oh my God.” I knew that was it. I had an Indian blanket from Mexico that served as the seat cover for my beat-up 1937 Chevy pickup with colors that, it just popped into my head, would match the suit. I’d like to make it sound like it was all planned. But it was a spontaneous, happy intersection of coincidence. I didn’t do anything. I just put her in a spot and asked her to turn it on. When I saw the film processed, I knew we’d gotten it — somewhere in these 36 frames, there’s a poster. 

Farrah selected only two images, and the rest is history. The poster sold over 6 million copies, as well as many other merchandised products, over the next several years. By the time Charlie’s Angels premiered in the fall, Farrah was already a fixture in millions teenagers’ bedrooms, making Farrah Fawcett-Majors a wealthy woman even before the show premiered.

The image is one of those magic moments that comes from spontaneity and familiarity. The textured, striped and drooping blanked set against Farrah’s classic mane and bright, beautiful smile was magical. And, then, of course, the hint of Farrah’s lovely form underneath that red one-piece bathing suit, well, caught the attention of everyone. According to McBroom, “I think it was a lucky combination of this wholesome, beautiful, all-American girl looking directly at you with a dazzling smile and a red suit that covered a lot but revealed a little.”

That classic red bathing suit is now in the Smithsonian museum collection, alongside original merchandising of the image, such as jigsaw puzzles, notebooks, and, of course, the poster!