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.

Sesame Street, “Green,” March 10, 1970

Written By: Greg Howell - Jan• 19•18

SSBook&Record(Sponsored by the letters G, O, Z, and the numbers 4 & 5)

Without argument, Kermit the Frog’s “Green,” later retitled “Being Green,” is the most significant and successful song written for children and children’s television programming in the history of recorded music and broadcasting. Premiering at the end of the show’s first, wildly successful season, the softly, and poignantly sung tune catapulted into the American mainstream, quickly becoming an American songbook classic.

For the March 10th premiere, the song was centered around Kermit in a dark, leafy green forest setting. Kermit’s, aka Jim Henson, plaintive words about the difficulty of being the color green transform into a triumphant understanding of his own individuality and beauty. An obvious analogy about race, the song could just as easily be about sex, personal identity, even sexual orientation – and more broadly, about the beauty of individuality.

By the following year, both Frank Sinatra and Lena Horne had recorded the song, but its first recorded appearance was on the Children’s Workshop release of the first Sesame Street album in the summer of 1970. The album was a sizable hit, awarded gold by the RIAA, and peaking at #23 on the Billboard Top LP’s chart.

The classic song was written by Joe Raposo. The Portuguese-American songwriter and composer also wrote the theme song to Sesame Street, and wrote songs for the Electric Company, and the theme to 1970’s “jiggle” TV classic comedy, Three’s Company.

The many versions of the song are available on iTunes, including the original and the 1979 disco version.


The original video, as shown below, is viewable at the Sesame Street official YouTube channel and countless other sources online, including SesameStreet.org

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.