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bornin62
SS novice field agent

USA
541 Posts

Posted - 05/28/2020 :  07:26:43  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Don't know if this was ever discussed (probably was), but I am wondering what items were marketed during the series original run?
I know about the lunch box. I know about the board game (where the picture on the box trumps the game inside). I know there was a model of James West, but I believe that was something produced years later. Were there ever bubble gum cards? I know Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea had cards. Were there ever toys guns produced, back when toy guns were common? Just curious.

ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3864 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2020 :  00:30:54  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
… what items were marketed during the series original run?

Astonishingly little. Here's the only merch I can remember.

1. A Signet paperback book (the old kind, which you could find stacked and racked in revolving metal display cases inside grocery and drug stores): "The Wild Wild West," by Richard Wormser. It's a bad novelization of "The Night of the Double-Edged Knife," with no credit given to scriptwriter Stephen Kandel. Given how poor the product turned out, he may have been pleased by that.

2. A company, whose name now escapes me, issued two writing tablets of pulpy, ruled, 8 and 1/2 x 11 paper, with an adhesive top. The two covers, which were glossy, featured publicity stills from early in the show's first season: Conrad, leaning on the billiard table inside the varnish car, holding a cue, dressed in all but his bolero jacket; Martin, posing with a smile in front of a fake frontier backdrop, in his first-season dress suit, tipping his hat and clutching a pair of riding gloves never worn in the series. Sue Kessler's book has facsimiles of these covers, plus an alternate take of Martin with his hat to his chest.

I paid fifteen cents for each of these from a an F. W. Woolworth's in the small town where I grew up. (Anyone out there remember Woolworth's 5 & 10?) I gave both tablets to a girl I was sweet on, who loved the show as much as I did. That was a generous expression of puppy love but a bad mistake. If you could find one now on eBay in mint condition, it would probably set you back $50 – $100.

3. Five Gold Key comic books, which still turn up on eBay occasionally. Most of the stories are lame; the cartoonists hardly tried to render facsimiles of RC and RM. The appeal of these 15-cent comics were the covers: color and/or black-and-white stills. The first three books feature publicity stills from Season One; the last two, from "The Night of the Hangman" (1967).

4. The Aladdin lunchbox, with thermos, which you mentioned. It was merchandised during the show's last year. I remember picking it up in a store in 1968, turning it around in my hands, thinking the art was poor. By that time I was too old to be taking lunch to school in a tin box. I put it back on the shelf. I wish now I had purchased it for nostalgia's sake.

During the show's run some cheap toy company merchandized a plastic derringer on a spring contraption that a kid could wear on the forearm—but it makes no reference to the series. It, too, is pictured in Sue's Bible.

There may be others I'm forgetting, but I can think of one toy that moved in the opposite direction: from real life into the series. In 1963 Marx Toys issued "The Big Parade": a set of five plastic toy soldiers in a row, with a big bass drum on a wheel in the center. It was battery-operated, but West's prop guys stuck a wind-up stem in the back, and voila: Dr. Loveless's "whirring death" (even though nobody in that episode dies from its explosion). I don't know how long the following link will be active, but at this writing the toy and the box it came in is available in mint condition on eBay for $300, plus $200 for shipping:

https://www.ebay.com/itm/VINTAGE-1963-LOUIS-MARX-THE-BIG-PARADE-MARCHING-TOY-ORIGINAL-BOX-/264514329576

CBS and Garrison Productions could have made a bundle spinning toys and gimcracks off the show. Just think: cowboy boots with hollow heels for a variety of gadgets. Artemus make-up kits. Lionel train sets with West's varnish car, or Tyco metal replicas of only the car. View-Master discs from one of the episodes: in 3-D!

If only …
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8545 Posts

Posted - 06/02/2020 :  08:58:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Great list, ccb. I remember seeing a couple of those items. And I certainly remember Woolworth's. Ours had a great lunch counter. I know they had a particular sandwich I liked but now I can't recall just what it was. I do know I was very disappointed when they shut down. Of course, nothing can be bought for 5 or 10 cents these days!

