When you think of Looney Tunes merchandise, you probably think of the tons of Taz, Tweety, and Bugs stuff that is stacked to the ceiling at your local K-Mart. Would you believe that WB's earilest cartoon star, Bosko, has had merchandise of his own?
Here's a very rare Bosko figure from the 1930s. While the figure next to Bosko is said to be Honey, it looks more like the hula dancing little girl from Harman and Ising's Merry Melody "Pagan Moon." This image came from the Dec./Jan. 1995/96 Issue of "Collectors' Showcase" magazine. Click for a bigger picture.
Thanks to Matthew Hunter who discovered the following: "Earlier on my message board, I mentioned a button I'd seen with Bosko on it. I was able to find a picture on Ebay. It was actually a pinback for
one's hair, and a whole series of these was given out at select theatres
when a Bosko cartoon was playing. That is, so the description said."
Even Bosko's dog, Bruno, got his own pin. Thanks to Jack Tatay for sending me the picture of this item.
Thanks to David Gerstein for the following e-mail and picture: "Published by Saalfield, it seems to have been licensed by Hugh
Harman himself, who still owned the rights to the character and wanted to
profit from WB's then-current use of the cartoons on TV. So... we have a
1950s use of the *original* Bosko model, and just to make his species
explicit (if retroactively), he's got a long tail... so he's a monkey. The
book also includes lots of Honey, Bruno, and a few of the jazz frogs from
MGM (which is why I'm dead certain that this is a Harman-licensed product,
not a WB one in spite of the Looney Tunes name)."
Here is a (rather ugly) poster advertising Bosko cartoons which was displayed in movie theaters in the 1930s. Thanks to Pietro Shakarian for this image.
Limited Edition Cels:
A rare example of modern Bosko merchandise. These limited edition Bosko cels came out in 1996 from relatives of Harman and Ising. They sell for about $400 each.
More Fun with Bosko and Pals:
Don't miss out on Brian Cruz's Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies: The Early Years site! There is information about Bosko, Honey, and all the earliest WB shorts. He even has that picture of Bosko and Bruno on the cover of "The Funnies" comic book from 1939 (seen above).