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    

Tarzan Radio Club And Buck Rogers Pinback Buttons 1937 DecoderTwo Great Antique Walt Disney Mickey Mouse Bread Ad Pin Back Buttons37 1940's Kellogg's Pep Pins1945/47 Vintage Kellogg's Cereal Pep Pins 21 Different Pin ButtonsJessica Rabbit Adult Fantasy Pin 6 Pins Coca Cola Puzzle Set Mcdonalds 6 Inch3 Great Antique Advertising Pin Back Buttons, Lone Ranger & Roy Rogers20 Vintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Buttons Hassan Cigarette Hal Hoffman TadOriginal 1932 Signal Tarzan Club Pinback Button Radio Show Premium Signal Oil3 Vintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Buttons Kelloggs Pep Superman Katzen MamaVintage Snoopy Red Baron Peanuts Dog Cartoon Small Pin United Features Vintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Button I'll Try Anything Once Moon Or BustVintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Button Baseball Lets See What You've Got Fisher Taz/ Porky Pig Looney Tunes Pinbacks On Cards 11 DifferentVintage Comic Pinback Button Gotta Quit Kickin My Dawg Aroun Western FinancierSet Of 16 1950s Novelty Cartoon Gum Ball Comic Pin Pinback Lot Button Retro LotsVintage 1962 Space Angel PinbackVintage 1976 Seattle Supersonics Button "the Sonics Are Coming"Lot Of 2 Star Spangled War Stories #33 & 76 D.c. Comics Readers!!2 Vintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Buttons New York Evening Journal Popeye DoraLot Of 2 Blackhawk Comics Qualtity 60 & 71 Silver Age Low Grade!!Lot Of 2 Blackhawk Comics 75 & 81 Quality Silver Age Low Grade!!6 Vintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Buttons Tokio Cigarette Fisher Hal Hoffman TadOur Army At War #152 D.c. Comics 1965 Sgt. Rock Easy Co.!!!10 Superman 1" Pinback Buttons Dc Comics Superman Logo Badges Vintage Humourous Comic Risque Adult Pinback Button1960's Vintage Popeye PinGravity Falls 1inch Buttons/pins Nr Amazing Designs Plz Look2 Vintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Buttons Herald & Examiner 30 ComicsDc Superhero Pins Batman Spiderman Superman Vintage Kelloggs Pep Wimpy Popeye Cartoon Character Pinback Blazing West #15 Acg Comics 1951 Lower Grade!!!Vintage Comic Celluloid Pinback Button Don't Swear It Sounds Like H Little Devil