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Cartoon Culture

Extra Virgin Olive Oyl

First Popeye was selected to front a a sex shop in Tokyo. Now, who better to represent a line of products using Extra Virgin Olive Oil than… the extra virginal Olive Oyl.

Reader John Hall sent in this new character merchandising find:

I was traveling through the Nashville, Tennessee area yesterday and found a bag of Olive Oyl Popped Corn at a local grocery store. The bag has 3 nice drawings of Olive on the bag that look like artwork from the early ’40s Fleisher cartoons. Also on the back is a nice trademark showing the whole Popeye clan with a 2009 King Features copyright. Here are some photos of the used bag (click thumbnails below to enlarge). Oh, and the popcorn is pretty good.

  • Tekena

    That’s excellent! Much better than the other two!

  • Steamboat Bill

    It amazes me how putting the face of a famous character on a product can make mediocre popcorn look appetizing.

  • Edwin Austin


  • Gerard de Souza

    We Have Popeye Brand of spinach here with Popeye on the bag.
    Only once I saw at the grocery store other green veggies under the Popeye brand and they used other obscure Sweethaven residents like Mama Oyl and Papa Oyl, etc. Never saw that packaging agian which made me think it was test marketing.

  • Mike Fontanelli

    That’s Stephen DeStephano’s distinctive take on the classic character. Kings’ licensed Popeye merchandise looks the best it has in 50 years, thanks to Steve.

  • I was gonna ask if that was Stephen. Man, is he good.

  • Scarabim

    God, I love Elzie Segar’s Thimble Theater/Popeye comics so much. As much as I HATE the Paramount Popeye cartoons, which were basically about: how many ways can we brutalize Popeye and Olive and make it especially unpleasant?

    Love the Fleischer version though.

    If I could wish for one impossible thing, I’d wish that a good 2D studio would make an animated movie based word-for-word, picture-for-picture, on one of Segar’s Popeye adventures. Such a movie would be nothing less than awesome.

    Okay, make it TWO impossible things: that Disney would make a 2D animated movie based word-for-word etc. on one of Floyd Gottfredson’s Mickey Mouse adventures. BEYOND AWESOME.

  • John A

    Scarabim; A few of the King Features made for TV Popeyes used Segar’s stories as plotlines. While the animation was terrible, it did prove that the original comic could be adapted to “play out” following the conventions of the animated shorts. Now if these stories had classic animation talent and a classic animation budget backing it up, yes, the results could have been awesome.

    For a brief time the Fleschers were better about using Segar’s world in their cartoons, and comic strip regulars like Pappy, SweePea, Wimpy, the Goons, the Jeep, even Geezil would make appearances that were pretty close to their comic strip counterpart. Unfortunately, Segar died in the late thirties and Iguess following the comic strip became less of a priority, the writers prefering instead to settle into a simple love triangle formula.

    When the Second World War started, Popeye was transformed from Captain of his own ship to American serviceman and he stayed that way for the rest of his animated career. Famous Studios never really showed any interest in getting him back to his roots after the war, finding it easier to stick to unimaginative, formulaic scripts. A real shame.

  • The Infernal Mr Adams

    That’s kind of a hot picture of Olive, I might have to get me some of that…….popcorn, I mean ;)