To summarize: in 1969, when I was about five, Proctor & Gamble came out with adorable plastic POGO figurines. You had to buy BIZ or CASCADE or SPICnSPAN or some other P&G product to get them, but somehow I managed to get all six.
They must have been a success, because two years later P&G came out with plastic mugs with the same characters. They were strapped to the sides of the boxes just like the figurines were:
A word about the dates: on the bottom of each character's foot was the name of the character and the words "(C) Walt Kelly 1969 Made in Japan." Now, as you can clearly see if you enlarge this photo of BIZ, underneath the words POGO character MUG are the words "(C) Walt Kelly 1971." So that's how I got my timeline. Now back to my story.
As I mentioned before, my mother was not a consumer of BIZ. (Is it even still around?) Nor did we use a lot of SpicNSpan. For toys for her youngest child she probably figured she could afford (get it?) to get six various boxes of this stuff. Two years later, though, for mugs for a seven year old....well, the point I'm getting at is that I never did acquire a complete set of these mugs. Of course, I may not have wanted all six. I mean, they weren't toys, right? I do seem to recall having Pogo. Hey, I wonder if his was the most printed version....interesting to know if the six were made in roughly comparable numbers, or if Pogo had a bigger "share." I also seem to recall my sister JoAnne had Beuregard, but maybe I'm misremembering that. For that matter, maybe we *did* have all six, and they never had the emotional attachment the dolls did, so I don't remember them. We are talking 40 years ago, ya know. Wow...just writing that makes me feel old. Moving on....!
So...several years ago when I discovered e-bay and then remembered these items, I did try to collect (or re-collect) them all. However, they are surprisingly rare and therefore expensive! I managed to get Porkty (third from the left) and Pogo (first on the right). The others still elude me. When I have some extra cash to spend (perhaps by selling some of *my* junk on ebay) I will recommence the search. In the meantime, I grabbed this photo from the internet to remind me of what I am missing.
Gosh, I loved POGO. :-)