Wednesday, December 22, 2010

The Pretty Penny Wishing Well in Aqua

Turns out it does exist...

This set turned up on eBay recently:

Click Here to visit this eBay auction
I'd just love to add this aqua well with a pink roof to my collection, unfortunately $250 is more than I can afford.

Maybe Santa will be in a really generous mood this Christmas.

I doubt it, but we'll see...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Precious Places Most Wanted List

Here is my top 5 list of Precious Places sets I still need for my collection:

5) The Pretty Penny Wishing Well - Aqua Well with Pink Roof

Okay, so I know it's rather greedy of me, but even though I have a complete Wishing Well set (pink wishing well with aqua roof), I still want the variation with the aqua well and pink roof.  I haven't seen it on eBay recently, but I think I saw it once a long time ago, maybe...  Hopefully it will come up again soon so I can be sure it does truly exist.

4) Wendy and Her Ice Cream Cart with Aqua Wheels

In my attempt to get every Precious Places piece in every color, one particular figure has been the most difficult to find, and that is Wendy and her Ice Cream Cart with aqua wheels.  The particular cart I'm looking for is featured prominently on Wendy's personality card, but does it ever appear on eBay?  No, it does not.  Why not?  This may be one of the great mysteries of the universe.  Hmmmm...

3) The Mother and Baby Pony in Pink 

I've got a complete Mother and Baby Pony set with a white baby pony, but I cannot for the life of me seem to locate the pink baby pony.  She's on the front of the Mother and Baby Pony box and ThisOldToy lists her as a variation, but I haven't seen her.  Have you?

2) The Dining Room 

I agree with ThisOldToy where they say this set is so rare that they've never seen any of the parts to the set.  Where oh where art thou, my elusive Dining Room furniture set?

1) All the County Fair Sets

Now I know these were never put into mass production, but there must have been at least one prototype made of each set since they took pictures of them.  What research I've done indicates that there were probably several prototypes at some point.  Where are the prototypes now and how can I get one?  I haven't been able to make much progress in getting answers to those questions.

If you have any of these sets, please contact me.  I would be more than happy to buy them from you.  And even if you don't want to sell them, please still contact me so that I at least know they exist!!!

Sunday, November 28, 2010

The Sunshine Country Picnic Parts Pictures

One of the more rare Precious Places sets is the Sunshine Country Picnic.  Since the website doesn't have pictures of the individual parts I thought I would post them here for everyone.

Here is the base:

Here are a couple shots of the basket and lid:

I've previously posted pictures of these other Sunshine Country Picnic parts (click on the name of the part to view images)

Figure: Jennifer
Swing Set
Key (with Basket Litho)

The Picnic also included a set of pink dishes and a pink pie (the same dishes and pie that came with several other sets).

Finally, here is a picture of the whole set all together:

I do still have a few questions about the set, but I think I'll save those for another post, so in the mean time, enjoy the beauty of this springtime scene, even if the view out your window is a bit more dreary!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Precious Places Village Tour Stop 2: The Blue Ribbon Pony Stable

Continuing on from the Silver Bells Wedding Chapel in our Precious Places Village Tour, we come to set #5152 The Blue Ribbon Pony Stable.

Here is a picture of the set from my personal collection:

To the best of my knowledge, my set is complete, other than the fact that I don't have the box or instruction sheet.

This is the shop I most wanted as a child because I've always loved horses.  I also thought the dutch door was really cool.  It's a nice little detail that I still happen to think is rather cute.

As far as collecting goes, it seems to be the hardest shop to find with all its pieces, although it does make regular appearances on eBay and with a little patience, it is certainly a findable set.

What about you?  What do you like about the Stable?  Is it your favorite shop set?  Have you been able to find one for your collection?  Please let me know!  Also, leave me any questions you have about the set in the comments section of this post.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Tips for Getting a Good Deal on Precious Places

A couple days ago I got a comment from AngelBear over at the blog The 80's Toy Ark.  On her blog she recently put up a post called "13 Tips for getting a good deal on toys."  Even though she collects a lot more than just Precious Places, I think all 13 of her tips are exactly the advice I would give to anyone working on their PP collection.
You can click here to view her great post.

I especially like tip #2... Be Patient!  You wouldn't believe the good deal I got on my new in the box Pretty Penny Wishing Well because a seller put it up on eBay with an incredibly low Buy It Now price. 

