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Nancy Drew Book Related Collectibles

Nancy Drew's popularity over the last 80+ years has led to a wide variety of collectibles aside from the mystery stories themselves. Ranging from the Nancy Drew Mystery Game to puzzle and code books to the diary, there is something for everyone to collect.

Currently, I am writing a book which focuses on the history of Nancy Drew. A biography on the original "Carolyn Keene," Mildred Wirt Benson, is in the works. While this website is a good introduction into the world of Nancy Drew, you will find in-depth analysis of all things Drew in my upcoming book.

The Nancy Drew Mystery Game

One of the earliest book related collectibles is the Nancy Drew Mystery Game issued by Parker Brothers in 1957. The game was issued again in 1959 with a new cover. Shown at left is the 1957 version featuring Nancy in a red rain coat. The later version featured a green rain coat. There was also a Canadian version of the 1959 game as well as many different formats the games went through. Visit The Nancy Drew Mystery Game section for more information on the various game formats and other series book games including The Dana Girls, Tom Swift, The Hardy Boys and more of your favorite series.

Madame Alexander Doll

In 1967, the Madame Alexander doll company released the Nancy Drew doll. It was 12 inches tall and had a rather baby-like face. There were several versions as shown above featuring a matching dress and coat and a two-piece suit along with scarf and hair ribbons and boots. Accessories included a camera, purse, and sunglasses. The doll was not on the market for very long and remains pricey to collect. Shown above are 5 dolls from the Victoria Broadhurst collection.

The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking

In 1973, The Nancy Drew Cookbook: Clues to Good Cooking was published by Grosset & Dunlap. What is so secret about Bess's Secret Chocolate Waffles? Are the Captive Biscuits being held captive somewhere? Is Lemonade Disguise another one of Nancy's "bad" aliases? Does the Ivory Charm Shrimp Curry have any lifesaving properties in it? Does the Crumbling Wall Coffee Cake crumble when you eat it? And what is so "special" about The Cousins' Special Cauliflower? These and other questions can be answered in this collectible cookbook, collectible mostly for its nostalgia as a Nancy Drew collectible than for any real tie-in to the mysteries themselves. For a fun look at the cookbook and review of some recipes, visit the Cookbook section.

Activity Books & Picture Books

Grosset & Dunlap produced several activity books in the late 1970's:

  • The Nancy Drew Secret-Code Activity Book
  • The Nancy Drew Mystery Activity Book #1
  • The Nancy Drew Mystery Activity Book #2
  • The Nancy Drew Mystery Activity Book #3
  • The Nancy Drew Mystery Pictures to Color #1
  • The Nancy Drew Mystery Pictures to Color #2
  • The Nancy Drew Clues to Color

The three mystery activity books were issued as a boxed set as well which featured the cover to #2. Grosset & Dunlap also released two large hardcover picture books for younger children, #1, The Mystery of the Lost Dogs, and #2, The Secret of the Twin Puppets. There were never anymore produced although others may have been planned.

The Nancy Drew Sleuth Book

In 1979, The Nancy Drew Sleuth Book: Clues to Good Sleuthing was published by Grosset & Dunlap. It featured a large thumbprint on the cover with a silhouette of Nancy and her trusty magnifying glass--same scene repeats on the back cover. Cover design was by Rudy Nappi. Chapters ranged from handwriting to fingerprints to codes. Each chapter featured Nancy and her Detective Club.

Nancy Drew Diary

My Nancy Drew Private Eye Diary came in two versions. The earlier white diary is extremely scarce and hard to come across. Its distribution must not have been very widespread as the red diary soon replaced it on the market. I have seen up to around 10 white diaries sold on eBay since around 1997 that I am aware of, so it's not rare, but it's definitely scarce. The red diary is somewhat hard to find but used to come up for auction a couple of times a year on eBay--now due to the fact that eBay isn't as good as it used to be for collectibles, it comes up seldom--likely being sold elsewhere in book shops or antique malls/etc. The white diary pictured above is from the David Farah Collection.

