Collecting: Valerie {Cabin + Cub Design} + Roger {Crooked Walker}



On our next installation of collecting, fellow Vancouverites, Valerie Thai, cabin + cub, www.cabin.etsy.com and husband, Roger Allen, Crooked Walker, www.crookedwalker.com came together with some fun collections of books and video games. I love these!

collection #1: barbapapa memorabilia
collected by: Valerie Thai, cabin + cub, www.cabin.etsy.com

why you collect these items and how your collection started?
Barbapapa was one of my childhood favorites! For those who don't know, Barbapapa is a character in a series of children's' books and cartoons from the late 70s early 80s. He is essentially a shape changer who, along with his family of 8 (also shape changers) have adventures and help everyone around them.

My collection started when i found an old Barbapapa book at a book street vendor in Amsterdam. The book was a bit tatty, but it worked out to be only about $1. It brought back so many memories! Over time, I started collecting more of the vintage books and other memorabilia, some old some new. There is a French wooden toy company called Vilac who still make very cute wooden barabapa toys.

how do you display them or would like to display them?
Some of the books are on our coffee table, but most are on our bookshelves. The other items are here and there. We live in an apartment, so its hard to display everything.

what are your favorite pieces in the collection, is there anything unique?
My favorite piece is a vintage VHS tape my husband got me as a gift of a few episodes of the old cartoon series. The most unique, or odd, is a kitchen soap dispenser in the shape of barbapapa – it kind of makes washing the dishes more tolerable.

what piece are you most looking for, and what piece would complete your collection?
I would love to find the complete vintage cartoon series in english or french, since I only have a few episodes and they are in Dutch. The english and french episodes aired in Canada in the early eighties.

besides this collection, if you could collect anything in the world, what would it be?
I love vintage children's books from the 50s and 60s. That would be fun to collect...but I think we would need a bigger space!

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collection #2: Vintage John Bellairs Books
collected by: Roger Allen, Crooked Walker, www.crookedwalker.com

why you collect these items and how your collection started?
When I was a kid I was obsessed with ghost stories and ghosts in general,
I would often search my parents house looking for apparitions. I was always
on the lookout for a good ghost story. One of the books I picked, which had
an amazing Edward Gorey cover, was John Bellairs The House with a Clock in Its Walls.
The story was about a young guy in a small town who gets mixed up in some
super natural adventures– exactly what I wanted. I kept reading the other
Bellairs books based half on the stories and half because of the amazing
Edward Gorey illustrations.

The books have been re-released several times as soft covers with different illustrators but I have made it my mission to find all the original hard cover copies. They make me happy and inspire me to be creative.

How do you display them or would like to display them?
My book collection has become quite large so the majority of the novels are on a easily accessible book shelf. I also have a rotating display of the books in the living room where the Edward Gorey covers inspire my photography work as well as spark conversation when friends visit.

what are your favorite pieces in the collection, is there anything unique?
My favorite book of the Bellairs series is The Figure in the Shadows. The cover of the book is really creepy and the story is fantastic. I have collected this book with all its different covers and formats. I have a book on tape version of the House With the Clock in Its Walls which is funnier to look at than listen too. I would say the rarest item I have is a Vincent Price narrated after school special entitled Once Upon a Midnight Creepy. The tape has three short stories one of which is The House with a Clock in Its Walls. It took me about ten years to track down the tape.

what piece are you most looking for, and what piece would complete your collection?
There is a UK only release of The House With a Clock in Its Walls that has a different Edward Gorey cover that I would like to get my hands on.

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collection #3: Vintage Video Game Stuff
collected by: Valerie Thai and Roger Allen

why you collect these items and how your collection started?
Both of us kept a lot of our childhood items when were were growing up, and one of the things we both kept that we had in common were vintage video game stuff from the 80s. When we moved in together, we found we both had brought these boxes of items with us.... it brought out the mutual geek in us.

how do you display them or would like to display them?
They are displayed on our shelves in our living room. Everyone tends to be really drawn to them, since it brings back so many memories for people.

what are your favorite pieces in the collection, is there anything unique?
The mini arcade and handheld games are neat, since the majority of them still work.

what piece are you most looking for, and what piece would complete your collection?
Roger: As a kid I spent a considerable amount of time lurking around the corners of convenience stores playing arcade games. When I wasn’t buying firecrackers, I was trying to get past the second level of Sinistar or trying to finish Ghosts’n Goblins. I have the marquee glass for both games but I would love to have the actual coin-ups. Arcade games in the eighties were cool because anybody could play them;
it was either “jump” “smart-bomb”or “shoot,” or all three.

Jan Halvarson

1 comment:

bugheart said...

barbapapa!
i loved them.
i found tons
of their stuff
in france of
all places...
wasn't it
orginally spanish?
great collections!

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