The Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles
The Yellow Section
Last Update: 2021-03-05
Written By: Michael Crawford
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Welcome to the Crawford Institute of Pop Culture Collectibles - the Yellow Section!
There are two sections dedicated to various animated and cartoon lines, Yellow and Purple. The Yellow section is largely Simpsons, but there's a fair
amount of other goodies here as well. These two sections also share a very large, unbroken tower section made up of 4 2x4 towers and one 2x8 tower,
laid out in a snaking pattern. I've tried to split these towers up into a way that makes sense for the viewer here, since the experience is different
than being physically here. I've put almost all of the Simpsons stuff as part of the 'Yellow', leaving the Purple for the majority of the other lines.
However, there are several key collections here with the Simpsons, including Disney/Pixar and Looney Tunes. Of course, all these arrangements may
change as more sections are built.
Between the Purple and Yellow section is a window, and both edges are Simpsons related. At the top you can see one of the talking
clocks along with the Moe's Tavern mirror, a Simpsons valance on the window. Below there's a very cool Burger King/Simpsons Movie window cling framed,
along with the Moe's Tavern dart game. Oh, and the Weber camping grill! Open it up, and inside is a stuffed Blinky on the grill.
The top shelf has plenty of room - thanks to it's 22"+ size - to hold tall items, particularly those still boxed. The three
interactive dolls are here (you'll see this Krusty again later, only out of the box and on his 'evil' setting), as well as the Homer Dot Pal.
When I pick up Simpsons items that are not action figures, I like them to be as quirky and weird as possible. I think the talking
golf head covers have that down to a tee.
One of my favorite Simpsons items is the lava lamp. We just don't get enough lava lamps these days. The 'bart action set'
next to it was pulled from Toys R Us shelves due to a safety violation with the working slingshot included.
There's a number of Simpsons items around the entrance to the building, and these three sit on the wall above that entrance. For a
better look at the doorway, click here.
The second shelf down starts with the RC Bart, who you'll see again later loose as well. Sadly, my loose version is broken and no
longer zips around the room.
As I said, my Simpsons collecting starts with action figures, then goes to the weird, then goes to the unusual characters. It's
nice to get something that's not part of OFF, or even the main B players. A great example is the Bumblebee Man antenna topper below. We just
don't get that many collectibles based on him.
Another example of going for a lesser character - the Wooly Willy, a really stupid toy best known by us kids of the 60's and 70's,
came in other versions like Homer, but I went for the Grampa.
While there are lots of other franchises that have a ton of licensed items, very few have the weird breadth of the Simpsons. In
this photo you see a pool cue and guitar picks.
I really like the odd Syroco style figures. These are the ones that look like they are carved from wood, and came in the metal box
sitting next to them. You'll see a couple in each photo below. Some history - Syroco is short for the Syracuse Ornamental Company. They started out
just before the turn of the 20th century producing carved wooden figural ornaments, used to decorate coffins or furniture. Over the next couple
decades, they came up with a way to create molds of these carved figures and mass produce replicas of the carvings, using a wood, wax, and resin
mixture. They produced these at low cost, and over time they went further into various novelty items (there's an entire book about just their
This lead to them producing figures of popular cartoons and celebrities in the 30's and 40's. One of the very first Superman collectible figures was
produced by Syroco, and is easily the most sought after Superman item out there. Dark Horse Comics paid homage to them with this series of six
Simpsons figures done in their style.
On the riser behind the Syrocos are another of my favorites - the pewter bar tools. Each figure opens at the waist to expose their
tool. There's two corks, two citrus knives, two cork screws, and two bottle openers.
You'll see a variety of watches through out the Institute, but these two are some of the nicest. Here you see the two from Fossil,
both in their original containers, the Bart tin on the left, the Homer on the couch on the right. These are both the gold editions.
You'll see a collection of the button pins advertised in the framed card later in the tour.
The VHS tape you see below the riser is a screener copy for the episode "Homer Versus the 18th Amendment".
I don't think I'd eat the Butterfinger at this point...
MAC did a whole line of Simpsons themed cosmetics, but I just picked up the fake eyelashes. And talk about weird - the fishing
lures rank right up there. I still need to find a couple (there's a Marge and at least one, maybe two more Blinkies), but they are definitely unique.
I think Star Wars is the only other licensed property that can come close to the Simpsons in terms of unusual items. On this one
shelf you see a disposable camera, asthma inhaler covers, an ice cream scoop, a can of Heinz pasta, and blanks for keys.
Hamilton did a number of different collectibles for the property as well. On this shelf you'll see all of their 'Misadventures of
Homer", all of their Treehouse of Horror scenes, and most of their Christmas Train.
I say 'most' because I quite buying after about the first 26. I still have another 10 or so to pick up, which I'll do over time The
set I have happened to fit perfectly along the length on the riser.
You can add the soft candy suckers to the list of things I wouldn't eat at this point. How they have survived all these years is
Along the floor I currently have six framed 11x17 prints of Playmates WoS play sets. Of these six, five depict unproduced sets that
never made it past this design phase. The first two below are the Rumpus Room, and the 100th episode set.
Next is an unproduced THOH set. The larger print of just the set would have been used for a show like Toy Fair or for the media.
In this photo you'll see another unproduced THOH set - the House of Pain - but some of the figures that were planned in this set
ended up in the later McFarlane Island of Dr. Hibbert set. The final black framed print is for a produced set, but one of my favorites, the Military
The towers in front of the Yellow and Purple section are one long set, starting with a 2x4 tower on the end. As we walk through
these, the photos will be jumping around a bit between front and back sections. This is an attempt to keep certain things together, where it's not as
clear for the viewer as it is when you're physically here.
