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Speedy Alka-Seltzer - The squeaky-voiced puppet mascot (voiced by Dick Beals) for Miles Laboratories commercials in the 1950s & 1960s.

Speedy Alka-Seltzer

Created by Robert Watkins in 1952 for a magazine ad, Speedy had red hair, blue eyes, a bottle cap for a hat and a midsection shaped like an Alka-Seltzer tablet. Speedy was an instant success with the upset stomach crowd. His popular jingle of "Plop, plop, Fizz, Fizz Oh, what a relief it is!" sold millions of tablets.

The cute little character first debuted on television in 1953 in a B/W stop-action/live-action 60-second commercial created by the Wade Advertising, Inc. of Chicago.

The commercial begins with "All over America...for fast relief, it's Speedy Alka-Seltzer!" The ad ended with "Get Speedy Alka-Seltzer, for fast re-lief, you bet!"

The Speedy-Alka Seltzer character was a doll with movable joints and animated by a stop-action film technique called "Pixilation." Speedy's successful run as trademark for Miles Laboratories ended in 1964 when the company decided to retire the character.

The 1976 Bicentennial revived the Speedy character; and in the 1980s Speedy was seen in a Winter Olympics commercial and in 1985 lobbying in a "Save Big Boy Campaign" when Bob's Big Boy restaurants were considering dumping their chubby faced Big Boy trademark.

In the late 1980s, both H&R Block, the nation's No. 1 tax preparation company teamed with Alka-Seltzer products and Speedy Alka-Seltzer to hawk the slogan "Alka-Seltzer to the rescue for tax-time upsets."

Advertising artifacts of Speedy can be found warehoused in San Francisco at The Museum of Modern Mythology. The voice of Speedy was performed by Richard Beales. In South America, Speedy was known as "Prontito."

Speedy Alka-SeltzerSpeedy Alka-SeltzerSpeedy Alka-Seltzer

TRIVIA NOTE: In 1971, the original puppet used in the commercials was shipped to the Philippines and lost in transit. However, it was rediscovered in an Australian warehouse in 1976 and placed within a glass case at Miles Laboratories located in Elkhart, Indiana, that is, until Bayer Corporation purchased Miles Laboratories in 1979 and has since slowly closed their USA Alka-Seltzer production facility and moved their production to Mexico and Germany. The Speedy puppet is rumored to in their Pittsburgh headquarters.

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