Sugary Strategies And Delicious Devices

In Dairy, Dairy Products, Desserts, Fonterra, Frozen Foods, Ice Cream, Peter Pan ice cream, Tip-Top on September 5, 2011 at 10.46

I previously wrote about the Peter Pan brand initially here in April 2011 https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/04/11/neverbland/ and then here again https://longwhitekid.wordpress.com/2011/06/21/petering-out/ in June 2011.
Until now I have had little to work with, but today came some big breakthroughs on finding information – and it seems like the brand may have been around for quite a while before Tom and Hayden Denne became famous for their ice cream. Ah, the pitfalls of research. Time and again I’ve experienced that just one missing letter can make or break, when it comes to tracking down historical data. I guess it’s not my fault that I didn’t guess Haden actually had a Y in it since the information was passed from someone else who knew them both.

I’ll post some more soon when the dots are joined – but in the meantime , here is yet another poster I have recreated from the low res photos of the 1960s Peter Pan series that someone was auctioning off on Trademe a while back.
Peter Pan seemed to have cornered the market in kitschy novelty product in their day, and one gimmick was moulded candies ( “honey bunnies” and “dolly lollies”) impregnated inside the confection such as here with the Hello Dolly product.

A friend remembers having one of them as a child, recalling a blue-coloured iceblock or ice cream –  placing the time in the early to mid-1960s. In the case of this particular product and its accompanying promo material, it would have been produced to profiteer off the back of the movie starring Audrey Hepburn which was released in 1969.

More on the Peter Pan brand and my ongoing series of recreations later in the year.

  1. Hi there,

    I stumbled across your blog upon researching for my university project. I am a final year graphic design student at Auckland University of Technology and for my end of year project, I am required to research into a topic of graphic design. I have chosen to look into the ephemera of logo designs in New Zealand and I am currently documenting how the designs have changed over time. I noticed that you have some old packaging of the Tip Top logo and various others such as Wattie’s and Weetbix. I also saw you have reproduced some of the old packaging labels to a better quality.

    I was wondering if I could get permission to use your images in a book I am in the process of making. I am happy to reference your name/blog as part of my project. Furthermore, I wanted to let you know that this assignment is non-profitable, and will be used for research purposes only.

    Let me know. It would be great to be able to have some of the images you have as they are so hard to source! I look forward to hearing your reply!

    Kind regards

  2. Hi Quan-Lin,
    I can’t stop you from using them since the intellectual property belongs to other parties. In many instances the brands are still very much alive, ie in the case of Wattie’s they are obviously still a strong brand today and may not care about old designs very much – but it is still owned by them ultimately. True, many of these items would be lost forever if I didn’t put hours of work into researching and recreating them, but I am really just the “catalyst” at the end of the day. A credit for anything you use would be lovely, though. I don’t mind some promotion for the blog! Let me know if you have any questions I can help you with. Also: You may want to get hold of “Well Made New Zealand: A Century of Trademarks” by Richard Wolfe. It is a good guide to a lot of obscure trademarks although it is a bit primitive since it was published in the mid 1980s. You can often find it on Trademe for under thirty dollars or perhaps on Abe Books. http://tinyurl.com/3dhxcu8

    • Hello!

      Thank you for your prompt reply. You’ve done an amazing job recreating those labels and it would be so great to be able to use them. Not only am I cataloguing the changes throughout time, I am also questioning the idea of why NZ design is not as well documented as it should be. I’ve gotten various books out on famous brands in NZ and funnily enough, they talk a lot about the history behind the brand, but not so much about the designer who has helped to create it. Thank you for that book reference, I will definitely check it out!

      I will be sure to mention your blog in my research 😀 will email you again if I have any questions to ask! Thank you longwhitekid!!


  3. “I am also questioning the idea of why NZ design is not as well documented as it should be. It’s something I have pondered”.
    Likewise, I just don’t know the answer to that one.
    If you compare it to other things people keep records of…a letter from a lover that only lasted a few months. Family members they’ve never even met. But when it comes to a food people eat every day, or a product they use every day – sometimes for most of their life – they never keep a record of it or commemorate it in any way – when it plays such a huge role in their daily life and routine. It’s something people do, as opposed to something about where they have come from or where they are going. Perhaps the over-familiar develops little sentimental value. Like most things humans do, it makes little sense objectively. Generally the best source of design archives of the everyday that I have seen are created, ironically, by children who made scrap books – tearing off labels and cutting pieces out of boxes.
    As for the commercial artists I do wonder about their story. I suppose the most famous one from the advertising world and the creative force between more than one iconic brand of the past is of course Dick Frizzell. Generally the artist does not matter and stays forever in the background but I am sure that they had more input than we know. Although Frizzell had more of a creative role, Joseph Bruno Moran was a commercial artist who actually did the “real” work and the Alexander Turnbull Library pictorial collection has a good collection of his most beautiful work, much of it for the N.Z. Fruitgrowers’ Federation. I don’t know anything else about his background so he may be an interesting case study.
    There are a handful of serious design collectors of this kind of stuff in NZ but generally they tend not to share their booty, because they don’t want to, or don’t have the means to. It’s pretty typical trait of collectors to keep a close guard of their treasures. To me they are are things to be shared for everyone’s enjoyment (especially as often the designs actually “belong” to another party). I am not trying to create the “best” resource here , but definitely an alternative resource that fills in some of the glaring gaps in documentation of NZ product design.

