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Nancy Drew TV Show Collectibles

January 1977 was the debut of The Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew Mysteries on ABC. The hour long episodes alternated each week with either the Hardys or Nancy. The Hardys debuted the week before Nancy did. The Nancy Drew mystery hour starred Pamela Sue Martin as Nancy, William Schallert as Carson Drew, George O' Hanlon as Ned Nickerson, and Jean Rasey as George Fayne--later played by Susan Buckner. Some episodes also featured Bess instead of George. Bess was played by Ruth Cox. Later on Pamela left the show and was replaced by Janet Louise Johnson. Parker Stevenson starred as Frank Hardy and Shaun Cassidy starred as Joe Hardy. Nancy, Frank, and Joe teamed up for some of the episodes. With a host of guest stars on these shows including Melanie Griffith, Rick Springfield, and Mark Harmon, the hour was full of mystery and campy special effects!

True to translating books to television, there are some changes that appear in the television shows. Most noticeable is that Ned is now an assistant to Carson Drew and he's more nerdy than the football playing fraternity boy character from the books. George is now more like Bess whose character is missing from the show. We would expect George to use her judo on dastardly villains but instead she is more of a fraidy like Bess always was! These noticeable differences aside, the shows made their place in Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys history. The only episode with a fairly major connection to the books was The Secret of the Whispering Walls, which was based somewhat on two Nancy Drew books--volume #2, The Hidden Staircase, and volume #6, The Secret of Red Gate Farm. View the episode guide at the bottom of the page for more information on the shows.

The shows lasted for three seasons from 1977 to 1978. There were quite a few collectible items including the lunchbox pictured at left, Halloween costumes, puzzles, greeting card kit, books, posters, stills, scripts, fan club items, a newly discovered Nancy Drew watch, and more. There was more merchandising for the Hardy Boys as they got to be action figures, there was a Hardy Boys van, watch, and a board game. Also a neat fan club--kits for both Nancy and the Hardys are shown above.

In 1995 for one season, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys came back to TV. through Nelvana, a Canadian company. The show was in syndication and not shown in very many markets so it was ultimately doomed to fail. Never fear though, in May 2006, the shows were released on DVD--you can order them through Amazon: Canada online. Shown at right is a special backpack given to crew members--very hard to find!

December 15, 2002 was the air date on ABC's Wonderful World of Disney for a 2 hour pilot, Nancy Drew. The pilot was not considered successful in the ratings and was not picked up as a series. The pilot starred Maggie Lawson as the famed sleuth. Currently, this pilot is not available on video or DVD, however it has been rerun on the ABC Family Channel, so check your listings. I created a Nancy Drew TV show website section in anticipation of the pilot becoming a series. Although it didn't, you might find the information, synopsis, and cast list interesting!

1970s TV Show Collectibles

Shown above at left is the greeting card kit, Cartoonarama Presents Hardy Boys/Nancy Drew. This is a very hard to find collectible as is the Nancy Drew Halloween Costume by Collegeville Costumes pictured at right. Also the costume that came on a hanger--another harder to find style of the costume! The greeting card kit included jars of paint, images of Nancy, Frank, and Joe, cards with matching envelopes, rub off verses--everything you needed to make snazzy greeting cards featuring your favorite sleuths! Click on the images below to see larger images--they feature the images of Nancy, Joe, and the back of the box:

There were two versions of puzzles issued by American Publishing Corporation for both Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.

The more common version came in a box.

Shown at left is the rarest version--canisters. These canisters had to be opened with a can opener. Even the canister sans the puzzle is a good find!

Peggy Herz authored two books for Scholastic Books, Inc on the TV shows. The first, Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys, featured Pamela Sue Martin on the cover along with Parker Stevenson and Shaun Cassidy. The book was re-printed as The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew, and featured Janet Louise Johnson instead of Pamela on the cover. These books highlighted the history of the books and detailed how the TV shows came to be. Chapters on each of the stars gave the reader an insight into the actor and the character. These books are fairly easy to find with the later version being the hardest to find of the two. Pictured above are the American and UK versions of The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula. This book details the episode of the same title.

Tempo, a division of Grosset & Dunlap, issued a series of puzzle books. The Nancy Drew puzzle books, featured Pamela Sue Martin on the cover and consisted of these titles:

  • Nancy Drew Mystery Mazes
  • Nancy Drew Detective Logic Puzzles
  • Nancy Drew Secret Codes
  • Nancy Drew Mystery Puzzle
  • Nancy Drew Secret Scrambled Word Finds
  • Nancy Drew Clever Crosswords

Armada books in the UK published some of their Nancy Drew paperbacks using Pamela Sue Martin on the cover as a tie-in to the TV shows. The Mystery of the Tolling Bell is shown above at right. After leaving the show, Pamela Sue Martin posed for Playboy in a layout entitled, "TV's Nancy Drew Undraped." The Stratemeyer Syndicate was not happy at this. Harriet Stratemeyer Adams testified in the 1980 Grosset & Dunlap trial that the Syndicate felt it was damaging to the character of Nancy Drew. The Syndicate wanted to sue Playboy but Grosset & Dunlap would not join them in a suit. The Syndicate took out an ad in Time Magazine in the October 30th, 1978 issue and in two other magazines.

1970s TV Show Images:

1970s TV Show Episode Guide: (The first 2 season are available on DVD!)

First Season, January - May 1977

  • The Mystery of the Haunted House HB
  • The Mystery of Pirate's Cove ND
  • The Mystery of Witches' Hollow HB
  • The Mystery of the Diamond Triangle ND
  • The Disappearing Floor HB
  • The Secret of the Whispering Walls ND
  • The Flickering Torch Mystery HB
  • A Haunting We Will Go ND
  • The Mystery of the Flying Courier HB
  • The Mystery of the Fallen Angel ND
  • Wipe Out HB
  • The Mystery of the Ghostwriter's Cruise ND
  • The Mystery of the Jade Kwan Yin HB
  • The Mystery of the Solid Gold Kicker ND

Second Season, September - May 1977/1978

  • The Hardy Boys and Nancy Drew Meet Dracula, two parts, ND & HB
  • The Mystery of King Tut's Tomb HB
  • The Mystery of the Hollywood Phantom two parts, ND & HB
  • The Mystery of the African Safari HB
  • The Creatures Who Came on Sunday HB
  • The Strange Fate of Flight 608 HB
  • Acapulco Spies HB
  • Nancy Drew's Love Match ND
  • The Silent Scream HB
  • Will the Real Santa Claus...? ND
  • The Lady on Thursday at Ten ND
  • Oh Say Can You Sing HB
  • The House on Possessed Hill HB
  • Sole Survivor HB
  • Voodoo Doll two parts, ND & HB
  • Mystery on the Avalanche Express ND & HB
  • Death Surf HB
  • Arson and Old Lace ND & HB
  • The Campus Terror HB
  • Third Season, October - December 1978

  • The Last Kiss of Summer, two parts, HB
  • Assault on the Tower HB
  • Search for Atlantis HB
  • Dangerous Waters HB
  • Scorpion's Sting HB
  • Defection to Paradise, two parts, HB
  • Game Plan (not Deadly Game!) HB
  • Life on the Line HB
  • Visit the Nancy Drew Sleuth Links Section for links to Pamela Sue Martin websites and one website's sarcastically funny look at the episodes featuring The Hardy Boys, located under the headings Nancy Drew and The Hardy Boys.

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