TV Show Promotional Items


The TV show Sea Hunt was the most popular of its day and one of the most popular such shows ever produced. One reason for its popularity was the almost constant promotion of the show by ZIV Productions, the producer.
Not only did Lloyd Bridges meet with fans in local malls and sports shops, but a lot of promotional items were produced and distributed to potential Sea Hunt fans.

Of course, everything related to Sea Hunt helped increase its visibility, comics, games, books, etc., but some items fall into none of those categories and were made for the sole purpose of promoting the show.

 
Watch the very first edition of the 3 year series that debuted January 1958.

60 FEET BELOW

 

 

  • TV
    Guides
  • Medallion, Key Chain
    and Badges
  • SNAP ATV
    Cigarette Card

TV Guides 

This is an odd section in my collection. Some Sea Hunt collectors ignore it and may even say that TV Guides and related materials are not really Sea Hunt memorabilia.

I obviously disagree and feel that since the material refers directly and solely to the TV show and, it was all authorized by ZIV TV Productions, it qualifies in a couple of ways as Sea Hunt collectible.

I have TV Guides from around the world – lots from the USA, but from Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the UK and even some South American countries like Chile and Argentina. If nothing else, these show the universal, world-wide appeal of the Sea Hunt.

Of course, the guides I most enjoy are those with a picture of Mike Nelson on the front but many have interesting Sea Hunt articles inside. I have learned a lot of not-too-well-known information from these articles as they were written at the time the show was running.  Some of the guides are collected only because they have great Sea Hunt advertisements too.

Note as well that ‘TV Guide’ is the name of a specific publication and the one that endured for many, many years. Many TV guides had different titles as other publishers tried to capture part of the TV guide market.

So here’s a collection of TV Guides and other TV Show Promotional materials, a part of my collection that continues to grow.

I have listed the TV Guides alphabetically based on their country of origin, although I have put the USA and Canadian guides first. The USA guides are listed in 2 parts – East Coast and West Coast and then alphabetically by city.

 

  • USA TV Guides
    East Coast
  • USA TV Guides
    West Coast
  • Canadian
    TV Guides
  • International
    TV Guides

1.  Atlanta, Georgia 1958, TV Guide

There is no reference to Sea Hunt on the cover of this guide and not even an article about what was becoming the most watched TV show in TV history to that point but, on pages A-6 and A-7 appear two different ads for the show. Both ads are interesting and feature great pictures of Mike Nelson.

2. Boston, Massachusetts 1961, Television Week (cover photo)

This little TV Guide (only 16 pages including the covers) is actually called Television Week. It has a good B&W picture of Mike Nelson on the front cover and also a full page article about Sea Hunt and Lloyd Bridges’ career on the back cover.

3. Boston, Massachusetts 1962, TVue  (cover photo)

While technically at the end of Sea Hunt, the show was still being shown by hundreds of TV studios and this guide, Called ‘TVue’, published by The Boston Sunday Advertiser, has a cute colored caricature of Lloyd Bridges on the large front cover. It depicts him getting out of the water and out of his skin diving gear (as in leaving Sea Hunt) and changing into a suit and tie (as for his new show). There is also a good, long article (pages 12 & 23) about Lloyd and his career and the success he had on Sea Hunt.

4. Buffalo, New York  1965, TV Tab  (cover photo)

This guide, called TV Tab and published by the Sunday Democrat & Chronicle, came out long after Sea Hunt filming had stopped but, Sea Hunt was still showing as illustrated by the listings in this guide and, the article about Lloyd Bridges new show, The Loner, refers to his long and successful career as the frogman hero, Mike Nelson.
     The cover is a color caricature of Lloyd in his new role, sidearm and all. The full page article on page 24 has a nice picture too. It’s definitely Mike Nelson regardless of what he’s called.

5. Chicago, Illinois  1958, TV Week

TV Week, published by the Chicago Daily Tribune has a colorful picture of Mike Nelson with Zale Parry, his pretty co-star in the article on page 4. It also talks about another famous contributor to the show as a Technical Advisor – Jon Lindberg (jr).

