Rudy Panucci On Pop Culture

Saturday Night Fever and Marx Convention Swag

The PopCulteer
June 25, 2021

We have photos of the goodies I acquired on our trip up North last week, but before that, we have news on today’s brand-new episode of Mel Larch’s MIRRORBALL on The Air!

Friday afternoon we offer up a special new episode of MIRRORBALL. The AIR is PopCult’s sister radio station. You can hear this show on The AIR website, or just click on the embedded player at the top right column of this blog.

At 2 PM, Mel Larch uncorks a new MIRRORBALL! The AIR’s showcase of classic Disco music salutes the definitive Disco Movie, Saturday Night Fever. On July 2, the director’s cut of SNF debuts on HBO Max, and to get you ready Mel brings you an hour of highlights from one of the best-selling movie soundtracks in history. You’ll hear classic Disco tunes by The Bee Gees, Tavares, KC and The Sunshine Band, Yvonne Eliman, David Shire, Kool and The Gang, Walter Murphy and The Trammps.

The soundtrack to Saturday Night Fever is a crash course in Disco history, and if you miss the days of polyester, danceable beats and unironic cheesiness, then you won’t want to miss MIRRORBALL Friday.

How I Spent My Summer Toy Budget

So, I got lots of stuff last week at the Marx Toy Convention, and while you’re waiting for the bonus photo essays and the Sunday Evening Videos, I thought I’d share pictures of the cool stuff I got last week.

I got this cool, custom “bronzed” Jay West, from Terry Ryder. He’ll fit right in between the Chief Cherokee and Johnny West figures that I got from Terry over the last couple of years. He’s not in his final spot yet, and I need to take the tag off.

Dave Roth always has cool and rare stuff, and this year I picked up a boxed Valiant, the Black Knight’s horse, who was only sold in the UK. I also picked up a few heads, a faded salmon Jane and, of course, a Polar Bear.

From James Wozniak I got those cool hand-painted miniatures of Johnny and the Chief, plus some cool plastic playset figures, including Rosie The Riveter, Female soldiers and some feesh that Mel wanted.

I didn’t get much of Brad’s 3D-printed wonderfulness, because I’m going to see him again at the Kentuckiana GI Joe and Toy Expo in Louisville at the end of July. This stuff is way cool!

From Professor Jim Fuller I picked up this cool Mexican recast Johnny in a cool repro box. Jim also gave me a cool surprise which I will post here in PopCult as soon as it is safely unpacked.

Of course I picked up a couple of cool custom heads from Mike Rohde, and he threw in some head-changing tools.

This year’s mortifying example of how horrible I am with names. I got these cool Kitbash/Custom Mexican Bandido and a recast white Buffalo, and forgot to get the guy’s name, so if you’re reading this, please post a comment with any links to your stuff. It was really cool.

Finally, we have a couple of items that I got at the Marx Toy Museum after-hours sale. Francis Turner just happened to have one of my holy grails sitting around, and he just happened to give me a great price on it.

The Remco Showboat is a toy that my brother and sister and I had when I was a kid. I’m pretty sure that my folks got it before I was walking. It’s a huge toy, over two feet long, and fourteen inches tall and it’s a sternwheel paddleboat with a stage. The stage area could be used to put on plays, of which four are included.

This toy came out in 1962, and this one is still sealed.

Let me repeat that, it’s never been opened…not in 59 years.

The reason I wanted one of these was so that I could create custom versions of Mel’s favorite plays, and we could have this as a centerpiece in our living room. That is still the plan, but for now it’s going to remain sealed. When we do open it, maybe when it’s 60 years old, we’ll preserve the moment on video.

This is what it will look like out of the box…

The toy machine gun on top was a gift from Francis. Mel saw it, and Chicago is special to us, so I asked about it and he just handed it to me.

I guess you could say I had a pretty good day last Friday.

As I did yesterday, here are some reference links:

Brad Curry’s Bee Active Toys.

James Wozniak’s Classic Recasts.

Scott Stewart and Stewart’s Attic.

Tom Heaton’s Vintage Toy Room.

That is this week’s PopCulteer. Check back for our regular features, including two videos on Sunday–the Marx Toy Convention, and The Marx Toy Museum Sale.


  1. Thomas Wheeler

    You certainly had a good time. And that Showboat is a great score!

  2. Terry Ryder

    Thank you Rudy & Mel I can’t wait to see your finished product! We all had such a great time at another Marx Toy Convention.

  3. tommy alligood

    Hey Rudy, great piece. I believe Bill Nestor had the buffalo and Bandido

  4. Banana Hogg

    It sure would be neat to see a highly-produced, fancy video with this stuff in it. Toys make joys for girls and boys. It’s a livin’ thing. Doodle Loodle Loodle-Loo.

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