Tim has never had a last name. We wonder why and we'd like you to mull it
over with us.
See, in 1929, this curiously mono-monikered icon began to
crop up on all kinds of merchandise marketed toward child collectors--code
books, stamp albums, Pie Eater pinbacks. And despite his bland brunette pate,
half-cocked smile and otherwise indistinguishable image, kids bought Tim
merchandise in mass quantity.
But why was he selling? Who did he work
for? Where did he come from?
Tim was the original creation of Baltimore
native and advertiser Kay Kamen. Kamen marketed Tim as a brand for hire,
outsourced to represent the All-American boy. Tim, along with his sidekick dog,
Pup, boosted local store revenue whenever sellers carried Tim code books and
Kamen's work with the Tim campaign ended when Kamen
exclusively signed with Walt Disney Enterprises in 1933. But it wasn't until the
early 1940s, when Tim teamed him up with the world's most recognizable superhero
that Tim's real selling potential shone through.
When Superman adopted
Tim, forming the successful joint venture, the Superman-Tim Store, local sellers
turned their focus from the nickel-and-dime code book revenue to a more radical
notion: they produced more premiums--pennants, newsletters and secret code
merchandise--at absolutely no cost to kids.
Instead, they went after the
parents' pockets, using Tim to promote for-sale products, primary clothing, in
each club newsletter and mass marketed The Boys Outfitter
Many sellers even offered Superman-Tim currency to promote
While you're pondering these lofty riddles, check
our recent coverage on the eBay sale of a 1946 Superman Tim Club patch here:
c o n s u m e r i n t e r e s t i n t h e p r o p e r t i e s a l l o v e r t h e w o r l d , " s a i d D i a m o n d S e l e c t
T o y s a n d C o l l e c t i b l e s M a r k e t i n g a n d S a l e s C o o r d i n a t o r S c o t t B r a d e n . " I t ' s f o r
t h a t r e a s o n w e ' r e c r e a t i n g h i g h - q u a l i t y c o l l e c t i b l e s b a s e d o n <