6. Chicago, Illinois  1989, TV Week  (cover photo)

Why do I have a TV guide from 1989? Simple – it has picture of Lloyd Bridges on the front cover (although in a suit & tie AND wearing a fedora) but also a nice, long article (1 ½ pages) with several great color pictures including one of Mike Nelson standing with Zale Parry.
     Sorry, if you don’t think this is legitimate Sea Hunt memorabilia, subtract 1 from my total.
     This guide is called TV Week and published by the prestigious Chicago Tribune.

7. Cleveland, Ohio  1962, TV Week  (cover photo)

This guide was published at the end of 1962 and Lloyd Bridges had just wrapped up Sea Hunt and was starting his new show, The Lloyd Bridges show. The front cover shows a very conservative picture of Lloyd (no sharks, no spearguns) and there is a short introduction to his new show inside. It does mention his success on Sea Hunt.

8. Cleveland, Ohio  1965, TV Showtime  (cover photo)

This guide, called TV Showtime and published by The Cleveland Press, has a great picture of Lloyd Bridges on the front cover – but he’s not Mike Nelson! He is dressed as a cowboy, complete with rifle. The story is supposed to be about his new show “The Loner”, but they can’t resist talking about Sea Hunt, how big it was and how it is still popular in re-runs.

9. Duluth, Minnesota  1958, Tele-Vue  (cover photo)

There’s a great picture of Mike Nelson, speargun and all, on the cover page of this guide, called TELE-VUE.  The story on page 4 raves about his new show, Sea Hunt and also gives a short history of the star actor, Lloyd Bridges.

10. Indianapolis, Indiana  1958, TV News

TV NEWS is the title and it features a ½ page story about Lloyd Bridges and his exciting new TV show called Sea Hunt.

11. Indianapolis, Indiana  1962, TV News

Again, being the end of 1962, Lloyd Bridges is starting his new show, The Lloyd Bridges Show. However, the guide can’t help but talk about his long and successful show Sea Hunt.
       It also mentions that Sea Hunt is still being shown.

12. Kansas City, Missouri 1958, TV Guide

TV GUIDE, the most enduring of these early TV program publications, has a great advertisement for the exciting new TV show (Sea Hunt) on page A-4. It has familiar picture of Mike Nelson in full gear with speargun but also 2 other actual shots from the first episode showing Mike doing his thing as he rescues a downed jet fighter.

13. Lancaster, Pennsylvania  1959, TV Week   (cover photo) This guide, the Sunday News TV Week, has a full-sized picture of Mike Nelson on the front cover and a long story about his career and new show Sea Hunt on page 2. The front cover picture was taken in front of the stage and pool at Marineland of the Pacific, a favorite spot for Sea Hunt episodes.

14. Lincoln, Nebraska  1959, TV Guide   (cover photo)

This genuine TV Guide is probably the most recognized. The front cover picture of Mike Nelson, in full color and in the water, has been reproduced many times. Mike is wearing his trademark VOIT B4 mask and the famous VOIT green-label regulator – a great shot. Inside there is a wonderful, 3 page story with pictures about the success of Sea Hunt – at the time it outranked Ed Sullivan, Gunsmoke, Wagon Train and Maverick which, before Sea Hunt were tops in viewer opinions.

15. Marquette, Michigan  1963, TV Guide

A long, 3 page, history of Lloyd Bridges’ life and career including of course his success on Sea Hunt and his future plans.

16. New Haven, Connecticut  1962, TV Channels   (cover photo)

A really nice picture of Lloyd Bridges on the front cover of this guide called TV Channels. It was published by The New Haven Register. On page 3 is a story about Lloyd Bridges new show but with a clear reference to his success on Sea Hunt and its enduring popularity.

