1948 Horrock Ibbotson Co., Shmoo Plug Bait In Original Box

1948 Horrock Ibbotson Co., Shmoo Plug Bait In Original Box

Years before Snoopy made his appearance the Shmoo was the first national post-war comic character fad. Marketed on everything from clothing to dairy products it made Li'l Abner a household name. The most unusual, and officially recognized product was the Shmoo Plug Bait. The "plug", more commonly known as a fishing lure was manufactured by the Horrock-Ibbotson Company of New York.

It's varnished solid wood with painted face, scalp, and feet and is nearly a perfect bowling pin shape. The reverse side has a chrome plated metal diving lip screwed into the top of the head, and two trebles (i.e., three fish hooks welded together) located in the center of the body and at the base. It's fixed to a die cut cardboard insert which neatly keeps the "nasty" parts tucked underneath it.

The product itself is terrific, but it's the box graphics which really makes it one of the most sought after comic collectibles. It's a two piece, die cut window box covered with newspaper comic style illustrations in full color. The top of the cover is mostly window which beautifully shows off the eager Shmoo waiting inside. It has its original cellophane window which is complete. Around the edges of the window are the four main comic strip characters. Each is labeled with their name and appears to be looking at the Shmoo.

The front and rear aprons show Honest Abe (Li'l Abner's first son) fishing on the shore of the old fishing hole. The opposite shore shows the Shmoo who is also fishing. The right box apron has a comic style panel drawing complete with word balloon of Li'l Abner and Daisy Mae touting the benefits of fishing with the Shmoo Plug. The left box apron shows a wooden cartoon sign with the name Shmoo Plug-Bait on it. The product catalog number 59R4 is stamped just below it. A facsimile signature of the strip's creator, Al Capp can be seen in the lower right corner. The box bottom exterior is covered with blank glossy paper.

Size: Shmoo 2-3/4". Box 4-3 4" x 2" x 1½"

Sold: May 2008

Price Sold: $ 329


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Subject: 1948 Horrock Ibbotson Co., Shmoo Plug Bait In Original Box

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