That Clown, Those Eyes

I have only been able to find two versions of the Zu Zu Clown. Curiously one is used (as far as I can tell) only in advertising and the other on a cookie tin and a marketing sign. Both the cookie tin and the sign are reproductions (again, as far as I’m able to make out). The cookie tin is supposedly a reproduction of an original tin produced in 1916 (not sure if that was strictly packaging) by Nabisco itself.

Note: The tin features the second clown on the lid that we’ll get to in a minute.

The sign uses the same clown as the tin:

Now here are the advertising clowns:

The advertising clowns seem to be children dressed in pretty much the same costume. We know that the costume was given out as promotional items to children but not if they were free or part of a promotion – or what.

The Ginger Snaps were clearly intended for children but the non-advertising clowns were a different clown altogether. The face looked almost photo-realistically human (especially evident on the blue sign) but the eyes were cartoonish. It’s a little unsettling in a way. But this is the real clown that the advertising/children clowns are trying to emulate.

It’s got a little “Trip to the Moon” vibe about it. The movie came out in 1902, about a year after Zu Zu Ginger Snaps received its trademark. I’m just saying.

Update: Mr. Charlie Brown has verified that the costumes were indeed given to children for free.

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2 Responses to That Clown, Those Eyes

  1. Lizabeth P. says:

    My five yr old dd is named zuzu. it’s a wonderful life is my favorite movie, so….
    after she was born i contacted the actress, carolyn grimes, who played zuzu in the movie. she told me the origins of the name. it was only then did i realize that george bailey calls his daughter “my little ginger snap”. happy to have found your blog!

  2. Diane La Franca says:

    I just found and bought a reproduction of the tin at a garage sale—a bargain at 25 Cents! I just love it!

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