17. New Orleans, Louisiana  1958, TV Guide

This TV Guide is noteworthy for the critic’s article about the new show Sea Hunt. It happens to have an iconic picture of Mike Nelson trying to save the fighter pilots life in episode 1.
       The critic, in this case identified only as F. de B., likes the premise of the Sea Hunt show but makes it clear he doesn’t like the story lines, the plots.
       For Sea Hunt fans this is almost sacrilegious!
       The good news is that he was wrong – the show was a hit!!

18. New York City, New York 1958, TV and Radio Magazine  (front cover)

There is a nice picture of Mike Nelson standing with Zale Parry on the front cover. Inside, page 3, is a cute story about how he was hired for Sea Hunt and asked about learning to dive.

19. New York City, New York  1958, TV Guide  

Needless to say, there were a lot of TV Guides published in the viewer-rich area of New York City and the surrounding area. This one has a great story about the new show Sea Hunt. The story is a full 3 pages long and with some good pictures too, Lloyd playing with some sea creatures and a couple with Zale Parry as well.
       It’s a very pleasant and encouraging story about this new, soon-to-be famous TV show.

 

20. New York City, New York 1958, Catholic PREVIEW of Entertainment   (cover photo)

An odd one, this guide is called Catholic Preview of Entertainment. It is essentially a TV guide for Catholics. The listings have been viewed and judged to be good home entertainment by several Catholic-approved organizations like the National Legion of Decency, the National Office for Decent Literature (NODL) and the Motion Picture Development of the International Federation of Catholic Alumnae (Boy, could they use an acronym!).
       The guide also lists recommended Books, including a list of Comic Books, as well as Live Theatre and Radio Programs. Their Book Reviews lists many books based on their acceptable content from ‘**** Acceptable for General Reading’ to ‘NR – not recommended to any class of reader’ (I wonder who read that one!).
        Fortunately Sea Hunt was classified as Acceptable and better yet, it got a very nice 5 page article with some good pictures of Mike Nelson, Zale Parry, Ivan Tors, Courtney Brown and Jon Lindberg.
        Did I mention the full color picture of Mike Nelson on the front cover?
        Wow! A TV Guide with a morality rating for each show. I wonder how that would go over today??

21. New York City, New York 1959, TV… Radio Magazine  (cover photo)

This guide was published weekly by The New York Herald Tribune. Whatever, it has a nice full color picture of Mike Nelson in full gear standing beside Jan Harrison, a frequent actress on Sea Hunt on the cover AND, it has a cameo shot of Lloyd Bridges in the Table of Contents PLUS a very complimentary article, 2 full pages with pictures.

22. New York City, New York 1959, TV Guide

This is not a complete guide, but I couldn’t resist including this single page advertisement from a TV Guide. It‘s a classic Mike Nelson pose – full scuba gear & big dive knife out, up and ready to strike. How exciting!
       Apparently this was printed for WABC.

23. New York City, New York 1959, TV Guide

No front cover, no article –Why do I include this TV Guide in my collection?
       On page A-17 (meaning in the actual TV listings section) appears an advertisement for the Sea Hunt show that’s unique. The show is still growing in popularity among TV viewers, young and Old alike.
       This particular ad shows an image of Mike Nelson in scuba gear standing at the base of a ladder and looking up expectantly. Not all that exciting but never seen before or after.

24. Rochester, New York 1959, TV Guide

On page A-34 of this TV Guide, there appears a full page advert for Sea Hunt. Not only is a full page ad very rare for any show, this one is quite exciting with an image of Mike Nelson swimming underwater PLUS another of him on his boat in a captains’ cap.
      “Drama! Thrills! Suspense! Sea Hunt starring Lloyd Bridges in the Danger-Packed Adventures of an Undersea Investigator. New TV Thrills Await You. Wednesdays at 7PM on Channel 3 WSYR-TV.”
      Wow!!

