Monday, September 13, 2010

More Discoveries from the Stacks

Here’s another nice little tidbit of information I gleaned from my research last week. You’ve seen this little stack ad before, right? (My apologies on the quality of the copy; it was the end of the day, and I was starting to run low of spare change to pop in the copier.)

I’ve written about it before, and even made a t-shirt out of it, I loved it so much. There’s nothing particularly noteworthy about the ad in and of itself: it’s the same ad that Breyer ran in both Toys and Novelties and Playthings through most of 1952. What’s important is the dating: the copy above came from the February 1953 issue of Toys and Novelties. In the March 1953 issue, a new version of the ad appeared in the same magazine:

The Boxer replaces the Money Manager!

This was around the same time the Boxer made his debut at Toy Fair; in fact, it was in the "Toy Fair" issue that included the full page, full color ad for the Boxer. There was at least one other version of this ad, with Breyer’s street address crammed into the lower right hand corner box, that started appearing in 1954. The library was getting ready to close by the time I cracked open that volume, and I didn’t have the time to get a copy of it.

Is there’s some historical significance to the street address? Well yeah, a little. We’ll get to that topic some other time.

This ad doesn’t offer much from a research standpoint: it doesn’t really add much to our knowledge of Breyer History. We’ve already established that the Boxer came out in early 1953. All it does, at most, is visually signify the end of Breyer’s Money Manager era.

One thing these stack ads do "do" for me is make me wish Reeves would do something with these neat old graphics. Don’t you think the Boxer ad would make an awesome iron-on patch, or dress up a tote bag real nice?

Most of Reeves’s current ad and graphic work is competent, but not particularly inspiring or evocative. (I really don’t like the bumper sticker/badge logo with the dropped R, but I’ve learned to live with it.) There are probably some legal hurdles that would prevent the reuse of some of that older material, but some of the powers-that-be at Reeves could at least try to incorporate some of the aesthetics of the older advertising into their newer material to spice things up a bit.

It might make good business sense, too: Breyers aren’t quite as iconic as Barbie or Tonka, but going a little retro on some of the ad campaigns might help boost their status a bit. And you can’t tell me that Breyer History isn’t any less interesting than Barbie’s or Tonka’s.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why _is_ the R dropped?