30th October 2006

The Tale of the Last Mego at Heroes World, Part II

Shortly after I published the story about almost getting the Last Mego at Heroes World, I talked to my parents and told them about the story. My mom vaguely remembered it, and we all had a chuckle.

I talked to my parents yesterday, and they had fun news for me. This past weekend, my dad was up in the attic looking for something, and my mom yelled up to him asking that he pull down the financial records from 1986 and 1987. “Let’s see if we can find that Heroes World check for Benjamin,” she hollered.

I was reasonably certain that I placed the call toward the end of 1986, based on my general memory of how much time I felt had passed before receiving the bad-news letter from Heroes World (April 21, 1987). But I would never have been able to pinpoint exactly when. So my parents started combing their old check registers looking for just such a purchase (how cool is that?!).

Lo and behold, inside one of the registers marked “1986,” they found the exact listing for the check my mom wrote to Heroes World.

Because they are so thorough (and so darned nice), they even went through all of their returned checks for all of 1987, to see whether Heroes World ever cashed the check. The check was not there (every other one being accounted for), confirming that Heroes World never did, in fact, cash the check.

What’s really cool, is I now know the phone call was placed, and the check written, at the end of October 1986 (my mom only entered the date once per month, and the first listing on the following page reads “11/03″ — November 3, 1986).

Not only that, it turns out the Last Mego at Heroes World was actually a 12″ Hulk… which cost $10.60. It is a small shame I never received the figure, but having documentation from both sides of the transaction is infinitely cooler to me.

Here’s what my dad scanned and sent me. It was check number 6658:

Check Register

Man, my parents are cool.

Benjamin

posted in Mego Memories, Random Musings | Comments Off

25th October 2006

Spreading the Mego Love!

My nephew is three… perhaps a bit young to appreciate Mego Love. But I got parental approval from my brother and sister-in-law (the accomplished and amazing Jillian).

I promptly sent young Henry a Mego Batman.

… which was broken within the first hour.

I learned that 30-year old plastic is no longer “kid tough.” Accordingly, I put together some great Mego Super-Heroes, using mostly new reproduction parts. These pictures take me back to my youth, and I recall the overwhelming joy the toys brought me.

Package Arrives
the package arrives!
Package Arrives
the first suprise!
Package Arrives
which one do I open?!
Package Arrives
I’ll take them both!

Heck, Mego Super-Heroes still bring me joy. It’s just nice to see it in its purest form.

Benjamin

posted in Mego Memories, Random Musings | 3 Comments

25th October 2006

Drowning in Blogs?

Anyone else notice that Blogger and Blogspot are dead tonight? I imagine they’ve succumbed to idiotic publications like this one. Kind of cracks me up, though, when “big” sites up and die.

IT Manager: “Is it serious?”
Vice President: “Yes. I would say this is Mission Critical.”

Heh.

My server goes down, too, so I shouldn’t ask for whom the bell tolls. I’m relieved that I know how to contact my Service Provider, at least. Hard to do that when Google goes down.

Benjamin

posted in Random Musings | Comments Off

12th October 2006

Tripping Down Memory Lane

I just took a creepy, nostalgic tour of so-called “Dead Malls.”

Searching for something completely different, I stumbled upon an amazing site called DeadMalls.com. “Welcome to Retail History!!” the site proclaims (yes, they use double exclamation points).

Apparently, there is a fairly widespread and morbid fascination with the Decline of Western Civilization (also known as “The Mall”). This site is a bit contradictory, as it features loving recollections from mall aficionados, but they are often supplemented with images of the demolition of these retail oases (Note: the Webmaster is kind enough to use a little “camera” icon to denote Mall pages that feature photos! Look for ‘em!). There is even a map of the United States, with links to regional shopping mall recollections and photos.

I got absolutely caught up in this Web site, finding old photos of mall stores like this boarded up Montgomery Ward, which once thrived at the Regency Mall in Augusta, Georgia.

Montgomery Ward!

