Monday, June 23, 2008

No Coke, Pepsi!

I think now would be a good time to take a break from discussing 1990's Warner animation (which seems to have fallen out of favor for some reason) and talk about something I've collected for some time and am close to completing. This was a promotion for Pepsi Cola from 1973, and it began a trend that continues to this day: promotional glassware. Some brillaint marketing person must have awakened one morning and said "Let's put popular cartoon characters on a series of drinking glasses, and we'll make enough of them so that people will collect them and buy more Pepsi!" Then they thought "Why not offer them to any restaurant that carries Pepsi?"

The result was a deal with Warner Bros. that included 18 characters, ranging from the hugely popular to the very obscure. Unlike most of the Looney Tunes merchandise I've seen from the 1970's, this set of 18 glasses has some wonderful artwork, most of them the official studio publicity poses for each character. Not surprisingly, the series was popular enough that it encouraged Pepsi to seek out other cartoon studios, and there were eventually series of Lantz, Hanna-Barbera and Jay Ward characters. They also produced two series of "action scene" Warner glasses that featured some of the UGLIEST artwork of the characters ever produced.

Anyway, the 18 characters in the 1973 Pepsi glass series were:

Bugs Bunny
Daffy Duck
Elmer Fudd
Yosemite Sam
Porky Pig
Petunia Pig
Speedy Gonzales
Slowpoke Rodriguez
Foghorn Leghorn
Henery Hawk
Tasmanian Devil
Beaky Buzzard
Pepe Le Pew
Wile E. Coyote
Road Runner
Cool Cat

Some were produced in higher quantities than others, and given the fragile nature of glass and 35 years of floating around kitchen cabinets, storage boxes and garage sale circulation, they have become quite rare. The hardest to find are Slow Poke, Taz, and Henery Hawk (the only one I am missing.) I've been fairly lucky, the most I've ever paid for one of these glasses is 14 dollars...but some that I paid a buck or two for at an antique mall go for 60 or more on Ebay.

But you don't care about all that. You want to see pictures. Well, here you go. A group shot and individual close-ups. The only ones not pictured are Beaky Buzzard (not photographed) and Henery Hawk (if anyone knows where to find him cheap, let me know!)



Anonymous said...

I have the Bugs Bunny and the Porky Pig glass. We also had a small ad for these glasses from Arby's, but my dad donated the ad to Arbys.

Anonymous said...

Daffy and Cool Cat are the nicest looking.

Anonymous said...

These came out in several different variations and I can't help but notice that you have a bit of a mish-mash of the various sets.

There were two different styles of glass (different manufacturers I belive although I can't remember the names off hand). The thicker based ones with the tapered sides that make up most of your collection are more common. The ones made with thinner glass and a more cylindrical shape (like your Daffy) are rarer because the thinner glass was more prone to damage.

There are also variations in the color of the lettering as you can see on your Road Runner glass.

There was also variations in size of the glass and placement of the Pepsi logo. But your set matches in that respect.

Of course, none of this really matters but its a good excuse to keep up the collecting and try and replace some of your odd glasses with ones that will match the bulk of your set.

S.L said...

I guess that in the United States this serie of glasses are widely known and surely belong to the pop-culture of the previous century;
Here in Italy we had something similar with Ferrero's Nuttela glasses: in the early 90s they were decorated with some of the most notorius LT charachters, and since you can imagine that Glass is fragile, today they are high-value pieces for the collectors;
Personally I can tell you that there's no single person who own at least a Nuttela glass in its cupboard with a Looney Tunes charachter upon it (my beloved Uncle has still two of them, respectively with Porky Pig and Tweety!);

With the Pepsi glasses there was also a serie of placemat, I'm right?

Dave said...

I got a couple of these at BK when they came out. There in my Dad's cupboard where I left them the last I knew. Nice collection.


HerbKingsland said...

Pepsi Placemats, DC & Looney Tooneys. Does anyone know list of complete sets? I have Batman, Superman, Capt Marvel(?) "Schazam" - Porky + Petunia, Bugs + Elmer, Pepi LePew(?), and ???. All in storage, to find & look. DC and Warner Bros, say they have NO records. "Pepsi Expert", Mr ??? - never answered.

Dates? Values? Buy & Sell?

Hard to get to Library Computers. Please send a postcard: Herb Kingsland, POBox 3704, Granada Hills CA 91394 . . . THANKS

monkplayer said...

hi, I just bought a Henry Hawk Pepsi glass. The glass is in excellent condition. The Pepsi logo has Collector Series all in white below the Pepsi logo. The date is about 1/2" below the Pepsi logo at the bottom of the glass. Does anyone know the value of the rare glass?

Unknown said...

I just found a Henry Hawk (thin bottom) for $45 in an antique store in PA. Still looking for Pepe and Beaky.

Saphyre said...

It's been a while since you wrote this but I'm curious if you have completed your set yet. I also noticed you have some in white print and some in black. Do you think you will try to find complete sets in both prints? I'm not even sure it's possible to get all of them both ways but I have seen some of them both ways.

Amy said...

Matt - Have you completed your collection? I found a henry hawk and a slowpoke this week at a yard sale. I would be happy to send them to you if you want them.

Unknown said...

Amy, I just so happen to need henery and slowpoke to help complete a set I am trying to put together for my father. We grew up in northern new York where the glasses started, but I don't think they released the last 6(henery, slow poke, petunua, taz, beaky buzzard, and prow le pew) in our area. So to complete his set I need slow poke and henery. I am also looking for a white letter foghorn and cool cat for my collection. Let me know if you have any you would like to get rid of.

Bobbie said...

You are missing one from this series... Sad Sack

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