Coca Cola YoYo

Old Coca Cola YoYo Strings

In the 70’s, almost every year around summer time there was a new style of Coca Cola Yoyo introduced you could purchase from your local Milk Bar…….

These were always a huge craze, even international YoYo experts presented some great yoyo tricks each year for Coca Cola at shopping centres, Royal Shows, etc.

Coca Cola YoYo Strings

Here Pictured is one yoyo I have kept for many years, the graphics are a bit worn on one side. I even managed to keep 2 packs of strings and a display box.

There is some of these Yoyo’s that fetch good prices depending on rarity and condition. Have you still got a Yoyo from your teenage years, drop us a photo in the comment area below?

First Published : Aug 8th 2014

Shaker Maker

One of the craziest fad toys from the 70’s where you created a mould from the Magic Mix which half set into a rubbery and wobbly figure, that you then let dry, ready to paint it.Header Shaker Maker

Shaker Maker Vintage Disney

Character sets included Animals, People, Disney, Hairy Bunch, Batman & Flinstones, these photographed are part of my collection…….
Shaker Maker Vintage Hairy Bunch

Ideal were the company that made these back in the early 70’s, and other companies tried to re-issue these in the 90’s & 00’s but they never had the “fad” status they once had back in the good ol days!

With advances in technology I guess being creative in this way is not so fashionable.


Shaker Maker Vintage Magic Mix Shaker Maker Vintage Mould Set




Page First Published on: May 18, 2014 @ 09:33


Marvin Martian Collection

Back in the 90’s I took a fascination to collecting Marvin Martian, he was the least collected or favoured and I loved his “out of this world” character as a kid.

As gifts for birthdays etc, friends gave me more things to add to my collection…….

Here photographed is some of my faves from my shelves. The cookie jar was given to me in 1995, it has survived til now in it’s original box.

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This Page First Published on: Aug 1, 2014 @ 18:29

Hey Hey Ossie & Pluka


Ossie Ostrich & Plucka Duck!

Australian Children’s Television but with a clever adult twist, especially with Ernie Carrol behind the voice of Ossie. This aired on Saturday mornings originally.

Ossie & Plucka Duck Hey Hey it's SaturdayThis show, Hey Hey It’s Saturday,  was later placed in an evening time slot and was a very popular variety show,  smutty innuendos, tongue in cheek humour  I think was the best laugh.

And who’d forget Humdrum with our own Molly Meldrum, a music rave from the Guru himself, who was the most picked on personality in the show, often being subject to things falling on him, breaking, being thrown and harassed by Dicky Knee.

The plush characters from the show are becoming desired by collectors now that the show is no more. A plush Plucka Duck was recently sold on E-bay with 3 or 4 signatures of the Hey Hey cast, Red, John Blackman, Daryl Somers & Wilbur I believe.

As I collect Australian Children’s Television items,  I have these in my collection (pictured). Two of these have their original swing tags and copyright tags, which are harder to find. This Ossie is made by Croner 1982, there is a few different Ossies from 70’s & 90’s , some have hard plastic eyes.

What’s it worth? These characters can sell for varying prices, pending on condition, rarity, signatures, tags, etc, starting at $10.00. Please don’t make the mistake of thinking that yours is a rare one which will fetch  around $70.00,  study what you have and price accordingly to sell.

It’s great to see Aussies take up this collection, cause preserving fun childhood memories like these are good for the soul!

Page First Published on: Aug 14, 2013 @ 08:39


Collecting or Hoarding?

It’s a passion, it’s addictive, it’s adrenaline….
It’s Collecting!

I know, some just don’t understand our passion where others admire… Collecting is personal and the collectors are the temporary custodians of items that are sure to hang around for all to enjoy our Australian pastime.

What drives each of us I’m unsure, but our collecting makes us feel good, so long as it doesn’t cross the line and become hoarding.
I began collecting many years ago, I really wasn’t sure what I was collecting I just bought things that I thought were cool, interesting, or should be saved because one day this stuff will be ‘gonski’, it’s AUSTRALIAN, and I’m proud of my heritage.

