Friday, July 20, 2012

Jennys Home


Is it any wonder I am grooving on my new (vintage) Jennys Home, a neat little room box scaled for 1:16, which was masterminded as a modular set of rooms by Tri-ang (and its subsidiary Spot-On) and the magazine Homes and Gardens in 1965? Apparently every young girl then needed her very own series of Jennys Home rooms, where she could create her own tower of a home, or perhaps a chic, compact apartment, or even a delectable sprawl of rooms by the sea...it could be anything you wanted!

Honey, I'm home!

Tri-ang manufactured small and large versions of these plastic rooms from 1965-70, as well as a series of dolls, furniture, and accessories. I've been doing some reading and web searching, and have loved coming across information tidbits about the rooms and, of course, PICTURES!

**By the way, I have to mention that I have been resisting the impulse to add an apostrophe in "Jennys" throughout this post. I am going by the wording on the original box and materials (as difficult as it is!)**

First, an original leaflet, which came with the rooms, from a blog post by Celia of KT Miniatures (warm wishes to her as she undergoes surgery):


Here's another leaflet in color from a blog posting on a V&A site (the links are all sadly broken, but you can still read the main post). This shows some furniture options and is obviously giving us girls the hard sell!


It's no wonder girls wanted to collect up the rooms and decorate them to their heart's content! Here's more images of some of the original boxes from the Spot-On Collector website:





I love the tag lines, "A room of your own! A house of your own!"

This photostream by short_paws is pretty incredible and shows her (or his?) extensive collection of Jennys Homes. Here's a picture of short_paw's dream tower - WOW!


Pretty endless options for layouts and decorating -- I find these charming.




Rebecca of Rebecca's Collections has a Jennys Home, as you can see in this blog post from 2009. I hope she does not mind my sharing some of her photos here of her Erna Meyer dolls keeping house:




My own large, unfurnished Jennys Home was bought with the original box on eBay for less than $25. I have unsuccessfully bid for a number of Jennys Homes on UK eBay over the years, to no avail. This one popped up quite by surprise and I was the only bidder. I really do love when this happens -- it kind of justifies all of those hours spent on eBay late at night looking for a treasure!

How about a little tour? First, the original box. 




Then, the "naked" inside of the box, which looks quite good for its age. There are a few flaws: the original door has a small corner piece cracked off (still to glue), and one of the two roof panels has a crack. The sliding window to the front is a bit scratched, but other than that, it is in nice vintage condition.






Mine did not come with curtains, but it did come with a red/orange rug. The rug helped to set the mood for my first scene in the room, which features an original Jenny lamp that came with the box. I decided to completely cover the three walls to pick up on the rug's color and add some warmth with the wood "paneling," which is actual thick wood paper from the Paper Source.












As I was working on this scene I was reminded of a prior small room box experience, with my Miner Room-in-Miniature set, which is 1:24 scale -- you might remember this:




Same era, too! I love the continuity.

Do you have a Jennys Home...or a few??! Let me know!

Credits: Table is Dol-Toi; chairs are Reac; chair and ottoman are vintage Petite Princess; sideboard is vintage German; plant is TOMY; stool is from miniatures.com; patterned wall is DCWV scrapbook paper, and wood walls are wood papers from the Paper Source. Accessories are Tri-ang, eBay finds, Michaels, Lil' Bratz, and AG Minis.

The time it took me: 57 minutes

16 comments:

  1. I love these. They are especially cool stacked up. Fab job decorating. You always have the best papers. Does The Paper Source sell online? I can't seem to find many cool papers locally.

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    1. Thanks! I do love me some patterned papers! If I see any papers I like, I pick them up. I may not use them right away, but that's OK...they usually inspire me to do something eventually. I included a hyperlink to the Paper Source wood paper in this post, and again in the credits. They do indeed sell online.

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  2. Fantastic!
    I like your room box 1:24.
    Bye Faby

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    1. Thanks, Faby! I do love that 1:24 box. I may have to take it out again soon...

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  3. I don't have one of these, but have always admired them. I can't figure out why no current toy manufacturers make these NOW. Of course, I'm confused by a lot of things that toy companies do AND don't do. Wow, they miss a lot of revenue streams. Couldn't you just imagine the updated version of these that they could make? Phenom post, friend. ;)

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    1. Amen, sister! I was going to rant in my post about the frustrating simplicity of these boxes and wonder why nothing like this exists, but then I decided to keep the monster in check. I think part of the reason is kids aren't encouraged to play in the same way...lots of toys today do all the thinking for you. I'm liking the sound of updating Jennys Home -- perhaps Better Homes might reissue it for a 50 year anniversary in 2015?? Got any contacts there?? ;)

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    2. I do not, but maybe a coworker does...hmm--I'll ask around. ;)

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    3. That would be awesome, dude! Thanks!!

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  4. How do you always manage to create such warm, inviting scenes with a modern edge? I love this post and your Jennys Home! Best, Neen

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    1. Aw, shucks, Neen! Very sweet of you to say. Glad you enjoyed the post and my Jennys decorating!

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  5. Very cool. I've never seen a Jenny house but love the simplicity. Thanks for the reminder about Paper Source. Love their die cut papers. The wood is good too. :D

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    1. Hiya, Kathi! I too love the simplicity -- sparks the imagination! The Paper Source is the bomb. Really lovely stuff.

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  6. Wow! I love these houses. I had never heard of them before, but I think I will start looking for them on eBay. Thanks so much for sharing the history as well as your lovely photos.

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    1. Thanks, Tiffany! Glad you like the post! I hope you find a house of your own! UK eBay is also an option for searching.

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  7. Brilliant post! I love the modular add-on structures, so many possibilities. Paris's Sky Lofts are the only new houses that come close:
    http://www.prdminiatures.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=50&product_id=495.

    I just really wish a toy manufacturing company would jump on this. Ditch the hearts and flowers, rebrand for boys and girls and let our little architects start making their own creations. I would love to buy something like this for my kids (and of course some for me!)

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    1. Yes, Paris' Sky Lofts are definitely a deluxe version of these. I do wish a company would reissue Jennys Home. I think there would be some great appeal for creative little minds. As I said to MC, I think Better Homes should consider a reissue with a similarly simple, modern design.

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