Line: Franklin Mint collector plates
Set: 6These plates are too beautiful to ever eat off of, and it’s a good thing too, since a note on the back warns that “pigments used for color may be toxic.” Not that anyone would risk scratching or staining these beauties, anyway. This set of six Franklin Mint collector plates was available in the early ’90s, primarily through mail order – there are ads for them in The Simpsons Illustrated magazine series. Each one comes with a certificate of authenticity stating that it “is crafted of fine porcelain, and is bordered and individually hand-numbered in 24 karat gold.” I have the full set of six plates, but unfortunately, I’m missing the certificate for “Caroling with The Simpsons.”Released in 1991, the first in the set depicts Our Favourite Family in one of the most commonly recurring locations: on the couch, in front of the TV. It’s the only plate in the set which doesn’t feature a specific scene, but rather a commonly-used stock image. It proves The Simpsons truly are a “A Family For The ’90s” (and the ’00s. And the ’10s. And…)Also released in 1991, “Caroling With The Simpsons” captures the classic family shot from the very first episode, “Simpsons Roasting On An Open Fire.”Released in ’92, “Family Therapy” shows the Simpsons in Dr Marvin Monroe’s electroshock therapy session, from the season one episode, “There’s No Disgrace Like Home”.Also out in ’92, “Maggie and the Bears” shows a scene straight out of the classic “Call Of The Simpsons” episode, where the family get stranded in the woods.The unimaginatively-named “Three-Eyed Fish” plate captures the moment Mr Burns’ political career went belly up, as Marge and the family serve Blinky for dinner, in the second season episode, “Two Cars In Every Garage And Three Eyes On Every Fish.”Only slightly-more-creatively-named, “Lisa And Her Sax” rounded out the Franklin Mint’s Simpsons collector plate set. Released in 1993, it shows Lisa and her jazz mentor, Bleeding Gums Murphy, jamming out on the bridge, as seen in the iconic episode, “Moaning Lisa”.