Wednesday, December 17, 2014


Misfit Toy Stats
Name - Rootin Tootin Lil Ducky
Type of Misfit - Inappropriate
Age - 60 years
Origin - Manufactured
Height - 3"
Demeanor - Trigger happy

Yippee-ki-yay plastic ducky! Our fourth misfit toy suffers from Inappropriate Time Displacement or better known as I.T.D. If something is branded I.T.D, it means that it was acceptable in a past era but not in the current era. (I totally just made that up!) Rootin Tootin Lil Ducky comes from the 1950s during the TV cowboy craze. So many toy companies were trying to cash in and added six-shooters where six-shooters didn't belong. I don't think a pistol packing Easter duck would fly as a toy for kids in today's market.

 I found Ducky in the bottom of a box of old junk that I purchased at an auction many years ago. I can't remember what was in the box that caught my eye to make me bid. It certainly wasn't Ducky as I didn't know he was in there. He was a nice surprise even though he was missing one six-shooter and his red base was chipped. He's from a famous line of holiday candy containers made by Rosbro. Originally he would have been glued onto a little plastic cart pulled by a lamb or chicken. For whatever reason he jumped the cart and never looked back.

Before he came to join our band of misfit toys, Rootin Tootin Lil Ducky was kind of a rogue. A journeyman. His only friends were his beret and six-shooter. Don't let that cute face fool you, 'cause apparently he has a past. A past filled with meanness and regret. Now he's moved on and found a home. Don't ask, because he doesn't talk about his rough-and-ready past.

Hopefully he's found peace with the other misfits. Oh and don't worry about his six-shooter, it's not loaded.

Check back tomorrow for misfit toy #5. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014


Misfit Toy Stats
Name - Farley the Whale
Type of Misfit - Homemade
Age - 50+ years 
Origin - Handmade
Height - 7"
Demeanor - Nervous

Here's Farley the Whale, our third misfit toy of the 12 days of Christmas. I found Farley many years ago for sale in an antique mall. He was stuck in a showcase with that nervous expression frozen on his face just hoping someone would take him home. Sorry, Charlie! I didn't want to buy him at the time. I always keep my misfit toy budget very low and Farley must have been too expensive. I usually visited that antique mall a couple of times a year and I'd always spot Farley still stuck in that showcase. Year after year, I'd say hello to Farley, but keep on walking. I guess no one wanted poor Farley. Finally one day Farley's price tag was slashed. I can't remember how much he was, but apparently it was a deep enough discount to add Farley to the misfit toy group.

I think Farley the Whale was intended by the crafter to be a tuna instead. He's really a poor man's Charlie the Tuna, complete with glasses and a little hat. Farley is a sharper dresser than Charlie as you can see by his sporty yellow polka-dotted tie. He is hand carved and hand painted. Really, Farley probably isn't the best toy for children because of his thick coat of lead-based paint. I don't see teeth marks, so thankfully he wasn't a baby's chew toy.  

Also, Farley can't stand up on his own. He simply just flops over on his back. Poor, poor Farley.

Farley is kind of shy too. So I guess that's it for this misfit toy. Check back tomorrow for misfit number four.

Monday, December 15, 2014


Misfit Toy Stats
Name - Dragon Force Donny
Type of Misfit - Frankensteined
Age - Head 38 years old Body 29 years old
Origin - Manufactured 
Height - 6 3/4"
Demeanor - Punchy

Meet Dragon Force Donny our second misfit toy. Donny is a frankensteined toy. His head once belonged on a Mattel Donny Osmond doll from 1976. His body is a Lanard Toys Dragon Force Karate action figure from 1985. HAIAH!! I wonder what made some kid play mad scientist and transplant Donny Osmond's head on the Dragon Force body. Is there a Donny Osmond body out there with a Dragon Force Karate head on it?   

(photo from Ebay)

Donny is the most recent edition to our group of merry menagerie of misfit toys. I found him just a few weeks ago in a small town flea market. He was lost in a sea of old baby dolls. The photo below shows Donny at the moment I found him. He was cheap. Fifty cents cheap!

Dragon Force Donny is a little bit Rock 'n' Roll and little bit sweep the leg! He's now trying to teach his fellow misfits how to sing 1970s bubblegum pop and the five-point-palm exploding heart technique.


Check back tomorrow and meet Misfit Toy #3!

