Scrappy Tie-Ups Galore

Way back when Scrappyland was new–almost fifteen (!) years ago–I published some Columbia publicity photos of a 1930s child actress named Cora Sue Collins using Scrappy products. Then I found some featuring her fellow Columbia kid contract players Edith Fellows and Dickie Walters. And lastly, back in 2012, one of Edith with a costar named Jackie Moran.

Thanks to Jerry Beck, who generously alerted me to some recent eBay auctions, I have finally procured more examples of what Columbia called Scrappy Tie-Ups. They efficiently promoted current Columbia live-action features and Scrappy merchandise … although, come to think of it, I’m not sure where they appeared. (Newspapers, maybe, although I’ve never seen one in print.)

First, here’s Dickie Walters again, showing off his Scrappy necktie, as photographed by William A. “Bud” Fraker (father of the celebrated cinematographer) and approved by the Hays Office on January 29, 1935.

IMDB lists only four movies that Dickie appeared in. The first was Carnival, which premiered on February 15, 1935–a couple of weeks after Columbia readied this photo (and one week before my mother was born). Besides Dickie, who had a fairly meaty role as a little kid named “Poochie”–which sounds like the name of a Scrappy bit-player–it starred Lee Tracy, Sally Eilers, and Jimmy Durante. And it indeed was set at a traveling carnival. (Dickie, incidentally, also appeared in MGM’s 1935 Anna Karenina, along with both Garbo and Cora Sue Collins.)

Scrappy ties (“For He-Boys”) were manufactured by a company called Guiterman Bros., and were popular enough that I’ve assembled a small collection of them and even found a photo of a small boy who was seemingly wearing one because he liked it, not because he was being paid by Columbia to do so. If they came in slightly large sizes, I might well be wearing one right now.

Next, say hello to Cora Sue Collins, who seems quite pleased with her copy of the Scrappy Big Little Book. (Oddly, hers seems to be in more battered condition than the one currently in the Scrappyland Archive.) This photo was released in conjunction with the May 1936 Columbia picture The Devil’s Squadron, in which Cora Sue costarred with Richard Dix, Karen Morley, and Lloyd Nolan.

The back of this photo credits it to A.L. “Whitey” Schafer, who succeeded Fraker as chief of Columbia’s stills department and later left for a similar gig at Paramount. He took a lot of photos of stars, such as this 1944 portrait of Veronica Lake, which I borrowed from an excellent post on his work at Aenigma. (I’m sorry to report that we lost him in 1951 in a tragic accident involving an exploding stove on a yacht.)

Here we have Edith Fellows and Jackie Moran in a Schafer photo released in conjunction with And So They Were Married, another Columbia release in May 1936. Melvyn Douglas and Mary Astor got top billing, but Edith and Jackie were right behind them and get tons of screen time. (You can watch the movie over at the Internet Archive.)

But the big news about this Scrappy Tie-Up is that young Jackie is brandishing a Scrappy Army Plane from the Scientific Model Airplane Company, an apparently noted maker of toy aircraft. This is a new Scrappy product to me, and it seems like a major one. I’d love to think there’s still a chance I’ll stumble across one someday.

And here’s the weirdest part: Only a day or two before Jerry alerted me to this photo, I’d heard from another Friend of Scrappy, David Welch of Childhood Memorabilia. Over at eBay, where he’s “pezdudewelch,” he’s selling a 1938 photo of a Lionel train setup at a retail store, and he noticed that the background included … an upside-down Scrappy Army Plane box. When he asked about it, I wasn’t even positive that the Scrappy in question was our Scrappy.

Edith also posed for Whitey Schafer with Transogram’s Scrappy Ring Toss, a fine game which we do have in the Scrappy Archive. This photo is undated and bears no Hays stamp, and I’m not sure what Columbia feature it tied into.

And here’s Edith again in a Schafer photo approved by the Hays Office on October 16, 1937–but apparently produced with the Christmas season in mind. It features the Great Lake Novelty Co.’s Scrappy doll, which I believe had been around for a couple of years by then.

Just so you can get a taste of what the back of these photos looked like, here’s the flip side of the one above, with the Hays stamp, another stamp for the Advertising Advisory Council, Whitey Schafer’s credit, and a caption plugging a Columbia feature called Wonder Child.

That confused me, since I couldn’t find evidence of Edith or Leo Carillo appearing in anything called Wonder Child. It turned out that the movie, when Columbia released it in January 1938, had a much better name: Little Miss Roughneck. And it was a genuine Edith Fellows starring vehicle.

This photo features Edith and her Columbia colleagues the Three Stooges promoting a 1937 Pillsbury giveaway–a successor to the Scrappy Puppet Theater–and I include it here mostly because Edith seems to be wearing the same dress as in the photo above, suggesting that they were part of the same Schafer shoot.

Speaking of the Scrappy Puppet Theater, I lied when I said I’d never seen a Scrappy Tie-Up photo in print. While I was working on this post, I found several papers that published this photo of Edith with her Scrappy theater in December 1936. The caption talks about it as if she just happened to be a fan of cartoon-related puppetry–and I hope that was true, even if was a contractual obligation.

At this point, it doesn’t seem the least bit unreasonable to assume that there are still more Scrappy Tie-Ups out there. I won’t rest until my collection is complete–even if it takes another fifteen or more years, and it probably will.

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