This photo shows a chunk of the front side of this tower set. There's not a lot of room next to this tower right now - it's
where there's a ton of boxes still stacked. A more gets moved out, I'll provide better photos. However, it's worth noting that I'll be including
most of the top two shelves on this side as part of the Yellow Section, while the bottom three shelves will be largely in the Purple Section.
The top shelves are really good for large boxed items, but by building a special riser for the little Lego figures, they can be
easily seen as well.
Generally - not always, but generally - if I have a boxed and loose version of something and want to keep both, I store the boxed
version. However, there are two exceptions to this loose rule - WoS and the Palisades Muppets, which you'll find in the Purple Section. With both
these lines, I have a complete boxed/carded set, and a complete loose set, and I display both. On the tower, the top two shelves for a large section
are home to the carded and boxed WoS.
While most of the top shelf is boxed playsets, front side and back side, there's some room for a variety of games as well. The next
two photos show them from one side, while you'll see the other side of the tower in a later photo.
Also up on the ceiling is mounted a Bart kite.
The next shelf down includes the McFarlane figures. At this point, I have the carded and loose stuff out, but as I require more
room in the future, the carded and boxed stuff will find it's way to storage.
A big part of this next shelf is the carded WoS figures. These occupy the entire 2x8 shelf front and back. In photos, these are
pretty boring, but in person they make for an interesting display.
The carded figures include those that were released in Europe on cards, because they had only been released in the U.S. as part of
play sets, like the Donut Head Homer.
Next up, one of my favorite shelves - lots, and lots of loose WoS. Setting these up and rearranging is always a lot of fun, as I
try to find the best fit for the various figures with the various play sets.
As you go through, you'll see the NECA figures intermingled with the Playmates figures. Thanks to maintaining the scale, this works
Let's drop down to the next shelf, where we first see a variety of bath items. From soap to shampoo to Band-Aids to toe brushes,
there's a lot of weirdness here.
This shelf has the majority of the loose McFarlane figures, along with some classic Mattel items.
Another set that is currently on display both loose and carded is the original Mattel action figures. This carded set will end up
stored when I need the space, with the exception of the two Ninja Barts and the Super Bart.
The next section of this shelf is loose WoS, loose NECA, loose Mattel, various fast food figures, and a variety of oddball stuff,
all set up on a special three shelf tier. You'll also see a few custom figures in the mix.
Up next is one of the more interesting spots. Here you will see several packaging/figure test shots - three of the two packs, along
with the B-Sharps Apu. Like test shot figures, these boxes were put together early to show how the final product would look. Also on this shelf are
other test shot figures, along with a carded figure with a personalized signature from Nancy Cartwright.
This bottom shelf starts branching out into some other items. First up, Zootopia, a collection I have largely boxed and carded.
This shelf morphs into many different Pixar lines. You'll also find more Pixar in the Purple Section. Along with Pixar, you see the
vinyl figures from Rango in the photo below.
Mixed in with the various Disney/Pixar items are the four statues below, produced by Gentle Giant. Remy, Bolt, Wall-E and Eva were
all very limited, and very, very nicely done. In fact, this is perhaps my favorite set of statues (or busts) that Gentle Giant produced. There's a
fifth one, Remy, that I hope to add some day.
Next up is Monsters Inc, in the continuing Disney/Pixar theme. You'll see some additional items on the floor as we move along.
Which brings us to the floor. Like the top shelf, the floor has about 22" of space, making it ideal for large items. I use the area
under the shelves for storage, but if I can put something in front to block your view of the stored boxes, all the better. A perfect example, this
Inside Out play set. You'll see the rest of the Inside Out collection in the Purple Section.
These PVC's from Australia were packaged in a ton of different ways, including sold individually. This is a set of the first three
waves, and the similar set of the next three waves is coming up.
More play set artwork, only these are produced sets.
The promotion that gave us the Greetings From Springfield PVC figures also gave us several tote bags, including these three.
Here's that second pack I promised with series 4 - 6 of Greetings From Springfield figures. I also have three unopened counter top
boxes of the single figures.
The various items behind this Monsters Inc play set will eventually find a home, but this set is so huge it has to remain on the
Let's jump back up to the top of the next 2x4 tower. Here you'll see more Simpsons games, and stacked in there are several that you
really can't see, including various versions of Monopoly and Clue.
I have a ton of Burger King signage, and framed ads from the restaurants are in a number of places.
If you thought we were done with WoS, you forgot about the boxed figures. This shelf also has the Gentle Giant bust-ups.
Below you'll see the start of the Hamilton Halloween Train. Currently I only have 5 of the 12 cars, but I'm working on it.
The Marge head is interesting - the idea is to put an empty plastic water bottle inside, and let your dog chew on it.
The next shelf breaks free from the Simpsons as well, with a section dedicated to Looney Tunes.
While the McFarlane sets are great, it's the vintage goodies on the left I really love. These vinyl figures were produced in the
late 60's and early 70's. The Daffy Duck and Elmer Fudd were mine as a kid.
As part of the Yellow Section, there are two cork strips for various pins, predominately Simpsons. The first one is the button pin
set we saw an advertising card for earlier, along with two very cool buttons worn by the servers at the Hollywood Bowl when the music of the show was
The second series is another Australian promotion, done by one of the newspapers.
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Photos and text by Michael Crawford.
This page copyright 2000 - 2021, Michael Crawford. All rights reserved.