Injun-uity Cards

Nabisco TV finger puppet theater

In 1952, after publication of all four series of Injun-uity cards, Nabisco concluded its association with Straight Arrow with a special box for its Shredded Wheat that had an image of a TV screen on its back side. TV was at the time just beginning to make its entry into mainstream American life so this was a fashionable novelty, easily capturing the interest of youngsters whose families were new owners of such an apparatus or who had recently seen television sets at neighbors' homes. These special Nabisco TV set boxes contained a series of four cards that used finger puppets to bring Straight Arrow into the modern world of television. One card included in this box provided instructions as to how youngsters could convert the empty box into a TV-like puppet theater by cutting open the screen, opening the flaps on the bottom of the box and then taping the box so that it hung out over the edge of a table, leaving a gap to extend one's hands with the finger puppets upward from under the table into the TV set. This instruction card also included the text of two Shredded Wheat commercials. The instructions suggested that the commercials could be used to open and close any puppet-theater presentation. This special TV-receiver box also included a folded double-width card with finger puppets that could be used to represent the characters in Straight Arrow stories composed by the children. These double-width cards were printed in color on high-quality multiple-plied cardboard, folded in half, and had the figures outlined with perforations to make them easier to cut out. Compared with the single-color single-ply gray cardboard cards composing the four main Injun-uity "Books" this must have been a very expensive effort. This finger puppet card is shown here unfolded. This card has some of the characters and props printed upside down. If the computer's cursor is placed over the image, the picture is inverted to make these figures easier to examine. The third and fourth cards included in these special Shredded Wheat boxes were cards with scripts of "thrilling plays," making it possible to put on shows with all the basic components of a TV show - a TV screen, characters, advertisements and thrilling adventure scripts. The scripts, complete with the commercials from the instruction card, are included below in text format for easier reading.

Some of these images have been provided by Leslie Andrus, LCDR USN (Ret.) of San Diego, California.