  4. I agree with what you’ve said! I’ve taken the time to interview some designers who have been involved with brand developments and they’ve all given me a similar answer! The very nature of graphic design is commercial based and NZ is also a small country so there is not ‘a lot’ in a sense, to document. It’s interesting to note how designers seem to be in the ‘background’ of everything as opposed to artists who are in the forefront of their working process.

    Thank you so much for your input in all of this! Will I be able to use our conversation as content for my book? I would love to include your opinion on NZ design 🙂 I’ve also popped down to the public library to get out that book. It looks great! I had a quick flick through before and saw they included the earliest version of the 4 Square logo which I have chosen to use for my project. Would you happen to have collected any of this in the past?

    You have given me hope for my project. It is great to see someone who is also looking into the ephemera of NZ design! 😀

  5. Sure you can use the conversation. Any other questions just ask and I will do my best to give you an answer. My Four Square collection is pretty sketchy actually. I haven’t done much work on it. It’s just a bunch of bad photos of things that have been sold on Trademe and Ebay etc. If you get hold of Richard Wolfe’s “New Zealand, New Zealand: In Praise Of Kiwiana” I believe that has the very first colour logo in it. there’s one going cheap on Trademe right now: http://www.trademe.co.nz/Books/Nonfiction/New-Zealand/auction-404661482.htm

  6. Hi,
    I stumbled onto your blog while searching for info on a frozen confectionary I used to get as a kid in Christchurch in the 70s/80s. It appears to be a copycat of a Peter Pan Treasure Tip. It was a pale, slightly milky yellow, and instead of a jelly baby, it had a lolly like a wine gum at the tip. It was the same basic shape as the ‘Lolly Dolly’ shown in your blog. It wasn’t widely available and the wrapper it came in was unsealed at the bottom (which makes me wonder if it was a local product.)
    I think it was called a Treasure Island. The ‘Treasure’ part I’m certain of, the ‘Island’, not quite so! The wrapper was quite plain; much plainer than the Treasure Tip one you’ve shown.
    Do you know anything about this product? Perhaps it was a local version, made after Peter Pan stopped making it? Or maybe someone obtained the licence and kept making a type of Treasure Tip for another decade or so?
    Any ideas?

    • Hi there, Thanks for reading.
      I honestly can’t say for sure so I will not be much help unless you remember something more. I haven’t heard of anyone else doing what Peter Pan did. Peter Pan were releasing a new novelty or variation on a product about every six weeks during that period. They were at their peak and had distribution all over the place by that time, and definitely had dealings in the South as their fish and frozen veges suppliers were there so it was kind of a reciprocal to ship goods back to various distribution depots on the return trip. Was it possibly Coker & Mills (they had something called a Polly-Lolly which was probably a rip-off of Peter Pan’s Jolli-Lolli)? I am trying to think of ice cream companies that were in the Christchurch area. They were fairly territorial in what they considered their area. By then Tip-Top had complete country-wide distribution. There was Apex and Perfection in Christchurch. Royal, Snowdrop, Newjoy, Crystal and Supreme in the Dunedin-ish area. There were probably many more as I am aware of about 200 or more brands in New Zealand from the 1900s onwards. Could be any of them!

      • Thanks for your reply. No, it was definitely a ‘Treasure something’. Oh well, guess I’ll just have to keep wondering. Pity how the choice actually seems to get smaller over the years. There was a far bigger range in the 80s than now!

  7. I just guessed on the very obscure Coker & Mills (I don’t even know why my mind went to that as I am not that familiar with them, having only ever seen one or two items of ephemera) before I actually found they had ripped off Peter Pan’s Jolli-Lolli in the late 1960s-early 1970s. They were based in Blenheim. I’m placing my bets it was them. That said, in regards to my previous comment listing off the local possibilities – there really weren’t a great deal to choose from by the period you are talking about – if Tip-Top hadn’t already wound them down then they were in the process of it. Most were gone by the mid-late 1970s.

  8. Quan-Lin you promised to send me a copy of what you did for your presentation, that used any interview and pictures from me. You never did! I was looking forward to seeing what you had done… disappointing.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: