Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A nostaligic look at some of the weirdest collectibles of the 1970s

Carter memorabilia at the Billy Carter Service Station Museum in Plains, Ga., 2008 © Johnny Clark/AP

Every generation has its own cultural icons that grow into collectibles over time. Yet the 1970s were a stranger time than most, and some of the artifacts of that decade are indeed bizarre.

There are, of course, the legions of Star Wars-related items that remain in demand. ... More

If you happen to have one of those Boba Fett dolls that came free with UPC symbols, you may be able to add an extra $2,000 to your bank account (especially if it's the version with a spring-loaded missile).

There were also fads a-plenty, such as the mood ring, a plastic, heat-activated bauble that would change colors, allegedly in sync with the wearer's emotions. The rings are still sold by various makers, but cognoscenti, we are told, have ways of telling an authentic '70s artifact.

Gay Bob dolls © Marty Lederhandler/AP, Aug. 3, 1978

Taste wasn't always an issue when it came to flash-in-the-pan fads of that decade. Amid the sexual revolution and a growing gay rights movement, advertising executive Harvey Rosenberg brought America Gay Bob, a doll that hit stores in 1977 and created buzz -- and denouncements -- as "the world's first openly gay doll."

Dressed in tight jeans and a flannel shirt, Bob differed from Barbie's pal Ken in one striking way: The doll was anatomically correct. Today, the dolls appear regularly on auction sites such as eBay. Remember Cowmumble? 

How about Trolls before they were associated with the internet!


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