1953 was a good year in America. Eisenhower was President, the US was pulling forces out of Korea, and Chevrolet introduced a new model car - the Corvette. Peace and prosperity looked certain (if not for those dastardly Communists!), and from this milieu new ideas in comics were being created since the super hero wasn't in favor. One of the companies that was making its mark was Harvey Comics, and their books were aimed at a younger audience rather than adults or teenagers (an area where neither Marvel nor DC has ever done very well). One of the characters was a poor little rich boy with the moniker 'Richie Rich', and while he started as a backup feature he still persists today in the landscape of popular culture (though any current version might well have the last name of either 'Gates' or 'Walton').
Richie Rich made his first appearance as a backup character in 'Little Dot', but over the next decade he would rise to become the biggest star in the Harvey stable. The creator of the character is not certain, though Alfred Harvey (one of the owners) has taken credit, though Warren Kremer is also a strong possibility as he was responsible for the look of the Harvey characters from the 50's onward. Regardless of the creator, Richie has been a staple in comics for decades as well as spawning several animated shows and a big budget movie in 1994 (starring Macauley Culkin in the title role).
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Electric Tiki has chosen this comics icon for the inaugural mini-maquette in their 'Teeny-Weeny' line. After Richie, the next maquette is Richie's gal pal Gloria Glad, and from there Electric Tiki will be tackling other characters from Harvey (like Richie's dog Dollar, Jackie Jokers, Spooky, and Hot Stuff).
Richie is about five inches tall, thus fitting the nicely the "teeny weeny" name, as compared to the 10-inch I Dream of Jeannie maquette previously released by Electric Tiki. He is posed in a classic happy posture: held tilted back slightly, wide smile on his face, and arms spread wide with hands open and pinky fingers curled. His outfit is the one you remember him always wearing, the blue shorts, black jacket, giant red bowtie, and white boots with bows. You'd think being so rich, he could afford different outfits, but maybe he just has thousands of the same exact outfit. (Since he's rich, we'll call him "eccentric," rather than what we are actually thinking.)
On a whim, we held Richie upside down and shook him gently, but no bundles of money fell out. Speaking of being gentle, his large noggin puts the center of gravity for the maquette slightly higher than you would expect. The maquette rests well on its stand, but could easily be tipped over. With that in mind, display him out of reach of small hands and cat tails.
Richie Rich is a limited edition of 1,500 numbered maquettes (with another 50 artist proof versions, also numbered). Each maquette is hand-numbered, on the bottom of the base, on the bottom of the box, and on the certificate of authenticity. The bottom of the base has four small felt circles to help keep it from moving around on a shelf. The box is colorful and is laid out as though it is the cover of a Harvey comic. Tracy Mark Lee handled the package design and design of the maquette, which was sculpted by Jim McPherson.
The Richie Rich maquette is available directly from Electric Tiki Design for $45, or from several other online retailers.
More Pictures of Richie Rich