A lot of places become our sources for our collecting, garage sales is a great source, op shops, trash & treasure markets, boot sales & antique shops. Sometimes friends give us things that they once loved & want it to go to a home where it is treasured.

These photographs are some of my collection from over the years. These days I’m turning my collection into more like the things you would of found in your local Milk Bar or corner grocery shop.

Advertising, samples, packaging. I have a chip packet collection many going back to the mid 90’s when the whole Tazo thing exploded…

What do you collect? Post a comment at the bottom or do a writeup and I will post it on your behalf with due credit, this is a great spot to have a skyte about your collection…we love the stories.

More Medicinal Products Here

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Page 1st Published : May 6, 2013 @ 20:35

Rare Hulk Wolverine LED Posters

Hulk LED Poster Marvel Comics 2005

These get quite a few comments in my home. I acquired these about a year ago. They have small LED lights on them that flash in a sequence…..The other one I have is Wolverine (below).  

Wolverine LED Poster Marvel Comics 2005

I have tried to find out more about their origin, they are made By JAGO Corp Asia Ltd which seems to be a dissolved company back in 2010

Copyright Marvel 2005, obviously these are some sort of shop promo display, Determination & Courage. They use a small 4V adapter and have a on/off switch at the bottom of frame. Even though it’s really not my usual collecting, these are displayed on my wall and lit up.  Leave any comments below cheers!

Page 1st Published : May 5, 2014 @ 07:55

About Peters Milk Bar

MilkBars around Australia are diminishing rapidly which is sad to say, but that’s one of the main reasons why this website evolved, to keep those memories alive.

Peter’s Milk Bar is now 6 years old. This site is a hobby, and updated or added to when I create time. NB. All photos within these pages are taken from my own collection unless specified ©.

Peters IceCream Vintage Signs

…. Some Milkbars have survived economic hardship that was due to competition from the big guys, and others are being re-instated /refurbished for nostalgia reasons.

My name is Pete, this website is a place for a collectors / sellers knowledge, or just those wanting to take a visual trip down memory lane. I’m a Milk Bar/Grocery enthusiast, collector & Ebay seller, collaborating my photography /graphics skills with items from my own collection, to share with you all, let’s walk down memory lane.

On This Site people can browse & comment on Australian things from the days of gone, of when we were kids and used to hang out at the local Milk Bar, especially in summer for a Peter’s Icecream and or Sunny Boy.

Pete with a Milk Bar Sign

I have also collected many other things but MilkBar / Grocery is my favourite interest, and the one I focus on today. I’ve collected Childrens TV Characters, when I saw that at a bargain price, Vintage Toys, Chip Packets & Marvin Martian. Collecting is “addictive” and people collect the most amazing things… come and share your story or your own similar blog. If there is any photos you would like in high resolution without watermarks, ask me as I often share.

I created this site back in 2012, it has progressed as I have the time… so come and hang with us…. Let’s talk Milk Bar Memorabilia.Peters MilBar Logo

My PHD in Lollies :: Interesting read about confection history in Australia ..  Australian Confectioners :: Video from ABC on Lolly Manufacturing in Australia

Above is the Full Peters Milk Bar Logo as it is today, Below is the other stages of it’s creation. Click to Enlarge.


Logo designed & owned by Peter Lister©

Old Footy Clapper

This has been in my collection for some time and I have kept it as football memorabilia from the VFL, Victorian Football League days.

Old Vintage Footy Clapper

It’s a Clapper made by Champion, being wiggled in the hand it made a lot of noise like clapping.

I vaguely remember this style being available in the 70’s. Does anyone have any further info to refresh my memory, like was there different colours for different teams, and was there a time when they were popular?. Comment below thanks!

Humphrey B Bear Vintage

Humphrey Bear Collecting

Humphrey B. Bear is the most recognized of all Australian Children’s television characters from across many generations. Humphrey is all Australian, and first appeared on television in May 1965 in South Australia.

As with Mr Squiggle Collectibles, there is a lot of misconceptions about year of manufacture and what is collectible or highly desired, so I thought I would run through the difference between a lot of them, there is photos, prices for members.

