Collecting Hopalong Cassidy collectibles is serious business these days. It’s incredible to think that a Hoppy lunchbox that would have sold for a couple dollars in the ‘50s can now go for hundreds – but that’s exactly the kind of price the collectibles fetch these days. A lot of the demand for these old toys and trinkets comes from the nostalgia that surrounds Hopalong Cassidy. The franchise was extremely popular with little children who grew up idolizing this Western hero.
The Hopalong Cassidy craze really began in 1904 when the cowboy-hero, created by Clarence Mulford, started popping up in popular stories and novels. The hero was originally a rude, whisky-guzzling wrangler, but this all changed in 1935 when William Boyd played the role of Hoppy in a movie. Boyd transformed Hoppy into a clean-cut, polite cowboy that children could look up to and idolize. So popular was this character that Boyd went on to star in over sixty films and an immensely popular TV show. The popularity of this cowboy sparked the creation of spin-offs, comic books and Hoppy merchandise that can still be found today.
The good news for people who are interested in Hopalong Cassidy collectibles is that there was a lot produced over the years, with an estimated 2,500 Hoppy-endorsed items manufactured and marketed. The items produced range from children’s dinnerware to fishing rods, soap to wristwatches and pillows and everything inbetween. In 1950 there were over 100 companies producing about $70 million worth of Hoppy merchandise. What’s incredible is that although there was a huge number of related merchandise, the prices for these items have been consistently on the rise. Some of the rarer items go for huge sums at auctions and fairs. For example, you might not expect plastic laundry bags to fetch a large number, but because they are part of the “lost” Hoppy memorabilia they go for hundreds of dollars each.
A downside to the Hoppy obsession is that there tends to be some counterfeit items on the market, so it’s important to look for authenticity when starting your collection. You might even want to pick up a book that lists all the collectibles that outline what to look for. The good news though is that there are still plenty deals to be had. A lot of adults today will find old merchandise stashed away in an attic or old bedroom… you should have a look, you might find something valuable!