Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Nancy Drew Blog Party Day 18: Vintage Nancy Drew Collectibles

Vintage Nancy Drew Collectibles

Aside from all the great books and stories we love so much and treasure, there are some neat Nancy Drew collectible items to collect as well. The drawback to these collectibles is that there are not a lot of vintage ones! While modern merchandising has really taken off in the last 5+ years, in the beginning there wasn't a lot on the market. One major reason for this was that the Syndicate was very guarded over what they would agree to license--especially in the 1970s. Back in the 1930s to 1940s, licensing and branding for books like these wasn't what it is today where you can see your favorite characters slapped on anything and everything from toothbrushes to cereal boxes to stickers and school supplies. There was a planned clothing line in the 1930s though for Nancy Drew that never took off--unfortunately--those clothes would have been such neat fashion to collect!

There are 3 main areas of collectibles from 1930 to 1979: 1930s movie collectibles, book related collectibles, and TV collectibles. The lobby card shown above is an example of 1930s memorabilia. It's downright hard to find--from posters to lobby cards and press kits plus stills and other odds and ends. A reproduction lobby card of mine is featured in the October 2011 issue of Country Living. Prices for lobby cards and posters is incredibly high and I do not see these come up for sale too often.

The Nancy Drew mystery game shown above and the Madame Alexander dolls shown below are examples of book related collectibles. The first such item was the game above coming out in 1957 with another version in 1959 featuring a different cover. The dolls were a brief 1967 item from MA which went on the market and Harriet Adams didn't approve--so sales ceased but not before some made it out into collector's hands. I see these several times a year for sale at eBay in the various outfits.


This lunchbox is based on actress Pamela Sue Martin from the Nancy Drew 1970s TV show. You can find it often at eBay. By the 1970s, we had a lot more licensing going on due to the TV show--even more so for the Hardy Boys who were also on TV. From puzzle books to lunchboxes to puzzles to shirts and watches and even fan clubs. These items can be easier to come by than the 1930s memorabilia but a few items seem pretty elusive--like the Nancy Drew watch that I happened to get at eBay--the only one I've ever seen listed there in over 14 years I've been searching. There were also some book related items from the 1970s like a Cookbook and Sleuth Book plus private eye diaries that followed and a few other items. Visit my Nancy Drew Website to learn more about vintage and modern Nancy Drew collectibles.

Jenn:)

10 comments:

Pam H in SC said...

I love the vintage items! I have a game, but I'm sure some of the pieces are missing. And I have a lunchbox with thermos that my FIL is very proud of finding for me. I would love to have a costume and an elusive Nancy Drew Diary. I guess I'll have to keep searching for those treasures.

Kansas Mad Man said...

I remember the Nancy Drew Diary being sold where the HB and ND books were, back in the early 1980s. . . . slow moving merchandise, I guess! The mask is reminiscent of "Alice, Sweet Alice," and is truly creepy.

I think the image of PSM on the lunchbox is unflattering too. Question: is the color off on all of my televisions? Because PSM seems to have Auburn hair in many episodes, and at the darkest, Chestnut brown hair. . . friends say I remember Dynasty when she had the Victoria Principal auburn. . .

Would love to see reproduction games!

Vicki said...

Back in the late 70s and early 80s when I was beginning my collection, I went hunting for Nancy Drew items at the memorabilia shops in Hollywood. A couple of the store owners told me that (even then) Nancy Drew items were scarce because Bonita Granville was buying everything she could find that related to her career which included her starring role in the Nancy Drew movies. Vicki

sequesterednooks said...

I love looking at the all the different collectibles!

It's funny, but a piece of me is glad that the merchandising was limited. I think I would feel overwhelmed if there was a ton of options for Nancy Drew stuff available, and the collector mentality inside me would panic a bit. Of course, the downside is definitely that there is not enough to go around.

Rebecca

LuAnn Sgrecci O'Connell said...

I had a good laugh thinking about what Harriet Adams would have thought if Mattel ever approached her about making a Nancy Drew Barbie! Given Barbie figure and clothing, I'm sure Harriet would have been appalled!

Rachelle21 said...

I had enough trouble to keep up with the books to even think of colletibles. Especially, since I got married and moved in 1980 and had to move my book collection.

Shell in the City said...

I have one of the ND board games and love it. I would love to find more vintage items. I may start searching for the lunchbox. I am sure the dolls are really hard to find.

Nancy Lauzon said...

I played the Nancy Drew game with a friend, and remember being extremely envious that she owned one!

Nancy

Jan said...

I dream of the day I just come across something like a mint game at an estate sale buried in a closet for 25 cents! I wish I remembered the game from when I was a kid - I just had the books and didn't know there was anything else!
Jan Rader

Jill said...

I have the game as well, I didn't know anyone else that had the Nancy Drew game - I was quite proud of it and still am after all this time.