July 31, 2011
1978 TRAVELER'S NOVELTY CATALOG
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 über 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...