|Watch out, cause here they come...
||[Jan. 18th, 2010|10:12 pm]
Another day, another doll!
I've loved the Alvin and the Chipmunks for as long as I can remember. We've shared a lot of great times together. They got me through the toughest parts of my childhood and were the first cartoons I ever taught myself to draw. I feel very fortunate to have been able to gather a collection of interesting and unusual items and I want to share some of my favorites here. Not everything I own will be posted here. It would take way too long to locate everything, plus there are many pics of common items that can be found on eBay such as records/cassettes, the 1985 Hardee's drinking glasses or the 1987 Burger King mini-plush. I adore the 80's years of the Chipmunks, so I mostly focus on things from that era. Here we go!
The Chipettes Soft Dolls- 1984 Ideal
This is the first set of Chipettes dolls to be produced. The Jeanette is the 2nd one I had from childhood. The first I got in 1984 and totally trashed, the second I got in 1988 when I had learned to take care of my dolls! Unfortunately, her box was not saved. Eleanor was picked up at a collectible toy store in the mid 90's and Brittany was an eBay purchase from a few years back. I'm not ashamed to say I paid top dollar for her. She was well worth the wait! These girls aren't terribly rare, but it can be tricky as well as pricey to find all 3 in mint and complete condition."She's a doll... she's Ideal!"
The Chipmunks plush- Star Shine 1988
In 1988, after the release of The Chipmunk Adventure movie, I was given a tip about a new set of Chipmunks plush on the market. These are, to the best of my knowledge, the first full size set to be released since Ideal's 1983 offerings and they are updated to reflect the new character design of the movie. They were purchased at Fluf 'n Stuf for the (outrageous!) price of $30 each and the quality is evident. Now, there were another set very similar to these that were re-released in 1990 or so, but I don't have those and I would be interested in hearing about their differences from someone who actually owns them. Anyway, these boys would be considered the first set of the new character design and make perfect companions for the Chipette soft dolls. The only thing that bugs me about them is that Simon and Theodore's letters seem to crack very easily.
The Chipmunk Adventure promotional T-Shirt- Screen Stars (?) 1987
I remember this image of Alvin all too well. In the 80's before the previews started, they would have a slide show of promotional ads. While at a kids' movie in 1987, I feasted my eyes upon a movie screen-sized image of this Alvin touting the Chipmunks' first theatrical motion picture! I was in Heaven... unfortunately, the movie wasn't picked up by any of our local theaters, what I'd learn was a common practice back then, and I had to wait a year for the video. It wasn't until the 90's that I found this promo shirt by accident in a rock memorabilia catalogue!
The Chipmunks toddler t-shirt- 1983 unknown but is licensed
Yes, I wore this in 1983. Heck, I was probably wearing it when I watched A Chipmunk Christmas for the very first time in November of that year. I would rank this as being rather hard to find as I've never seen another one like it. The thing I find most amusing is that they are in a hot air balloon- what would go on to be an integral part of The Chipmunk Adventure movie when it went into development 2 years later.
Chipmunks books and records- various makers, 1983-5
Here are some of my favorite chipmunks books and records. Not necessarily rare, but I would rank the Happy House coloring book as hard-to-find, since the later ones made by Golden turn up quite frequently. The book and record tells the story of when Brittany runs against Alvin for class president and the other 2 minis feature stories lifted from the cartoon as well. I wanted that Electric Company mag so bad when I was little- didn't get it 'til the early 2000's! The record shown is a "flexi-disc" that was included with the 1983 Chipmunks On Tour Van by Ideal. It's usually missing when the set has been de-boxed and features a lively 60's tune called "Alvin For President".
The Chipmunks carded figures- 1983/4 Ideal
Again, these aren't really rare, just a fun part to add to your collection sice they have the packaging art. I guess they really couldn't decide on Britt's hair color in the beginning, since here she turns up as a redhead! Note her costume colors are all wrong as well.
