Sunday, October 11, 2009

Lakeside Popeye Bendie

When I was a kid...a very little kid, Popeye was the "Man." I watched Popeye cartoons on tv, played with Popeye toys and games, and even dressed up like Popeye from time to time. I had a real corn cob pipe and sailor hat. Ball point pen provided the anchor tattoos on my scrawny forearms. I even tried eating cold spinach out of can to emulate my hero once...ONCE.

Until recently, I had forgotten about the Lakeside Popeye bendie. I had one as a kid but it was a forgotten memory. After seeing a photo of one online, I had an "Oh, yeah!" moment and memories of having this bendie came flooding back.

This was produced by Lakeside in 1968 and was sold through, at least, the early 1970's. I do remember that he was sold alongside the Smokey the Bear bendie on toy shelves.

This particular bendie has a greenish sailor suit. Mine, as a kid, was bright blue. I'm not sure if this is from a different production run or if time has altered the original color of the rubber (since the green color is the actual color of the rubber used and is not painted). I have seen both colors in various pictures of this toy online.

I remember being very confused about Popeye's face as a tyke. Is that an eye? Where's his chin? Does he have two mouths (one for talkin' and one for smokin')? The sculpt on this bendy did nothing to clear up my confusion. This is truly one of those faces only a mother could love.

...and therein lies the beauty of Popeye..."I yam what I yam and that's all that I yam." Popeye was always comfortable with himself just the way he was and that always made him cool, in his own right.

Yours truly, about to deliver a spinach-fueled beatdown to "The Bomper," an obviously evil, up-to-no-good clown.

(Edit: I just realized that the bop-bag probably doesn't say "The Bomper." I looked up "Romper Room" and, sure enough, it's a licensed Romper Room toy. The clown's still evil, though. Hmmm. All these years, I thought it said "The Bomper.")


  1. Popeye is still the "Man!"

    That's a great bendy. I love my Mezco Popeye collection to death and I too dressed up as Popeye for Halloween once, but it was far more recently :)

  2. Oh, man...I loved those Mezco figures. Unfortunately, they came out at a time when I either had no money or an iron will.

    Definitely one of my "toy regrets." They have gotten pricey on Ebay, too, last time I checked.

    Popeye IS still the Man!

  3. When we were kids it seemed Popeye was a cartoon that was always on. (When cartoons were on that is.)
    I remember begging my Mom ' a can of spinach once because it had Popeyes image on it.
    She said "No! You won't like it!" and made me put it back on the shelf. But I didn't put it back on the shelf I sneaked it back into the shopping cart instead. Mom was mad when she saw the clerk ring it up and made me eat it for supper that night.
    Mom was right again.

    Great picture too.

  4. Great story. You were probably thinking, "This may taste terrible but I'll be able to pick up the station wagon when I'm finished."

  5. I probably was but I hated it.

    I like now but I prefer to eat it raw.
    I haven't noticed any increase in strength yet though.

  6. The very first hero of our childhood... good old Popeye... the one problem here is that they forgot to paint his back...