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  Or did sets sold in 1990 just come with an outdated map?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!