Happy Collecting!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Amanda's Personality Card

A while ago I finished my series of posts on personality cards NOT found on (TOT).  However, it has occurred to me that I might as well go ahead and post the personality cards that ARE on TOT, just to have a 'complete collection' somewhere for everyone to look at. 

Without further ado, here's Baby Amanda's card -

Front of card:

Back of card:

And here's what the text says:

Baby Amanda 
Meet Baby Amanda! She's a happy baby who wants to do everything her older brothers and sisters do.  She likes to do silly things to get attention - like blowing kisses, banging pots and pans together, or, on occasion, even turning a room upside down!  She's as cute as a button! Amanda loves music and claps along with every song she hears.
Birthday: February 14
Favorite Food: Ice cream with chocolate sauce
Favorite Toy: Fisher-Price Security Bunny

Me here again.  Has it occurred to anyone else that a crawling baby probably shouldn't be eating ice cream with chocolate sauce?  It seems to me that if Precious Places were being made now, Amanda's favorite food would probably be bananas or something healthy like that.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Precious Places Village Tour Stop 1: The Silver Bells Wedding Chapel

I recently got to thinking what a shame it is that I don't have more pictures of complete Precious Places sets on this blog.  I mean, it's great to post pictures of rare parts and to talk about the questions that need to be answered, but most PP sets aren't super rare and don't have anything controversial/unknown about them.  However, that doesn't mean the not-rare non-controversial sets deserve any less attention, because lets face it, a lot of them are super cool!

All this has led me to start a series of posts called the Precious Places Village Tour.  It will simply be a photographic catalog of my PP sets that I am posting so that we can all admire these fantastic sets together.

For the sake of having some structure, I am posting these sets in order of their Fisher Price model numbers, which means that the first stop on the Precious Places Village Tour is #5151 The Silver Bells Wedding Chapel.

Here is a picture of my set:

I believe my set is complete, other than the fact that I don't have the box, instructions and village map.  (I do have a few village maps, but not enough for all my buildings to have their own.)

The thing I love about this set is the stained glass windows in the steeple.  They look so elegant when they are all lit up.  In fact, this feature makes the Wedding Chapel my personal favorite of the four shop sets.

The only thing I don't like about the set is that if you look closely at the bride Mary's face, she doesn't actually look very happy, and shouldn't every bride be happy on their wedding day?!

As far as collecting goes, you shouldn't have much trouble finding a complete Wedding Chapel set to add to your collection.  There is a constant stream of them on eBay and if you keep your eye out, you should be able to get a pretty good deal.

How about you?  What do you like about the Chapel?  Is it your favorite shop set?  Is there anything you would change or add to the set if you were designing toys for Fisher Price?  Please leave your answers in the comments section of this post.

Friday, October 1, 2010

More Key Lithos

In my previous post about key lithos I calculated that there are 28 different Precious Places key lithos. The website has pictures of 21 of those lithos. In addition, I have previously posted pictures of the key lithos for these three sets (click on name of set to view images):

The Sunshine Country Picnic
The Pretty Penny Wishing Well
The Playroom

Just to complete the library of litho pictures, here are the last four:

The Best Friends Pet Shop:

The Pink Slippers Ballet Studio:

The Tip Toe Gymnastics Show:

Skateboarding Andy:

These are the 28 key lithos I know about.  Please let me know if you find a different one!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

In Search of the Mansion Key Litho

As I discussed in my previous post All About Key Lithos, as far as I can tell the Magic Key Mansion was sold to the public without a litho for its key.  However, I was looking through the pages of the 1989 Fisher Price Toy Fair catalog and I noticed this image:

If you look very closely at the key in the girl's hand, you'll see that it does have a litho.  I tried to get a closer look, but it is impossible to tell exactly what the litho looks like.  However, it doesn't look to me like any known litho from another set.

Obviously, since the mansion in the photo isn't the same as the one sold in stores (it has different colored parts and the gingerbread trim has actual holes in it) this is NOT proof that a litho for the Mansion ever existed.  Still it gives one hope, doesn't it?  Maybe someday I'll run across a Mansion key that actually has a litho.  I haven't given up yet.  Let me know if you see one somewhere!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Village Map Variations

This is the Precious Places Village Map:

I have a few of these and I noticed that while most of them look like this on the inside:

I do have one with the exact same pictures, but all the descriptions are in English and French:

However, both the English only and the English/French versions have the same map on the back:

I think it is easy to understand why there are two versions of the map, since Precious Places were sold in Europe and Canada as well as in the USA.  

