I was recently reading an article in the L.A. Times from 2002. Yeah, that’s right 2002 – I’m catching up on the backlist. A Career That’s Still Unfolding by BettiJane Levine chronicles the work of Waldo Hunt, the legendary pop-up entrepreneur that by many accounts single-handedly ushered in the Second Golden Age of Pop-ups starting in the late 1960’s. Wally Hunt is the man responsible for creating Intervisual Books Inc., which was the premier novelty and pop-up packager for decades in the United States. Almost every major paper engineer has either works for or with Intervisual on creating some of the most outstanding examples of pop-ups. (I almost landed a job with them in 2000, but was unable to make the transcontinental relocation.)
I’m a total nerd about pop-up history so when I learned from the article that the first promotionals created by Wally Hunt’s earlier company, Graphics International, was a series of pop-up ads for Wrigley’s gum in the mid-1960’s, I had to do some digging. There were a total of 14 separate pop-up ads in the series focusing on a different animal in the “Wrigley Zoo”, which appeared to be an animated television series. There is virtually no information on the program but it may have been linked to the Captain Kangaroo series. Like many cartoons of today, this show was a thinly veiled attempt to sell products. I was able to come across a transcript of a Wrigley Zoo TV advertisement from the 1960’s on UK television. Check out the catchy lyrics below:
Clap hands, one, two,
Let’s take a trip to the Wrigley zoo,
Chitter chatter, yakety yak.
When you talk to the animals they talk back.
We’ll talk to Melvin Monkey today,
let’s hear what Melvin has to say:
“My mummy says I should realize
That monkeys all need exercise,
But teeth need exercising too
And my mum makes it fun to do,
For when I swing she gives me some
Delicious WRIGLEY’s SPEARMINT GUM
It helps to keep teeth clean and bright
And never spoils my appetite.
My mum’s my favourite swinging chum,
We both like Wrigley’s spearmint gum. “
Mr. Hunt claims that each ad was a run of 1 million making this a huge campaign. The single spread pop-ups were attached to national magazines like Jack and Jill via a small flap that was removed from the binding in order to remove and open the advertisement. Due to such a high volume of ads printed these pop-ups are not too uncommon and I have been able to collect seven of the series. “Melvin Monkey” is good but my favorite of the bunch is “Karol Kangaroo”. Despite the fact that I’m a big Aussiephile, this pop-up stands out from the rest of the series since it does not use any glue tabs to create the pop-up scene but instead uses fold-overs and slotted tabs into the basepage. The rock behind the boy’s head is one example of these slotted tabs. It’s an interesting solution to manufacturing a high volume of movable spreads and it’s curious that this is the only one I have that uses this technique. Hopefully I can collect the remaining seven pop-up ads to compare the full series to this one. And that is where you, dear readers, come in. Can you help identify the missing three animals?
Animals showcased in the Wrigley Zoo pop-up ads:
*Missing from collection.
Drop me a comment if you can fill in the blanks on the pop-up ads or TV shoe and be sure to savor this monster blog post like a delicious stick of Wrigley’s gum as I will be out of commission for a bit while I enjoy the last gasps of summer.