Let’s Get ‘Punchy’
Punchy is an obnoxious child with big eyes and a contagious smile. He appears to be short with his legs covered with a shirt however the most memorable part of Punchy’s costume is the crazy hat he wears.
Punchy was the spokesperson for RJR Foods Hawaiian Punch and Oaf was Punchy’s sidekick. The Atherton-Privett ad agency created the ad with the two characters in 1962. The characters were designed by John Urie.
“How would you like a nice Hawaiian Punch?” is the line that made Punchy and Oaf famous. The advertisers concentrated on Punchy’s popularity with the consumers, especially the children.
However the commercial would not have been successful without Oaf and his inevitable answer “sure.” Oaf never learned how to say NO and he was always pounded into the ground. The commercial ended with Punchy leaning on a can of Hawaiian Punch, and saying, “Wasn’t that a nice commercial?”
Today Punchy would be labelled as a “bully” but the fact remains Punchy receive all the attention and was more than likely the best “salesman” the company ever had. Punchy’s image decorates the product packaging and he continues to promote Hawaiian Punch soft drinks through decades of changing ownership from one company to another.
There are many promotional items on the secondary market. In the 1980s there were push button telephones and radios with images of Punchy. Telephones and radios are valued at $99 to $125. A talking doll is valued at $20 -$30. An 11-inch bean bag doll $22, Cotton tote bags with Punchy on the front is valued at $15. The four-inch PVCs in Punchy’s image and three-inch Punchy key chains are going for $5-$10.
Punchy key chains, are a white character with blue stripes on his shirt, blue line drawn eyes and mouth and he holds a glass in one hand.
Another Punchy collectibles is the Hawaiian Punch drink holder, a neat way for children to dine on their favorite drink. The sipper top and straw cap help reduce spilling and the lid snaps on tightly. Two handles offer little hands a sure grip. The red plastic drink container was a company promotion in the 1990s. Consumers could have a free sipper with a purchase of several boxes of Hawaiian Punch.
Collectors of the Ad World search for Punchy in all forms. Four favorites are the Punchy Game pieces. The characters are 2.75-inches tall, hard plastic with molded features. Mattel Incorporated in Hawthorne, California, marketed the “Hawaiian Punch© Game with the four Punchy game pieces in blue, yellow, orange and pink in 1978.
It is not difficult to get “Punchy” on the secondary market. Internet auctions are featuring a variety of Punchy collectibles.