More fun than getting dirty!
In the late 1950s, Colgate-Palmolive boosted sales of their bubble bath by putting it in containers shaped like the favorite cartoon characters of the day. These containers, marketed under the brand name Soaky, were aimed squarely at mothers and children and sold very well; moms liked them because they were a cheap toy that encouraged their kids to look forward to bath time, and kids liked them because they could play with their favorite characters. A number of different popular characters were released through the 1970s, including Casper, Mickey Mouse, Felix the Cat, Batman and Robin, Universal Monsters, Paul and Ringo from the Beatles, and this Superman version from 1965.
This Superman Soaky stands about 10″ tall, and is made of molded plastic with simple paint decoration. The body is the container and holds 11 ounces of bubble bath. The screw cap is under Superman’s head. These are tough to find without some kind of paint wear, but I really don’t mind that too much.
The back is molded with an unpainted cape, and has directions for use. Thank goodness, or else I would never have figured it out!
Superman was originally sold with a cardboard tray around his feet, as shown on this etsy page. Soaky packaging varied, however; this Batman and Robin Soaky set from Hake’s Americana was originally sold with a neck tag, and this Alvin from Alvin and the Chipmunks from Hake’s has both a neck tag AND a tray.
And here’s an original TV commercial for the Soaky Superman with his friend Tennessee Tuxedo. Don’t ask me why Soaky Kid is taking a bath out in the street.