PEP was a brand of whole-wheat breakfast cereal produced by the Kellogg Company in USA, first seen on shop shelves in 1923.
In 1945, 1946 and 1947, the Kellogg Company inserted a give-away collectible in the form of pinback buttons into specially marked boxes of PEP cereal. PEP pins included U.S. Army squadrons as well as comic book characters published in newspapers at the time. Below we see an example of a PEP cereal box promoting the buttons.
There were five series of comic book character pins released, with 18 different pins in each set. The Superman button was included in all five series, hence 86 unique comic character pins were released.
Series #1 – 1945
Smokey Stover, Dick Tracy, Herby, Nina, Lilliums, Orphan Annie, Moon Mullins, Sandy (dog), Smitty, Harold Teen, Shadow, Kayo, Smilin’ Jack, Winnie Winkle, Perry Winkle, Uncle Walt, Skeezix, Superman
Series #2 – 1946
Olive Oyl, Little King, Hans, Blondie, Uncle Willie, Rip Winkle, Fritz, Lord Plushbottom, Junior Tracy, Don Winslow, Emmy, Popeye, Pop Jenks, Maggie, Dagwood, Jiggs, Andy Gump, Superman
Series #3 – 1946
Henry, Min Gump, Uncle Bim, Mama Katlenja, The Captain, Mamie, Mae, Mr. Bailey, Punjab, The Phantom, Warbucks, Chester Gump, The Fire Chief, Felix the Cat, Wimpy, Snuffy Smith, Tillie the Toiler, Superman
Series #4 – 1946
Casper, Corky, Judy, Little Moose, Pat Patten, Vitamin Flintheart, Cindy, Tess Trueheart, Toots, Barney Google, Brenda Starr, Inspector, Chief Brandon, Spud, Goofy, Flash Gordon, Beezie, Superman
Series #5 – 1947
Mr. Bobbs, Uncle Avery, Tiny Tim, Denny, Fat Stuff, B.O. Plenty, Abretha Breez, Flat Top, Ma Winkle, Auntie Blossom, Daisy, Winnie’s Twins, Gravel Gertie, Wilmer, Tilda, Little Joe, Mama De Stross, Superman
The Phantom was also featured on a PEP pin, found in the 3rd series by the Kellogg Company in 1946. The front and back of the Phantom pin can be seen below, with the front of the pin showing a profile image of the Phantom as illustrated by Ray Moore.
Each pin inserted in a specially marked box of PEP cereal was released in a clear plastic wrapper. Below we see the Phantom PEP pin still in it’s original wrapper.
A Beanie Cap was released by Kellogg’s to display your PEP pin collection. Below we see advertisements for the Beanie Cap by the Kellogg Company, plus an example of the Beanie Cap itself covered in PEP pins.
Advertisements were also seen promoting the PEP pins, usually displayed in retail outlets where the breakfast cereal was sold.