Being a Mego collector, I have a certain affinity for Montgomery Ward. Ward was the only catalog retailer to receive exclusive Mego Super-Heroes (the Secret Identity outfits in 1974 and Isis in 1976). Ward was the bomb. It’s wonderful to see an image of Ward, yet heartbreaking to view it in utter abandonment and disrepair.

I prefer to recall these vintage malls in a more romantic light. I found this picture, from the Northland Mall in Jennings, MO, which tapped into the deepest “pleasure” synapses of my brain.

Northland Mall

Apparently, architects in Missouri read the same magazines as those who designed malls in my home state of Michigan. The enormous brick facade! That delicate, deco logo! A sensible, highly-legible script typeface with the “Sputnik” starbursts! It’s a logo seemingly ripped from a black-and-white 1960s automobile ad in Life magazine…

Sigh…

Looking at that picture, I can practically taste the Sander’s hot fudge they served at the Macy*s cafeteria in Birmingham, MI.

If you have some time to kill (seriously, it’s fucking addictive), I strongly urge you to check out:

Dead Malls

benjamin

posted in Mego Memories, Random Musings | Comments Off

5th October 2006

It’s Official: The Book Will Be Published!

I am thrilled to announce that the book has found a home. The incredible TwoMorrows has agreed to publish Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys!, and it will be available for sale winter 2007.

TwoMorrows LogoSeveral people on the Mego Museum had urged me to investigate TwoMorrows as a possible publisher. I must confess that I did not act on the advice. Interestingly, my introduction to the publisher came by way of a strange set of events (in which I had absolutely no participation). I hope to tell that story later, but suffice to say that it confirms my recent revelation that the book is just Meant To Be.

Needless to say, I am pleased beyond belief. Given that less than two months ago, I was convinced this book would never happen, this is an amazing turn of events.

In celebration of this news, I want to share a story about Peggy and Captain America. Peggy is my mom. I call my mother “Peggy” and my father “Ray.” That’s another story, for another day. You already know who Captain America is, but you didn’t know who Peggy is. Now you know.

I have a vivid memory from 1978. I was 8 years old, talking to Peg while she was working in the back right corner of her bedroom. She was working toward a college degree, and that’s just where her desk was. Anyway, Peg asked me which [Mego] character I wanted most. Had I responded with the character she had recently purchased, she would have given it to me on the spot. I named every character I could think of, but failed to mention the one she had. Peg concluded I didn’t ‘really want’ that figure, and promised to exchange it for one on my improvised wish list.

Not one to delay gratification, I later sneaked into their closet to root out the unnamed treasure. It was a carded Captain America, which I promptly removed from the sealed blister to play with. I’ll never forget that cherry red card with the comic illustrations! It was just awesome to me. I played with Cap for a very… long…. time.

Stupid kid! Now that I think back, I even remember my mom calling out to me while I was in there taking off Cap’s boots to inspect them. She was “checking up” on me (as moms are wont to do), and I remember feeling so damned proud that I didn’t get busted. Stupid kid! It’s only now that I realize she knew I was in there the whole damned time! Aaarrgh!

Moms are smart. Kids are stupid.

How stupid? I rushed to put Cap back in the package (remember, this was a blister card, not a box), but couldn’t find one of the boots. Hurriedly, I put Cap back on the card with one frickin’ boot. That’s how stupid.

I never learned what my mom did with that opened package, but I never saw it again (nor do I recall receiving any shit for my transgression). She assures me that she must have given it to me, but the coda of that recollection is lost… like tears in rain (any Bladerunner fans out there? Hello…?).

In honor of this beloved memory, I present a brand new sample from the book. This is another example of what I call “Frog Diagrams” (so-called because they remind me of those 7th grade Biology books that illustrate the anatomy of frogs). Each character will receive a similar treatment, each designed to break down the variant accessories and outfits Mego produced. I hope you dig it.

Captain America

Benjamin

posted in Book Production, Book Status, Mego Memories, Random Musings | 6 Comments

  • Calendar

  • October 2006
    M T W T F S S
    « Sep   Nov »
     1
    2345678
    9101112131415
    16171819202122
    23242526272829
    3031