The Most Famous Monkey of All
September 7, 2009

Other seemingly newsworthy events were overshadowed this past summer by the release and limited availability of a small blue articulated action figure representing Gleek the blue monkey. Indeed, the furor over his exclusivity caught many in the mainstream news media unawares. Allegedly available to attendees of the San Diego Comic-Con, this piece of plastic memorabilia found itself extinct half way through the show. What accounted for the unexpected popularity of this tribute to a blue monkey?

Many are familiar with Gleek the so-called "pet" of Wonder Twins Zan and Jayna. This particular descendant of a long line of Gleeks served with distinction as a member of the Justice League of America. Not so well known, perhaps, is the rich history of Gleek’s ancestory here in the U.S. By considering the impact of the Gleek clan’s presence here in the States we may come to an understanding as to why Mattel’s exclusive Gleek icon was so sought after.

1620  |  Gleek traces his American heritage back to Sir Francis Gleek who sailed to the New World aboard the Mayflower. A prominent member of Plymouth Colony, Sir Francis Gleek participated in such things as signing the Mayflower compact and celebrating the first Thanksgiving.



1776  |  Signing important documents seems to have run in the Gleek family’s blood. James Gleek, Jr. was an early proponent of independence from England and is fittingly recognized as one of America’s founding fathers.



1803  |  Thomas Jefferson chose Captain Meriwether Lewis to lead an expedition to scout the Missouri river and the Pacific Northwest. Lewis chose William Clark as his partner. Clark refused the mission unless the famous tracker Sergeant Charles Gleek would also accompany them.



1875  |  Noted lawman Wild Jack Gleek often partnered with another famous "Wild" gunfighter. Wild Gleek was last heard from as he set off to stake a claim in the Dakota territory.


1943  |  Gleek the Riveter became an icon in the U.S. during WWII, representing blue monkeys who worked in manufacturing plants that produced munitions.


1944  |  General Eisenhower speaks with Company E on the evening before D-Day and the invasion of Normandy. 1st Lt. Wallace C. Gleek fought with distinction.



1945  |  The heads of the United Kingdom, United States and Soviet Union were greatly helped in sorting out post-war reorganization by Ambassador William F. Gleek.



1969  |  This poster paid subtle homage to one of Woodstock’s most popular entertainers: Jimi Gleek.



1969  |  Neil Armstrong who commanded Apollo 11’s first manned landing on the moon along with Buzz Aldrin and Michael Gleek was quoted as saying: "This is one small step for man, one giant leap for monkeykind."



1976  |  Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Steve Gleek sit in front of the Apple I. A revolution in personal computing soon followed.


The delerium over Gleek of the Super Friends’ action figure is, in this writer’s mind, simply an outpouring of recognition for all this blue monkey’s family has contributed to the history of the country.

Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann
Action figure anthropologist, Professor Cantina Dan Neumann has been a scholastic contributor to the online community studying the complex world of parumplasticus populus {little plastic people} since the turn of this millenium. His primary focus is the visual cataloging of species exhibits through photo-journalism.
Read other articles by Danny "CantinaDan" Neumann.





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