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The Nabisco Thing is a 5.25 inch trademark character made of PVC. Today the PVC Thing is valued at $15-$20.  Photographed by Mary Jane Lamphier

Nabisco icon shows up on a variety of products

Nabisco took their logo and turned it into a colorful, living, abstract “Thing.” The “Thing” seemed to literally call kids to Nabisco cookies.  

The Nabisco Thing is often referred to as a Colophon Man, named after the trademark of Nabisco products. The original trademark was derived from an ancient symbol the early Christians used to demonstrate the triumphs of spiritual over worldly things. The Nabisco Company used the symbol since 1900.

However the Nabisco Thing with the yellow oval shaped head, two crosses on the top serving as a hat, yellow arms with no hands and multicolored body and legs has marks molded into the body identifying it as “The Nabisco Thing.” The Thing, neither male nor female, was designed for children to take notice of the Nabisco cookies and other treats on the store shelves. The Thing is made of PVC and measures 5.25 inches tall.

I first noticed The Thing in 1996. The logo was printed on advertising and on selected Nabisco products such as Nabisco Cheese Nips. The Thing takes on different poses in the advertising. It appears to be dancing around and having fun where ever it is.  The three dimensional character stands with one arm bent up as if it’s waving a t a friend and one arm is bent down and the molded feet point to the side. My first thought, was what a neat advertising character. It would make an ideal Nabisco Company premium as far as I know it never was offered as a premium.

The editor of The Colophon wrote to me several years ago, and informed me, The Thing was only given to employees of Nabisco. The exact number made of The Thing was not known.

 I bought mine from Jeff Meier of Florham, N.J. Perhaps he had been an employee. He had the Nabisco Thing for sale in the 1990s and I was eager to add it to my collection. I treasure it because it is another bit of American pop culture.

A good place to search for Ad World collectibles is on the Internet. To see The Thing in action visit www.google.com and search for “The Nabisco Thing.” Nabisco is notorious for offering trademark premiums as early as 1914. Collectors have enjoyed Nabisco dolls, plush toys, cookie jars, glasses, mugs for decades.

Magically The Thing arises out of the trademark and the speaker quickly tells you that you are going to see all the Nabisco things you love…like Oreo Cookies.

Is the voice the voice of The Thing? No, The Thing is an action figure that disappears and the voice continues in the commercial.  

Visit www.ebay.com to find the PVC Thing and playing cards with The Things image on them.