Some Odd or Unusual Tom Swift Collectibles

"Tom Swift Dress"

In 1967 Twentieth Century-Fox made a promotional paper dress to advertise the movies coming out that year for their studio. On the dress are logos for such movies as Tora! Tora! Tora!, The Return to the Planet of the Apes, and Hello, Dolly!, among others. Also included is a movie which never reached the end of filming--the 1967 Tom Swift film directed by Gene Kelly and starring Michael Crawford.

Paper dresses were a fad from 1966 to 1968. Made from a paper-like fabric similiar to those now used in hospital gowns, they were popular at first and were made for one-time use. This disposable clothing quickly became an advertising medium. They are highly collected now and some have been sold for as much as $3,000. Since they were not meant to be kept and worn again, it is uncertain how many were, in fact, trashed and how many of any given style remain. The 1967 film advertising dress has been seen at least one other time in the past few years. I watched it sell on eBay in 2003 for something over $1,000. Luckily, I got this at a bargain price through a eBay seller who sold it as a "baby doll dress" with film advertising and did not mention the magic words "paper dress" which would have brought competition out of the woodworks.

The film, sadly, never was completed. I also own two original artwork pieces from the film, a film script, and some photos of the airship set for the film. In 2007, I was able to acquire the surviving parts from the two full-scale "Tom Swift Wizard Aeroships."

For more on paper dresses:


"Tom Swift Shoes"

These are a nice item from the 1960s, but have no real connection to the books. A few collectors have some of these shoes or some ads. We enjoy having these on our shelf, even if the name of the shoes is seemingly unconnected to the series hero. My version of the shoes are children's size 11, have the name "Tom Swift" on the inside, in addition to being stamped repeatedly on the sole of the shoe. The ad shown below is from 1955, the earliest I have seen to promote this product.

From the collection of James D. Keeline

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Last Updated Dec 2006