25. St. Louis, Missouri 1963, TV Magazine  (cover photo)

The full page, color picture of Lloyd Bridges on the cover of this guide is what first caught my attention. The same image, in black & white on the Table of Contents page, explains that Lloyd appears in 2 TV programs – the universally popular Sea Hunt and his new show named after himself.
      This guide is called TV Magazine and was published by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

26. Terre Haute, Indiana 1974, TV Guide

Terre Haute? 1974? I know what you are thinking. Why is this TV Guide in a Sea Hunt collection??
       Purely by accident I discovered the article on pages 14, 15, 16 entitled “ …. And Then Lloyd Bridges Got Seasick”. Of course I was interested and bought the magazine.
       Sea Hunt is mentioned only once in 3 pages of text but the content of the entire article is about how Lloyd Bridges, involved in the filming of shark repellent testing by the US Navy, got deathly seasick while on a boat near San Diego.
       His involvement was based on his reputation as an underwater expert (Mike Nelson from Sea Hunt) and getting seasick was the last thing anyone would have believed abut such a famous figure. But the article describes in great detail exactly what happened. It also credits Lloyd with being the ultimate professional as he struggled to his feet and completed his lines in good fashion every time he was called upon, even when he had to go underwater with the sharks!
       That’s what we’d expect from Mike Nelson!!

27.  Denver, Colorado 1958, TV Guide

No front cover and no Sea Hunt ads but this TV Guide has a really nice, 2-page story about how good an actor Lloyd Bridges is. At first the story sounds like it might be critical as it relates the time when Lloyd accidentally swore during a live performance. But it quickly attributes that rare occurrence to his passion and devotion to making the character as real as possible. Even Lloyd is surprised by the slip but says he doesn’t recall making it. He was “acting”.
       The article begins with a full color picture of Lloyd in a role appearing as a frustrated man.
       Of course, the article also talks about his new, starring role in the hit TV series called Sea Hunt.

 

28.  Los Angeles, California 1962, TV Weekly  (cover photo)

Published at the end of the show Sea Hunt, this guide is the TV Weekly from the Los Angeles Herald-Examiner. The front cover is a very nice and colorful caricature of Lloyd Bridges. The 3 page article inside talks about his new show and his experiences on the incredible popular Sea Hunt show.

29.  Oakland, California 1961, TV and Radio  (cover photo)

There’s a very nice picture of Lloyd Bridges with Rosemary Clooney on the front cover of this guide.
        The guide is large, like a tabloid newspaper size, and printed on newsprint with just a bit of color added on some pages, no full color. The article involving Lloyd is about a special water event to be held at Marineland in St. Augustine, Florida. The event is called “Marineland Circus” and a number of stars and sports personalities are involved.
        By the way, Sea Hunt will be on at 4pm on Tuesday, according to the guide. Don’t miss it!

30.  Phoenix, Arizona 1959, TEE VEE  (cover photo)

The front cover of this guide, called the Phoenix Tee Vee (actually the Phoenix-Tucson Tee Vee), is a photo of Mike Nelson in full scuba gear, on land but looking over his shoulder with his famous “Don’t mess with me” look.
       And inside, a full 2 page article about the new show Sea Hunt. Here’s the problem – the new show was new! So I suppose we can forgive the writer (Luke Morris), an entertainment critic, for his not-so-complimentary comments about the poor writing and dull primes for the show. I wonder if Luke ever wrote an article later saying that he was terribly wrong and simply didn’t realize that Sea Hunt would become the biggest hit TV show in history to that time. I doubt it.
       But it’s true. Criticisms of Sea Hunt in the beginning were simply guesses (and not educated guesses either!). It was different from the usual western shows that dominated TV then and it was exciting and they were able to make good stories about the undersea world. So there.
       The article did have a couple of nice photos of Mike Nelson at work.

31.  Portland, Oregon 1958, PRE VUE (cover photo)

This guide has a really nice image of Mike Nelson in full scuba gear & speargun
standing on shore. Inside there is a very complimentary article about Lloyd Bridges and his work as Mike Nelson in Sea Hunt. It is described as “ … surges with action, suspense and excitement. Each underwater sequence reveals startling vistas of the ocean floor never before seen in a TV series”.
       Hmm. Maybe a bit much. Those ‘startling vistas’ were filmed in the aquarium at Marineland of the Pacific. But the article is a good predictor of the success of the show and it includes no less than 6 pictures from the show. All good.
       By the way, this guide is all black & white – no color at all. Unusual even back then.

