24th August 2007

Entertainment Weekly!

Entertainment Weekly!

Check out the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly, which spotlights author Benjamin Holcomb and his Mego collectibles book, WORLD’S GREATEST TOYS!, in their “Obsessive Fan of the Week!” column.

Here is what Entertainment Weekly said:

When it comes to Mego (the creator of action figures for Marvel Comics and others), Benjamin Holcomb of Glendale, Calif., wrote the book –literally. A longtime buff of the “charming, cloth-costumed superheroes,” Holcomb could never find enough info about the now-defunct toymaker to quell his voracious passion. The solution? Put his social life “on hold for four years” and put pen to paper. “What sets me apart is how my obsession motivated me into life-changing action,” he says. Indeed.

Now, how cool is that?

MEGO 8″ SUPER-HEROES: WORLD’S GREATEST TOYS! hits shelves October 25, 2007 and is published by TwoMorrows Publishing. Lavishly illustrated with charts, checklists and color photographs, MEGO 8″ SUPER-HEROES: WORLD’S GREATEST TOYS! is a 256-page Hardcover extravaganza, costing only $49.95, containing more than 1,100 full color images.

Below, you will find cover blurbs from Chipp Kidd and Brad Meltzer and links to purchase the book.

Thanks for spreading the word.

pr@worldsgreatesttoys.com
WORLD’S GREATEST TOYS!

PRAISE FOR WORLD’S GREATEST TOYS!

“…a stunning visual experience that will leave you weeping like a nine-year old who just misplaced Robin’s removable mask.”

— Chip Kidd, author of Batman Collected

“I’ve waited thirty years for this magical, beautiful book. And now, Benjamin Holcomb has given it to us.”

— Brad Meltzer, author of NY Times Best-Selling The Book of Fate and DC’s Justice League of America

Links to purchase WORLD’S GREATEST TOYS! can be found here:

— TwoMorrows Publishing

Additionally, a special Collectors Edition is available exclusively through TwoMorrows Publishing:

The Collectors Edition includes a signed-and-numbered edition (limited to 250 copies), a full-color promotional postcard featuring an alternate book cover design, and a copy of John Bonavita’s full-color reprint of Mego’s 1972-1982 Super-Hero catalogs.

— Amazon.com (Note: This is the cheapest way to get the book!)

Book Cover

1974

Superman

posted in Book Production, Book Status, Mego Corporation, Random Musings, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

15th August 2007

Contest: What In The (Mego) World? (Part 2)

Since the first contest ended so abruptly — not allowing enough time for Megoheads to submit their answers — I decided to expedite another brain-twisting edition of:

What in the (Mego) World?!

The object of the game is to identify the four Mego-related objects depicted below. There is no Extra Credit this time…

The Quiz
What in the (Mego) World?! (081507)

As before, please submit your answers directly to me at: benjamin@worldsgreatesttoys.com. Good luck!

_____

Update: August 18, 2007 8:25pm
The contest has officially ended. To recap:

The Winner

For this edition of the What in the (Mego) World?! contest, I have decided to award 1st Prize to two different people:

Thomas M. (Meule)

and

Pat D. (Knight Errant00)

Due to the facts that Thomas had a nine-hour head start on the contest, and Pat submitted the correct answers within 8 hours of Thomas’ submission, I think it’s only fair I come up with two prize packs.

In the future, I have decided to level the playing field by introducing a starting time for the next contest, giving everyone a chance to participate and, more importantly, to win.

This was a good contest, with a lot of great answers! As I had hoped (I warned you the contests would get harder), most people mistakenly identified the first image as a detail of Joker’s bodysuit. My favorite answer was for the second image, which one participant identified as “Wonder Woman’s cleavage from some artwork.”

I also got a good laugh out of Paul H’s submission. Paul won the 1st Edition of “What in the (Mego) World?! and he wrote, “As the current champion, I reserve the right to say that number 2 is so easy that I don’t even have to say it. Which means I have no clue. ”

Brilliant, Paul!

Here we go:

The Quiz
The Quiz

The Anwers
What in the (Mego) World?! (081507)

Congratulations to Thomas and Pat. Please Email me your addresses and I’ll get your prizes out to you. Thanks to everyone who played!

