Saturday, September 30, 2023

C'mon Get Hoppy

Some interesting doings along the old, dusty trail today cowpokes, as we take a fresh look at the wrappers from the 1950 Topps Hopalong Cassidy set.  I've covered them before, briefly, but that was a dozen years ago (yikes!) and with some newly found scans, additional details have come forth.

Chris Benjamin's various editions of the Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non-Sports Cards mentions that the white one cent wrappers are easier to find that the green ones but I can't says that's supported by what's shown up over the last decade or so. Here's said wrappers in pack form, white front:

And back:

Now the otherwise identical green wrapper, once again as packed.  Obverse:

And reverse:

The "Save-Em--Trade-Em" motto was a marketing scheme conceived by Topps and it was used in advertising and on wrappers for eight different series of cards from 1950 to 1952, although it was dropped for the Giant Size cards as they had their own built in motto. These eight sets also had the distinction of being found in panel form, i.e. three or four 2 card lightly connected panels sold in each nickel pack. Here's a Hoppy five-center; I have read about green versions but only have seen yellow:

Topps got a premium offer into the mix as well!

Then there was the massive cross-promotion between Topps and Bond Bread that put Hoppy cards in bread loaves in most states east of the Mississippi. Bond also had Hoppy bread end labels that had nothing to do with Topps:

It seems like the bread campaign was a long-lasting one. Bond alone issued three 16 subject series of illustrated labels,  plus two additional ones, again with 16 subjects in each, using photographs. There were even albums to hold them:

Sunbeam Bread issued two 32 label sets of Hoppy photos on their end labels and other brands had various sets semi-sealing their loaves or adorning their packaging as he was really the first major postwar kids fad.

But I digress....

This Bond Bread penny pack is a well known one in the hobby but I'd never seen the indicia before:

As you may have suspected, with a Hoppy card inside, it was a Topps job:

That horseshoe Hoppy logo got another appearance in though. This is a hybrid wrapper that I once thought was used for packs inserted into the loaves.  It may have been used as such, perhaps in the mad rush to get the packs into the Bond loaves but if I had been paying attention twelve years ago, I would have noticed the one cent price:

Yes, it was a crossover ad - quite unusual for Topps - but this was their first character driven set, not to mention their first licensed set, so they clearly were feeling their way through the process. It's a pack scan, so no indicia but I'm sure it matches the above examples: 

The Topps fun didn't stop there though. There was candy, sold in this snazzy saddlebag:

I'm not positive but think they may have resembled Sugar Babies, based upon the shortening listed in the ingredients:

Topps still wasn't done as they sold Hoppy Wagon Wheel Pops as well:

Oddly, despite having a viable Candy Division and a dedicated plant in Chattanooga at the time, the lollys were made elsewhere for Topps:

(From Chris Benjamin's Sport Americana Price Guide to the Non Sports Cards Volume 2)

Hundreds of Hoppy products flooded the shelves of America for a good two or three years as William Boyd did what he did best-licensing! Yee-haw!

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