The Royal County Arbiter

21 June 2005

More Foreign Packaging

This is something that we at the Royal County Arbiter can't get enough of. It's not that British packaging isn't great - we've got Goblin Meat Pudding, after all - but nothing speaks of The Other like the mysterious ways in which different cultures work their marketing magic.

With that in mind, what is this vintage piece of box art selling?

The parade of gossiping monkeys. The smug, squinting elephant. The fact that the monkeys are pulling him on a little wheeled box. It's obvious, isn't it?

The above image comes from a postcard reproduction, bought in Japan. Unfortunately, the company who produced the original item (and the visionary who designed it) are unknown. Happily, there are many more where this came from:

A collection of Rare and Old Matchbox Labels to be sold at Auction. There are several countries featured on this site, but Japan's efforts are the best.
Related entry: Oranges are not the only etc.


Anonymous Anonymous:

Dear God, that elephant is devouring the last monkey!
I suspect an elephant-hauling monkey from the orient asks for no sympathy, and we give him none. He's happy to be off that damn line.

Perhaps that's how the elephant keeps the chattering menace in check, eat a few of them now and then and strike fear into their little hearts. Clearly they could all simply run away, but like the abused wife of the alcoholic sadist, they almost need the elephant and don't have the courage to flee.

6:18 pm  
Blogger michael:

I love this and the link to the matchbox labels. We have a great matchbox collectors fair and swap meet in Northwich every year with all the collectors from the North west showing their collections and related stuff like lighters, ashtrays and the like. Some beautiful colourful indian labels can be bought for as little as 2p each! I always come away with a big bag of them every year. Some diplayed at my Flickr photo stream.

7:20 am  

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