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Published October 17, 2020 Updated August 03, 2022

Gibbs Happy Families

Gibbs Happy Families card game promotion, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946.

1946 United Kingdom Advertising Health Medical & Pharmaceutical Miniature Happy Families Add to Collection

Gibbs Happy Families (D & W Gibbs Toothpaste) promotional card game, both full sized and miniature versions, c.1946. Following the war the economy was in poor shape and luxuries were few, so the company began an advertising campaign which identified dentrifice as a family product with particular appeal to children. The miniature cards were given with a purchase of the toothpaste and the full sized pack could be bought if required. See the Rules

Gibbs Happy Families, c.1946 Gibbs Happy Families, c.1946 Gibbs Happy Families, c.1946 Gibbs Happy Families, c.1946 Gibbs Happy Families, c.1946
Gibbs Happy Families, c.1946

Above: Gibbs Happy Families full size promotional playing cards, c.1946. 36 cards in box.


Gibbs miniature Happy Families, c.1946

Miniature Version

The miniature cards were given with a purchase of the toothpaste.

Gibbs miniature Happy Families, c.1946

Above: Gibbs miniature Happy Families, c.1946.


Additional promotional materials

Gibbs Happy Families cartoon, 1948

Above: Gibbs dentrifice Happy Families promotion, 1948.

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By Rex Pitts (1940-2021)

Member since January 30, 2009

Rex's main interest was in card games, because, he said, they were cheap and easy to get hold of in his early days of collecting. He is well known for his extensive knowledge of Pepys games and his book is on the bookshelves of many.

His other interest was non-standard playing cards. He also had collections of sheet music, music CDs, models of London buses, London Transport timetables and maps and other objects that intrigued him.

Rex had a chequered career at school. He was expelled twice, on one occasion for smoking! Despite this he trained as a radio engineer and worked for the BBC in the World Service.

Later he moved into sales and worked for a firm that made all kinds of packaging, a job he enjoyed until his retirement. He became an expert on boxes and would always investigate those that held his cards. He could always recognize a box made for Pepys, which were the same as those of Alf Cooke’s Universal Playing Card Company, who printed the card games. This interest changed into an ability to make and mend boxes, which he did with great dexterity. He loved this kind of handicraft work.

His dexterity of hand and eye soon led to his making card games of his own design. He spent hours and hours carefully cutting them out and colouring them by hand.


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