 

32.  Portland, Oregon 1960, TV PRE VUE (cover photo)

The cover of this TV Pre Vue has a whimsical picture of Mike Nelson standing close to and looking into the eyes of one of his co-stars, a very pretty blonde girl. It’s a very common event in Sea Hunt!
        And inside there is a nice 2-page article about the show.  The picture in the article shows Mike Nelson being held captive by 2 bad guys with a speargun – another common Sea Hunt event!
        This guide, also a Pre Vue publication like the previous one, is also all black & white.

33.  San Diego, California  1960

One page only from the Los Angeles/San Diego TV Guide of October 1960 which has another nice Sea Hunt advertisement. This one too is notable for the unique picture of Mike Nelson standing on a beach, in full gear and with a Hasselblad camera hanging around his neck. Oh, and there’s a pretty brunette, also in scuba gear, with him. Nice!!

34.  Seattle, Washington 1972, TV Guide

10 years after the Sea Hunt show had stopped, it was still incredibly popular. Viewers anywhere in North America and elsewhere too could watch Sea Hunt almost daily in re-runs. And predictably, Lloyd Bridges was still a hot commodity. This TV Guide has a 2 page story with several color pictures about Lloyd’s first attempt at snow skiing. Apparently it didn’t go well the first day but, like Mike Nelson, Lloyd kept trying and on the second day he actually won an amateur ski race.
       One of the pictures in the article is of Mike Nelson in the water, so this book has a spot in my collection.

35.  New York City/Brooklyn/Queens 1998, TV Guide

This TV Guide, April 1998, still in publication after more than 40 years, pays tribute to Lloyd Bridges who passed away in March 1998 with a 4 page article complete with several color pictures of him in various roles. There is certainly a picture of him as Mike Nelson, 2 actually, and more of Lloyd with his family. This is a stand-alone tribute to a well-known and very popular actor. That he garnered such admiration from his colleagues is a wonderful tribute in itself.

36.  Tribute Issue to Stars who Died in 1998 – December 1998, TV Guide

This issue is not geographically specific but was sent to all TV Guide markets.
       The enduring admiration of Lloyd Bridges is evident in that he is featured on page 1 in a full color picture as Mike Nelson standing in full gear on a boat deck. No other single actor is recognized in this manner which is even more amazing if you know that the tribute issue contained Frank Sinatra, Robert Young, Roy Rogers, Flip Wilson, Tammy Wynette, Sonny Bono and other incredibly talented entertainers.  Nice!

37.  Kelowna, British Columbia 1975, TELEGUIDE  (front cover)

This guide was published for the CHBC and BCTV stations. It’s all black & white.
       The front cover picture of Lloyd Bridges is really to promote his show ‘Water World’ but the inside story of course, refers to his success as a star in Sea Hunt and how that underwater experience will help make his new venture a success too.

38.  Vancouver, British Columbia 1960, TELEGUIDE  (front cover)

There’s a well-known picture of Mike Nelson on the cover of this magazine. The guide is called the CHBC-TV-TELEGUIDE and it also features a story about Lloyd Bridges and his rise to become the most recognized star on TV because of Sea Hunt.

39.  Sydney, Australia 1959, TV News Times (front cover)

The 1st issue of TV News-Times was June of 1958. It had a front cover picture of Mike Nelson on it, black & white only. This issue, one year later (they call it their Birthday Issue) also has Mike on the cover but now it’s in full color. Actually I think it’s colorized, that is, not color film, judging from the red hoses, yellow mask and yellow manifold.
         But, who cares? It our beloved Mike!
         On page 10 of this issue is a small picture of that 1st issue. Otherwise there is no further mention of Sea Hunt. The front cover is quite nice though thank you!