The Chipettes carded Wind Ups- 1983 Ideal
You've seen the common Simon Wind Up in the last pic, now these girls are rather hard-to-find. For whatever reason, the Chipmunks Wind Ups seem to show up far more often than the girls. I'm guessing it's because the boys were produced in larger numbers. I was lucky to buy the girls as a set. Sadly, the mechanisms are very fragile and tend not to work anymore when found loose. Now all I need is that bum Uncle Harry..!
The Chipmunks On Tour Van- 1983 Ideal
This is a great structure for your Wind Ups, but can also be used with the Poseable Play Pals. This is one of those items you need to buy NRFB to get all the little good stuff. I got this along with the other 2 structures for discount at toy stores in the late 80's. It comes with the flexi, "Alvin For President" and awesomely, the Dave Seville figure. The stage is great, but the artwork for the interior is fabulous. Unfortunately, I don't have a pic of this de-boxed, as it is -ahem- currently holding up my dollhouse...
The Chipmunks Curtain Call Theater- 1984 Ideal
Keeping in the Ideal spirit, we have an awesome stage set made for the Poseable Play Pals. I really can't express how wonderful this thing is and it's another item you need to buy NRFB to get all the goodies. I hadn't set this up in over 10 years and I must admit that I had a lot of fun playing with it for the photos. Wisely, I stashed Dave along with a few items form the Van in this box, so I was able to show them as well. Mr Seville did not want to be photographed from the front however, as time has turned his head turned an unsightly shade of brown. Here he is with his chair, megaphone and schedule, while Brittany jumped on the stage. (Her mic is not part of this set, but fits perfectly.) The concert backdrop was always my favorite as a kid.
Next, that bum Uncle Harry has taken over directing and that is why nobody knows what the heck is going on. My childhood Jeanette (with brown nose variant and handmade dress), looks on in horror.
Here are the box, figures, instructions and props. It is only missing one sword. Not bad! All of the actually produced Poseable Play Pals are here except for Super Alvin.
The Chipmunks Road Show Trunk- 1984 Ideal
The last of the "big 3" Ideal structures is the carrying trunk. This is designed for your Play Pals miniatures. Simple, but still very cute nonetheless. All of the Play Pals are here, minus bratty Brittany who was hiding (she's lost) and Boxer Alvin, who I gave to one of my favorite musicians!
The neat thing about the Trunk is that it has a mini "revolving" stage, complete with a Rainbow Coalition of fans. That is one thing I always thought was cool about the Chipmunks cartoon, it always showed a diverse cast of children.
Nice front graphics and faux gold detailing.
The Chipmunks boxed Plush Outfit: Santa Claus- 1984 Ideal
Somewhere in my house is a nearly complete set of these silly boxed fashions. Most of them are ubiquitous on eBay, this one is a bit harder-to-find. As far as I know, it wasn't pictured on many boxes or catalogues, if any, so it is easily overlooked. It is very cute and well-constructed and of course, makes a fantastic Christmas display for the smaller 1983 Ideal plush!
The Chipmunks Lunch Kit- 1984 Aladdin, The Chipmunks masks- 1988 Kellogg's
Some more silly items. My childhood lunch kit (now houses art supplies) and the rarely seen Rice Krispies masks. I have all 3 of them (Simon and Theodore are on my wall somewhere) and in this pic there is an extra uncut Theodore and Alvin. The Alvin mask has wear since I actually used it for my 1988 Halloween costume!
The Chipmunks/Chipettes promotional banner- 1985 Hardee's
I've mentioned the Hardee's glasses- another batch of ubiquitous eBay items. This item is a bit more rare. It's the advertising banner that was hung on or in the Hardee's fast food locations. I've just recently been able to display it and I'm thrilled, even with the little quirks, like Theodore's brown collar, the Chipettes' black noses, wrong eye colors, etc. I'm guessing not many collectors have a place to display it, and that is why it is often overlooked. It is a whopping 83 inches long!
