Archive for December, 2010

1938 CHARLIE CHAN Radio Premiums from the Van Camp Company

Saturday, December 18th, 2010

In 1938 the CHARLIE CHAN radio show offered at least three paper related premiums from it’s sponsor, the STOKELY / VAN CAMP Company, (makers of ketchup and other condiments.) These are so rare that you won’t find them in price guides.

All of the Charlie Chan pictures on the following premiums have a distinct resemblance to Warner Oland!

A (1.5 x 2”) FULL COLOR sticker on a grocery brokers envelope, the sticker reads, “Van Camp’s presents Charlie Chan On The Air, Free Magician Tricks.” The sticker has a beautiful painted portrait of Charlie Chan. The envelope is postmarked, “Peoria, Ill. Feb 2, 1938.” (more…)

The 1945 GREEN LAMA “ESCAPO” Trick kit, a glorious wartime premium!

Thursday, December 16th, 2010
The Green Lama comic book ad

Green Lama Club comic book ad

GREEN LAMA comic book premiums are super rare, only one complete “Playing Card Trick” kit and three complete “Escapo” kits are known to exist! (I just added another known kit, an original owner wrote me telling me about his complete “Escapo” kit, with HIS name on the envelope!) Another code letter, membership card (#2993) & “Escapo” trick exists but it is missing the envelope. A handful of individual membership cards exist and another variant of the “ESCAPO” trick is known with slightly different text.

The first advertisement for the “Escapo” kit was in the “Spark Publications” comic book “Green Lama” # 2, February 1945. (It was not offered in the first issue!)

The picture seen here was a full page advertisement in “Green Lama” #4, from June of 1945. The ad begins with a code, “FTQ SDQQZ XMYM EMKE NGK IMD NAZPE MZP EFMYB RAD HUOFADK! Join the GREEN LAMA CLUB and you can read the above message – code #13. Not only do you receive the GREEN LAMA’S personal secret code, but as a member of the INNER CIRCLE, you will have the opportunity of receiving special tricks. Fill out the coupon below. Join the GREEN LAMA CLUB and learn to do the tricks that THE MAN OF STRENGTH performs. Ten cents brings you a membership card, the Green Lama Secret Code and the amazing GREEN LAMA MAGIC TRICK – ESCAPO.”

A smaller ad appeared in issue #6 from August of 1945 without the code information. Issue 6 is entitled “The Green Lama Smashes A Plot Against America.”

1945 Green Lama Escapo Trick comic book premium

1945 Green Lama Escapo Trick comic book premium

The kit consists of a Green Lama “Code” letter, membership card #7206, “Escapo” trick and light green envelope. (Four other known membership cards have numbers of 1047, 2442, 6706 and 7578.) The “Escapo” trick has cartoon images of the Axis Leaders. No other known radio or comic book premium depicts the Axis Leaders! When the “ESCAPO” trick is unfolded, the 14 inch wide card is turned over to reveal the red, white & blue word, “VICTORY.”

Since the war ended in August of 1945, this is one of the last wartime premiums!

1945 Green Lama Card Trick kit

1945 Green Lama Card Trick kit

Another postwar version of this premium exists. It includes the same membership card but with a Green Lama “Playing Card Trick” and instruction letter. The letter features a letterhead of the Green Lama with his arms extended and it is signed at the bottom, “Magically yours, Richard Foster.” (Richard Foster was the writer) The text of this letter is about the playing card how to perform the card trick. The playing card has odd writing under the image of the Green Lama. This writing is called “Sanskrit” and it says, “OM-MANI-PADME-HUM.”

In the late 1940’s there was a Green Lama radio show which was unlike the comic book character. The comic book Green Lama was a costumed super-hero. The radio version was a mysterious do-gooder (who does not carry a gun) with a sidekick, more like Mandrake The Magician than The Shadow. The radio and comic book “Green Lama’s” name was Jethro Dumont. (No, he was not on the Beverly Hillbillies!) Unlike most heroes, Jethro Dumont was publicly known as the Green Lama; it was not a secret identity.

The code message from the ad in Green Lama #4 is very patriotic! Try & figure it out. Two of the words are obvious, “GREEN LAMA.” Another hint you get is another word, “VICTORY.” By using those known letters on the other words in the code you should be able to figure it out.

Doc Savage Street & Smith 1936 & 1937 pulp picture kits

Wednesday, December 15th, 2010
Doc Savage premium envelope return address

Doc Savage premium envelope return address

The beautiful Doc Savage set of two premium pictures from Street & Smith are a most desirable addition to any collection. The pictures were obtained by cutting 3 consecutive coupons from Doc Savage magazines. Curiously, the pictures were of different sizes.  (more…)

The first LONE RANGER Safety Scout Club & the historic 1935 Silvercup manual

Thursday, December 9th, 2010

One of the earliest Lone Ranger premiums is the Silvercup Bread manual entitled “SECRET SESSION RULES OF THE LONE RANGER SAFETY SCOUT CLUB.” An unusual manual, apparently not sent to ordinary members but only to full-fledged Head Scouts or Club Presidents!

The 1938 King-Trendle Lone Ranger Exploitation folder listed the history of the earliest Safety Club announcements. It opens with …

October 9th – First Safety Club announcement. (Teaser Copy)
October 11th – Second Safety Club announcement. (Teaser Copy)
October 14th – Safety Club announced.
October 23rd – Announcement from Lone Ranger pertaining to great response.
October 23rd – Lone Ranger states badges are being mailed daily – asks Rangers to have patience, etc.
October 30th – First Big Safety Club Meeting.
December 4th – Neighborhood Safety Clubs (local chapters) suggested.
December 11th – Follow-up on Neighborhood Clubs.”

This undated manual had to have been issued around December 4th.

This is arguably the most important Lone Ranger premium! It lists rules and procedures for the establishment of Safety Scout Clubs for the first time!

Secret Session Rules of the Lone Ranger Safety Scout Club
Secret Session Rules of the Lone Ranger Safety Scout Club

1935 Lone Ranger Silvercup Manual

The seven page manual is held together by 2 tiny staples on the top edge, tablet style. There are 25 rules listed for members to follow & the last page is an enrollment record for the names of club members. The fact that this enrollment record page is here suggests that only one manual was issued for each club.

This was mailed in a plain brown envelope with no return address and an undated postmark of “CHICAGO, ILL.” with a 1.5 cent stamp. The typed mailing address is the name & Chicago address of the Safety Scout Club President, an important fact! (more…)

1940 Captain Midnight “Transition Document” to the “Secret Squadron”

Thursday, December 9th, 2010
Captain Midnight transition document

1940 Captain Midnight transition document

A 1940 certificate exists which seems to be a “transition” document from the “Skelly Flight Patrol” to the Ovaltine “Secret Squadron.” This would logically be the last Skelly Captain Midnight premium and the precursor of the first Ovaltine sponsored premiums! This might also be a prototype of a proposed premium.

It is printed on 8.5 x 11″ unfolded yellow paper with black text and a light black background of a clock at midnight. Most Skelly premiums were obtained by a visit to the gas station & presenting your Flight Patrol Membership Card. Most were not mailed, so it is correct for this not to be folded. (more…)