Thursday, 12 July 2012

I See By the Papers

Hanna-Barbera licensed its characters all over the place, it seems, and got all kinds of free advertising, thanks to stores taking out space in newspapers. Let’s peer in some old papers from the ‘60s and see what we can find.

What do you think the young Quick Draw McGraw fan would like Santa to bring him/her for Christmas in 1960? Well, the answer’s pretty easy if mom or dad opened up their daily paper. Newman’s in Emporia, Kansas pushed a whole slew of board games for Christmas 1960. The ones by Milton Bradley were probably familiar to kids because of TV advertising, like The Game of Life and Concentration. And then there was this one.

The newspaper copy reads:
“Milton Bradley’s QUICK DRAW McGRAW right out of his TV show. Private Eve game features all his friends. Snooper, Doggie Daddy, Blabber, Ba-Ba Looey and Augie Doggie. 4 tokens, 48 cards, spinner and playing board. 2 to 4 players, ages 5 to 12. $2.00.”

I wonder if Bick designed the cover.

Huckleberry Hound, Yogi Bear and Pixie and Dixie became spokes-cartoons for Solo Stores in Winnipeg. Did Hanna-Barbera approve? Well, the characters are on model in one ad from February 1960.

The copy reads:
“The whole family will rise and shine when you set a delicious and so nutritious breakfast before them! It’s the only way to start a day. Ask Yogi Bear—he’ll tell you that the best "Goodies" come from Solo.” And, naturally the store sold Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

Huck shows up in a full-page institutional ad for U.S. Steel in September 1960. It’s titled “Watching America Grow with Lowell Thomas” and is formatted like a newsreel. There’s a picture of Thomas and snapshots of various spots representative of economy growth in America, including a musical instrument factory, a medical school, a motel, and the company that made Huck dolls.

There’s no connection of a mention of steel with any of these businesses; there’s just a U.S. Steel logo in the corner. The caption reads:
“Yogi Bear and the boys should he proud of the mark that Huck made for himself in the financial world. Here at Knickerbocker Plastic Co., Inc., the Huckleberry Hound plastic banks are one reason why their toy sales are up 12% this year—and Huck is also one reason why production in the entire plastics industry is up 10% over 1959.”

Yogi Bear makes an unlikely appearance in the Muscatine Journal’s “Recipe of the Week column on February 15, 1961. We learn how Mrs. Abbey Logel makes her Graham Cracker Dessert and that her four year old son “John likes to spend his time playing with his Huckleberry Hound and Yogi Bear toys.” A wise child.

It looks like the Yogi dolls came in bigger-than-the-average size. The Fox Hospital paediatric ward in Oneonta, New York had a large Yogi and a smaller Boo Boo (with a huge tie) donated. The photo, and this scan-from-photocopy isn’t great, is from the local paper, November 16, 1960. There’s no story, just the photo caption.


  1. I noticed costumed Yogi Bear showed up in a yearbook photo of my high school back in '69!

  2. Lowell Thomas and Huck...Now there's a twosome-Ha!. As always Yowp, great blog!

  3. Milton Bradley...wasn't he an agent. Remember a guy named Milt Bradley, who was a big time agent. Maybe he was Peter Lawford's agent or Elizabeth Montgomery's.

  4. I don't think so, Anon. The Milton Bradley Company was in the school and art supply business, in addition to games and toys. I've found print ads dating to 1905.

  5. The Knickerbocker Huck Hound banks somehow also later became part of Purex's Bubble Club line, through some arrangement that has not yet been documented. Likewise their Yogi, Quick Draw and Baba Looey figures; after those four, Bubble Club appears to have begun designing its own containers. There MUST be more information out there somewhere.