Saturday, April 6, 2024

A Krinkle In Time

Topps did some interesting cross-marketing over the years, which was often quite innovative, such as when they contracted with the Barker Greeting Card Company of Cincinnati to affix their penny packs of Varsity, Hocus Focus (which today we call Magic Photo) and the like to Christmas and Birthday cards in the late 1940's. You could also look to the Doeskin Tissues tie-in with Wings and Rails & Sails or the Red Ball Jets packs that contained even more of the fabulously over-produced Wings cards. However, on occasion Topps allowed for some cross-marketing the other way, i.e. with an outside product getting inside a pack of Topps or Bazooka. One very early example of this was a circa 1951 tie-in with Post Cereal's Krinkles.

I'm reasonably sure this image, provided by BFF o'the Archive Jeff Shepherd, came inside a pack of Topps cards, as opposed to a nickel roll of bubble gum but don't quote me on that:

You may recognize St. Paul as a Topps premium fulfillment provider address from around 1965 to 1973 or so; it was a third party concern though, Topps had no ownership. It sure seems possible the same firm handled these little gadget-y premiums. 

That murky little illustration of the cereal box was pretty spot-on:

(Courtesy Mr, Breakfast)

Krinkles were soon to be called Sugar Rice Krinkles and would feature Krinkles the Clown as their somewhat terrifying mascot by 1955. Here, check it out:

They debuted however, likely in a test scenario, in 1949 or 1950. The Post's box above is from 1951 and the "candy kiss" was originally provided by a combination of sugar and honey-wheeeeeee!!

The premiums tying-in with Bazooka were space-age themed. These are the flying saucer ring components, which also did double duty as a Captain Video premium from Power House candy bars. Note one of the discs (the lighter one I'd wager) is likely the glow-in-the dark one, as advertised:

Each disc was a whopping two inches in diameter! 

The Viking rockets were little bit more colorful and came via the Jack Garvin Company in Providence:

That launching base was 1 1/8 inches in diameter and the white rocket glowed in the dark. This is confirmed by a separate premium offer sheet for these, perhaps from an old comic book or magazine:

All those premium images were nicked from Hake's Auctions by the way, man that rocket must have been about the size of a golf tee!


Anonymous said...

Great article, and got me thinking about other ways Topps would distribute cards. Do you remember Dynamite magazine? From the mid-1970s into the early 1980s, Topps would include 6-card uncut sheets of baseball and football cards in seasonal issues of the kids-focused magazine, accompanying an article previewing the season. If you do a search on eBay for "dynamite magazine cards" you can find example of them still in the magazine. I remember that in 1977, the football cards came in Dynamite magazine before they were available at stationary stores or 5 and dime stores. As an 8-year-old kid, I removed the stapled-in sheet and cut the cards apart with dull scissors and wobbly hands. So if you see some obviously poorly cut cards from that era, I suspect they were also worked on by young kids. My question is did Topps do any kind of special extra printing for the cards that were put into the Dynamite magazines, similar to the different 1974 football cards they made for the Pro Draft board game? And if so, were certain cards double-printed for Dynamite? Any idea of the print run of the magazine even? Just wondering if there is any extra info or backstory on the Dynamite baseball and football cards of the mid-1970s. Thanks!

toppcat said...

I remember getting those cards in Dynamite as a kid and believe they were inserted straight from the regular press sheets. Dynamite inserts started in 1974, right when Topps went single-series with Baseball so it's possible that is related, i.e. as a promotional tool. Topps was pushing out a lot of cross-promotion in the mid-70's.