Harry Rinker’s Hopalong Cassidy price guide suggests in its subtitle that Hoppy was the King of the Cowboy Merchandisers. This well could be true. There’s a ton of Hoppy stuff out there. But taking other collectible characters into consideration, was Hopalong Cassidy also King of ALL the Merchandisers?
Others to be considered for this lofty title would have to include Buck Rogers, Mickey Mouse and the Lone Ranger (I think he was short changed in the original Harry Rinker assertion), all of whose origins go way back: Buck Rogers to the August 1928 issue of the pulp magazine Amazing Stories where he first appeared in the story Armageddon 2419 A.D. by Philip Francis Nowlan; Mickey Mouse to 1928 when he was created by Walt Disney and Ub Iwerks to replace an earlier Disney animated character creation, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, that he lost to Charles Mintz at Universal Studios; and the Lone Ranger to the 1933 WXYZ radio show of the same name conceived and produced by George Trendle and developed and written by Fran Striker. (more…)