I still have a few questions about the map though, like why isn't there a new/updated map showing the 1990 sets?  All of my maps show only the sets available in 1989.  Does this mean that sets sold in 1990 didn't come with a map?  Or is there a 1990 map out there that I just haven't seen?  Or did sets sold in 1990 just come with an outdated map?

I'm really not sure if there is any way to get answers to these questions, other than, if you do have a map different from either of mine, I would love to know about it!  Leave me a message in the comments section of this post.  Thanks!

Monday, September 20, 2010

Meet Jennifer

One of the most rare of the Precious Places figures, whose picture is hard to find, would be Jennifer from the Sunshine Country Picnic. Here is what she looks like.


Left and Right Sides:


My photos here make her look almost normal in color, but her skin is actually kind of green and creepy in person. I wonder what went wrong. Maybe it's just my Jennifer figure that's like this though and yours has a more natural non-green skin tone. I hope so for your sake!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Precious Places Eye Candy

Here is a two page spread from the 1989 Fisher Price Toy Fair Catalog. This catalog introduced Precious Places to the toy dealers at Toy Fair and while there isn't anything new or revealing in this particular picture, I still think it's fun to look at!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Pretty Penny Wishing Well Accessory Variations

As promised, I have one more post to write about the Pretty Penny Wishing Well and here it is! On they say that the Wishing Well came with a pink bucket, pink ladle and a purple watering can, with no color variations. And those are indeed the colors of the accessories that came with my new-in-the-box set.

However, I recently noticed this picture on an eBay listing:

Notice there is a purple bucket and a pink watering can in the center of the photo. Since there aren't any other sets that come with a watering can, I think it's pretty safe to assume that these parts were from a Wishing Well set. Thus leading to the conclusion that sometimes the Well came with a purple bucket and pink watering can.

Now, there wasn't a ladle in this auction as far as I could tell from the pictures, but I don't think it would be too much of a stretch to guess that the ladle may also have come in purple as well. I'll have to keep an eye out for one to be sure though.

Alright! I don't think I have anything else to write about the Pretty Penny Wishing Well, so if you have any questions about the set (or if you spot a purple ladle somewhere), please let me know, or I may never write about it again!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Sara's Personality Card

At last, here it is, my final post in the series of personality cards not found on This is Sara's:

Front of card:

Back of card:

And here is the text:

Roller Skating Sara
Meet Sara! She's very athletic and loves the outdoors. Sara is good at all kinds of sports - softball, soccer, kickball! She wins all the school track meets, too! In the winter, she spends hours practicing her Figure Eights at the ice pond and tobagganing in the park. She loves to wear exercise clothes and jeans.
March 7
Favorite Sport: Gymnastics

Me here with just a quick comment that I think it's hilarious that Sara's personality card says she loves to wear exercise clothes and jeans, but her figure is dressed in a frilly pink dress! She must have to wear the casual clothes when she leaves Precious Places village, because around here, even Dad at Work wears a sweater vest when he mows the lawn!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Little Something About the Dining Room

Until recently, this picture of the Dining Room from the Village Map was about all the information I had regarding this elusive Precious Places set:

But I recently acquired scans of several pages from the 1989 Fisher Price Toyfair Catalog and there was just one more bit of information about the set that I never knew:

In addition to the picture showing a slightly different room arrangement, the catalog has text that says the magnetic "Key makes table leaves go up and down!" This was sort of a surprise to me since I'd always figured the key made the cart move.

While not as amazing as finding the actual set (or even part of it!) I thought it was a fun tidbit that I ought to share with all of you collectors out there.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Sunshine Country Picnic Swing

I know I've written a lot of my recent posts on the subject of the Pretty Penny Wishing Well, and I still have at least one more post on that topic that I intend to write, but for the time being, I'd like to change direction and talk about another of the rare Precious Places sets: The Sunshine Country Picnic.

Specifically, I want to write about something I've been wondering for some time. What colors were the different pieces of the picnic swing? Now according to (TOT) the Sunshine Country Picnic came with a pink swing seat and a three-piece pink swing frame. Also, they say that the set had no variations.

