“Scooby Doo Where Are You?” premiered 50 years ago today, on September 13, 1969, with a creepy museum episode titled, “What a Night for a Knight”.
Yes, 50 YEARS. Scooby Doo is now 50 years old. Which is a LOT, especially in dog years — that would make Scooby 350! And I have a good feeling that he and the rest of the Mystery Inc. gang will keep on sleuthing for another 50 more.
On the surface, Scooby Doo might not seem like a Mickey Mouse-level cartoon character (in terms of longevity and popularity), but think about it: Right now in 2019, 50 years after the show first premiered, there is a brand new series of Scooby Doo airing. There have been 14 different Scooby series produced since 1969. In effect, Scooby Doo has never really been off the air. I’m not sure even Mickey can boast that.
And just what is the appeal of the mystery-solving quintet? Why do we still enjoy seeing the Scooby gang visiting graveyards and museums, castles and mausoleums, hunting vampires, ghosts, ghouls and goblins (yes, there was a film about that!) after all this time?
The short answer? I have no earthly idea.
If you read my feature article with Syfy Wire last year, then you know I’m a life-long Scooby fan. I’ve been collecting the hungry and clumsy-yet-lovable Great Dane since I was four or five, and if anything, I’m more in love with him now at 30+ years old than I was back then. I still enjoy watching his classic mysteries, and despite knowing many episodes nearly word for word, the way my heart races at the spooky “something’s about to happen” musical cues hasn’t changed a bit.
If you want to talk more about Scooby Doo, then come back to the blog in October when I’ll be trying my hardest to write a few Scooby Doo-themed posts. But for today, on Scooby’s 50th birthday, what I really want to do is share my updated Scooby Doo collection with you! I even boxed up most of my wrestling figures in order to have an extra shelf to add to my Scooby display. That’s real commitment!
As mentioned above, in 2018 my collection was featured over at Syfy Wire, as well as on the excellent fan site, Scooby Addicts, as the Fan Spotlight of the Month in April. I took separate photos for each feature, and answered different questions for them, so if you’re interested, be sure to visit both sites.
Since February 2018 though, my collection has grown. And by “grown”, I mean HOLY CRAP, I HAVE FOUND AND ADDED SOME OF MY HOLY GRAIL ITEMS TO MY COLLECTION.
If you think a 33-year-old woman shouldn’t be getting this excited about Scooby Doo toys, you’re probably right. But also, you should probably just leave right now because there’s no room for that sort of negativity in my life! Don’t let the door hit you, etc., etc.
So for — ahem — fun, I made an inventory of all the items I’ve added to my collection since I appeared on Syfy Wire. I’ve acquired the items from a number of different places, mostly eBay, but also Amazon, Etsy, Hallmark, Walmart, thrifting/flea markets, and I’ve received a few as gifts from family and friends.
The one thing I’m most proud of regarding my closet full of Scooby stuff is that it’s a curated collection. That means that I try not to buy something just because it’s Scooby Doo. I search out pieces that I really like, that I feel will complement the other items in my collection, and that are a good bargain, rare, or otherwise just unusual. I’m looking for quality pieces: But not quality as in monetary value. For me, the value of “collectibles” is in their history, their story, or how they make you feel.
I love my collection, so I’m not ashamed to share that there are 65 new pieces in my menagerie, that I’ve added from February 2018 to September 2019. And some of these items are the cream of the crop of my Scooby treasure trove.
The most expensive new addition, also taking the title of the most expensive item in my entire collection, is one of the items that I previously cited as a “holy grail”, top 5 wish list Scooby piece: The Scooby Doo Animated Talking Telephone from the year 2000.
I have been looking for one of these for so long. And it was totally worth the wait! It was also worth waiting to get one that works. I picked this up on eBay and though the seller didn’t mention it, it only partially worked. Both Scooby and Shaggy’s heads are supposed to move when you turn it on, but Scooby’s head was inoperable at first. I have a really great and very handy dad who quickly disassembled the telephone, found the problem, and MacGyvered a fix. Then voila! A completely operational Scooby Doo animated talking telephone!
