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    

1936 Buck Rogers Solar Scouts Spaceship Commander Whistle Badge PinbackLot 18 Wwii Kellogg’s Cereal Military Usaaf Bomb Squadron Pep 4 Pin Button Vtg1930's Comic & Advertising Pinbacks Orphan Annie Signed Dick Tracy Buster BrownStitch Dab Dabbing Pin 710 420 Honey Oil Grateful Dead Extract Limited 1/751942 Walt Disneys Dumbo D-x Club Kay Kamen Ltd Pinback 1935 Buck Rogers In The 25th Century Pinback Whitehead & HoagLone Ranger Safety Club, Yellow, Celluloid Pinback, Premium, 1930's, 1.5 InchLot Of (25) Green Goblin Pins Pin-backs ~ Spider-man Marvel Comics ~1970's1960's- 90's Lot Of 20 Miscellaneous, Cartoon, Junk Pin Badge Pinback Button Young Allies Bucky & Toro #10 1943 Timely Golden Age Schomburg Bondage Art Judy Garland, Mickey Rooney, 1.25 Inch Celluloid Pinback, 'babes In Arms' Movie1928 ? Little Orphan Annie Sweater Comic Strip Celluloid Pinback Button Pin BackVintage Ibew Local #3 Safety Observer Button1989 Mirage Offical Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Turtle Force Member Button Pin1932 Celluloid Pin Back Button Skippy Comic Strip By P.l. Crosby Vg+Lot Of 3 D.c. War Comics Our Army At War 134, 140 Star Spangled War 111 Silver!Vintage 1940's Kellogg's Pep Cereal Premium Shadow In Very Good ConditionVintage 1940's Kellogg's Pep Cereal Premium Tiny Tim Very Good ConditionVintage 1940's Kellogg's Pep Cereal Premium Nina In Very Good ConditionNew Anime Haikyuu Karasuno High School Volleyball Members Badge Pinbacks Set Krazy Kat, 1.25 Inch Celluloid Pinback, Contest Button, Original BackpaperCharlie Mccarthy Figural Head Pin, Radio Premium, Moving Mouth, 1930's, ScarceC1946 - 3 Pinback Lot Orphan Annie, Sandy Kellogg's Pep Cereal Pin Badge ComicBatman & Robin Society Charter Member Pinback Button Mario Mushroom - Grateful Dead - Nintendo - Glow Pin - Hat Pin - WhiteBetty Boop In Paris 3d Dog Universal Studios Lapel Pin NewWaldo Finds Himself Hat / Lapel Pin - Shakedown, Zen, Sts9, Eoto, Phish Pin Pinback Button! Vintage! Playboy Pmoc 1 1/2"Campaign Pin Pinback Button Political Badge Election Popeye Advertising 1-1/4Batman Dc Comics Comic Book Silver Lot 5 Gift Super HeroI Am Groot 1" Button Pin Badge Pinback Guardians Of The Galaxy Comic Marvel FilmKellogg’s Cereal Premium Jet Airplane Toy Prize Pin B57 Night Intruder PinbackMighty Mouse Terrytoons Vintage 90's Pin BadgePrincess Bubblegum With Candycorn - Halloween Trick Or Treat - Hat PinVintage 1979 2 1/4" Wimpy Hamburger Cartoon Pinback Pin Button Very Nice PopeyeVintage Pep Superman Pin From The 1940sOld Vintage Dick Tracy Club Secret Service Patrol PinbackVintage 70's Garfield Party Loud Party Long Pinback Pin Back Button 1978 Small Junk Drawer Lot Advertising Tokens Costume Jewelry Comic Pinback WatchesHawkman Dc Comics Lot Of Two Promotional Promo Pins Buttons