Popeye, the pugilistic sailor who first weighed anchor as a minor character in a now forgotten comic strip, celebrated his 60th birthday Saturday, still able to singlefistedly crush a spinach can.

The muscular mariner marked his 60th year of delighting children around the globe with a bash at F.A.O. Schwarz, the swank Fifth Avenue toy store, surrounded by kids and fellow cartoon characters.Popeye first appeared in 1929 as a minor character in the "Thimble Theater" comic strip - featuring Olive Oyl and her family - when two of the characters were going on a boat trip and needed a sailor, said Carl Langrock of King Features, which syndicates the comic strip.

Olive Oyl's seafaring suitor "ended up taking over the whole strip," even stealing the strip's slender star away from her boyfriend, Ham Gravy, Langrock recalled.