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“Give Gorton’s the Nod,” The free, seven-inch, Wacky Wobbler Bobbin Head was offered by Gorton’s Company in 2002. Photography by Mary Jane Lamphier.

The Gorton’s Company has been an avid advertiser though the years. They started a new tradition in the 21st century. From February 1 to March 30, 2002 they “Gave Gorton’s the Nod,” by offering a free seven-inch , Wacky Wobbler Bobbin Head, made in the image of the Gorton’s Fisherman trademark. The fisherman is easy to identify with a molded and painted yellow slicker and hat.

Gorton’s offered a second Wacky Wobble Bobbin Head September 1, to December 31, the same year. This time the Gorton’ Fisherman was wearing a molded and painted yellow and black striped shirt and white pants. The Wacky Wobblers were packaged in yellow window boxes each time. Collectors like to find the boxes as well as the Wacky Wobbler® Bobbin Heads and expect to pay more in the transaction.

“Hand it to Gorton’s.” Another collectible was offered from February 1 to April 30, 2003, a free Gorton’s Fisherman hand puppet, limited to one puppet per customer or four puppets per house hold.

Two premiums were offered from February 1 to April 31 in 2005. This time the prize was a set of nesting dolls with features of the fisherman. The yellow slickers were painted on the dolls. The nesting dolls were also packaged in a yellow window box.

The second 2005 premium was a delightful vinyl Gorton’s Fisherman coin bank, “Bank on Gorton’s for seafood you can trust.” The fisherman is wearing a bright yellow slicker and hat and appears to be steering the wheel on the boat shaped bank. The boat is the same bright yellow as the raincoat and is trimmed with blue. The boat measures 4.75 inches long and 3.5 inches wide at the stern. Coins are dropped into the bow and removed from the bottoms of the boat. Identifying mark are “Since 1849/ GORTONS’’ © and “Trust the Gorton’s Fisherman.”

Margaret Ann Slade and Slade Gorton started the Gorton’s Company in 1849. Salted fish was the convenience product of the day where now, probably the most popular product is the frozen seafood packages.

View www.gortons.com for the latest Gorton’ products, recipes, coupons and promotions. Collectors can also find mail-in forms at points of sales of Gorton’s Seafood. Check them often as the offers are for a short time and it is easy to miss them. It is wise to take an extra form to put with the collectible when you receive it, to document the date and information of a collectible.

In 2002 each Bobble head required three original UPCs of the Gorton’s Fish products and the completed forms along with the original cash register receipts.

All of the premiums mentioned in this column are only available to collectors on the secondary market today. Check on the internet auctions. Prices vary greatly depending on condition. I have seen the Wacky Wobbler’s priced from $6 to $25 plus postage.