Thursday, 28 April 2011

Hanna-Barbera Photo Album

Reader Billie Towzer trawls the internet and periodically sends me random Hanna-Barbera-related pictures. These have been sitting in a file for awhile, so I’ll pass them on.

My favourite out of this bunch are two shots from 1962. The Chicago Daily News was publicising its addition of The Flintstones to its comics line-up and apparently threw some kind of party. Complete with ‘60s helmet hair goodness.

The Daily News decided to start the strip on a Saturday for some reason. Sorry it’s on an angle; this is the best version I can find. Click to enlarge.

I had some H-B toys when I was a kid; the easily-damaged Flintstone Building Blocks come to mind immediately (the little styrofoam nubs connecting the bricks broke off). But there was endless merchandise, stuff that made kids use their imagination. You could create your own living cartoons with these Yogi and Huck puppets. There were Pixie and Dixie and Mr. Jinks ones, too. I’ll bet a lot of kids shouted “I hate meeces to pieces!” playing Jinks. I guess these are from the late ‘50s. No, I don’t know why Huck is red instead of blue.

Here’s one of a number of seemingly endless cereal boxes with H-B characters. Yogi replaced a large Scotsman named Big Otis, hence he’s wearing kilts here. Good thing Yogi took over. Big Otis strikes me as kind of a scary cereal spokesman. And how many Scotsmen are named “Otis” anyway?

More merchandise. Seems to me these were advertised during the Huck show, too, so that would put them in the late ‘50s as well (you’ll note zip codes hadn’t been invented when the ad was published). The International Silver Company is known to fans of Old Time Radio as the sponsor of the Ozzie and Harriet show.

And, finally, a Yogi ride at some park. I’d rather take kids to this than a CGI Yogi movie.

Thanks to Billie for passing these on. There are a bunch more I’ll get around to sharing in future posts.


  1. I always wondered exactly why it was so common in those days to have so many character toys randomly colored wrong. Did they think most viewers had b&w TVs and didn't know the difference? Or did the toy manufacters not see color images themselves? Was blue plastic or paint more expensive than red?

    Whatever the reason behind it, it happened all the time back then, but I don't see much evidence that it's still done that way now. I know John K enjoys this aspect of the old toys, and I had my share of them growing up, like a green-haired Barney Rubble. It was fun to see the variations, but I

    One other thing I often wondered about- there were a lot of Fred Flintstone toys that featured a club in his hand. I don't really remember Fred ever really weilding one in the series. I get the caveman connection, but the show was stone age suburbia, not Alley Oop or B.C. Even as a kid it registered as the toy manufacturers trying to cash in on popular characters they actually couldn't care less about.

  2. I recall eating the Cheerio-like contents of many boxes of Kellog's OKs to gather enough box tops to send in for what-looked-to-be a neat Yogi Bear game (3 games in 1, I believe) with game board and game pieces...I think it was a free item, as long as you sent enough box tops.

    Anyway, I accomplished the task of eating for box tops, sent in my box tops and info, and waited for the game to arrive.

    Then I forgot about it.

    About a year later, I kid you not, at least a year, an envelope arrived in the mail. Inside was a sheet of plastic/vinyl, probably 4' by 2', with a few Yogi Bear board games printed on it. It came with a batch of cardboard cut out HB characters to use as game pieces, along with a cardboard spinner.

    I actually was happy to have it, although the games weren't much to speak of.

    I recall the pungent industrial smell of that vinyl like it was yesterday.

  3. Here's a picture of the actual game that came in the mail.
    Turns out my recollection about the game pieces was off -- the game pieces were not cardboard after all!
    But this photo shows the yellow plastic game sheet that came in the mail!

  4. Your blog is a real joy. Each entry is a trip down memory lane for me. The toons were so much better then. The toys were too now that I think about it.
    Thanks !!

  5. Well, as long as we're going to talk about vintage H-B toys, here's one of the displays in the museum I live in. You'll see that Huck came in stranger colors than red:!/photo.php?fbid=394294071565&set=a.394292296565.178743.501781565&type=1&theater

  6. Since Huck and Yogi are together in the same ad (and it's obvious the bear hasn't yet appeared in his own program), and "OKs" are mentioned [which Kellogg's had recently introduced, and was really "pushing" at the time], and the fact the copyright notice is in Hanna-Barbera Productions' name instead of "H-B Enterprises", I'd say the silverware premium dates from sometime early in 1960.

    The "cavegirl" models representing the CHICAGO DAILY NEWS promotion for the Flintstones comic strip are cute; notice they don't appear in bare feet, because the sidewalk, pavement and parking lot would have burned their tootsies off!

  7. I still have my Huck and Yogi spoons, and a Dennis the Menace for good measure!