Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Top Value Stamps Ad – March 27, 1957

Remember the original store "rewards" program – getting trading stamps at stores with your purchase, pasting them in books and then redeeming them for free gifts?

Lots of families did it in the 50s and 60s and we were no exception. I remember sitting at the kitchen table and sticking our huge backlog of stamps in the books – rather crookedly, too.)

That's why the Kroger ad above promoting Top Value Stamps brought back a lot of memories. It ran in The Lorain Journal on March 27, 1957.

It even features one of my favorite advertising mascots: Toppie, the Top Value Stamp Elephant.

Toppie embodied the concept of Scottish thrift, with his Tam O'Shanter, as well as the Tartan pattern covering his pachyderm physique. Since elephants never forget, he was also there to remind people not to forget to shop where Top Value stamps are given out.

Toppie was popular enough in 1958 to star in his own comic book (below). Although it seems kind of cruel to show the gentle beast's trunk getting flattened by a steam roller, the accident was the plot device that drove the comic book story. Want to read it? Click here.)

Toppie was also made into a cute stuffed toy.

 He was even featured on some of the Top Value gift merchandise, including a lunch box (below).

We had one exactly like it (including the thermos) while I was growing up. My siblings and I all used it at some point or another.

I wonder whatever happened to it?

Anyway, here's a link to a great flickr set of Top Value Stamp Catalog images.


-Alan D Hopewell said...

We collected Eagle Stamps from Pick-N-Pay, although I can't remember my Ma ever taking a completed book in.

Anonymous said...

My mother was the store manager of the Top Value store for many years in the 1960's on Lake Ave in Elyria. The store was robbed one night so she turned the store front Toppie promotional poster over and wrote on the blank side the store was closed due to robbery. She kept that poster for memory sake. Now I have that poster. It's in excellent condition. Can't find another anywhere. That robbery might have saved the only Toppie the Elephant Top Value store poster left!

Dan Brady said...

What a great story---thanks for posting it!