Most Humphreys, in all shapes, sizes and promotional items are now collectible because Humphrey ceases to exist on television. Humphrey B Bear was made insolvent by administrators since the company behind him, Banksia Productions, wound up in early 2009.
In February 2013, entrepreneur Shane Yeend bought the rights to the famous bear, which means we ‘could’ see more of him… May 27 2015 rumour has it that Humphrey is likely to come back as an animated TV show.

Firstly, many people think that because the tag has © Southern Tv Corp 1965, that this was the year of manufacture of the plush toy they are selling. This, in most cases, is not true, it’s simply just when the Humphrey B Bear product was copyrighted period. The year is ‘usually’ noted on the tag. Humphrey B Bear WITH a readable swing tag, adds value.

The first caricature of Humphrey B Bear was first made by an immigrant to Australia named Leo J Sterne, and are probably the rarer of all Humphreys made. House of Metti in South Australia started making Humphrey plush and plastic, including night lights around the 1960’s., these also have become increasingly desirable, and the most collectible.

Southern Television owned the rights, and Banksia Productions, Classic Toys, Mattel and Croner are some of the manufacturers who had the rights to produce caricatures. Humphrey has been made in an array of looks, shapes and sizes, the largest I know of being 1 metre high, (pictured in gallery).
Condition, rarity and demand determine the price of Humphrey B Bear. On E-Bay especially, there is many folk who think that the Humphrey they have is scarce or rare and will tell you so, however I suggest you research the Humphrey B Bear you are looking for to add to your collection and don’t necessarily buy the first you see, depending on price of course, as the more desirable ones do come up periodically and good things come to those who wait!

I have around 50 Humphrey B Bear display items in my Australian Children’s Television collection, that started many years ago and now I am re-fining the collection and adding others I don’t have.
Smallest in the collection is 10 cms tall, up to I metre, and the oldest a LJ Sterne. I have 2 ‘House of Metti’ rubber squeak toys, one a darker brown than the other, and the spots on the vest are a different colour, & both stamped underneath. The stamp is not that visible to the eye at first or second glance, you may need glasses or magnifying glass to see it more clearly.

Humphrey was used by Bank of SA often to promote their Bank.
The ones pictured sell for around $ 5 – 15

The most important thing I believe when collecting anything is to get what you like yourself, make sure the condition is good and all the bits are there and it is sure to add value over the years. With Humphrey, that means tie, hat, jacket.

These are just some photos of the styles of Humphrey, some of the Humphreys photographed may not be complete, the two plush on their own are missing ties. Enjoy!

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Mr Squiggle Plush Toy 1960-70’s

Mr Squiggle

One of the longest playing children’s television shows in Australia’s history… Mr Squiggle! The man from the Moon with his trusty “Rocket”! Space travel, ufo’s, ray guns etc was big with kids toys in the 60’s, so Mr Squiggle was very fitting for that era watched by many baby boomers and beyond.

Norman Hetherington was the creator and master behind Mr Squiggle, the blackboard drawing man from the moon!

Mr Squiggle has never returned to television from the moon for many years, and now that Norman Hetherington has sadly passed, Mr Squiggle will surely be no more…. that I know of anyway, he may make a come back in a few years in these modern days!.

There seems to be some confusion about Mr Squiggle the toy character (plush toy). Many people have only recently taken a huge interest in Squiggle, Hetherington’s death has most likely been the catalyst. Not long ago on e-bay he didnt fetch a good price, but now more want him, the competition bidding has stepped up a notch some reaching $100.00, pending condition, vintage etc!

The pictured Mr Squiggle (above right) is one of the originals ever made, and at the time of production had a patent pending with Hetherington’s and ABC’s authority. The other smaller Mr Squiggle is “Lil Mr Squiggle” from just not long after the patent pending version, a pocket size Squiggle

Kidz Biz made a Mr Squiggle in the 1990’s which is distinctively different from the 1960-70’s version, especially the eyes which are now plastic button style. ( see photos). Colors are one difference, 1990’s version pencil doesn’t have black lines, his feet are more curled, hands are more defined, bow is not as big, neck has ridges and extends.

I would really like to find a Bill Steamshovel, another character from the children’s television show from ABC. I’m not sure if they made one at all, I thought of creating one to go with my Squiggle collection.

