Celebrating Over 80 Years of Great Classical Cartoons
Popeye the Sailorman has been one of the most loved classical cartoons since the 1930s. The world-renowned Popeye cartoon has touched the lives of many parents and grandparents who still have fond memories of this timeless classic.
Since Popeye’s debut appearance in Elzie Segar’s comic strip, Thimble Theatre, more than 80 years ago, Popeye has won the hearts of kids of all ages. Popeye eventually climbed its way to the limelight and received great public attention, snagging him a spot in the television series through Fleischer Studios.
Even up to this day, Popeye is still among the greatest cartoons ever made in the history of cartoons. He has become a classic tale that our latest ancestors can account for. Many Popeye memorabilia have come out in the market, targeting children and Popeye fans and collectors.
Shortly after his first appearance in 1929, Popeye the Sailor Man was among the pioneering cartoon characters that have received licensing rights to sell exclusive Popeye merchandises in the market. The Popeye merchandise was one of the first licensing sensations in the United States that has spread worldwide. The first collectibles for the Popeye Cartoon include puzzles, dolls, action figures, board games, boos, lamps, tin toys, and t-shirts.
The collectibles also feature other well-known Popeye characters such as his love interest and protagonist, Olive Oyl; the brusque sailor who is Popeye’s antagonist and love-triangle competitor, Bluto; the tiny lovable Sweet Pea, who is the adopted son of Popeye; the hamburger-crazed Wimpy; and many more.
Popeye has been heavily marketed with several marketing tie-ins and endorsements. Many Popeye merchandises are still produced up till this day, with many fans still collecting memorabilia of one of the best loved classical cartoon characters in history.
Toy versions of Popeye, Olive Oyl, Bluto, Sweet Pea and many other Popeye characters are produced by Mezco Toyz. The company markets the classical version of the Popeye characters, a great find for collectors and long-time Popeye fans. The action figures are available in two sizes.
Another variety of Popeye memorabilia toys are being produced by Kelly Toys. The company offers plush stuffed Popeye cartoon dolls that are great for babies, and also as collector’s items.
In the advent of computer games, Namco Networks and Sprint released a game version of the Popeye the Sailor Man series. The mobile game has gained much popularity since 2005 through Game Boy Advance. “Popeye Rush for Spinach” is one of the best games ever created so far, even with Family Computer games in the early 1990’s.
Restaurants and other food and beverage establishments have also adapted the Popeye signature to their name, not necessarily in connection with the Popeye cartoon. These include the Popeyes Chicken and Biscuits in Puerto Rico, and Wimpy Burgers. The popularity of Popeye has also increased the production and sales of spinach products since its release in the 1930’s.
Many spinach producers have embodied the Popeye signature to their products as a way to maximize marketing and promotion of the spinach industry. Although not really considered as a Popeye memorabilia per se, the spinach can cover that has the image of Popeye on it has been much sought after by Popeye fans. Popeye has also been used as mascots in other food and beverage companies, such as the Allen Canning Company that markets the ever so popular Popeye Spinach.
Popeye’s tie-ins with many food industry companies are due to the cartoons’ message that eating spinach can help you get stronger – a subtle way to get kids to eat their green leafy vegetables. Green leafies are not very popular food choices especially for young children. After Popeye’s appearance in both the comic series and the television, spinach production has greatly boomed and the promotion of eating vegetables among children has escalated significantly.
Popeye merchandise collectibles has also found its way into the fashion industry. Many online stores offer vintage tees that feature Popeye and other Popeye characters. The t-shirts are still selling like hot cakes, despite the declining appearance of Popeye in the television screens. Among Popeye’s fashion collaborators that utilizes creative license to direct-to-retail Popeye t-shirts are Dolce and Gabbana, Enorgie, H & M, ICE Iceberg, Zara, Supreme, United Colors of Benetton, and Lucien Pellat-Finet. Popeye’s classical appeal has continued to inspire many high-end fashion icons and is still included in many vintage and modern designs in the fashion industry. In 2011, an exclusive line of Popeye apparel was released in Bloomingdale’s in the United States.
Other popular Popeye merchandises include mugs, plush toys, video games, key chains, and many others. Popeye is highly marketable. Even a mere picture of him in his classic bicep-showing pose can catch the attention of people, especially those who have grown up watching Popeye cartoons. Olive Oyl has also received public attention. Many websites are dedicated by Olive Oyl fans and also feature Olive Oyl merchandises that are widely sold online.
In 1999, Universal Islands Adventures introduced many Popeye souvenir items which proved hugely popular in their amusement park. Popeye amusement rides and other keepsakes have also caught the hearts of young children and adults alike.
In 2004, a 3-D animated version of Popeye was released and distributed widely through DVD copies. This was the first time that the Popeye cartoon was depicted in 3D and fans snapped them up quickly.
Earlier versions of the original Thimble Theatre comic series were also remade by publishers and sold in collector’s items category. Books, puzzles, and many paper back versions of the cartoons are widely sold in the market, even online.
Popeye the Sailor Man has brought 80 years of wonderful childhood memories to many people all around the world. Despite the declining publicity in the media, Popeye has become a classical favorite and will still be in the memorabilia market for years to come. In celebration of 80 years of wonderful classical cartoons, Popeye memorabilia serves as a way to keep the spirit of Popeye alive and remind us of the wonderful moments we enjoyed as a child while watching this classic cartoon.