Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Felix the Cat

A friend of mine is selling some older Felix the Cat items ebay.

Cartoonist and animator Otto Messmer created Felix the Cat for Pat Sullivan's animation studio in 1919 and Felix first appeared in November 1919 in a short silent film called "Feline Follies". He was a big hit and some people say he inspired the creation of Mickey Mouse. A comic strip, drawn by Messmer, began in 1923 and ran for decades. he strip was meant to appeal to kids for the most part but it was beautifully drawn and had some great fantasy and slapstick touches. There was a great Sunday strip as well and other artists helped out over the years, augmenting Messmer's genius, including Joe Oriolo. Toys, books, and various household items inspired by the character began appearing shortly after the first animated cartoons --the start of a marketing bonanza that continues to this day. (I think that Jay Stephens was working on a Felix project recently.)

Some of the older Felix merchandise is quite weird --often off-model and frequently scary. I think many people confuse some Felix toys with the incredibly more scarce Krazy Kat toys. The two items up for auction are a jointed wooden figure and a stuffed toy Felix with an insane grimace. I've never seen the stuffed Felix before --he has a wire skeleton and you can stand him up in the classic Felix "walking" pose.

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