Vintage Americana: 35 objects that sold the American dream

THESE objects represent the American Dream, the stuff that when I was growing in suburban London, I’d dream of owning. They were thrilling, dangerous, enticing and above all BIG; a lot bigger than the stuff sold in Mr Obertelli’s sweetshop and tat emporium. America had the good stuff:

A Monster in ‘Authentic Color’

american dream 1


A gun that smokes. Shape the barrel into a naked women and the bullets into Apollo space rockets this item keeps ticking boxes.


american dream 2


One face fits all

american dream 3


The adverts were fabulous. 

american dream 6



For clarity: he is hypnotising her. Why? And are his wandering hands quicker than the eye?

american dream 7



It’s a big poster of a man. But the copy gurus have made it sound fantastic. 

american dream 8



If anyone has one of the, you are one V.EE.E.RR.Y lucky s.o.a.b. 

american dream 9



The head is full of air. It’s, like, so real.

american dream 11



America invented the University of interesting repute. This course in Bob Hope Studies offered you a certificate and, if you did really well, a frame to put it in. 

american dream 35



Living Monsters. In. Your. Own. Room. Two of them.

american dream 40



Stuck for a date? Your worries are at an end. This BRAIN is “fun at parties”. It is a “miracle of the modern space age“.

american dream 41



“A Complete combat unit at your command.”  No. It’s a “task force and space ship Armada” with machine gun for “mowing down the enemy”.

american dream 50



Sugary treats with a “luminous map of the solar system”. Beam me up, Spotty.

american dream 51



american dream 54


When it’s for girls is “harmless fun”. When it’s for boys it mows down the enemy. Anyone think toy manufacturers are scared stupid of women?

american dream 56


“Even cute girls become careless”. Ugly girls are born careless. The siblings in the photograph have been snorting soot.

american dream 60



Because nothing screamed “FUN” like Rommel’s Rod.

american dream 61


She stuck with him through thin and thick.

american dream 66



The ultimate object of desire. It just did everything.  

american dream 69



Dad is giving Bob “safety training” in using a Daisy gun that in the hands of his sister is “harmless”. Bob is an idiot. 

american dream 70




american dream 79



Knew it. They do wear wigs.

american dream 80


Imagine GI Joes in your home? Imagine being French, German or even Belgian…

american dream 85



A missile firing tank that’s over 6-feet long. 

american dream 88



America invented sex. Over and over and over and over…

american dream 89



All Janey needed to hypnotise Richie were breasts. 

american dream 90




american dream 99



A “genuine combination lock”. 

american dream 111



With this Green beret, that Daisy gun, Space Armada and grenade, you can be the cock of your town.

american dream 121



Dying smile boy not included.

american dream 131


Do not call. 

american dream 222



Whatever you wish.

american dream 801



Will obey your every command. 

american dream 1111




american dream 2221



I’ll take two

american dream

Would you like to support Flashbak?

Please consider making a donation to our site. We don't want to rely on ads to bring you the best of visual culture. You can also support us by signing up to our Mailing List. And you can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. For great art and culture delivered to your door, visit our shop.