The Chipmunks pennants- 1984 unknown but is licensed
Okay, this set is another good one for the rarity category. I was given these felt pennants in the 80's by someone who knew I liked the Chipmunks. From what I understand, they were sold at Roller Rinks back then with wooden sticks to be waved around like flags as you skated. This does make sense, as each has a pocket stitched through the middle that looks just big enough to slide over a stick.
The Chipmunks/Chipettes Fun Cups- 1984 Dixie
These cups are special to me as they were what the drinks were served in at my 1985 birthday party! (Well, not these exact cups, but still...) These were items designed for one time use, then thrown away, so if you like them, grab them when they do turn up. There are 3 box variants that I know of, 2 are shown here. The 3rd has cut outs of the Chipmunks and Chipettes.
Here are some examples of what was inside:
The Chipmunk Adventure Animation Cels- 1987 Bagdasarian Prod.
Here we move on to one of my favorite categories. animation cels! I've been collecting cels for a while now, but I still can't believe I own actual pieces of shows/movies that I love so much. Some of these are even autographed by the big man himself, Ross Bagdasarian, Jr.! The first two are great scenes from the movie when the boys are in Mexico and the "Girls of Rock 'n Roll"!
"Adult Brittany" is a model cel from the 1987 TV
episode called "Big Dreams". The sassy senorita and Theodore are from the movie.
2 more Chipettes cels from the movie and a 1984 model cel of Britt from the TV episode,"My Fair Chipette" along with a 1985 Baby Jeanette model from the TV episode, "The Chipette Story".
This is the crown jewel of my cel collection! Jean and Britt from the movie in their princess garb. Secret: it's actually 2 cels from 2 different scenes that were sold to me as one!
Now this baby is a rarity. It's a work by Chuck Jones of Looney Tunes fame from the 1981 TV special, A Chipmunk Christmas. The color copied background is mis-labeled 1988, which leads me to believe that it was stored with the Chipmunk Adventure cels and when they were releasing them to the general public in that year, it was thrown in. This also makes sense as I got it from the same source of most of my Adventure cels. The only other cel I have ever seen from this special was Clyde Crashcup, the nutty professor who appeared in the Chips 60's toon, and was frequently cut out from re-runs of the Christmas special.
I'm going to conclude with some silly things that are really just for fun or have a personal connection with me.
"Tooth Pillow" handmade from Chipmunks fabric 1983
I found this item at a yard sale and was told by the lady who made it, that it was a pillow to be used by a child who was leaving a tooth for the tooth fairy! Whatever the case, it was cheap and it's adorable. It was made from the Chipmunks 1983 sheet set and since I'm too squeamish to buy someone else's sheets off eBay, this will have to do. I stuck a Theodore playing piece from the 1983 board game, The Chipmunks Go Hollywood in the pocket.
Here is a collage I put together of random Chipmunks cut-outs. The top four with the balloons were cut from the table cover from my 1985 birthday party. I'm sure Jeanette and Britt were with them at one time, but most likely ripped and got thrown away. The fortune teller Simon, dreamy Brittany, glossy Theodore and Alvin were from a package of Chipmunks valentines from 1987. The 2 glossies were actually part of the cello wrapping that covered the outside of the box. (I have Simon, he was just misplaced.) The last piece of interest is the tiny trio of Chipmunks with their name above them. This was part of one of the Star Shine 1988 plush hang tags.
Finally, I just had to show this silly artwork I did in the 3rd grade when I was 7. We were given these large blank sheets of paper cut to look like eggs for Easter and were supposed to decorate them. Naturally, being the Chipmunks-obsessed kid I was, choosing Alvin was a given. Everyone in the class voted on their favorite and mine was chosen the winner! I got a pencil with an Easter topper on it and the winner sticker that is still stuck to it 'til this day.
Well, there you have it! I hope you've enjoyed this trip down Chipmunk lane and maybe seen a few things you never knew about. Happy Chipmunk collecting!