Meet Janet Ellis: Inside the Collection
Take a look at this vintage collection featuring everything Betty Boop... and Lulu, too!
Aug. 14, 2023
Janet Ellis first met and bonded with her husband over her massive collection of Betty Boop memorabilia. Now he is Janet’s co-collector and a Betty Boop expert in his own right – in fact, he literally wrote the book on Betty Boop collectibles.
Lisa joins the couple in the shrine to the classic cartoon character they've built in their home. They share 1930s rarities, including an unlicensed bowl featuring Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse, and a gorgeously preserved wooden figure that is the very first Betty Boop doll.
Janet is inspired by Betty Boop; She wants to look like her, be like her and she wants to keep collecting items that remind her of the love she has for the classic character.
Her love for collecting started in the '50s when her mom introduced her to the cartoons. Ever since she was a kid, she's been attracted to Betty Boop's persona and what she stood for.
Betty brings people together from all around the world. So, let's bring it in and take a look at this massive collection featuring Betty Boop!
1. Betty Boop and Scottie pin
This is a polished and engraved silver pin featuring Betty Boop and a Scottish Terrier. Janet found this beautiful item at an antique show around 20 years ago.
It caught their eye because it is in perfect condition and is still attached to the mounting card. This item appeals to two types of collectors: Betty Boop collectors and Scottie collectors. It's very rare to find both Betty and the dog together.
This item would be worth around $500 today.
2. Betty Boop tea set
This adorable vintage Betty Boop tea set was originally made in Japan before the war. This piece intrigued Janet because Betty had blonde hair instead of her usual black hair.
According to our expert, in order to get people to buy more than one item they made a few variations to choose from and collect.
Even though this item is unlicensed, it is still very rare. They are super breakable and can hardly be found today without chips or cracks.
Janet has a complete set of 23, and they have that vintage look that collectors love.
This item would be worth around $2,000 today, included with a box.
3. Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse bowl
This item is a vintage bowl that features both Betty Boop and Steamboat Mickey Mouse. The two cartoons never really crossed paths, making this item even more rare.
Disney might not be happy to see Mickey Mouse mingling with Betty instead of Minnie, but we won't tell anyone.
Even though this item is unlicensed, it appeals to both Betty Boop and Mickey Mouse collectors, which adds to the value of this item.
This item is in perfect condition and would be worth around $750 today.
4. Lulu trays
These Betty Boop-looking trays were originally made for people to place tips in at bars in Mexico. Many different variations were made, and Janet has about 50 of them.
She also has a few larger trays that were used for serving beers. According to Janet, this is Mexico's version of Betty Boop. She is named Lulu and has a slightly different hairstyle than Betty.
The artwork featured on them just adds to their total value. She has enough of these trays to open her own Betty Boop-themed bar! Today they are worth $100 a piece.
5. Betty Boop pencil holder
This is a very fragile Betty Boop pencil holder. This stood out to Janet because of how detailed it was. It is in great condition for how old it is. It's a small art piece and pencil holder combined into one.
This item is worth around $600 today.
6. Jointed wooden Betty Boop doll
This is the first Betty Boop doll ever made. It originally came out in 1932 and is still in great condition. The rope was originally rotted on the doll, but with some TLC from a local toy shop, it was rethreaded and is almost new. Almost.
Her husband originally paid around $500 for this item. This doll still has the original sticker on it, and even though she is a little chipped around the edges, she is still worth a lot of money today.
The sticker being intact is incredibly rare to see. It's a sculpture and a toy all in one.
Today it is worth $4,000.