Beetle Bailey – 1960s Collectibles


The King Features licensing program picked up considerably when the animated cartoons started to be broadcast on television in the early 1960s. Some of the products featured all three stars of the “Comic Kings” series – Beetle Bailey, Krazy Kat and Snuffy Smith.

Mort Walker did not do the artwork for the Beetle Bailey puzzle above, which is typical of items from this period. It was part of a three-puzzle set and came in the box below.Puzzle1964

Beetle Bailey TV Cartoons – Part 3

Beetle Bailey: 65th Anniversary Collectors' Edition, 2015.

Beetle Bailey: 65th Anniversary Collectors’ Edition, 2015.

The 50 Beetle Bailey cartoons that originally began airing on television in September 1963 were rebrodcast many times throughout the 1960s and 70s and have since been available in various VHS and DVD packages.

On June 2, 2015, the ultimate set, Beetle Bailey: 65th Anniversary Collectors’ Edition, shown above, was released.  The 268-minute, single disc DVD comes in an embossed hinged box which includes various collectors’ memorabilia – a 22-page booklet tracing the history of Beetle Bailey, classic comic strips, prints, comic book covers, photos, postcards and four King Features produced newsreel podcasts starring Mort Walker. It is currently available at Amazon for $17.99.

Beetle Bailey TV Cartoons – Part 2

A still from the first cartoons in the Beetle Bailey series, "Labor Shortage."

A still from the 1960 Beetle Bailey pilot cartoon, “Labor Shortage.”

In addition to the 150 “Comic Kings” cartoons that Paramount was hired by King Features to produce, they also contracted to make 212 new “Popeye” animated films. Executive Producer Al Brodax wanted these delivered in three years, which created an enormous challenge for director Seymour Kneitel.