However, I am pretty well convinced that the swing set DID have variations, and here's why:

This is a picture of the swing from my personal collection:

As you can clearly see, the swing has a white seat (not pink). To be fair, my Sunshine Country Picnic was not a new-in-the-box set, so I guess it is theoretically possible the white seat came from somewhere else, but where? The only other PP set that has a swing is the Twirling Melody Gazebo, but it is well documented that the Gazebo's swing seat was always purple. So I think the most likely option in this case is that the swing seat did come (at least sometimes) as a white part.

To be honest, given that the swing always seemed to appear in eBay auctions with a white seat, for a long time I had actually thought that the listing on TOT was mistaken in saying the swing seat ever came in pink. I thought perhaps that instead, the swing frame was pink and the seat was white with no variations, but then I saw this photo on eBay:

Here you can see that this auction contained several Picnic parts, including the base and key, as well as a pink swing seat and part of a white swing frame.

And although I don't put too much stock in the 'official' photos from the Village Map, it is interesting to note that on the map, the picture shows that same pink seat with white frame:

All of this taken together seems to indicate that the Sunshine Country Picnic swing came with either a white or pink seat and either a white or pink frame. You do tend to find the white seat with the pink frame and vice versa, but I wouldn't put it outside the realm of possibility that some sets could have been sold with an all pink or all white swing set.

Do any of you have the Sunshine Country Picnic set? If so, please tell me about it. Did you get it new in the box, have it as a child or buy it on eBay? What color is the swing seat and frame that came with your set? I think it'd be great if we all work on figuring out these rare sets together!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Pretty Penny Wishing Well Parts Pictures

I have no idea how I could possibly top my last post, so I'm not even going to try. Just know that I do realize this isn't as fabulous as the County Fair Set pictures, but being as I don't have any more information on those, I'll be continuing my series on the Pretty Penny Wishing Well.

The fantastic website (TOT) has great pictures of many Precious Places pieces, but they don't have pictures of the Wishing Well parts, so I thought I should post them here.

This first one is a picture of the entire contents of my new in the box Wishing Well set:

Here is the base:

Here is the arbor (note that it is the same as the one for the Twirling Melody Gazebo):

This is the fence (note that again, it is the same as the fences from the Gazebo set):

Here is the 2 piece well (roof & base) along with the key and litho sheet (two lithos for the well, one for the key):

These are the three small accessories - the bucket, the ladle and watering can:

In addition to these parts there was also a Village Map, a cardboard filler piece, and the figure Michelle (whose picture I posted here) in the box.

Finally, this is a photo of the complete set all put together:

I have to say that while this set is cute, I was just slightly disappointed that the only thing the key does is move Michelle around. Doesn't it seem like there should be more to it than that? Maybe that's why it was only produced for one year.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Introducing: The County Fair Sets

I've always wondered what the Precious Places County Fair sets looked like and a few times I attempted to find the catalog with their pictures, but I was never successful... until now!

I am happy to announce that due to the kindness of Scott over at Fisher Price Little People World, I now have pictures of the County Fair sets. And here they are:

Here's what the three text boxes say from top to bottom:

NEW - 5235
Magic Melody Ferris Wheel (TV)
The highlight of any County Fair is a ride on the Ferris Wheel, and this one is very special! Help Lauren board with your magnetic key. Wind up the music box, and with a turn of the key the wheel turns, music plays and the colored lights twinkle. Between the cars, dainty birds swing on their perches. Includes magnetic key, a friend named Lauren, flags, flower, and a snack bar. Requires two size AA batteries (not included). 5 yrs. and up.
Ea. in box, 12 7/8"l x 14 1/4"h x 7 3/4"d. 6 pcs. per 16.5 lb. shipper.

NEW - 5220
Mini Places Assortment (TV)
Two favorite attractions - a Fun and Games Arcade and Miss Precious Places Pageant - add to the excitement of the County Fair! Join Katie in the Arcade which includes a popcorn stand, ball toss and cotton candy stand, prizes and cotton candy sticks. Key makes popcorn "pop"! The Miss Precious Places Pageant comes complete with moving stage curtain, elevator, podium, spotlights, camera, bouquet and sash. The key activates the elevator and opens the curtain. Each includes a magnetic key and figure. 5 yrs. and up.
Ea. in a box, 8 3/4"l x 7 1/2"h x 4"d. One 4-pc. asst. (1 of 5221 Fun and Games Arcade; 3 of 5222 Miss Precious Places Pageant per 3.5 lb. shipper.

