Fabulous Find # 20: Pogo Collectibles

Hello, once again, my friends and welcome to another Fabulous Find!  Number twenty (20) if you’ve been keeping track.  This week once again I search through my collection of comic related collectibles and I’ve come up with some items all relating to the comic strip and comic book character; Pogo!  Pogo was/is the creation of cartoonist, Walt Kelly, and first appeared in Dell Comics’ Animal Comics #1, dated either late 1941 or early 1942.

Animal Comics # 1

Dell Comics’
Animal Comics # 1

The cover of this comic is drawn by Walk Kelly, though it doesn’t feature his famous creations!  And even though I don’t own this comic, I thought I should mentioned it and even show it to you.  Pogo and Albert the Alligator first appear within it’s pages in a five page story entitled; “Albert Takes the Cake” and the story is both, written and drawn, by Walt Kelly.

Pogo and company went on to star in many Dell comics over the years and eventually, in October 1948, Pogo made the move into a newspaper comic strip in the New York Star, in May 1949, the strip was syndicated nationwide, where he extended his and his artist’s fame!  Pogo was picked up for national distribution by the Post-Hall Syndicate.  The strip ran continuously until (and past) Kelly’s death from complications of diabetes on October 18, 1973.  It was then continued for a few years by Kelly’s widow Selby and son Stephen, before ceasing publication July 20, 1975.

The action with the comic and comic strip takes place in the Okefenokee Swamp, which I always assumed was in Florida, but that’s incorrect.  The action takes place in the Okefenokee Swamp outside of Fort Mudge, Georgia, which is actually mentioned in a few of the strips!

So that’s your history lesson, now for the Pogo collectibles I own and want to share with you.  First up are six Proctor and Gamble soft plastic figures.  These measure four to five inches each and were given away with boxes of Proctor and Gamble products in 1969.  The actual prototypes were done by creator Walt Kelly in modeling clay.  The six figures are; Albert Alligator, Porky Pine, Churchill “Churchy” LaFemme, Howland Owl, Beauregard Bugleboy (also known as Beauregard Hound) and Pogo Possum.  I’ve had mine for years and years.  I think I picked up the first of them in a family visit to Kentucky back in the early seventies.  I eventually found the remaining figures in a comic shop in Flint, if I’m not mistaken.  Back to the Past had a couple of them a few years back, as well, but I had completed my set by then.  They are still readily available on eBay.  Here are my Pogo figures:

Pogo figures

1969 Proctor & Gamble Pogo figures

I do not own the store display, but I was able to find this picture on line, so I thought I’d borrow it and show you it.  So from back in 1969, it looked like this, though I do not remember ever seeing it.  I suspect not many stores elected to use it.  But I sure wish I had a copy today!

pogo albert display

1969 Store Display

Next up in my collection is the Pogo character cups!  These were also given away attached to Proctor and Gamble products.  I’m not sure if these were offered before, after, or even at the same time of the Pogo figures, but I have a complete set of six.  Take a look:

Pogo cups

Pogo cups

And here is the Pogo one close up, so you can get a better look at one.

Pogo Cup

Individual Pogo Cup

They also regularly turn up on eBay and are usually reasonable.  Though make sure the handle isn’t broken.  This seems to be a common problem/issue with these cups and the cups are often offered with a shorten, or broken, handle!

Next is the I Go Pogo pinback.  Again not terribly expensive and it has been reprinted over the years, so they are not to hard to find.  Here’s mine:

I Go Pogo pinback

I Go Pogo pinback

And lastly, is a neat item, or at least I think it’s a neat item, the Songs of Pogo record album, originally released in 1956!  It came with a lyric sheet that today is often missing.  I’m lucky enough to own that sheet, as well.  And to make things even more interesting, there was also a shorter ep released on 45 RPM record, with just a few of the songs!  But the cover artwork is the same on both of these issues.  The ep is just smaller, as it made for the 7 inch 45, rather than the 12 inch lp!  So I’ve just given you the one pic!

Songs of the Pogo

Songs of the Pogo Record Album

So that’s pretty much my Pogo collectibles, with the exception of Pogo books, which I own, which reprint the comic strips.  I’ve got a number of them, but my collection is not yet complete!  So if you’ve got any lying around and want to part with them please let me know!

And I’ll leave you with this reprint where Walt Kelly coins the phrase; “we have met the enemy, and he is us!”

Pogo 1971 Poster

Pogo Comic Strip Reprint

That’s all folks, be seeing you …


About Greg Turner

Greg Turner (@gregturner16) is Back to the Past’s archivist and an auctioneer. He writes the columns “Fabulous Finds” and “Retro Reviews” on alternating weeks for the website and spins classic 45′s each week for Vinyl Tuesdays.

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