40.  Australia 1958, TV Week

TV Week was the biggest TV guide publication in Australia and in this issue, on pages 31 to 33, they have a great story about Lloyd Bridges and his role as Mike Nelson in Sea hunt.
      Good pictures too.

41.  Australia 1959, TV Week  (cover photo)

The front cover of this guide has a neat, full color picture of Mike Nelson, no scuba gear, but with that classic Mike Nelson concerned look on his face as he peers out over the ocean.
      And it also has a good 2 page story about the hit TV series.

42.  Melbourne, Australia 1960, TV Week  (cover photo)

The cover photo of Mike Nelson on this issue is clearly photo-shopped (or whatever they called in back then). But Mike looks good, full scuba gear and fish swimming around in the background even though he’s not submerged.
       And another good story about the success of Sea Hunt with accompanying photos.

43.  Sydney, Australia 1960, TV Week  (cover photo)

This is a cover only of the November, 1960 issue of TV Week. It’s a great photo of Mike Nelson and shows him in scuba gear, but not the same gear he used in Sea Hunt. This may be a later promotional shot.

44.  Argentina, 1961, Canal TV  (cover photo)

Canal TV was the earliest TV station in Argentina. At the time, the Argentina television market was the 4th largest in the world following the USA, the UK and Netherlands.
      This issue of Canal TV has a really nice caricature of Mike Nelson on the front cover. Sea Hunt in Argentina is called ‘CAZA SUBMARINA’ but it’s the same show and very popular.
      The only other reference to Sea Hunt is by a small picture of Mike Nelson right beside the listing of the show, Thursday at 7:30pm.

45.  Chile, 1965, TV GUIA  (cover photo)

By this date Sea Hunt was no longer produced in the US but it was still watched by thousands of fans all over the world. Obviously it was a big hit in Chile as the front cover of this TV guide, called TV GUIA, illustrates.
       The Sea Hunt show is called El Investigador Submarino – basically Underwater Investigator.
       The Latin Sea Hunt comics were named the same.
       The front cover is in full cover and shows Mike Nelson standing on a beach in full scuba gear and inside there is a 2 page article, with pictures, about Sea Hunt, Mike Nelson, Lloyd Bridges and the success of the show. There’s also a picture of Mike in the listings.

46.  New Zealand, 1966, TV Weekly

Hey, what’s going on? Why do I have a TV guide from New Zealand with a picture of Lorne Greene (Ben Cartwright) on the front cover in my Sea Hunt collection?
       I thought the same until I saw the great, 2 page picture promotion of the show (re-runs actually). 2 excellent photos of Mike Nelson at work and text explaining that the show is so popular that TV stations are swamped with requests for re-runs. Good news!!

47.  London, England  January 1959, TV TIMES

See comments in #50.

48.  London, England  March 1959, TV TIMES

See comments in #50.

 

49.  London, England  March 1960, TV TIMES

See comments in #50.

50.  London, England  September 1960, TV TIMES

       Each of these guides is printed entirely in black & white having only borders and headliners in color, usually red. Only one, the March 1959 edition, has a reference to Sea Hunt on the front cover – “Lloyd Bridges – The Sea’s His Stage”.
       But each has an article about the show and how popular it has become. Since the guide format is large (9” x 12”) compared to a standard TV Guide (5” x 7”), that allows for more pictures and the articles in these guides typically have as many as 7 pictures of Mike doing his thing on Sea Hunt. The story in the March 1960 magazine is about local skin diving clubs that were inspired by Sea Hunt and go diving regularly, just like Mike Nelson.
       The one in the September 1960 issue is more about Lloyd and his family and how they now have the time and money to enjoy their beach house and other family activities.
       Each article is accompanied by several pictures of Mike Nelson and Lloyd Bridges.

