RADIO PREMIUMS -
RELIVE THEM AGAIN!
SUPERMAN, THE ADVENTURES OF
My personal favorite children's show. It ran from 1938-1951 and, because of the great number of shows available today, we have the opportunity to listen to most, if not all, of the premiums offered. The sponsor from 1943-1949 was Kellogg's PEP
Subject of episode: Train engineer's skin turns green. Cardboard colored model planes, including the British Spitfire and the US Flying Fortress, were available in packages of PEP. Or, you could have gotten a hot iron transfer (there were 30 different) or a US combat insignia.
Title of episode: "Lois' Fake Uncle John". You could win a $25 War Bond by telling what kind of Superman story you liked best. Listeners were invited to comment on previous themes like imaginative, spy, or gangster stories or suggest new themes. This was the last day to send in ideas.
Subject of episode: "Poco is accused of murder". The announcer said the results of the war bond contest would be announced soon. Four winners were to be selected and duplicate prizes would be awarded for ties. The imaginative story theme was leading in popularity.
Title of episode: "Princess of Alyeria". Free PEP color cardboard model planes were still being included in every PEP package. A second series was announced on this episode, so the offer lasted for months. It was a pretty effective way to hold kids' interest during WW II when the scarcity of metal and plastics limited premium production. This series featured 14 different allied planes: 4 British, 2 Russian and 4 American
Subject of episode: "Jimmy and Beany's experiment". Beany's brother, Joe, recently discharged, made a cardboard walky-talky for Jimmy Olson and Beany to play with which looked just like the one he used during the war. The Kellogg's people wanted Superman's loyal listeners to have one, too, and offered a "Kellogg's Walky-Talky" for 2 PEP boxtops and 10c. Note it was referred to as a "Kellogg's" rather than a "Superman" item. It was almost a foot high and was colored in "regular army color" (I suppose that meant olive drab). It included a receiver/transmitter, an indicator dial, strap handle, two aerial sticks, and 48 feet of cord. With such a treasure you and your friend could report on enemy activities, play games or even combine the cord and send messages from one house to the other or even across the street. Unlike most other Superman premiums, this one played a significant role in the story line of the program.
Title of episode: "Dr. Blyth's Confidence Gang". Other offers which lasted for months were the various metal pinback buttons available in packages of PEP. This episode announced the second series of military insignia and war plane buttons. There were 22 different buttons available and one was included free with each package of PEP. The insignia buttons were about 3/4" across and included the logo or drawing of actual military units such as the 232nd Marine Torpedo Bombing Squadron and the 402nd Bomb Squadron. The war plane buttons were slightly larger at 1 1/4" across and featured drawings of WW II planes in flight.
Title of episode: "The Scarlet Widow". This episode announced a new series of PEP buttons, but this time they were of color comic strip characters. The first series featured such favorites as Superman, Smoky Stover and Smilin' Jack. Eighty-six different buttons would eventually be offered. They were identical in size to the military insignia buttons and were free inside each package of PEP . The buttons were offered in five different series and the first three were well covered in the Superman radio commercials. They included the following characters:
Uncle Walt and Winnie Winkle
Dagwood and Don Winslow.
Mama De Strass
Wilmer and Winnie Winkle's Twins.
Additional pins were offered in a fifth series in 1948 but were not covered in the radio shows we have available. The pins in this series, which I found listed on the side panel of an actual 1948 PEP box, included: Superman, The Captain, Chester Gump, Daddy Warbucks, Felix the Cat, Fire Chief, Henry, Mac, Mama Katzenjammer, Mamie, Min Gump, Mr. Bailey, The Phantom, Punjab, Snuffy Smith, Tillie the Toiler, Uncle Bim and Wimpy.
OTR Reference Menu.