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Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Robertsons Gollys

Does anyone remember collecting these golly labels? I remember collecting them in the 1960's/1970's for a brooch or pottery figure of a golly.
The first brooch to be produced was a Golly golfer in 1928 soon after a brooch based collector series appeared and by the early 1930's the Golly  brooch was in little fruit designs. The designs that followed were cricketers & footballers i remember sending for a lollypop lady brooch i'm sure i still have it in a drawer somewhere.

"In 1939 the scheme was discontinued as the metal was needed for the war effort, but by 1946 the Golly was back again. The Golly pendant with chain was introduced by popular demand in 1956. In the 1970s, the design of all Gollies changed from the old Golly with "pop eyes" to the present day Golly with eyes looking to the left. The words "Golden Shred" were removed from his waistcoat, his legs straightened and smile broadened. At about the same time a range of 11 Footballer and 12 Musician Golly figures were produced in pottery, standing about 2.5" high. These were eventually discontinued however."
I also remember sending for the set of 12 musicians which i  eventually sold several years ago.

The Robertson Golly was not only limited to badges. There were Robertson Golly dolls, china, Golly games for children, even Golly clothing.

 At the start of the 1980s the hard enamelled badges were replaced with cheaper to produce acrylic badges, but this did not affect their popularity.

"Robertson's officially 'retired' Golly in 2002. The company had found that Golly was, on the whole, no longer popular with the children of families, although the scheme was still successful with adult collectors.
Robertson's always insisted that they did not retire the Golly because of the pressure of "political correctness" in the 1990s (the caricature is now generally considered to be racist), but simply for commercial reasons. Virginia C "Ginny" Knox, then brand director at Robertson's commented:
We are retiring Golly because we found families with kids no longer necessarily knew about him. We are not bowing to political correctness, but like with any great brand we have to move with the times"

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