Everyone knows iconic peanut man!
Mr. Peanut is not a stranger! We all know who the guy is with the peanut- shaped body and skinny legs but I have discovered a few things that the casual observer may not have noticed. For instance, the monocle keeps changing from one eye to the other. In a 1918 picture, the monocle is on his left eye. A 1927 logo shows the monocle over the right eye. The advertising dolls, made in 1967 and 1970, have a monocle on opposite eyes.
I studied the Limited Edition Planter’s tin issued in the 1980s and found Mr. Peanut featured 35 times around the bottom of the tin. Sixteen of them have the monocle on the right eye. The others have the monocle on the left eye.
There are other changes too. Sometimes Mr. Peanut has a definite peanut- shaped body and head with the optical texture of a true peanut shell. At other times the texture is eliminated, resulting in a stylize version of a peanut.
Mr. Peanut also wears many hats. They range from short hats to tall hats; hats with bands and hats without bands. However, I have never seen Mr. Peanut with a hat that does not have his name on it.
Mr. Peanut is a comical character with changing facial features. I have found Mr. Peanut with realistic eyes, complete with eye brows, a natural nose, and a human like mouth with full lips and a friendly smile. Another version is the line drawn features, like those on the dolls, with a watermelon smile.
The point is, when searching for Mr. Peanut collectibles, there are a variety of images to be aware of. Collectors delight in finding as many versions of the Planter’s Peanut trademark as possible.
Mr. Peanut appears on more memorabilia than I have space to tell about in the Ad World column, but some of the collectibles to look for are; Glass jars, bookmarks, buttons, yard goods, bags, beer mugs, banks, lamps, cookie cutters, dolls, trucks, signs, pencils, salt and pepper shakers.
In 1967, the first Mr. Peanut rag dolls were offered as premiums on cellophane packages of Planter’s peanuts, “The Nickle Lunch.” They were offered in exchange for $1 and two product wrappers. The dolls are 21 –inches tall and have a bright yellow head and body. The top hat, legs and arms are black. Mr. Peanut has a watermelon smile printed on both the front and the back of the doll.
In 1970 a shorter Mr. Peanut was offered. It is 18-inches tall and has both front and back features. Both dolls were made by the Chase Bag Company.
Today Mr. Peanut shows up on the Internet in a variety of collectibles. The cloth dolls are often in poor condition. I suggest buying at flea markets, doll shows and antique shops where you can see what you are getting. Prices vary greatly considering the condition of the Ad World collectibles.