Catalog No. 102
Original Issue Year/Manufacturer: 1973/Ceramarte (Brazil)
Original Issue Quantity/Price: 7,000/$15.95
TV Character: Yes
Ceramarte’s earliest version of Officer Sudds featured a relief star in circle helmet decoration, matching that seen on the Officer Sudds puppet in Utica Club TV commercials. Most are seen with just the star and surrounding circle painted gold, but variations have been seen with gold covering the complete area within the circle (see below, right). Production considerations soon led to flattening the relief so that the gold coloring could be applied with a transfer, rather than by hand-painting (see helmet comparison below, left — note also the difference in “skin” tone). It is unknown how many copies of Officer Sudds were made with the relief helmet decoration before the change was made, but given the numbers appearing for sale in the secondary marketplace, its was clearly a small percentage of Ceramarte’s total production of 7,000.
Copies of Officer Sudds with the relief helmet decoration have been seen with two different base marks. The earliest is 1¾" wide and configured somewhat differently from the later and smaller (1¼" wide) mark that that is also found on subsequent “flat star” versions. (See examples below.)
During the period in 1992 when “Special Edition” Fireman Fritz steins were being produced for a firefighter’s convention, the manufacturer (Gerz) mistakenly labeled 500 Officer Sudds steins with the “Special Edition” mark. This should not be confused with the original Officer Sudds produced by Ceramarte some years earlier.
Early Ceramarte: $60-$80