Hope that helps those in the market for buying a Mr Squiggle for their collection.

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Cowboy Jigsaws

I found this vintage game at the op-shop the other day. I got it for $2 cause I said to the lady, often there is pieces missing and it disappoints you if they not all there.

So the deal was struck and I couldn’t wait to get home and see if it was all there, the whole 4 of them!

Yeppers, they were all there, and everything was included.

The scenes are very American cowboy 60’s and the game is made in Britain?

Ventriloquist Doll Restore

This little project had me excited!
Many years ago when I had my hair businesses, one shop was decorated with retro vintage things I collected on the weekends.

My clients saw what I was doing, some thought it was junk for the skip, others saw it’s value, especially one client an antique dealer Val Booth from Malvern Antiques. Others mentioned they had some old junk at home that they were happy to swap for a haircut. So the bargaining began!

One of the bargains was a little fella I have recently named “Rebel”. He has had a restoration and I’m so proud of him he is a prize in my collection.

I did the restoration myself, and I’m a male! BUT I DO NOT ADVISE THIS FOR OTHERS…~! Rebel started to fade quickly in his shoe box as the years went by, somehow the heat and moisture in the atmosphere was “cracking” him up!
Having a hectic life for many years I saw his deterioration and decided if anything, I would lightly spray him with a hairspray I knew was not full of chemicals to hold him together until I had time, as the paint you can see in the images was being destroyed and I wasn’t keen for this to happen to my ventriloquist toy doll !

If you read my other pages on PetersMilkBar you will see I have had a “revival” of sorts for my vintage collection. Rebel was bothering me with his sad condition, so I got on the web and found the most valuable information about restoring dolls. Truly, the most valuable.

After reading the above information I had decided that Rebel and I couldn’t afford to go see the doll doctor, so this special surgery had to be done at home! Yes peeps a “backyard” job OMG!! Do you feel the nightmare coming on?

Well, most of you can rest assured, this advise has saved Rebel’s life. Rebel is pimpin the “BRAND NEW ya’ll!” It is probably not the 100% professional job of a qualified doll restorer, but hey, me n Rebel is chuffed with the make-over, check it out for yourself.
I cannot THANK ENOUGH the information that I scored at “” Lousies Little Ladies , your words on the web are worth spreading. PLEASE, DO NOT try this RESTORATION at home if your not way confident ! If you have a doll that is precious, please seek professional advise or services, this is not for the faint hearted!!!

Sorry to not take your advice Louise, but Rebel was my defintie “basket case” so he was “it”, & this restoration had to work, so I took my time. Being a graphic artist and hair colorist and artist gave me an advantage. This process is not as easy as it seems and the hours it took were many.

There was the process to remove the “brownish” stain seeping from the composite or maybe the hairspray residue, either way it was removed with a 2% peroxide by lightly dabbing, this was done before the acrylic paint went on as I thought this would eventually bleed through again, hence my OWN choice to do this. Not sure what Louise would say about this, I thought it was a fairly safe option, I could be wrong.

Also, somehow a bloody cockroach got in the box and laid an egg right on his eye as you can see in the pics. This disgusting thing was removed without damage with a dab of 5% peroxide and tweezers.

The painting part of him was intense, I could have been over zealous with my application in areas but hey, Rebel was a case, see the photos for yourself. The black paint nearly gave me a coronary, just as it can when coloring hair with multiple colors, so DEFINITELY DON’T do the black paint yourself. The red on the lips was done with one of my lorikeets feathers so I could get a fine line, again not a recommendation to yourself though!

Thanks for reading, hope this information gave you the inspiration to restore a doll professionally, or even by yourself, but do remember this is a skilled procedure. Similar to what Louise says, if you want a good color for your hair, you seek a professional, doing it at home can have dire consequences. Otherwise, have fun with it! I DID!

Some finer details and tweaking are yet to be done on Rebel’s paint job, I hope to update pics of these minor things at some stage, and also when I find him the coolest clothes ever.. Long Live Rebel!!!
PS. Thank Jennifer Harry for your paints and hairdresser quality mixing of the paint to get the right color, you’re supreme!