Sunday, December 14, 2014


Misfit Toy Stats 
Name - The Naked Elf
Type of Misfit - Unwanted and incomplete
Age - Sixty to seventy years old
Origin - Manufactured 
Height - 10 1/2" 
Demeanor - Mischievous

Meet our first misfit toy, The Naked Elf. I rescued this misfit toy from an antique mall during the holiday season of last year. When I spotted N.E. on the bottom shelf of a booth filled with collectibles and questionable antiques, he looked kinda down on his luck. The poor elf was half buried in happy meal toys and Beanie Babies. For some reason his black as coal glass eyes caught my attention when I was scanning the booth and I picked him up. I had never seen an elf doll quite like him before. He was much older than anything in the booth and his price tag was marked at eight bucks. Even though the price was right, N.E. was one dirty elf and was naked as a frozen jaybird on the North Pole. I decided I didn't want to spend my money on an incomplete toy. After striking out in the rest of the antique mall I didn't want to leave empty handed and decided to add The Naked Elf to my small collection of misfit toys. Now he's The Naked Elf on the shelf!

I took him home and cleaned him up the best I could. Some of the dirt has stained his composition face, but that just ads to his character. I think he's kinda like Pigpen from the Peanuts...only naked.

He's very flexible and likes to do cartwheels during his morning workouts. The other misfit toys try to look the other way when he does this. No one wants to see a naked elf doing calisthenics.

He has the reputation of being a little imp. He's a bit on the mischievous side and sometimes we have to keep him from sliding down the banister.

Check back tomorrow when we meet Misfit Toy #2!


Welcome to Neato Coolville's annual 12 Days of Christmas....Misfit Toys edition! Ho ho ho! Yep, you read that right. We will be counting down to Christmas with a different misfit toy each day. 

This merry group of twelve misfit toys were rescued from flea markets, department stores and a kid from junior high. Each toy has been given a name and you'll learn what makes each one a misfit. Check back this afternoon to meet the first toy. Merry 12 Days of Christmas!

(Also, be sure to check out the Neato Coolville Facebook page for a holiday hodgepodge of Christmas goodies including Christmas catalog highlights from the 1970s and 80s.)

Thursday, November 27, 2014


Since I grew up in the midwest, I never had a chance to buy any Big Wheels snack cakes. I wasn't even aware of the product until I discovered the boxes for sale on ebay. Big Wheels existed only out east or where Drake's Ring Dings were sold. Essentially, Big Wheels are Ding Dongs. I'm not sure on all the legalities, but Hostess wasn't allowed to sell Ding Dongs in Ring Ding territory because of the similar sounding name and shape. I would like to know the history behind the creation of the Big Wheels mascot Chief Big Wheels. I wonder why Hostess decided to go with a Native American themed character? I suppose since they already had Twinkie the Kid they were going for the whole cowboys and Indian thing. But what does an Indian Chief have to do with a wheel? I like the character, but I'm thinking a race car driver would have been a better fit, especially in the early 1970s.

I added the above box to my collection a couple of years ago and it came from my friend Waffle Whiffer who is a big Hostess collector. Check out his amazing Hostess archive here. Waffle send over this very cool pic of a Chief Big Wheels hat premium from his collection. It's a fantastic piece!

If you have an eagle eye you might notice on the hat that Chief Big Wheels is orange. That's because orange flavored Big Wheels were available for sometime.

Orange Big Wheels

From Dan Goodsell's collection, here's a rare box of Big Wheels with the orange flavor frosting! Kinda funny a snack cake that's marked vitamin fortified.

The above vacuform Chief Big Wheels has been in my collection for a few years now and came from our friends at the Tiki Ranch. I'm guessing it was probably part of a larger display and is also from the early 70s.  The big V started showing up on Hostess products around the same time.

I was hoping to find an old Big Wheels commercial, but there doesn't seem to be any online. Was there any made? I did find two ads from the early 1970s pushing the vitamin fortified campaign.

For one last Big Wheels item, here's a fun iron-on premium from Waffle Whiffer's collection.

Chief Big Wheels

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! May the day be filled with happiness and neato cool fun!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014



Last year (2013) I revisited a must see spot for Rt. 66 enthusiasts and that's John's Modern Cabins. The ol' place is still there slowly decaying on a dead end strip on the old 66 highway.

It is hidden off of I-44 near Newburg, Missouri. John's Modern Cabins is probably the loneliest spot on Route 66. I first visited John's back in 2006 and the place is still just as sad and eerie as before.  

The arrow points to nowhere on the sign. You can hear it creak back and fourth when a gust of wind blows through.

The cabin next to the sign has partially collapsed since my last visit in '06. 

How great is it that a place with modern in its name has an outhouse? Yeah, pretty great!

My photo from 2006.

For an excellent history of John's Modern Cabins click here. Wow! After reading that history, I didn't know about the murder connected to the place in 1935 on Halloween night. Okay, that really raises the creepyness of the property. I did some research and found the murder victim Wilma (Billie) Frederickson Duncan's death certificate click here and a photo of her grave click here.

After that not so happy note, you can click here for a video tour of the place.

If you decide to visit John's Modern Cabins, be careful and watch out for rusty nails and snakes! I found both.