Hopalong Cassidy Collectables

Hopalong Cassidy is King of Cowboy Memorabilia. If you were a cowpoke of the 1950's, you may still have some valuable Hoppy items from your childhood.

We do not see the cowboy heroes on the silverscreen and television like we did in the 1950's. The days of double features at the local theatre on Saturday afternoons are over. Roy Rogers, Gene Autry, The Lone Ranger and Hopalong Cassidy have long vanished but you can rest assured that they live on in both the memories and collections of Baby Boomers.

A collector friend of mine has a vast collection of Hopalong Cassidy memorabilia. Some of the items have been purchased but the majority are from his childhood.

While Roy Rogers was definitely the "King of the Cowboys," my friend has informed me that Hopalong Cassidy is the "King of Cowboy Memorabilia." He also told me that "Hoppy," who was played by William Boyd drew more people to the theatre than Donald Duck or Mickey Mouse.

One of the most delightful items in my friend's collection is a "Hoppy" stainless steel chow set in the original box. It is in mint condition and is valued at approximately $350. Because of the sentimental value of the set, my friend would never consider selling it at any price.

Another item that is spectacular is a blue lunch box depicting the "Hoppy" character. It is accompanied by a matching vacuum bottle. To top it off, the warranty and instructions are intact. I am always amazed when I see it. My friend insists he carried it to school each day. I often wonder how he kept it in such good condition. Young boys are not known for having lunch boxes that are in mint condition. When I asked my friend about it, he told me that he babied that lunch box. Each day when he came home from school, he cleaned it until it sparkled. The set is valued at about $700.

"Hoppy" cups that once held Big Top peanut butter stand on a shelf in the "collection room." They are white and depict a photo of the smiling "Hoppy" on the side. His signature loops between the pictures on the sides of the cups. Though these items were purchased after he was grown, my friend would never part with them. They are valued at $60 each, yet when he was offered $80, he refused to sell.

My overgrown cowpoke friend has "Hoppy" soap, still in the original wrapper and a "Hoppy" toothbrush. A few months ago, he purchased a "Hoppy" puppet from a collector in the US for $900. He took it to a professional and had it appraised. The final figure - $1500.

Included in the collection are hundreds of "Hoppy" collector's cards. These came in cereal boxes and my friend told me that as a child, his excitement overwhelmed him each time his mother opened a new box of cereal. He could barely contain himself as he slipped his hand into the cereal and pulled out his newest "Hoppy" card. Even today, his eyes dance with excitement when he is telling this tale.

The other thing that always catches my eye when I visit the "collection room" is a "Hoppy" raincoat and matching "Hoppy" boots. These were obtained by trade. My friend told me that he didn't realize they existed until a fellow "Hoppy" collector offered to trade them for a "Hoppy" cookie jar. My friend gladly agreed. He considers the raincoat and boots rare items. At the time, he owned two of the cookie jars, which are valued at $700.

There are numerous "Hoppy" items my friend doesn't have. At the moment, he is searching for a set of "Hoppy" pistols complete with holsters, "Hoppy"suspenders and belt and a "Hoppy" maple bed. I have no doubt that these items will eventually appear in the "collection room."

Many collectors are looking for "Hoppy" merchandise. These items have, thus far, been collected for nostalgic reasons but recently collectors are snapping up "Hoppy" memorabilia for investment purposes. It is astounding when you realize that a "Hoppy" laundry bag that sold for 49 cents is now worth as much as $1200. A "Hoppy" alarm clock that sold for $2.49 now brings $1400. A "Hoppy" bicycle, complete with toy guns and holsters was recently sold at auction for $8,060. "Hoppy merchandise is hot and will continue to appreciate in the coming years.

Even though the cowboys of the silverscreen rode off into the sunset years ago, collecting memorabilia related to them is fun, exciting and profitable. If you were a young cowpoke during the 1950's, take a look in your attic, or better yet, your mother's attic. Maybe you will run across some "Hoppy" items from your childhood. If so, you could earn a few extra dollars by selling them to a collector. But beware - once you see these items, you may take a stroll down memory lane and become a "Hoppy" collector yourself.

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