Comic art, toys and more at Fawcett's

May 21, 2011
On display this year at Fawcett’s Maine Antique Toy & Art Museum in Waldoboro are original decorated cowboy shirts worn by Roy Rogers, pictured, and Gene Autry.

Waldoboro — Fawcett’s Maine Antique Toy & Art Museum on Route 1 will open for its 15th season Saturday, May 28. Featured this year are an original shirt and pants worn by Roy Rogers, The King of The Cowboys, in the museum's world-class collection.

Visitors will "return to those thrilling days of yesteryear" as they view the museum's fine collection of comic and cowboy character toys and original cartoon and animation art on public display. Yankee Magazine has awarded the museum its Editor’s Choice as the Best of New England.

The museum is best enjoyed by adults as its collection is about aesthetics and not nostalgia. On display are the works of thousands of anonymous artists and sculptors who designed the toys and drew the art behind important pieces of American popular culture and films. The museum features a fabulous collection of 1930s Disneyana that even includes a large, French Donald Duck carousel figure. Antique toys, movie posters, comic books and original comic art featuring Felix the Cat, Buck Rogers, Flash Gordon, Dick Tracy, Popeye, Superman, Charlie McCarthy, Lil' Abner, Pogo, Krazy Kat, Betty Boop, Tarzan, Bugs Bunny, Mutt & Jeff, Snow White, Pinocchio, Howdy Doody and more recent toys such as The Beatles, Snoopy, Robots, Star Wars and space toys are on display.

In addition, the museum displays what it claims is the finest Lone Ranger collection in the world. Other cowboy toys, cap guns, dolls and items feature Roy Rogers, Hopalong Cassidy, Red Ryder, John Wayne, Paladin, and Tom Mix. Original 1950s Lone Ranger & Tonto Dell comic book cover paintings and original paintings featuring The Green Hornet and The Lone Ranger from the offices of WXYZ radio in Detroit can be seen, as can old cereal boxes featuring radio program giveaways and an extensive collection of radio rings and decoders. Included are premiums from the Shadow, the Green Hornet, Captain Midnight, the Lone Ranger, Tom Mix, Jack Armstrong, Sgt. Preston & Yukon King radio shows, Kellogg's Pep comic character pins and the only two complete Kix Cereal boxes featuring 1946 Atom Bomb Ring.

A complete 1948 model of the greatest radio giveaway of all time, The Lone Ranger's Frontiertown, is on display. Sports items, Hartland baseball and cowboy statues; World War II paper toys and anti-Axis propaganda; American and British toy soldiers; 1930s Pop-Up Books, antique Halloween Jack-O-Lanterns and Christmas light sets; and many other things are part of this incredible collection. Maine folk art and toys also are featured including The Laughing Lobstermen figures made from lobster shells.

The museum will be open Thursdays through Mondays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. through Columbus Day. Those who arrive right at opening may be able to get a guided tour; afternoon visitors should arrive no later than 3 p.m. Admission is $5, free for disabled visitors who cannot walk to the second floor. There is no charge to visit the art gallery and antique shop. For more information, call 832-7398 before 8 p.m.

During business hours, John Fawcett will give free walk-in appraisals of antique toys, original cartoon art, radio premiums and similar cowboy and comic character items from the past. The museum purchases antique toys and golden age comic books.

VillageSoup Art/Entertainment Editor Dagney Ernest can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by email to dernest@villagesoup.com.

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