Ad icons march to museum

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[KANSAS CITY, MO. ] - Work has begun on a Kansas City development that will include a museum devoted to giving Tony the Tiger, Mr. Peanut and the California Raisins their proper places in history.

The Advertising Icon Museum, to open in the fall of 2007, will feature hundreds of toys, dolls, display figurines, cereal bowls, coffee mugs and ashtrays depicting almost a century's worth of fictional characters hawking everything from food and beer to household appliances and financial services.

Electronic and printed displays will walk visitors through the evolution of commercial advertising in the United States and the importance icons have had in reaching customers. ...

"We want to make it a real educational process for people of all ages and how the icons ... represent the social and cultural mores of the time," said Howard Boasberg, the museum's executive director. ...

Characters included in the collection range from recognizable-several stuffed versions of Ronald McDonald, Charlie the Tuna and the Keebler Elf-to the obscure, such as "Your Warm Friend," a 1920s metal mascot for Thatcher Furnace Co. Some are downright weird, such as Ritalin Man, a grinning Mr. Potato Head-like character promoting the anti-hyperactivity medication.

-"Construction begins on museum spotlighting advertising icons" by David Twiddy, Associated Press, Jan. 3

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