July 31, 2011


We see so much cool stuff pass across our screens each day that I'm afraid I'm starting to grow desensitized to awesomeness. But here's one fruit of the internet that I won't soon forget. Last October the ├╝ber collector known as Toyranch shared a complete set of scans of a 1978 catalog from the Traveler Trading Company. The set got some attention but I think it's worth revisiting since it's full so much eyeball-pleasing stuff.

As you are about to see, Traveler was a novelty distributor that offered a wide array of glorious plastic goodies such as toys, jokes, magic tricks, trinkets, cake decorations, carnival prizes and yes, masks. Many of these very items have found themselves in my own collection.

I find it interesting that my pal and novelty biz royalty, Chris Adams, was actually on the Traveler's payroll for a time before taking the reigns at the S.S. Adams prank and magic company. Traveler reached its final destination in the 1990s and Gary, the man in the werewolf mask, is no longer with us.

The catalog can be viewed on Toyranch's Flickr account, or for the sake of convenience and blog beautification I've placed them below. Furthermore, for anyone like myself who wishes to experience these to the fullest, I've compiled all the high-res pages in this downloadable PDF.

Thank you Toyranch for wrangling up this stampede of joy.

UPDATE: Thanks to Chris Adams, here's a more recent catalog cover that reveals the unmasked face of Gary the proprietor...


prof. grewbeard said...


Rhea said...

Brings back great memories of childhood!

Brother Bill said...

Oh man---currently trying to press my head into the screen ala Videodrome to get closer to all these goodies!

Karswell said...

WOW 2!!!

Jody B. said...

HOLY MACKEREL, is this COOL! Wow...I recognize so many items I had as a kid! Specifically I was proud owner of the following masks shown in the catalog: "Wolf Man w/Black Beard," and "Frankenstein" (THE ONE WITHOUT THE HAIR.) These two gave me many years of fun. I have some 8mm footage of me trying to be scary with the Wolfman mask. Sadly that mask disintegrated in storage. I'm sure Frankenstein is somewhere sadly deteriorating right now. I really wish I knew his whereabouts so I could rescue him. Thanks so much for posting this! So awesome!

Kirk D. said...

prof g- agreed!

rhea- perfect!

brother bill- then you are the perfect candidate for that PDF. The images are HUGE bigger than if you had the actual catalog. Talk about luxury.

karswell- disagree, I mean agreed!

jody- you're welcome! and you were one lucky kid. From what I've read on other boards some of these masks are direct knockoffs of other companies' products (classic novelty biz!) Someday they will probably be the rarest type of collectible because even if you care for them well they deteriorate. Only the guys who get them professionally preserved will win.