Thomas’ answers:
1. Penguin’s pants
2. Catwoman’s eyebrow
3. Fist Fighter Robin box
4. Green arrow boot

Pat’s answers:
1) The Penguin’s hip /the bottom edge of his “vest”
2) Cat Woman’s eyebrow
3) Fist Fighting Robin’s packaging art (impact point where he’s punched out the Riddler)
4) Green Arrow’s boot (seam where the foot meets the shin)

What do you think? Should we do another Edition? Let me know!

posted in Contests, Dynamite!, Mego Corporation, Random Musings, What in the Mego World? | Comments Off

13th August 2007

Contest: What In The (Mego) World? (Part 1)

One of my fondest memories of childhood: Scholastic delivery day at my elementary school.

Why? Simple:

Dynamite Magazine Logo

Remember Scholastic’s Dynamite Magazine from the 1970s? Dynamite (1974-1992) was a veritable “Pop Culture” barometer published during the Golden Age of Pop Culture itself. Very Postmodern, in retrospect.

Among the innumerably cool things about Dynamite was a back-page puzzle entitled, if memory serves correctly, “What In The World?” This page featured macro-focus photographs of common objects that kids encountered in everyday life.

An extreme close-up of an orange peel.

An extreme detail of a crack in concrete sidewalk.

Anyway, the object of the game was to identify the larger object being photographed. It was a challenge I relished and looked forward to. I think it’s high time we revisited this brilliant, mind-twisting challenge.

So, without further ado, I present:

What in the (Mego) World?!
This is a contest. The first person to Email me with the proper identification of the following four Mego-related objects will win a prize.*

Here’s the first contest:

What in the (Mego) World?! (081307)

Email your answers to me, directly, at: benjamin@worldsgreatesttoys.com

The first person to correctly identify all four Mego-related objects correctly will win a prize. Good luck!
__________

* Prize to be determined by Benjamin Holcomb, contest coordinator. No exceptions will be made. Extra credit if you can provide specific information about one or more of the objects depicted. For example, furnish answers to relevant questions such as, “is it an early- or late-edition Mego attribute?” or “What is the material or texture shown?” or “What year did this attribute debut?” You get the idea. Have fun!

_____

Update: August 14, 2007 8:40pm
The contest has officially ended. To recap:

The Quiz

What in the (Mego) World?! (081307)

The Anwers
What in the (Mego) World?! (081307)

The Winner
Only one person correctly identified all four Mego objects. The winner is:

Paul H. (AKA Grendel)

Paul submitted his answers at 10:59am today:

1) Human torch outfit
2) Aquaman paper belt
3) Back of the Batman 8″ box
4) Captain America fabric star

Paul gets extra credit for:

1) Recognizing the paper emblem on Aquaman’s belt
2) Recognizing the fabric material of Captain America’s emblem.

Congratulations, Paul! Email me your shipping address, and I’ll send your prize right away. Thanks to everyone who played!

posted in Contests, Dynamite!, Mego Memories, Random Musings, What in the Mego World? | Comments Off

12th August 2007

The World’s Greatest Toys… Are French?!

Quick DC Heroes
Above: Quick Restaurant’s exclusive line of (ten) DC Super Heroes include Penguin, Flash, Poison Ivy, Superman, Wonder Woman, Robin, Batgirl, Batman, Catwoman and the Joker.

A few years ago, I collected a set of brilliant “DC Heroes” (Batman family and Justice League characters) toys from France. I love these figures and I’m still amazed that they were incentive toys from a French fast food restaurant.

According to French blogger and fast food aficionado Darth Burger, Quick is a second-rate pretender to McDonald’s throne. Founded in 1971 by Belgian food distributor GB INNO BM, Quick debuted in Aix-en-Provence France in 1980.

“Here the principal challenger of McDonald’s in France since more than 20 years,” write Darth Burger on his Quick fan appreciation site Les Cahiers du Burger. “Like Pepsi vis-a-vis Coca, Quick seems the eternal second but does not give up the fight for as much.”

On his site, Darth Burger explains Quick’s ‘incentive’ toys:

“Also let us note the special menus for children, named Magic Box, with unfortunately most of the time of the figurines resulting from licences less prestigious than those of [McDonalds] (Gadget inspector recently when [McDonalds] proposed Disney cuddly toys…).”

Translation of the translation: Quick’s version of the Happy Meal is the Magic Box, except the French toys typically suck.

