Schultz and Dooley, et al.
A Collector’s Guide*

by Frank Loevi

The Originals and Early Follow-Ups (1959, 1960-64)

Figure 1
Growing up in New York in the 1950s, I was one of the many television viewers in the northeast who were introduced to the West End Brewing Company (WEBCO) “spokesmugs,” Schultz and Dooley, through a series of award-winning commercials for Utica Club beer. Unlike the ceramic Schultz and Dooley character steins now marketed by WEBCO, the original TV characters were made of wood. The renowned puppeteer Bill Baird is credited with bringing the steins to life, along with comedian Jonathan Winters, who supplied their voices complete with German and Irish accents.

In 1959, trading on the popularity of the Schultz and Dooley television commercials, WEBCO contracted with Schmetzer Inc., a Liverpool, New York importer, to import 5,000 ceramic sets of the now-famous duo from King-Werk (Wüfel & Müller GmbH) a German stein manufacturer located in Höhr-Grenzhausen. For the most part, the original steins were given away as promotional items to various dealers and distributors. Some, however, were apparently offered for sale to individuals at $9.95 a pair.
Figure 2
The original Schultz and Dooley (Figure 1) are easy to recognize by the markings “59-CSM” in blue lettering on Schultz and “59-CDM” in green on Dooley printed below the handles, along with a West End Brewing Company copyright statement. (Figure 2) The steins are similarly printed on the bottom, but with the additional markings “©WEBCO” and “MADE IN GERMANY” pressed into the steins themselves.

Recent auctions have yielded prices in the $350 to $500 range for the pair. However, with regard to current Schultz and Dooley pricing, it is important to note that the whole in this case is worth far more than the sum of the parts. Neither Schultz nor Dooley have any significant market value except as part of a matched pair. This is true with respect to both the originals and any of several later versions. Whether bidding on them at auction or making a purchase from a dealer, buyers are well-advised to stay away from individual pieces unless there is some assurance that a match can be obtained.

Between 1960 and 1964 King-Werk produced another 10,000 Schultz and Dooley sets for WEBCO, without the 59-CSM and 59-CDM markings below the handles, but still marked on the bottoms with:

© WEBCO MADE IN GERMANY

As part of the agreement with the importer, Schmetzer was given permission to sell an identical set of Schultz and Dooley steins, but without any WEBCO markings, through various retail outlets in the northeast. It is my understanding that the deal provided Schmetzer with the ability to market one pair of steins for every two shipped to WEBCO.

The markings on these steins varied considerably over the term of the Schmetzer contract. One long-term WEBCO employee claims to have observed as many as ten variations. I recently saw an example from this period that has the word “Original” pressed into the bottom and also displays the printed words “WESTERN GERMANY”. Steins marked with the Schmetzer name are among the other confirmed variations. Unfortunately, there is no reliable information regarding the quantities of steins bearing specific markings. Spotting them, however, is relatively easy, in that they are the only Schultz and Dooley steins that do not include in their markings any reference to either “WEBCO” or the “West End Brewing Company.”

Ceramarte, Officer Sudds and the Countess (1972-82)

Figure 3
The King-Werk production run apparently provided sufficient stock to last until 1972, when manufacturing was taken over by Ceramarte, a Brazilian stein maker. Between 1972 and 1982, Ceramarte produced another 7,000 sets. These steins were visually distinguishable from those produced by King-Werk in three significant respects. First, the point on Schultz’s head was changed from silver to gold; second, the body color was changed from off-white to white; and third, the bottom markings indicate that the manufacturer was Ceramarte and that the steins were made in Brazil. Additionally, there were some minor variations in the decoration and the thumblifts.

It was also during this period that WEBCO introduced the first two in a continuing series of Schultz and Dooley companion characters — Officer Sudds, whose debut was in 1973, and the Countess, introduced in 1978. (Figure 3) The originals of these two steins had production runs of 7,000 and 6,000, respectively, and are distinguishable from later versions principally by the Ceramarte markings on the bottom. Both Officer Sudds and the Countess were based on characters that co-starred with Schultz and Dooley in the Utica Club television commercials, as did almost all of the subsequent additions to the series discussed below.

Made in Europe Imports, Gerz and Farmer Mugee (1982-83)

Figure 4
In 1982, WEBCO parted company with Ceramarte and once again began importing steins from Germany. The manufacturer was S.P. Gerz GmbH and the importer was Made in Europe Imports (MIE). Schultz’s point reverted to silver and the Schultz and Dooley body color was returned to off-white. The decoration again changed slightly (the changes are most pronounced on Schultz), as did the shape of the thumblifts.

