1948 Fo-Lee Gum Corp : Superman Bubble Gum


In June of 1948, the Fo-Lee Gum Corp. of Philadelphia announced a new Superman Bubble Gum. The head chemist of Fo-Lee was Harlan H. Hill, a former employee of Bowman Gum. A tie-in with Columbia Pictures placed an introductory advertisement for the gum in the 1948 Kirk Alyn Superman film serials. Many theaters gave away pieces of the gum to moviegoers.
A piece of Superman Bubble Gum was sold for a penny or 25 cents for 100 small pieces. Each box of 100 contained four cut-out cardboard panels images of Superman. The thin card panels are approximately 2.25 x 2.75 inches, smaller than a standard size trading card. The panels are not numbered and the backs are blank. The cards are copyrighted 1948 by N.C.P., National Comics Publications, Inc. Ira Schnapp's Superman logo is incorrectly scaled on the box and card panels.
The counter display boxes contained 80, 120, or 200 individually wrapped pieces priced at one cent. The penny gum pieces are equivalent in size to 4 small pieces. The wax gum wrappers measure 2.5 x 5.5 inches.
The bottom of each counter display box contained a larger image of Superman that was awarded to the purchaser of the last piece of gum. The lithographed Display Award is approximately 5 x 7.5 inches and it features a promotional image penciled by Wayne Boring and inked by Stan Kaye.
The boxes also contained a promotion sheet advertising Superman premiums from Fo-Lee. These mail-away products included a pen, a leather belt, and a sweatshirt. The most popular premium was a Superman wallet and badge. The embossed wallet was made of imported leather by Pioneer. It measures 3 x 4.25 inches and could be personalized with gold lettering. The die-cut brass and enamel Superman badge is approximately 1.625 inches in diameter. A similar badge was manufactured for The Lone Ranger. Besides the chain-busting motif, the lettering and imagery do not match the usual branding that was fiercely protected by National and Superman, Inc.
Dealers and salesmen were awarded various types of cigarette lighters produced by Ronson as incentives.

The checklist consists of 4 box panels and 1 Display Award panel.



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