WELCOME TO COLLECTORVILLE.NET! We are your one-stop source for accurate and authoritative information on a wide range of collectible topics; ranging from vintage Action Figures to Christmas Catalogs, Collectible Books, Vintage Toys and much, much more.
Collectorville.net is a CANADIAN website and, as such, this site focuses primarily on Canadian manufactured or Canadian market collectibles. Within these web pages, you will find detailed and accurate information on such items as:
- Hasbro's 1966 Simpsons-Sears Mountie action figure and accessories,
- Marx Toys' 1967 "Buddy" All-Canadian Fighter 12-inch action figure,
- Princess Grace Toy's (Mego's) 1966 Johnny Canuck action figure,
- Vintage Simpsons-Sears and Eaton's Canadian Christmas catalogues,
- The "How and Why Wonder Book" Series by Grosset and Dunlap,
- Canadian versions of Marx 12-inch action figures, such as: Steel-blue General Custer, Canadian Stony Smith,
. . . and numerous other topics relating to either "exclusive" or "Canadian-market only" collectibles, or, to mass-market collectibles from an historical and truly-Canadian viewpoint.
Where Our Story Begins . . .
Where was this magical place, you ask, where the Simpsons-Sears Canadian Mountie sat side-by-side on store shelves with the Marx Canadian Buddy action figure? Where major Canadian retailers like Eaton's, Simpsons-Sears and the Hudson Bay Company (a.k.a. "The Bay") offered a wide range of children's books, toys and games manufactured by toy market giants such as Marx, Mattel and Hasbro; while, at the same time, discount stores such as Clarks, Gambles, Zellers, Kresges, Woolco and Woolworths augmented the wide range of 1960's and 1970's toys and kid's products with low-cost offerings that also focused on capturing the imagination of youth?
The answer to these questions is that both the above-mentioned retail outlets and these product offerings were a Canada-wide phenomenon; but there was one city that was right in the proverbial "center" of all the action . . . Winnipeg, Manitoba.
I was extremely lucky to be a child in the 1960's, growing up in Winnipeg, and having direct access to, what I believe, was the "best of both worlds." Winnipeg boys and girls enjoyed the widest possible range of toy product offerings. Retail stores in Winnipeg stocked nearly all of the toys available to kids in the United States. Beyond the shadow of a doubt, Winnipeg kids could pester their parents for Mattel's "Barbie," Hasbro's "GI Joe," Marx's "Johnny West," Ideal's "Captain Action," or, thousands of other "Made in U.S.A." toys and games, as Christmas or birthday "surprises."
Canadian department store Christmas catalogs (or "catalogues" to us Canucks) were chock-full of color and black-and-white photos of toys and games. Parents were wise to stash away these catalogs from prying eyes until only days before Christmas; otherwise, the toy section pages were sure to be drooled over, again and again, and accompanied by an ongoing litany of requests by children for nearly each and every item displayed therein.
But in addition to our favorite American toy creations, we also had the privilege of choosing "Made in Canada" products, developed right here in the Great White North by Canadian toy and doll companies, such as "Reliable Toys," or the Canadian arms of U.S. toy giants such as Hassenfeld Bros. (Hasbro Canada) Ltd., or Louis Marx & Co. of Canada, Ltd.. Thanks to their presence in the Canadian toy scene, action figures such as the 1966 Simpsons-Sears Canadian GI Joe Mountie, or Marx's Jimmy West, Sheriff Thomas Goode and Dangerous Dan, were able to spring to life.
And, on top of all of that, retailers also stocked their shelves with some of the very best in British toy products from companies such as Corgi (diecast cars), Britains (toy soldiers), Heralds (toy soldiers and plastic playset figures), Matchbox/Lesney (diecast toy vehicles), and many others.
From GI Joe to the Batmobile to Barbie's Dream House, we really had it all.
Our Commitment to Accurate Information
This website has been generously populated with dozens of photos, including many close-up images, in order to aid collectors worldwide in verifying whether or not they have an authentic item, or if a seller may be trying to "pull the wool over their eyes" in terms of trying to pass on an item as authentic, when it isn't. Sometimes this may be done intentionally by unscrupulous sellers, while on other occasions, it may simply be due to an oversight by the seller. In any event, we hope that the photos and descriptions contained herein will aid you in avoiding the purchase of a bogus item.
Today, there are literally thousands of websites and books available to consumers on almost any collectible topic. While most of these have been done with care, attention and diligence; many misconceptions and urban myths have been spread by these same sources. While most authors and webmasters have had only good intentions in mind, even the best of them are prone to making the odd mistake, or publishing false data.
We have attempted to dispel these errors or inconsistencies in the pages of this website by pointing out where and when we have run across inaccurate source material. While no insult to authors is intended, we have felt that it is our duty to list the source of the incorrect material and display it in contrast to the accurate facts.
Collectorville.net: How and Why Wonder Books, Simpsons-Sears GI Joe Mountie, Marx Canadian Buddy, Christmas Catalogs & more.
Legal Disclaimers and Acknowledgments
We would like to offer our grateful thanks to the following individuals, companies and/or copyright holders for their kind permission to post pictures or text regarding the following toy products on this site:
Our thanks go out to:
Jo-Ann Belisle of Hasbro, Inc. for permission to post images and/or references to "GI Joe," "Action Soldier," "Action Sailor," "Action Marine." and "Action Pilot."
Stacy Walker of Mattel, Inc. for permission to post images and/or references to "Barbie," "Ken," "Barbie's Dream House," "Captain Lazer" and "Major Matt Mason."
Terri Lynn Coop of "Marx Toys - Circle X Ranch" for permission to post images and/or references to "Johnny West," "Best of the West" and "Circle X Ranch."
Joe Ahearn and Ed Catto of "CA Enterprises LLC" for permission to post images and/or references to "Captain Action," "Action Boy" or "Doctor Evil."
"G.I. JOE is a trademark of Hasbro. Hasbro does not sponsor nor endorse the contents of this website."
"BARBIE, KEN, CAPTAIN LAZER and MAJOR MATT MASON are trademarks of Mattel, Inc.. Mattel does not sponsor nor endorse the contents of this website."
"HOW AND WHY WONDER BOOKS, formerly published by Grosset and Dunlap, is a trademarked series name wholly owned by Penguin Random House."
The vast majority of the photos and images contained within this website have been taken from the private collections of the author and may not be copied, transmitted nor used in any form without the express written consent of the author. All rights to both images and text are reserved.
Every effort has been made to contact the copyright holders of the remaining toys, books and/or consumer products shown on this website. Should there be any omissions, we will be pleased to post the appropriate acknowledgments upon being notified in writing.
All other images of the toys, books and collectible items displayed herein, including any commentary or criticism of other websites, reference books or similar publications, have been used under "Fair Use" legislation. Many of the toy companies mentioned on this site no longer exist and copyright permissions are no longer attainable or possible.