In 1982 Gerz also began producing the original version of the third Schultz and Dooley companion stein, Farmer Mugee. (Figure 4 – Right) A total of 7,734 original Farmer Mugee steins were manufactured and are distinguishable, along with the other steins from the MIE period, by the bottom markings which include a Made in Europe Imports logo and WEBCO copyright. (Figure 5 – Left) Those markings can also be found on 6,765 sets of Schultz and Dooley, as well as 4,998 follow-up versions of Officer Sudds and 3,032 of the Countess.

Trans World Marketing (1984-85)

Figure 5
During the 1984-85 time frame, the role of importer was transferred to Trans World Marketing (TWM), an offshoot of MIE, and the steins produced during this period all received a TWM logo as part of the bottom markings. (Figure 5 – Right) Gerz continued to handle the manufacturing chores. It is worth noting that, while none of the steins produced during the TWM era are first editions, the quantities of steins produced with the TWM mark make them among the most rare, although probably not the most collectable. Production of WEBCO steins bearing the TWM mark are limited to: Schultz and Dooley – 4,524; Officer Sudds – 1,980; Countess – 744; and Farmer Mugee – 3,864.

More Companions and “1st Editions” (1985-92)

Beginning in 1985, WEBCO saw fit to cut out the middleman and started importing Schultz, Dooley and friends directly from Gerz. Between 1986 and 1993, 13,953 new sets of Schultz and Dooley steins were produced, each marked on the bottom with:

© WEBCO
Made in Germany

Figure 6
Note the similarity to the text of the early King-Werk markings. Fortunately, the steins are easily distinguishable in that the Gerz lettering is printed in black, as opposed to the King-Werk versions which have the words pressed into the stein.

It would also appear to have been during this period that the series thumblifts were upgraded from a relatively plain and flat “flared finger” design to the more ornate fleur-de-lis pattern in use on most of the WEBCO steins being manufactured today.

In addition to the Schultz and Dooley steins, this period also saw the production of 11,019 Officer Sudds steins, 6,767 Countesses and 7,048 Farmer Mugees. In 1986, WEBCO introduced Schultz and Dooley companion number four, an oriental character by the name of U Cee. (Figure 4 – Left) All these steins, including 10,373 copies of U Cee, bear the same bottom markings applied to Schultz and Dooley.
Figure 7
In 1989, recognizing the American collector’s growing love affair with first editions, WEBCO jumped on the bandwagon with the fifth in the companion series — Bubbles LaBrew. (Figure 6) “1st Edition” was added to the standard bottom markings on the first 3,000 copies of Ms. LaBrew produced. An additional 8,550 copies of the stein have since been manufactured without the 1st Edition mark. Also, in what appears to be a one-time experiment, 2,000 of the later steins were marked as “2nd Edition”.

Between 1990 and 1992, a new companion stein was added annually, initially as a first edition and then with the standard bottom markings for that time-frame. Those three companion steins (Figure 7) are listed below, along with applicable dates and available production data.
 
1st
Edition
Later
Production
Old Man Stein (1990)
5,000
13,474
Cousin Emma (1991)
7,000
3,024
Fireman Fritz (1992)
10,000
-----

It is worth noting that Fireman Fritz was the first (and is currently the only) companion stein that did not have a role in the original Schultz and Dooley TV commercials. His creation in 1992 was designed to coincide with a firefighters convention being held that year in upstate New York. In addition to the 10,000 “1st Edition” Fireman Fritz steins noted above, 2,000 identical “Special Edition” steins were produced and sold directly to the firefighters.

Under the circumstances, one might question whether or not Fireman Fritz should be considered a valid member of the Schultz and Dooley series. However, given the fact that the first edition of 10,000 steins has recently sold out, it would not appear that Fritz’s questionable origin is seen by collectors as being improper or his addition to the series as undesirable.

Sir Oliver Wendel Foams, Uncle Rudolph and the Moonman (1993-95)

Figure 8
Between 1993 and 1995, WEBCO introduced the ninth, tenth and eleventh Schultz and Dooley companions — Sir Oliver Wendel Foams, Uncle Rudolph and the Moonman — all three in 1st editions of 10,000 (Figure 8), along with a new set of bottom markings that read:

1st Edition
© WEBCO
Made in Germany
for FX Matt Brewing Co.
Utica NY

Reproductions of earlier steins in the series are currently being manufactured with the same bottom markings, minus the “1st Edition.”

