Will You Be Mine, Valentine?

Click to enlargeValentine’s Day is almost here, and although Betty Boop was never intended to be connected with this day of romance, she has certainly found her way onto a variety of items.  Many don’t have the word “Valentine” on them, but because they have a pink or red heart, the assumption is they are for the occasion.

First are the greeting cards from the 1930s.   A 5-inch card, a blond Betty is sitting on a sofa with a sign that says “Waiting for your LOVE Valentine.”  When the feather on her hat is moved up, the sign now says “Don’t keep me Waiting for your LOVE Valentine.”  Betty is leaning her elbow on a heart-shaped box that says” So-Fa, So Good, BUT – ”.

There is also a 6-inch card, Again Betty has blond hair, wearing her short red dress with a heart on the skirt.  She is holding a heart in one hand, and a fold-out fan in the other.  “I’m Your Great Big Fan” is written on the fan, and appears when the fan is unfolded.

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1930s Valentine

Another card, Betty is dressed as a maid, a red heart on her pink knee-length dress.  She is carrying a tray with a teacup, and another teacup is falling to the floor.  The card states “Oh ‘Di Mi’…  I’ve been waiting a long time for something to happen… So you will notice me VALENTINE.  A cute dog is watching, although it is not Pudgy.

Not until 1984 is there another card, this one made to look like a movie poster. “Hearts Collide” movie poster ‘Valentine Emotion’ in both a 4×6-inch card and a large 10×15-inch greeting card from Paper Moon Graphics in San Francisco.  And still another card, this one from Pop-Shots, the 3-d card company, produced “Betty’s Valentine” (no date, 1980s).

And finally, Betty Boop Valentine Special, 1989.  Created for the U.K. market as a Valentine card in comic book format.  Heavy paper covers, front cover is die-cut with a heart cutout.  16 pages with a main story of Betty as a movie star, which also has Felix the Cat.  Centerfold of Betty in a champaign glass.  Back cover looks like an envelope and has Betty as queen (of England, presumably) on the postage stamp.  Marvel Comics, in association with REDAN Company, London.  To go along with this rarity, and even rarer  Magazine Advertisement for “The Betty Boop Valentine Card Comic.”

Cards were not the only merchandise produced.  A 1985 Vase from Vandor: two sizes, 6 and 8 inches tall, Betty is standing in her red evening gown, in front of a pink heart.  A rather unique item, a 1986 Liquid Motion Pen Betty is nude, hiding behind a heart, probably a Valentine special. Made by Eskesen in Denmark, under license from Betty’s Store, San Francisco, CA.  Also in 1985, a figural mirror made of mirrored Lucite, cut to shape.  “Valentine” Betty is in a pink gown, carrying a red heart. Made by Creative Accessories, Ltd.  In 1989, a ceramic mug by Vandor, Betty is sitting in a large, lace-trimmed heart.  Followed by a 1990 version where Betty is popping out of a heart-shaped box of chocolates.

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Valentine Heart Box

1993 saw a tee-shirt “Be My Valentine” by Tee Party, and then a rather unique, and unexpected Ralph Marlin necktie.  A purple tie, Betty in hearts in various poses along the length of the tie, complimented with XOXO pattern.  Printed in a rectangular box “Betty Boop Valentine”.  To go with the t-shirt and tie, a 1995 red watch has Betty holding a transparent heart and her body outline is visible through the heart.  Red leather strap with hearts cut out, this was distributed by Bright Ideas Unlimited, San Francisco.

To keep all these trinkets, a porcelain hinged Valentine Box from 1998.  Betty is sitting sideways on top of this heart-shaped ceramic box, leaning on one arm, the other arm across her chest.  Box is painted black with red hearts, made for Kurt S. Adler Inc.

To finish out the decade, a 1995 Promotional folder for Betty Boop – The Definitive Collection.  8½ x 11-inch full color glossy four page folder.  Outside cover has picture of Betty with “What could be better than a box of chocolates for your Valentine?”

Another promotional item, a 1999 Valentine Poster.  18 x 34-inch poster ad depicts Betty in pink dress and gloves sitting on a red “Be Mine” heart.  Poster says “When the Moment Truly Matters”; this is an ad poster for San Francisco Music Box Co., San Francisco, CA.

No matter whether it says “Valentine”, you can’t go wrong with Betty for Valentine’s Day!

Leonard Ellis
aka Boopman