The Famous Sea Hunt Medallion 

ZIV studio produced a special medallion on a small chain that featured the Sea Hunt show. This medallion was given out by members of the cast, including Lloyd Bridges. Lucky recipients might be fans who gathered to meet ‘Mike Nelson’ at their local sports shops, family members of the cast and crew or others who met Lloyd Bridges at various television events.
The coins were incredibly popular and were treasured by Sea Hunt fans. While hundreds were presented, surprisingly few exist today and they are still treasures to any Sea Hunt collector who has one. In fact, so desirable are the coins that many duplicates have been made in the past few years.

The original coins were made from aluminum and are easily recognized by their very light weight. The coin is about 1¼” in diameter and maybe ¼” thick. The edge is smooth but there is a ring of serrations on both sides all around the circumference.

On the face side of the coin is a head shot of Mike Nelson, mask on his forehead and regulator about his neck. This side is printed with the words GOOD LUCK at the top and LLOYD BRIDGES across the bottom.
The back side of the coin shows Mike Nelson again but this time he is swimming across the coin. Across the top is printed SEA HUNT and on the bottom, MIKE NELSON.

Most of the coin is quite highly polished but some areas are left dull to make the features more visible and other areas purposely have a coarse, almost sandblasted look to them. A very close look at the lettering for example will reveal that they have many tiny bumps on them to make them stand out from the shiny background.
The detail in the images is pretty amazing. You can see bubbles coming from Mike’s regulator as he swims and his fins and even his tank straps and his knife are quite visible. Ardent Sea Hunt fans will recognize the VOIT B4 mask that he is wearing in the face picture. The regulator hoses are clearly corrugated and the top of his double tanks with the reserve valve can be seen behind his head. A close look will even reveal the zipper on the neck of his wetsuit.

At the top of the coin, between the words Sea Hunt or Good Luck, there is a small, clear area, in a bit of a sting ray shape that has a hole in the middle. In that hole there is a 3”, pretty standard key chain. The tiny connector will have the words BALL CHAIN faintly inscribed on it. Ball Chain is the company, in business since 1938 that made the chains for the Sea Hunt medallion.

I have gone into detail on the description of this medallion because there are many copies on the market. I never fault people who have a copy because at least it shows their interest in Sea Hunt – but they are copies just the same.
Some of the copies are made of aluminum, some are brass, some are silver and I have seen some made of gold. Usually the copies include most of the tiny details that I’ve described but with patience you can soon tell if it’s a genuine Sea Hunt medallion or not.
The fun part is trying to determine its origin. Maybe it was handed out by Lloyd Bridges himself – a very special Sea Hunt item for sure. RR 4

The ‘Hard Hat’ Helmet Key Chain 

I have a similar item in my collection that I got several years ago. It’s a small replica of a brass Commercial Divers Helmet, commonly known as a Mark V Helmet. These helmet key chains are not uncommon but this one is a bit different. It appears to be very well made. This is not a cheap, thin brass toy to hang from your house key. It is quite heavy, about 1” in diameter and made from good quality brass. It has the usual front glass window and 3 other windows for the diver – one on top and one of each side. Only the front window has glass. The others are much smaller and simply have 4 holes drilled in them.

Sea Hunt Helmet Key Chain

What makes it nicer than most other similar, dime store helmet key chains, is that each window is separately made and inset into the helmet. This key chain was NOT mass produced or spit out of a machine. It required a considerable amount of time and effort to produce.
On the top at the back there is another hole into which a pin is inserted from the inside. The pin has a hole in the outer end which holds a brass ring, connected to 3 nautical-style links and a screw-lock style key ring.

All in all it is very well made and that sets it apart from most of the very similar helmet key chains.
Also, being a natural sceptic, I inquired about its origin and learned that It came from a company based in Los Angeles called Costume Collection. They specialize in providing unique items required for television and movies productions. The tag that came with this helmet key chain claims it was given to and carried by the cast and crew of Sea Hunt. RR 4

Clip-On Sea Hunt Badges 

Sea Hunt was one of the first (if not the first) television shows to be syndicated. Simply put, that means that the producer sold the show to TV distribution networks to be re-sold to local television studios and thus broadcast around the country. Originally, local TV studios made their own shows using local talent or hiring talent to travel to the studio to make a show.