Collectability

With over 40,000 of Schultz and Dooley steins having already reached the marketplace, not to mention more than 130,000 additional companion steins, there can be little doubt regarding the popularity of the series. That popularity, of course, is likely to translate over time into significant price appreciation, particularly for “first issues,” thereby meeting at least one of the major criteria for becoming serious collectibles. My sense of the marketplace, however, is that many current purchasers of the Schultz and Dooley series, myself included, buy them for reasons other than the promise of profits.

Although generally unrecognized by collectors, the original Schultz and Dooley steins hold a place in steinmaking history, in that they were in all probability the very first character steins produced specifically for an American audience. By comparison, the original “Budman, Anheuser-Busch’s initial character stein, did not arrive on the scene until 1976, some 17 years later. Moreover, the on-going series of companion steins is in itself a likely first in the history of steinmaking. While my knowledge of character steins could hardly be called all-encompassing, and although I am personally aware of several groups of character steins that might qualify as “sets”, I have yet to run across anything to compare in scope or staying power with the Schultz and Dooley series.

Another factor contributing to the popularity of these steins is that there are any number of people for whom Schultz and Dooley help to evoke fond memories of an earlier time in their lives. In a sense, this reaction to Schultz and Dooley is not unlike that of the many servicemen and members of SCI who did tours of duty in Germany and whose memories are recaptured through stein collecting.

Finally, the Schultz and Dooley series is just plain fun and also readily obtainable. The cartoon-like character of the steins has appeal to people of all ages and yet, for the serious collector, they are quality German-made beer steins available at prices almost everyone can afford.

What to Collect

Unlike some of the “hot” Anheuser-Busch steins, with current prices on the secondary market well in excess of what is likely to be recovered by reselling them in the foreseeable future, the Schultz and Dooley series is just beginning to find its niche in the collector marketplace. One need not look any further than a few recent auction catalogs to discover that even the dealers are still at a loss as to how to describe and price even the original Schultz and Dooley. Descriptions are often lacking in sufficient data to make informed decisions, Schultz and Dooley are regularly listed as individual items or even in mismatched sets, and there is rarely any relationship between quoted price ranges and the vintages of the steins being offered for sale.

Like most contemporary series collectibles, the Schultz and Dooley steins that are likely to appreciate most are the series “firsts”. In that regard, the original Schultz and Dooley have already been “discovered” to some extent, with the pair now selling for more than twenty times its original list price, although it is my personal feeling that they both still have a long way to go.

The next steins in the series likely to see their prices rise are the early first issues in the companion series (i.e., Officer Sudds, Countess and Farmer Mugee). As noted in the preceding discussion, the original Officer Sudds and Countess can be distinguished from later editions by their Ceramarte markings, and the original Farmer Mugee by its Made in Europe Imports logo.

Eventually, particularly if the series continues to expand, even the original editions from the late eighties and early nineties are likely to see their values rise significantly. My personal choice as the “sleeper” in this group is Bubbles LaBrew. In fact, given that there were only 3,000 of this stein labeled as “1st Edition,” it is probable that the original Ms. LaBrew will eventually end up holding the key to a “complete” collection.

__________

*Reprinted by permission from Prosit, the Journal of Stein Collectors International, Vol 2, No. 17, March 1996

Author’s Addendum – August 10, 1998:

Figure 9
When this article was originally written in late 1995, WEBCO seemed to have finally run out of Schultz and Dooley characters that had appeared in the original Utica Club TV commercials. With the issuance of the Moonman stein in 1995, the series was, in effect, “complete.” However, rather than simply let the series fade into history, a decision was made to try and keep a good thing going. As a result, four “Lifestyle Collection” steins have so far been added to the series: “Mulligan McBrew,” a golf duffer “ready for the green with his bag, golf ball and tee, and his lucky sun visor”; “The Bartender,” sporting a “red striped vest, bar cloth and frosty mug of U.C.”; “Nurse Polly Pilsener,” with her “well-equipped medical apron”; and the “Graduate,” complete with gold tassel and miniature diploma (Figure 9).
Figure 10
Also during this period, the folks at WEBCO “discovered” a another character from the TV commercials that had somehow been overlooked previously. For those who may have stopped collecting the series when they ran out of TV characters, the 12½" tall “Giant” (Figure 10), should clearly be considered a legitimate member of the original Schultz & Dooley players.