Everyone knows the Capitalist Cartoon Credo:
● Create a popular character
● Merchandise the crap out of it.
Bill Hanna and Joe Barbera learned it from Walt Disney, who learned it from Pat Sullivan (Felix the Cat) who learned it from, well, maybe Bud Fisher (Mutt and Jeff), who probably learned it from someone before him. And every time you see a Buzz Lightyear doll on a store shelf, you’ll know that studios are still learning it today.
Yowp freelance correspondent Billie Towzer has scoured the internet for objets d’Hanna-Barbera, and we pass them on for your viewing pleasure.
These are button puppets, made in Hong Kong. Push the button underneath, and the character jumps around. Dino’s the colour he was on the first/second season opening and closing. I’d rather not think what that is sticking down under Hoppy.
And here’s Cindy, Yogi , Huck, Yogi, Mr. Jinks (holding a meece) and Magilla Gorilla (with an exceptionally big muzzle). Jinks is not only the wrong colour and looks more like Fibber Fox, he’s staring for some reason. And what’s Magilla holding?
You thought Hanna-Barbera liked channelling the The Jackie Gleason Show? First, Yogi borrowed Ed Norton’s hat and vest and a bit of his voice. Then Fred Flintstone borrowed Ralph Kramden’s bombast (and Barney Rubble, when played by Daws Butler, purloined another bit of Ed Norton’s voice). Oh, and then there are the times Yogi raises up his arms and says “And away we go!” like Gleason at the start of his show. Now, Yogi’s restaurant uses another Gleason catchphrase “How sweet it is!” But it appears the dinner special is borrowing from The Beverly Hillbillies. Who needs Honey-Fried Chicken when there are gizzards in the deep-frier.
If you grew up in the 1960s, you had a View-Master. It was the perfect family invention. Parents could watch boring 3D rotary slides of the canals of Venice or something like that. Kids could watch cartoons. It was a little odd, but fascinating, seeing the characters you watched on TV when they weren’t flat. Here are some great ones of Yogi Bear. Does anyone know anything about the artists who made these? Talk about unsung.
Here’s something I’ve never heard of and about all I can find out about ‘Silly Sun Pix’ is it sold in 1965 for 99 cents. I have no idea how the camera works. And I have no idea why I’d want a picture of Mushmouse, anyway.
And I post this because I’m sipping on a cup of tea right now. Granted, I boiled water and dumped it on top of a tea bag in a coffee cup from a defunct radio station. I didn’t use this fine, four-inch tea pot with Huckleberry Hound on it. It was made in Japan back when that meant “people buy fine American-made Oldsmobiles, not junky Datsuns.” Times, of course, change, and no longer can you buy a new Olds. Or drink from a Huck Hound tea service for that matter. I like the fact it serves three and comes with a two-inch-wide cream pitcher. Perfect for mom, dad and child to watch The Huckleberry Hound Show. See how Huck kept families together? Could Gilligan’s Planet say the same thing?
My thanks again to Billie, who has sent me a bunch more snapshots which we’ll get up in the new year.