SpongeBob SquarePants: Ain't Life a Beach (partially found Nickelodeon press kit; 1999)
The first piece of SpongeBob SquarePants merchandise ever distributed was a 1999 press kit titled "Ain't Life a Beach." It was given out to TV industry employees to promote the upcoming premiere of the cartoon. The kit came in a folder decorated with the original model sheets of the main characters. It included an overview of the show's development history, early character bios, and most notably "raunchy" taglines and pop culture references that were quickly dropped from the show's advertising (the title itself being a play on "life's a bitch").
Most information about the kit is sourced from a single eBay listing, which shows the partial text of three pages. Aside from what can be seen in the images, the content of the individual pages is lost.
Other press kits for SpongeBob have been made since 2004, and they are all easy to find, as they were distributed after the cartoon had become very popular. However, as the 1999 kit was distributed before the show had even premiered, it is unavailable online.
- Encyclopedia SpongeBobia page on Ain't Life a Beach. Retrieved 29 Jun '19
- Photo of the kit, showing the design of the folder and partial text of two pages. Retrieved 29 Jun '19