Book & Record Sets

KidStuff Records & Tapes released three book and record sets:

  • The Case of the Whispering Ghost
  • The Sea Monster Mystery
  • The Secret of the Vanishing Pyramid

Vanishing Pyramid is the hardest to find of the three. Often the books come up for sale without the records intact.

Cereal Promotions

There were several cereal promotions ranging from Raisin Bran to Lucky Charms. Some of the promotions, like those above, involved the regular mystery books or the activity books. Cookie Crisp had coloring books inside that folded out as shown below. There were 6 of these to collect and the actual box is very rare to come by:
  • Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys Meet The Mad Scientist
  • Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Secret Cave
  • Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Sea Monsters
  • Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Eerie Castle
  • Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Cursed Jewels
  • Nancy Drew & The Hardy Boys And The Visitors From Tomorrow

Fan Club Items

Fan Clubs were advertised in the backs of Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys Wanderer digest paperbacks and other publications. Shown above are thumbnails of a newsletter issued for the fan club. Also given out were items including notepads and stationary. The above fan club newsletter was donated by a fellow collector, Dorothy.

Date Book & Homework Planner

Released around 1980, this date book and homework planner was available in two styles.

It was three-hole punched to go in a child's school notebook.

The scan at left is part of the Victoria Broadhurst collection.

Her Interactive Computer Games

From dastardly villains to spooky old mansions to things that do not always appear as they seem, you'll delight in the fun computer games that Her Interactive has been issuing twice a year. These games are lots of fun to play and to collect the various formats of. Visit the Her Interactive Computer Games section of the library for more details.

Magazines & Books on Nancy Drew

Over the years there have been many articles and books written about our intrepid sleuth. Shown above is the earliest of such magazines. The April 1934 issue of Fortune Magazine contained an article about Edward Stratemeyer and the Stratemeyer Syndicate. John Axe's guide, The Secret of Collecting Girls' Series Books, is a great resource for all of the various cover art and formats. Other guides include the excellent guide to the Nancy Drew printings, Farah's Guide to Nancy Drew Books and Collectibles. Please visit the Sources section for more information on the various books and guides.

Miscellaneous Collectibles (Some one of a kind):

At left is a promotional bookmark that recently came packaged with 6 book glossy flashlight picture cover sets. Click on the bookmark to see a large image of the back of the bookmark which featured all the book covers. There are a host of other collectibles, several featured above in clickable thumbnail images, including:

  • Grosset & Dunlap Haunted House Gift Sets, 2 styles
  • Reader's Digest Nancy Drew Treasury Box & Books
  • FAO Schwartz boxed set 1st 8 Applewood Nancys
  • Levenger Bookcase & Applewood Nancys, Nancy Drew on shelf
  • A Superboy, Supergirl Anthology and matching Super Workbook, 1971 Scholastic Books
  • National Lampoon October 1974 Nancy Drew Parody
  • Ms Tree Comic book Frank Miller pin-up
  • Applewood Books postcards and Nancy Drew poster
  • Promotional Nancy Drew Files Teaser
  • Promotional Bookmark packaged in sets of 6 flashlight pcs
  • Betsy Caprio Map of River Heights
  • 1993 Nancy Drew Conference posters, programs, shirts
  • Sport Card on Nancy Drew & the Hardy Boys®
  • The Nancy Drew Triple Edition, first 3-in-one
  • Audio Tape: Secret in the Old Lace
  • New Random House Audio Tapes
  • Miniature Dollhouse book, The Message in the Hollow Oak
  • American Girls Molly's Nighttime Necessities set w/ book, The Quest of the Missing Map
  • Tuscadero, The Pink Album with song Nancy Drew
  • Nancy Drew ballets and plays: posters and programs
  • Original artwork paintings
  • Laura Ruby Seriograph artwork
  • Publisher catalogs featuring books for sale
  • Promotional shoe laces
  • Nancy Drew cover art printer's proof
  • Levenger Book Shelf with Applewood Nancy Drew books

If you have an interesting collectible not featured on this website, e-mail me about it here. Many thanks to the wonderful collectors who donated images for the Collectibles sections!

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