What do Yellow Kid, Mickey Mouse, and Dick Tracy have in common? They all appeared on comic pinbacks. These celluloid advertising buttons from the 1890s to the mid-20th century were given away by tobacco companies, newspapers, and the makers of breakfast cereals to drive sales. Today they are collected in their own right.

Some of the most prolific producers of comic pinbacks were Whitehead and Hoag, Bastian Brothers, and the Saint Louis Button Company. In particular, Whitehead and Hoag began manufacturing pinbacks in 1896, cutting its teeth on advertising buttons for the American Tobacco Co. and presidential campaign buttons for both William McKinley and William Jennings Bryan. The company retooled during World War II to make identification buttons for people working in war plants, but by the 1950s the firm was out of gas and sold itself to competitor Bastian.

Naturally, these firms also made comic pinbacks, commissioned by bread companies such as Buster Brown, cereal manufacturers like Kellogg’s, and newspapers such as the Cleveland Plain Dealer, all of whom wanted to get their brands on the shirts, jackets, and caps of impressionable youngsters. Comic characters such as Little Orphan Annie, Barney Google, and Skeezix would proclaim their allegiances to these products, transforming the children who wore these pinbacks into delivery mechanisms for the ads.

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Comic Character Pinbacks

Comic Character Pinbacks

Mark Lansdown's excellent collection of over 800 pinbacks representing 200+ comic characters from 100+ strips. Beau… [read review or visit site]

Most watched eBay auctions    

Peanuts Pinback Lapel Pin Snoopy Driving The Zamboni, Vintage 1930's Popeye I Yam Strong For King Comics Original Pinback Button PinPinback Button Jimbo - Gary Panter - 1"Mickey Mouse Good Teeth Pinback 4654h5 Vintage 1966 Batman & Robin Super Hero Pinback Buttons Holy Ravioli, Zok!M315 Vintage: Famous Monsters Fan Club Pinback Badge Button By Warren (1972) [Elect Me!!! (donald Trump) Looney Tunes - A Fox News Cartoon Pinback ButtonShowcase Metal Men #37 First Appearance D.c. Comics High Grade 1962 Silver Age!!5 Vintage 1966 Batman Tv Series Promo Advertising Pinback Buttons YellowS392. Vintage: Lot Of 4: Batman & Robin Tin Litho Pins By Hse Creative (1966) [1set Enoshima Junko Cosplay Suit Bagde Anime Danganronpa Cosplay Costume PropsM313 Vintage: Creepy Magazine Fan Club Pinback Badge Button By Warren (1968) [Vintage 1966 Dc Official Batman Club Badge5 Vintage 1966 Batman Tv Series Promo Advertising Pinback Buttons RedM314 Vintage: Eerie Magazine Fan Club Pinback Badge Button By Warren (1972) [Kellogg's~tillie~ Pep Pin Cereal Button PinbackVintage Mickey Mouse Hose - Walt Disney Pinback Pin Metal Men #1 First Issue D.c. Comics High Grade 1962 Silver Age!!Vintage 1930s Mickey Mouse Pinback Disney Penneys Back To School Button PinRootie Kazootie Club Gala-poochie Pup Pin-1950s **rare**11 Comic Character Pinback Buttons Felix Flash Gordon Prince Valiant Phantom Jessica Rabbit Adult Fantasy Hans Solo Star Wars Red Hair 2 Inch Tan PantsHarry Potter Badges X 45pcs/lot Buttons Pins Pinbacks,45mm Cartoon Metal Badges1984 Marvel Comics X-men 2 1/4" Pinback Button Pair Rogue Kitty & LockheedRare Vintage Snoopy Peanuts Runaway Hobo Back Pack Enamel Lapel Pin PinbackLot Of 2 Metal Men #2 & 3 D.c. Comics High Grade 1963 Silver Age!!X-men #15 Marvel Comics High Grade First Series 1965 Unrestored !!William Howard Taft President Hello Bill Cartoon Bpoe Elks Pin Pinback ButtonVintage Pinback Button Pin 1983 Superman 3 Reeve Clark Kent Dc Comic 7up Huge Lot Of 2 Showcase Metal Men #38 & 39 D.c. Comics Mid Grade 1962 Silver Age!!Penguin Pin Dc Comics Batman Gift Creations Pinback, Tie Tac, Lapel Pin On CardPoison Ivy Batman Pin Warner Bros 1997 Dc Comics Metal Pinback, Lapel PinKellogg Pep Pin Andy Gump Pinback Original Packaging Kellogg Pep Pin Uncle Willie Pinback Original Packaging Quick Draw Mcgraw Cartoon Classic Pin 1"Vintage Batman Enamel Trading Pin. The Joker.Vintage Adam West Batman Pinback Buttons Lot Of 3! Great Condition! Marvel Comics 1992 Spiderman Pin CollectibleHarry Potter Badges X 45pcs/lot Buttons Pins Pinbacks,45mm Cartoon Metal BadgesCare Bears Patch And ButtonsVintage Disneyland Mickey Mouse Pinback ButtonMarvel Comics Civil War Black Panther Marvel Collector Corps Exclusive PinMr Freeze Batman Pin Warner Bros 1997 Dc Comics Metal Pinback, Lapel PinVintage Celluloid 1940s Superman Of America Pinback & 1940s Kellogs Pep PinPenguin For Mayor Pin Dc Comics Batman Returns Gift Creations Pinback, Lapel PinVintage Pinback Button Pin 1976 Superman Dc Comic Made In Usa Pinback Button Badge 1973 Shazam Dc Comics Large 3" Last OneBatman Pin 1991 Dc Comics Gift Creations Pinback Tie Tac Metal Lapel Pin W CardC. 1999 Boxing Felix Trinidad Vintage Pinback Button "boricua" Puerto Rico1940s Little Joe Cartoon Kellogg's Cereal Pep Pin Pinback Button UsaBatman Button "pin Back" Dc Comics 1994 Time Warner Audiobooks PromoPinback Button United Cartoon Workers Of America Local #7 Minnesota 1"Harry Potter Badges X 45pcs/lot Buttons Pins Pinbacks,45mm Cartoon Metal BadgesHarry Potter Badges X 45pcs/lot Buttons Pins Pinbacks,45mm Cartoon Metal BadgesDc's Doom Patrol - Promotional Pin/button - 1987Star Wars Smugglers Bounty Cantina Band Member Exclusive PinLegion Of Collectors Batman V Superman Exclusive Superman PinMarvel Comics Shield Vs Hydra Buttons