An A-Z of classic product mascots

Classic ads were filled with penguins, tigers and bears, oh my! And whatever Quisp was.

Once upon a time, television commercials were a menagerie of talking tigers, frogs, beavers, bears and storks. If you were selling a product, especially cereal, you needed a mascot. Yet there were cartoon characters for everything from toothpaste to the postal service.

The history of advertising is filled with hundreds of memorable mascots. There were too many to fit in our A-Z. These were some of the most interesting.

Which was your favorite?

1. Alpha-Bits Wizard

The cereal sage appeared on boxes and in ads in the 1970s and 1980s.

2. Bucky Beaver

Who better to sell Ipana Toothpaste in the late 1950s than an animal with giant choppers?

3. Charlie the Tuna

The fish made his debut in 1961. He was voiced by actor Herschel Bernardi, who also delivered lines for the Jolly Green Giant and asked, "How many licks does it take to get to the Tootsie Roll center of a Tootsie Pop?"

4. Dig 'Em

Remember when they were allowed to call them "Sugar Smacks"?

5. El Exigente

The Savarin Coffee seller of the 1960s and 1970s appeared after Juan Valdez.

6. Frito Bandito

The chip bandit was brought to life by Mel Blanc, the first voice of Speedy Gonzales.

7. Grimace

Initially, the purple pear-shaped… thing was "Evil" and stole shakes. He also had four arms when he premiered in 1971.

8. Happy Hotpoint

Mary Tyler Moore!

9. Icee Polar Bear

The official bear of brain freeze.

10. Josephine the Plumber

She was sort of the Flo of the 1960s.

11. Kool-Aid Man

Oh, yeah! Originally, he was called the Pitcher Man and debuted in 1954.

12. Lucky the Leprechaun

They're after me charms! The marshmallow lover made his debut in 1964.

13. Marky Maypo

He would ask for his maple-flavored oatmeal by proclaiming, "I Want My Maypo!"

14. NesQuik Bunny

Farfel the Dig pitched the chocolate milk mix in the '50s and '60s.

15. Officer Crumb

Someone had to chase the Cookie Crook.

16. Poppin' Fresh

The Pillsbury Doughboy had the best name for a rapper all the way back in 1965.

17. Quisp

He recently celebrated his 50th birthday.

18. Randy the Transistor Radio

Yes, there is a certain clown who starts with 'R' but we dug a little deeper for this 1963 radio man.

19. Speedy

The Alka-Seltzer sprite even teamed up with Buster Keaton.

20. Tony the Tiger

Dallas McKennon, a.k.a. Cincinnatus on Daniel Boone, was once the voice of this grrrreat feline.

21. Uncle Ben

Purportedly based on a hotel maître d’ in Chicago.

22. Vlasic Stork

The Groucho Marx of large birds appeared in 1974.

23. Willie the Penguin

Off at the retirement home with Joe Camel.

24. Exxon Tiger

You try finding a mascot starting with 'X'.

25. Yipes the Zebra

The colorful equid appears on Fruit Stripe Gum.

26. Mr. Zip

Also known as Zippy, the cartoon character reminded folks to use a ZIP code in the 1960s. Remember, it was a new concept. ZIP codes began in 1963.

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