While researching Rotex label makers for the previous post, it was inevitable that I would learn about these odd, anthropomorphic versions of the product: Avery’s “Fun & Fancy” Rotex label makers.
Marketed more as a toy, than as a labeling tool, the labeling tape emerges tongue-like from the mouths of a variety of characters.
I despaired at ever being able to figure out how many varieties of figural “label maker” Avery might have made, but then I found this Prince Spaghetti Sauce promotional ad below (in a 1975 issue of the New Hampshire newspaper, The Telegraph) which suggested that maybe the number was only three. (See also: General Mills and the Snack Product Trio)
A catalog photo from JasonLiebigStuff’s Flickr Photostream seemed to confirm this…
What sort of packaging was designed to market these hybrid office-supply/toys?
(The packaging, after the fold…)
As collectables, these are worth more when they are in their original packaging and (happily) there are some examples to be found…
Dallas Poague has managed to collect all three label makers (Easy Writer, Hound Dog & Book Worm) in their original die cut, windowed cartons. (Note the multicolor typography of the “Fun & Fancy” trademark.)
Jason Liebig is another collector of these 70s artifacts. Below are his photos of the “Easy Writer” box top and the inner tray with die cut.
Haven’t been able to figure out who designed these boxes or did the illustrations. (Please chime in here if you know the answer!)
The “Easy Writer” character, in particular, seems to owe a debt to Ed “Big Daddy” Roth. (See also: Rat Fink Packaging)
One troubling thing that I did learn is that these are not necessarily all of the figural “Fun & Fancy” label makers that were ever made…
I do like that the die cut boy above is wearing a “Rotex” T-shirt. (All the kids wore them back in the 70s.)