NEW - 5230 Deluxe Midway Assortment (TV)
Three exciting attractions make up the County Fair midway. Assortment includes Kissing Sweetheart Swan Ride (see figures turn and hear them kiss as key moves swan boat through the "tunnel of love"), Tea Party Tree-house (key operates elevator), and Dancing Pony Merry-Go-Round (key moves ponies up, down and around). Each includes magnetic key and figure. 5 yrs. and up.
Ea. in box, 8 3/4"l x 9 1/2"h x 4 7/8"d. One 6-pc. asst. (2 ea. of 5525 Tea Party Tree-house, 5231 Kissing Sweetheart Swan Ride & 5232 Dancing Pony Merry-Go-Round) per 5.7 lb. shipper.

Me here again. I think one of the really cool things about these sets is that it doesn't look like they recycled many of the pieces from previous sets. You will recognize a few of the figure molds, but other than that, the majority of the parts are brand new. Wow! I wish I could buy them.

How about you? Do they look like you imagined they would? If you could have just one, which one would you get? (I'm thinking Ferris Wheel, but I also think the Fun and Games Arcade with its "popping popcorn" is terribly cute!) Please leave comments! I want to know if anyone else out there is as excited about this as I am. I was dancing around my living room last night when I found the pictures in my inbox, and yes, my husband rolled his eyes, but you know what, I don't care a bit!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Andy's Personality Card

Yet another post in my series of personality cards not found on Here's Andy's:

Front of card:

Back of card:

And the text says:

Skateboarding Andy
Meet Andy! All the kids like him because he tells the silliest jokes and pulls the funniest pranks! One time he let a frog loose in the middle of a birthday party. It jumped right in the middle of the cake. It made all the kids laugh, but what a big clean up job! Andy spends most of his time outside practicing tricks on his skateboard. He's so much fun!
Birthday: April 1
Favorite thing to do: Speeding past the girls on his skateboard.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

All About Key Lithos

I just received this question from an anonymous reader, and since it was a topic I was planning on writing a post about anyway, I'm answering the question here, rather than in the comments section of another post.

Here's the question:

Do you have any idea how many keys there are in total? I know I don't have them all but I am confused by the number of blank ones. Some of them I have I know are missing lithos but are there some that really are blank?

To answer your first question, there is one key per Precious Places set: 4 shops, 2 cottages, the Gazebo, the Mansion, 8 furniture sets, 6 outdoor scenes, 9 figures, and 4 mother & baby sets. That makes a total of 35 keys.

However, as far as I can tell, the Dining Room set was never sold to the public, so chances are you'll never get that key, which would make the number of available keys 34.

Of the 34 remaining sets, 28 definitely had key lithos. These are the 4 shops, 2 cottages, the Gazebo, the Canopy Bedroom, the Playroom, the 6 outdoor scenes, the 9 figures and the 4 mother and baby sets. (You can find pictures of some of the key lithos on my blog in other posts and more on

That means that the sets that are not known to have had lithos are the remaining 5 furniture sets and the Magic Key Mansion. (To read my post discussing the furniture set lithos, please click here.)

Now why the Mansion wouldn't have a key litho is beyond me. It's the crowning jewel of the Precious Places village, was the most expensive set when it was sold in stores and clearly is the set with the biggest 'wow' factor. However, ThisOldToy has no picture of a litho, I've never seen a litho for it on eBay and both of the Mansions I personally own came to me with a plain pink key... thus I am sadly forced to conclude that the Magic Key Mansion's Magic Key didn't have a litho.

That said, I'm always happy to be wrong about things like this and if anyone has seen a key litho out there for the Magic Key Mansion, I would love to know about it. Please leave me a note in the comments section of this post.

So to summarize: as far as I can tell, there were 34 Precious Places sets (each with one key) that were sold to the public. To the best of my knowledge there are 28 different key lithos available, which means that there were 6 sets that came without a litho for the key. Hope this helps!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Meet Michelle

I thought I should post pictures of Michelle, our lovely figure from the Pretty Penny Wishing Well set, since it is hard to find good images of her out on the world wide web.

So without further ado, here she is:

In true mug shot fashion (sorry Michelle!) here are her left and right sides:

And finally, here is Michelle from behind:

As most of you probably know, Michelle was made from the same mold as Brittany from the Twirling Melody Gazebo. Just for fun I took a picture of the two of them side by side so you can compare.

Don't they look nice together?