James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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bornin62
SS novice field agent

USA
541 Posts

Posted - 06/04/2020 :  07:18:31  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Thanks ccb. That was very informative.
Any idea when the model kit was produced?
West was in peril from about half a dozen items you would glue (dynamite, tarantula, etc.)
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3864 Posts

Posted - 06/07/2020 :  23:12:06  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Any idea when the model kit was produced?

I beg your pardon. To which model kit are you referring?
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bornin62
SS novice field agent

USA
541 Posts

Posted - 06/08/2020 :  07:07:57  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
It was a plastic model of James West that you would paint and glue together.
He was standing next to a barrel on a typical wooden western sidewalk and his life was in peril from, I believe, a tarantula, a stick of dynamite, a hand with a knife, and I don't know what else, but think there were more.
By your reaction, this must be a more recently produced item.
I know I saw it somewhere...
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bornin62
SS novice field agent

USA
541 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2020 :  08:01:15  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I see it on ebay. Typed in James West Model. Apparently 'monsters in motion' makes them to order. Obviously a Very Current item!
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SordoTheBandit
SS novice field agent

539 Posts

Posted - 06/09/2020 :  09:46:18  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
How about that brass cannon that sat on the mantle in the train? Or even that little silver knight in armor with the sword that tapped on the bell.

I always wanted those.
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 06/14/2020 :  08:35:47  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Hi All, ccb, WWW lost out on a tie-in train set for the show as Tyco produced for the Screen Gems tv show “Iron Horse” which aired at the same couple of seasons. The set had a model of Sierra RR #3, which was the engine used in the WWW pilot episode, and included Sierra passengers cars that would pass for the Varnish Car and Stable Car. The box top had a great illustration of the train in action much like the WWW lunchbox. Probably would have sold better also!

[url]/https://www.google.com/search?q=tyco+iron+horse+train+set&client=safari&hl=en-us&prmd=sinv&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwjoweeCtIHqAhVjQjABHR4hACsQ_AUoAnoECAwQAg&biw=375&bih=553&dpr=2#imgrc=IQ_G8iB-714p3M[url]

"Let's get this train on the road!"-Artemus Gordon
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bornin62
SS novice field agent

USA
541 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2020 :  07:13:24  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The train set would have been a phenomenal tie-in. It was money just sitting on the table waiting to be picked up. Would have produced one heck of a collectible all those years later.
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California gal
SS senior field agent

USA
8545 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2020 :  09:14:47  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Leave it to Orrin to have the scoop on trains!

Hi Orrin! Glad to see you!!

James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: "Thanks Artie"! Is that all you can say to me? I've just come back from the grave, risen like Lazarus, and that's what you say? "Thanks, Artie"?
James: Thanks, Artie.
Artemus: It's a pleasure.
- TNOT Pistoleros
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2020 :  09:59:48  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Cal Gal!

"Let's get this train on the road!"-Artemus Gordon
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 06/15/2020 :  10:56:14  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks Cal Gal!

"Let's get this train on the road!"-Artemus Gordon
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ccb
SS Quizmaster Emeritus

3864 Posts

Posted - 06/18/2020 :  16:21:36  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Orrin knows more about trains than anyone else on the planet. Welcome back, sir.
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orrin cobb
SS novice field agent

USA
963 Posts

Posted - 06/19/2020 :  07:52:17  Show Profile  Visit orrin cobb's Homepage  Reply with Quote
Thanks ccb!

"Let's get this train on the road!"-Artemus Gordon
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nittanyapple
SS senior field agent

USA
8617 Posts

Posted - 06/27/2020 :  15:52:40  Show Profile  Visit nittanyapple's Homepage  Reply with Quote
It’s good to see some of the gang here this week! I have missed the banter and reminiscing.
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