I did pay up for this, it was $105.24 when all was said and done. But as far as my options go, living where I do? I consider it to be a good deal. The phone itself was only $49 USD, but tack on the shipping (it’s a very large piece), import fees, and then the exchange from USD to Canadian funds (just the $49 alone translates to $65 Canadian), and THEN PayPal’s conversion cut… it really adds up quickly. But this was not an impulse buy. I thought long and hard about it, saved my money, and I shopped around for a long time. This is the one I was comfortable and confident about getting. It was worth it!
I also picked up my very first vintage Scooby Doo comic this spring! From 1975, Charlton Comics “Scooby Doo Where Are You” #5.
This was a very happy find as vintage Scooby comics are usually priced terribly high, and that’s before shipping and exchange. I got an excellent deal on this beauty! In fact, the price was so good that I didn’t see any point in complaining to eBay when it showed up creased right down the middle after being shipped in an envelope with nothing but a thin, ALREADY BENT piece of cardboard in it. -_- I wrote the seller privately to politely share my disappointment with his complete lack of care in shipping the item, but no surprise, he just ignored me. *sighs* I digress…
Here are some other highlights from the “vintage” category: A 1973 “Scooby Doo and the Snowmen Mystery” LP Record. The sleeve artwork is gorgeous!
A lovely little copy of the 1977 Rand McNally Junior Elf Book, “Scooby Doo and the Santa Claus Mystery”…
A pristine pack of 1972 Scooby Doo “That’s Snow Ghost” Viewmaster Reels…
Also from 1972, definitely a favourite find: A plastic miniature license plate sign with my name on it!
Anyone who knows me personally knows that I’m always on the hunt for Scrappy Doo items and/or Scooby-related Canada’s Wonderland/amusement park memorabilia. In this category I picked up: A Six Flags elongated penny…
A 1985 Hanna-Barbera Land Scooby and Scrappy wallet…
A 1982 Canada’s Wonderland Scrappy Doo miniature playing cards keychain…
The usually insanely expensive Canada’s Wonderland Scooby and Scrappy pin (I actually picked up two of these over the course of the year since the second one was such an amazing price)…
And another Canada’s Wonderland pennant (dated 1987) featuring Scooby and other Hanna-Barbera characters — and it’s different than the one I already have! An exciting flea market find, and for only $4! #BargainHunter
I also picked up this delightful Canada’s Wonderland “Scooby Doo’s Ghoster Coaster” picture holder from 1998… which was the perfect display piece for the photo I have of myself, my cousin Steve, and my dad riding the Ghoster Coaster in 1997! My photo came in a holder too, but it’s just plain and white and very boring by comparison. I made a copy of the picture to go in this colourful sleeve, and it’s now displayed with my collection!
To round out the vintage goodies, Etsy did me right last year with four vintage finds: Two different iron-on Scooby patches from 1980…
And two of my favourite pieces ever, a 1982 vinyl Scrappy Doo figurine, and a vinyl Scooby Doo dated 1984.
Two recent summer acquisitions are undated but most likely vintage. A still-sealed Voyager “Great America” Scrappy Doo iron-on patch…
And these colourful Scooby rubber toppers! I’m not exactly sure what these were meant to go on, the holes in the bottom are just a little too small to fit on the end of a pencil. But they do make for great display pieces!
Another super-cool item encompasses four of my favourite things: Scooby Doo, Christmas, glitter, and retro bubble lights. I mean, does this Scooby Doo Christmas bubble light night light not scream me??
