Tales from the Thrift

Fandom Finds: Universal Studios Mug and Plate

Universal Studios Vintage Mug 1Ever since I was a little girl, I’ve been fascinated with Universal Studios, Hollywood! Many of my favorite shows were filmed there including Alias Smith and Jones and Battlestar Galactica. The Hardy Boys even filmed a whole episode where the boys were chased around the backlot by an evil phantom.

When I was a teenager, I got to go to Universal for the first time and it was as magical as I knew it would be. Many years later, I moved from there to here, bought a Universal Studios pass then visited several times a month, mostly to ride the tram around and around.

I started collecting Universal Studios memorabilia around that time. My collection isn’t huge but I still add to it now and then, when I find something cool.  And I found several cool things recently, so here we go.

The mug you see above was a carefully maneuvered Christmas gift. I found it on eBay and offhandedly told my husband how much I loved it. What’s unusual about the mug is the coloring. It’s a light brown with baby blue and baby pink highlights. It’s also textured. Very cool.

Universal Studios Vintage Mug 2The mug looks like it’s from the seventies but the Conan the Barbarian show art on one side places it closer to the late 80’s, early 90’s. The mug also features the Battle of Galactica, the ice tunnel, Jaws and the western stunt show. The mug was made by Karol Western, a company that makes all kinds of souvenirs and it was made in Japan.

The other item was a random find at a thrift store. I was blown away because even though we hit at least 2 thrift stores a week and we live only an hour away from Universal, we rarely ever find Universal items when we thrift. Maybe it’s because most of the goods go home with tourists. I’d probably have a better chance of finding an item at a Goodwill in Kansas.

Universal Studios PlateThis particular thrift store is a tiny, mom and pop place that’s overloaded with stuff. We’d visited the store once before and never noticed the Universal souvenir plate hanging next to the register. We visited the store just after Christmas and while we were haggling over the price of an old vacuum, I spotted it. The owner said the plate had been hanging on the wall since the day he bought it, part of the inheritance from the former owner. Meaning, I somehow missed it the first time we were there. When I asked the price, he laughed and said he never thought about selling it but since I was so excited, he’d let it go for $150.

Luckily, he was joking. We ended up paying $27 for both the vacuum cleaner and the plate. This one comes from the same era as the mug as it also features Conan but not Galactica – so maybe it’s a little later. It also features a tram with headlights piercing the darkness, Jaws, the western stunt show, the Psycho House (my favorite pic on the plate) and the parting of the Red Sea.

The center block is devoted to the old, animatronic King Kong attraction which was destroyed in a fire back in 2008. The new King Kong is interesting, but the old one was much more fun.

I have a third item to show you but it’s so special, I’m going to wait and give it its own post.

Use the comment box below to tell me about your latest Fandom Find!

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