Sunday, January 11, 2009

Popeye Dolls by Presents, pt. 1

These have always been some of my favorites, and arguably some of the nicest Popeye collectibles to date. Presents, a division of Hamilton Gifts, put out a good variety of Popeye products in 1985, including handpuppets and some very well produced dolls. The dolls were released in two different sizes, with the ones in the second set being about six inches shorter. This is the larger set.

If this Popeye doll seems oddly familiar, it may be because he, along with Bluto, were featured prominently in Joey Gladstone's room on the set of the television show Full House. What's striking about these dolls is how incredibly detailed they are. Except for the Jeep, each one has a soft rubber head, arms, and feet. Many of the characters even have fuzzy, flocked shoes. At least one of the dolls, Popeye, is known to exist in a musical variety which plays the Sailor's Hornpipe.

My favorite part of these might just be the short biographies in the tags, which provide astonishingly in-depth backgrounds. Among other things, they reveal the characters' heights and ages. Popeye's, for instance, reads:

"Born in a typhoon off Santa Monica, California 34 years ago, Popeye, the spinach eating sailor, is an All-American hero. He is 5'6" tall and weighs 158 lbs. His biceps and thighs each measure 7", while his forearms and calves are 20" each. When his chest expands from 30" to 60", his spinach capacity is 36 tons. This helps a lot when he's call upon to save his damsel in distress, Olive Oyl."

Speaking of Olive Oyl, her tag goes as follows:

"Olive genuinely loves Popeye, but occasionally her independent thinking and overactive imagination get her into more dilemmas than she can handle. She is Popeye's "sweet patootie," a 101% woman - minus the curves. Born in New York City 29 years ago, she's 5' 10 7/8" tall and weighs 96 lbs. 3 oz. Her measurements are 19"- 19" - 19" and she wears size 14AAAAA shoes."

Shockingly, you can feel that Swee' Pea has legs inside his red suit. It isn't removable, but what a clever touch!

"Swee' Pea is Popeye's "kid" son. He's a feisty little rascal with a nose for trouble. He would rather eat ice cream, but Popeye keeps him healthy on a diet of spinach. His greatest ambition in life is to need a haircut."

Eugene the Jeep has the distinction of being the only entirely plush toy of the set. Unfortunately, his tag has been destroyed. Next to the Sea Hag, he seems to be the toughest to find.

Soon, I will post the second half of this set, which includes Bluto, Wimpy, the Sea Hag, and Poopdeck Pappy!


  1. "...but occasionally her independent thinking and overactive imagination get her into more dilemmas than she can handle."

    Love it. Just outstanding.

  2. Except for Jeep, Bluto, Pappy and Sea Hag I had half of the whole set. Correct me if I'm wrong but wasn't there an Alice The Goon doll too?