The Christmas Greeting Card Pack was produced by King Features Syndicate in USA in 1939. The Greeting Card Pack was a free giveaway around Christmas time to business partners and agents of King Features Syndicate, consisting of 32 unique cards.
It’s common knowledge that the Phantom Big Little Book/Better Little Book, ‘The Singh Brotherhood’ was published by ‘Whitman’ in 1936 and was the very first non-comic related Phantom collectible produced.
The very first commercially released Phantom ‘item’ not related to a book or comic book was the 1940 Paas Easter Egg Transfer Set.
But unequivocally the very 1st non-commercially released Phantom item not related to a book or comic book was this Christmas Greeting Card Pack produced in 1939.
The Christmas Greeting Cards came housed in a slightly larger cardboard portfolio folder. The text on the portfolio folder reads ‘Merry Christmas from J.V. Connolly And His Associates Of King Features Syndicate Inc.’.
Joseph V. Connolly, noted on the outside of the folder was president of King Features Syndicate until he was appointed General Manager of the Hearst Newspapers on the 25th of July, 1938.
This set of 32 light stock cardboard Christmas theme cards are 8” x 10” in size. While the back of the cards are blank, the artwork for each card was specifically illustrated by the stable of elite King Feature Syndicate artists. The specialty art for these cards makes this set one of the nicest promotional items ever produced by King Feature Syndicate. The full set can be seen below.
The Phantom is featured on one of the Christmas Greeting Cards. We see the wording ‘Seasons Greeting From The Boys Who Work For The Phantom’ below an image of the Phantom. The card is signed off by Lee Falk and Ray Moore.
The portfolio containing the Christmas Greeting Cards was mailed inside a plain 11” x 9” mailer box.
The characters featured on the 32 cards are:
- The Phantom by Ray Moore, written by Lee Falk.
- Popeye likely illustrated by Tom Sims or Bela Zaboly.
- Seein’ Stars by Fred (“Feg”) Murray.
- Mandrake the Magician by Phil Davis.
- The Little King by Otto Soglow.
- Just Kids by August Daniel Carter.
- The Katzenjammer Kids by Harold Knerr.
- Santa Claus by Louis Biedermann.
- Krazy Kat by George Herriman.
- Tim Tyler’s Luck by Lymann Young.
- Mickey Mouse by Floyd Gottfredson.
- The Lone Ranger by Charles Flanders
- Barney Google/Snuffy Smith by Billy DeBeck.
- Flash Gordon by Alex Raymond.
- Prince Valiant by Hal Foster.
- The Bumsteads by Chic Young.
- Brandon Walsh.
- Bringing up Father by George McManus.
- Santa by Cliff Serrett.
- Merry Christmas by Edwina.
- Love to You by Fanny Cory.
- Reindeer by Dudley Fisher.
- Henry by Carl Anderson.
- Newspaper by Jimmy Halto.
- Santa Norman by Lynd.
- Judge Puffle by Eugene Ahern.
- King of the Royal Mounted by Charles Flanders.
- Christmas Cats by Ruth Carroll.
- Toots and Casper by Jimmy Murphy.
- Tillie Toiler by Rust Westover.
- Secret Agent X9 by Alex Raymond.
- Christmas Dreams by ‘Unknown’.
Thank you Christopher Smith for assisting with images and information.