The PopCulteer
June 22, 2012

Last night your PopCulteer missed his first ArtWalk in years. Things came up and it couldn’t be avoided, and that means that we can’t bring you our usual huge photo essay. I’m very disappointed because the FestivAll edition of ArtWalk is always one of the most fun, and missing that, and the Derick Kirk benefit, will leave a big hole in the next episode of Radio Free Charleston, not to mention this blog.

But don’t despair. We’ve already got a ton of things on tap to record this weekend for part two of our FestivAll 2012 extravaganza, and we even have an extra-cool treat for this week’s PopCulteer.

But first we have a special video for you. The Alban Arts and Conference Center is openimg a production of David Auburn’s award-winning play, “Proof” tonight. With all the FestivAll hoopla, opening a play in St. Albans has to be a daunting experience. I ran down to the Alban Theater Wednesday night and shot some of the play for this clip. From what I saw, it looks like Director, Adam Bryan, and his cast have done a great job with Auburn’s play about a family coping with the fine line between genius and madness.

After that, we’re bringing you a long photo essay devoted to Wheeling’s Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum, which is one of the most fun places to photograph in the state.

First up, be warned that there is some strong language in this clip, but check out a bit of “Proof.”

When we went to Wheeling for MEGO Meet 2012 a couple of weeks ago, we also took the time to snap some pictures of the regular exhibits at the Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum. Enjoy, and fill your eyes with childlike wonder…

"Remember me? I'm the one who loves you."

Kicking off, we're in the girl's toys room

The Weinermobile greets us in the vehicle room, but the really cool thing is the Romper Room "Do Be a Do Bee" 8mm film hiding behind it.

Oddly enough, there are some of these that I don't have in my collection.

Hey! We found him!

In the evolutionary stages of man, this came after the Big Wheel.

Space toys!

Aircraft are well-represented, too.

A rare Canadian maroon Jane West, riding her buckboard with Thunderbolt.

A wall of fire engines.

Again, there are some of these I don't have.

I never quite figured out what the hell these things were.

Big Loo greets you as you ascend the staircase.

"Would you like to try the Garloo Under Glass?" Both of these were named after Louis "Lou" Marx, by the way.

An unauthorized sneak Peak at the upcoming K NEX exhibit.

One of the train rooms on the third floor.

Toy boat, toy boat, toy boat...

Part of the newly-installed slot car exhibit.

Among the many rare Marx prototypes in the display cases in the shot car room, is this Johnny West set, complete with prototype packaging. I don't know if this set was ever released.

Artifacts from the Marx Toy facotry in Glendale.

Molds, test shots and prototypes for riding toys.

More of the new slot car display.

Want! (can't have)

Say what you will, these still get better milage than a Prius.

Hello tiny city!

A quick look at one of the train layout rooms.

And a couple of flash pitures of the "night" layout room.

Action figure room!

A case full of MEGO stuff, much of it customized.

Patriotic figures, plus some Republicans, too.

The top row? Yeah, I got all those.

Astronauts, The Lone Ranger and The Marx Knights.

Marx playsets.

A display case full of Johnny West. I think I have all the figures in my collection, but not the animals or the boxes.

Nobody puts Johnny West in the corner. C 3PO, yes, but not Johnny.

While Phil Spector was famous for his "Wall of Sound," Kruger Street is known for their "Wall of Tiny Figures."

Barbie transport and housing from the Doll Room.

1970s beach stylin'.

Dawn Dolls. Mel had these.

But nobody had Twinkie.

This is the type of dollhouse they should sell at The Purple Moon.

Just part of the Great Wall of Dollhouses.

There's cool stuff on display all over the place at Kruger Street Toy and Train Museum.

So I was wondering if a photo of a QR code would still be scannable. We bid farewell to Kruger Street with out final photo. Somebody tell me if this thing works. I don't have a smart phone.