Ziv Television Programs, Inc., after establishing itself as a major radio syndicator, was the first major first-run television syndicator, creating several long-lived series in the 1950s and selling them directly to regional sponsors, who in turn sold the shows to local stations. Ziv’s first major TV hit was The Cisco Kid. Ziv had the foresight to film the Cisco Kid series in color, even though color TV was still in its infancy and most stations did not yet support the technology. Among the most widely seen Ziv offerings were Sea HuntI Led Three LivesHighway Patrol and Ripcord.”  Wikipedia

To promote their television station and the various shows, ZIV, regional distributors and local television studios promoted their station and their shows in a variety of ways. Newpaper ads were common as were the popular and varied TV Guides. Before the days of computers and smart TVs, every family got their TV watching guidance from a TV Guide or the TV guide in a local newspaper.

Another device used to promote a TV show or a television studio was clip-on badges. I have two of these in my collection.

A. ‘SEE Sea Hunt ON TV’ – 4″ metal badge 

Sea Hunt Badge

This badge is very simple. It just says “See Sea Hunt on TV”. It may have been produced by ZIV or by the distributor. If a local TV station had made it, they would likely have include their own television station identifier.
The badge is 4” in diameter, made of 2 pieces of metal. The first piece is the outside which is printed with the message and the other is the inside to which the lapel pin is attached. This piece was then pressed into the outside piece. The printing is very light green although it may have faded over the past 60 years. It has a nautical-style rope printed around the outside edge.
There are no other marks or identification of any kind. RR 4

Sea Hunt Badge

B. ‘Watch Sea Hunt WRGB TV’ – 2” metal badge 

Sea Hunt Badge

This badge is quite neat. Smaller at only 2”, it’s printed on a bright red background and features Mike Nelson (we assume) on the front with the message “ Watch Sea Hunt   Saturday 6:30 P.M.  Ch 6  WRGB-TV”.
This is a much more specific message and was undoubtedly made by the local TV station, in this case WRGB. This station, by the way, based in Albany, New York, was one of the first experimental TV stations in the world first starting broadcasts in 1928.

The badge is made the same way as the 4” badge but perhaps more solidly. The 2 pieces are neatly folded securely together rather than just pressed together.
The image is of a diver underwater wearing typical Mike Nelson gear – double tanks, 2 hose reg and carrying a speargun. Pretty cool!  RR 4

Sea Hunt Badge

SNAP ATV Cigarette Card – Lloyd Bridges, Sea Hunt

SNAP is a company in London, England that made cigarette cards for many companies who wanted to promote their products via cigarette cards.

Cigarette cards were a popular way to advertise. The idea started in the late 1800s. Cigarette companies started putting a stiff card in the packs to strengthen them. They soon realized the cards were a great advertising medium and cigarette cards were born. Early cards featured sports heroes but soon everything was being advertised on cigarette cards.

ATV (Associated TeleVision) was a primary television broadcast company in England and they arranged to have the TV stars of the day featured on SNAP cigarette cards. Several series were made both pre-1940 and post-1940 Televisio0n and movie stars featured. Each series contained 50 cards and they became favorites of collectors.

This card is from the SNAP ATV Movie Stars series of late 1950s. There are 50 cards in the set. This is #23, “Lloyd Bridges Sea Hunt” which shows Mike Nelson fully geared up on a boat.
The back of the card, as with all of them, simply shows the name SNAP for Snap Card Products Ltd. Finchley Road, London and the ATV Logo (a shadowed eye).

The card is slightly larger than a business card, about 2 5/8” x 3 ¾” – exactly the right size to fit into a traditional cigarette pack.

SNAP cards are not hard to find. They are a popular collector’s theme. Finding a Sea Hunt card can be much tougher. It’s hard, almost impossible, to persuade a collector to give up just one from his set.

If you want one of these you are likely forced to buy a complete set of 50 as I did. RR4

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