I now have matching Cartoon Network-branded Vampire and Angel plush Scoobies, dated 1998…
And a major birthday Scooby haul: 15 Warner Brothers Studio Store Scooby beanies from the late ’90s and early 2000s! Now, I already had 6 of the 15, but the price per beanie was like $3 each, and if you worked it out to just the 9 new ones, it was still only about $5.50 each. Most of these beanies retailed for $7.99 USD back 20 years ago — so I think these were a steal! (Even though I actually won the auction for only .99 cents, and the whole rest of the amount was shipping charges. Yay, living in Canada! :P) My dad wrapped up every single one of the 15 beanies, hid them all over the house, and wrote clues that I had to solve and follow in order to find them. My very own Scooby Doo mystery hunt for my birthday! Yes, I promise there are two “3”s in my age, not just one. ;P
When I spoke earlier about rare or unusual Scooby items, the following pieces are the type of thing I’m talking about. I recently got this beautiful plastic ornament dated 1988 (another huge bargain, I might add: $4.15, shipping included!).
I had never seen anything like it before. The seller had a few of them listed in a lot with other similar ornaments, one of which said Excalibur Hotel on it. I asked if he would sell me a single piece, and happily he said yes! When I asked how he knew the Scooby ornament was also from the Excalibur, he told me that he got all the ornaments together at an estate sale, and so was just assuming that the Scooby pieces were Excalibur Hotel souvenirs as well. I guess this one will remain a mystery!
I had also never seen birthstone Scooby Doo jewellery before. And even though my birthday is in August and not January, I had to have this Universal Studios earrings and necklace set!
This was actually an eBay auction item that I lost. I was pretty disappointed, but determined to stick to my predetermined max bid. Much to my surprise and delight, weeks after the auction was over, I received an email from eBay — a second chance offer from the seller to buy the pieces at my last bid price! Um, YES, please! They’re even still on their original card backs, and I don’t think they’ve ever been worn. The necklace chain is still taped to the back.
Also something quite unique that I had never seen before was this matchbook cover dated 1978, for Scooby’s Fun Factory Pizza restaurant in Houston, Texas!
And these unusual near miniature-size Scooby Doo Halloween Fèves figurines came all the way from France!
In addition to my beanie haul, I received a number of other fabulous Scooby gifts in the past year+, these courtesy of my very good friend Megan and her husband, Tim. Megan has been
enabling my Scooby addiction helping grow my Scooby collection for a long, long time, and she also graciously lets me have certain purchases sent to her home in the United States and delivers them to me when she visits, so I can save on the insane “to Canada” shipping costs. Trust me, I know how lucky I am to have such good friends!
For my birthday last year, Megan found me this amazing 2002 Scooby gumball machine (for which I promptly sculpted FIFTY miniature clay Scooby Snax to go inside it!) that she spotted in an antique store. I love stuff like this!
But I was truly speechless when one day, out of the blue, Megan messaged me the following photo of her husband and said, “Look what Tim spotted! We knew we had to get it for you!”
Megan then flew home, all the way from Missouri to Northern Ontario, carting this huge Easter Scooby with her on the plane. ON A PLANE! Omigosh, I ♥ you guys so much!
As you can tell, my level of excitement for Scooby Doo is something that just grows and grows. And you know what? I’m glad. Some people have to turn to drugs, alcohol and sex to find enjoyment in life. Some people are addicted to gambling. Still others don’t feel like they’re even alive unless they’re doing something crazy and dangerous, like racing cars or jumping out of airplanes. Me? I collect Scooby Doo stuff. Searching for or stumbling upon that perfect piece at the right price? That’s exciting. Updating, organizing and curating all the items in my collection, then sitting back, surrounded by memories and stories and good feelings? That’s something that makes me happy.
So if other people don’t get it? That’s fine. They don’t have to. They have their own things that they enjoy and are proud of. But for me? I’m happy to be [in my own mind] the unofficial sixth member of the Scooby Doo gang, and if I’m still around in another 50 years? Well, you can just expect another updated Scooby collection tour to celebrate the 100th anniversary. And just imagine how awesome it will be by then!
