Friday, October 27, 2006

War Finance Committee - part 3

From my collection, a copy of the May 1944 issue of Playthings magazine. The cover of this issue promoted the Disney-designed war savings certificate. Playthings served those in the toy trade. The magazine was filled with advertisements representing various toy manufacturers and their lines of merchandise.

New York promoter Kay Kamen (who licensed Our Gang merchandise before being hired by Walt Disney), became Disney's sole merchandise licensing representative in the early 1930s. Kamen was an astute businessman who earned the Disney brothers millions of dollars during the Great Depression by granting merchandise rights to such giants as Ingersoll, Lionel and General Mills.

Kamen created and developed several phenomenal merchandise campaigns. Bakeries, gas stations and dairies used Disney merchandise and promotional material developed by Kamen and his staff to successfully promote their own products. Kamen produced several merchandise catalogs in the thirties that showcased Disney licensed products and he created amazing Christmas department store toyland promotions.
Kamen, his wife and several others died in a plane crash near the Azores in 1949.

Several different issues of Playthings magazine can be found with Disney illustrations on the cover. Kamen often paid for the advertising space on the magazine's front cover and used that space to promote the latest products or films.

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