Spotlight on Popeye and the Holidays

Holidays were special to kids. And so was Popeye. So naturally, the sailor appeared frequently on these happy occasions. And not only as gifts under the Christmas tree, but also on the tree as ornaments and lights, not to mention on gift wrapping, greeting cards and adorning other traditions of the season. In addition, Popeye helped to market Valentines, Easter, and Halloween as well. Here is a sampling.
 1934 A Visit from St. Nicholas to Comic Land Hallmark booklet1934 A Visit from St. Nicholas to Comic Land Hallmark booklet

Above, in 1934, Hallmark published a re-telling of the Clement Clarke Moore classic in an illustrated poem titled
A Visit from St. Nicholas to Comic Land. The booklet featured Popeye and other comic characters in the King Features stable of stars.

 1935 Jaymar Christmas Tree Ornament Set1936 Christmas Tree Light Set

Above, 1935 Jaymar Wood Jointed Christmas tree ornament set.

Right, 1936 Popeye Christmas tree light set with GE Mazda Lamps.

 Assortment of Popeye Christmas Cards and Wrapping Paper

Above, an assortment of vintage Popeye Christmas cards and wrapping paper.

 1939 KFS Christmas portfolio Popeye print
1949 King Features Christmas Songbook
Left, in 1939, King Features head honcho J.D. Connelly mailed newspaper managing editors a portfolio of Christmas prints with each of the major strips carried by the syndicate represented.

Right, the 1949 King Features Syndicate Christmas Songbook.

1939 Christmas Seals Donation Reminder Postcard

Above, 1939 Warren County NY Tuberculosis and Health Assn Christmas Seals donation reminder postcard.

 30s Popeye Valentines card

Hall Brothers of Kansas City MO or Hallmark, as they are now known, issued numerous Popeye Valentine cards in the 30s. The tradition continued with Hallmark and other card makers putting out Valentine messages of affection from Popeye in the 40s and right up to the present day.
1953 Puck-IGA Co-op Store PosterEaster Bunny coloring book with Popeye mini-comic30s Hallmark Easter Card

Far left, Puck the Comic Weekly promoted its Sunday comic sections by co-branding with IGA grocers and products like Ovaltine on store sales posters during the Easter season in 1953.

Left, a 30s die-cut Hallmark Easter card.

Right, a die-cut Easter Bunny Book for coloring was sold which included crayons and a Popeye mini-comic from Orbit Popeye Tattoo chewing gum.
1937 Paas Dye Company Trade Card1936 Paas Dye Company comic transfers

Above, the Paas Dye Company of Newark NJ sent out a trade card to retailers saying that Popeye would be a big part of a special announcement that they would feature in their egg decorating line of products after Labor Day 1937.

Left, Copyright 1936 Popeye, Olive, Wimpy, the Jeep, and other KFS character transfers for Paas food coloring throughout the year and egg decorating at Easter.
 Novelty catalog advertising Popeye and Olive masks30s Halco catalog advertising Popeye costumes to retailers

Left, the Rainbo Paper Favor Works of Chicago, a novelty company, advertised these mail order Popeye and Olive Oyl Halloween masks for 79 cents each for children over the age 10.

Right, 1930s wholesale catalog from costume maker J. Halpern Company (Halco). The Pittsburgh manufacturer produced Popeye costumes dated from 1935 to 1938. They also made costumes of Olive Oyl and Wimpy. Complete outfits are hard to find today. Popeye's pipe is very uncommon. And examples of the Olive and Wimpy costumes are considered rare.

Collegeville Costumes made Popeye Halloween outfits starting in the late 40s and throughout the 50s. See Collegeville and Halco costume pictures below.

30s Halco Olive and Wimpy costumes and 1949 Popeye costume




Digital Images/Text Copyright 2009 by Bruce C. Shults / Popeye and All Other Characters are Properties of and Copyright King Features Syndicate and the Hearst Corp - World Rights Reserved