Rooby rooby roo!!!
I do have one last Scooby item to share with you. I didn’t include it above because although it has been purchased, I haven’t been allowed to “have” it yet. I can’t believe I’m even saying this, but right now, sitting in a box in my house, is the ultimate holy grail Scooby Doo collectible. It’s the earliest item that I’m aware of (I’m sure there are earlier ones since Scooby premiered in 1969, but I’ve just never seen or heard of them) and I’m BEYOND excited that I’m getting it for Christmas this year:
A very rare Sutton & Sons plush Scooby WITH his original tag, from 1970.
Oh. My. Gosh. Pinch. Me. I. Am. Dreaming. Jinkies!
And how I came to be in [partial] possession of this is an even better story. I first saw one of these Scoobies online last year. Something that another crazy-lucky Scooby collector got from an elderly neighbour who lived down the road. It’s pretty derpy looking (this is a plush from 1970 that we’re talking about), but wow, talk about an early piece. And something I’m sure any Scooby collector would love to have in their possession. I tried to find one for sale, but of course, there weren’t any, and I figured the price would be so astronomical anyway that there’s no way I would ever own one.
But this spring, I learned that you can save searches on eBay, and eBay will send you an email if anything matching your search criteria pops up for sale. Knowing it was likely a waste of time, I saved a search for “1970 Scooby Doo Plush” and then honestly forgot all about it.
Then the morning of August 3 — yes, on my birthday of all days — what pops into my email? A NEW EBAY LISTING FOR A 1970 SCOOBY DOO PLUSH, WITH THE TAG, and not an auction, but a Buy it Now item.
You can tell me this wasn’t an honest to goodness birthday gift from God Himself, but I’ll fight you hard to say that yes, it was.
I’m not going to lie and pretend like it was cheap. BUT it was reasonable — way cheaper than I ever thought it would be. And more importantly, it was doable (I paid more for the telephone, tbh!). I nearly bought it on the spot, but….. well, I’m just not an impulse buyer, I’m really not. And yes, I’ve missed out on some really great items by being this way. But I’ve also saved myself a ton of money too, and sometimes I’ve been glad I didn’t buy something immediately because I’ve found it a short while later for a better price.
What I DID do was bounce right up and hyperventilate to my dad about how if he wanted to get me the ultimate gift for Christmas this year, he could get me this vintage Scooby and it would pretty much make my entire life. We talked about it for a while, and looked around online, and debated about whether or not it was real or fake, etc., as I quietly vibrated, worrying that it might sell before he came to a decision…
Let me tell you, when I watched him hit that “buy it now” button, I frickin’ exploded. (Reminder: I am 33, not 3. I swear it.) Soooooo……. the 1970 plush Scooby Doo, WITH original hang tag will be joining my wonderful little curated collection come December 25th, and I could not be more overjoyed about that. Thanks, dad. ♥
There may be bigger collections out there (there’s literally a Guiness World Record category for largest Scooby Doo collection — a title that’s been held exclusively by Canadian women, interestingly enough!), but I still think mine is the best. I wouldn’t trade with anyone. Because beyond the “stuff”, there are memories, memories that I will try and cherish forever. Collecting should never be about the stuff, it should be about how the stuff makes you feel. And maybe that’s the real solution to the mystery of why Scooby Doo has endured for 50 years. It’s the memories. Memories of a time when good always triumphed over evil. A time when you didn’t need sex and violence to make something entertaining. Memories of children’s shows that were actually suitable for children, go figure! It was a time when cartoons stimulated not only your eyes, but your mind (and sometimes heart) too.
Because while Scooby Doo taught us that the real monsters are often bad human beings, it also proved that if you set out to help someone, pay attention, think critically, work together and watch each other’s backs, no bad guy is any match for four meddling teenage kids and their dog.
And that’s a lesson that is just as relevant today as it was 50 years ago, and will be 50 years from now. Zoinks.