Childhood Memorabilia Pack (1960s)
A lovingly prepared catalogue of reproduction memorabilia from the 1960s – to aid memories or just help understand the period better. This pack contains: Ellisdons novelty catalogue, Beatles ticket, Fleetway Annuals brochure, toy leaflets including Action Man, Lego and Sindy, school report and essay, tricycle flyer and miscellaneous trade cards.
Where everything felt young and vibrant and new. The old elements were still there, but were overlooked in favour of the novel, loud and devil-may-care. Occasionally tarnished by little too much overindulgence and freedom, traditions and Victorian values still held some sway, but in the ideological sweep of things, this is when “new” really began to trump “old”.
During the early-mid 20th Century, Ellisdon & Son (of London) were one of the biggest tricks, novelties and jokes retailers in the world. They supplied materials to magicians and ventriloquists and produced their own booklets and catalogues (for their mail-order business). Australian immigrants arriving in the 1930s, the company traded successfully until the retirements of the founding family caused the demise of the operation in the 1970s.
Fleetway Publications, a magazine publisher based in London, has been owned by several corporations over its short history. Starting in 1959 with the purchase of Amalgamated Press by the Mirror Group, it was sold to the IPC group in 1963, then Robert Maxwell, then Egmont UK in 1991. The Fleetway name was used up to 1968 and again from 1991. Their titles were better known – including: 2000 AD, Eagle, Joe 90, Judge Dredd Megazine (sic), M.A.S.K., Roy of the Rovers and Whizzer and Chips.
Sold in Britain by Pailtoy from 1966 to 1984, Action Man is a licensed version of Hasbro's "movable fighting man" toy, G.I. Joe (in the USA). The UK toy (figure and accessories) was essentially the 1964 US version of that toy. The first figures to be launched were a soldier, sailor and pilot – available with one of four hair colours (blonde, auburn, brown or black). Originally, designs reflected US forces of the Second World War and Korean War, but later years saw the introduction of uniforms and accessories from the UK’s armed forces. Reintroduced after a hiatus, in 1993, the new model was based on the up-to-date G.I. Joe figure.
Sindy was designed by Pedigree Dolls & Toys in 1963. A British fashion doll produced to rival the Barbie doll from the US, it had a more wholesome image and design and was successful – it was the top selling toy in the UK in both 1968 and 1970. In the late 1970s, Marx Toys failed to introduce Sindy successfully in the US and Hasbro bought the rights, remodelling it to appeal more to the US market. Consequently, its popularity declined and Mattel, Barbie’s owner, sued for copyright infringement (Hasbro remodelled Sindy's face to settle the claim). Sindy's market share continued to fall in the 1990s (despite Barbie’s ongoing success) and the doll was largely withdrawn in 1997. The rights then reverted to Pedigree and Sindy was relaunched in 1999, this time manufactured by Vivid Imaginations.
Lego is a plastic construction toy from Denmark consisting of colourful interlocking plastic bricks and an array of associated mini-figures and other moulded parts. The pieces can be joined in a number of ways, to construct (and deconstruct) virtually any object. It is this flexibility that has brought the company enormous success since it began manufacturing the parts in 1949 – in February 2015 it was named "world's most powerful brand" and as at July 2015, 600 billion Lego parts had been produced. From simple beginnings, the company now makes a multitude of designs and can boast movies, games, competitions and amusement parks based on the product.
The Beatles was a hugely successful and influential English rock band formed in Liverpool in 1960. Their music began with skiffle, beat and 1950s rock and roll, but the Beatles experimented with several genres including pop ballads, Indian music, psychedelia and hard rock. The frenzy of popular success they initially achieved was labelled as “Beatlemania” (mainly after their first hit, “Love Me Do”, in late 1962), but, before breaking up in 1970, they had become an embodiment of the counterculture of the 1960s. The four group members (the ‘fab four’ – John Lennon, Paul McCartney, George Harrison and Ringo Starr) became household names and the music of Lennon and McCartney has been praised throughout and beyond its original genres.