Darth Burger continues:

“But Quick awakes sometimes, and when it is the case explodes all with goodies which kill their back mother, grandmothers and grandmothers.”

Translation of the translation: Even a blind pig can root out a truffle now and again, and French kids whine and beg just like kids in other countries.

“At the end of 2002, one saw also very beautiful Batman figurines, large and finely engraved. It’s a pity that these various wonders remain rather exceptions.”

Translation of the translation: While most Quick toys suck, 2002’s DC Heroes toys rule.

The Quick Restaurant DC Heroes Magic Box Collection truly is a sight to behold.

Unlike most American incentive toys, these figures are beautifully sculpted, even boasting articulation. Quick offered one toy per “Magic Box” (i.e. “Happy Meal”) and even the food box features killer graphics.
Quick DC Heroes Magic Box
Above: Quick’s DC Heroes Magic Box is covered with wonderful illustrations.

Quick DC Heroes' Articulation
Above: Quick’s exclusive Flash and Robin figures demonstrate the figures’ impressive articlation

One of the really astonishing aspects of these toys is the relative scale. Look at little Robin! The Super-Gals are much smaller than the other figures, and even the diminutive Penguin is scaled proportionately and properly. Perhaps more surprising is the actual size of the toys; Batman, Superman and Flash measure in at a healthy 8 inches tall (my favorite doll height, of course).

Here are some detail shots of these exquisite figures.

Quick Batman
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Batman

Quick Robin
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Robin

Quick Superman
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Superman

Quick Flash
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Flash

Quick Catwoman
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Catwoman

Quick Penguin
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Penguin

Quick Joker
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Joker

Quick Poison Ivy
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Poison Ivy

Quick Batgirl
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Batgirl

Quick Wonder Woman
Above: Quick’s Exclusive Wonder Woman

Rosti On a side note, Darth Burger’s obsessive Web site had me rolling on the floor. Earnestly discussing his favorite restaurant, Burger pleads for the return of Quick’s discontinued Smoked Turkey Burger, called the Rosti (shown at left):

“Created in 2001 to counter the phobia of ox generated by the afffaire of the insane cows, it rarefies today, since the majority of franchized chose to remove it!”

The phrases, “the phobia of ox” and “the afffaire of the insane cows” are two of the funniest translations I’ve ever read. Brilliant.

Burger continued:

“It thus became about it all the more worship, since only certain Quick, those directly managed by the sign, still propose it. The fan will have to thus make kilométres in to sustain himself more.”

Translation of the translation: The Rosti is so good, people will travel from miles around to enjoy its delicious flavor.

I don’t know about that nasty-looking turkey thing, but I do know that if I could get toys like this at an American restaurant, I would drive a long way to do it!

posted in Fast Food, Modern Toys, Quick, Random Musings, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

8th August 2007

Separated At Birth? Beverly D’Angelo & Mego Invisible Girl

I absolutely adore Mego’s head sculpt of Marvel’s Fantastic Four heroine, Invisible Girl. The Invisible Girl head sculpt is actually one of the “Mego Mysteries” still out there, which is:

“When was this sculpt commissioned, and whom does it represent?”

Most Mego heads are inscribed with licensor copyright information,* revealing when it was sculpted (typically the year before the figure was offered to the public).

Here’s what is interesting about Invisible Girl:

The back of the necks of simultaneously released Fantastic Four characters Thing, Human Torch and Mr. Fantastic are crudely inscribed with the legal notice, “©1975 Marvel C.G.”

However, The back of Invisible Girl’s neck is crudely inscribed with the legal notice, “©1974 Marvel C.G.”. This discrepancy indicates her head was sculpted the year prior to her Fantastic Four teammates. More importantly, the discrepancy suggests the possibility that it was intended for another character.

I’ve always gotten a good chuckle out of Mego’s Invisible Girl head sculpt because, in my opinion, it resembles actress Bevery D’Angelo (of National Lampoon’s Vacation movies and HBO’s Entourage).

It may be a stretch for some to see, so I Googled “Beverly D’Angelo” and found a few reference pictures. With a little Photoshop lovin’, I present Beverly D’Invisible:

Beverly D'Angelo
Plus
Mego Invisible Girl
Equals
Beverly D'Invisible

* The heads included with Montgomery Ward-exclusive “Secret Identities” outfits, which Mego issued in 1974, often lack discernible copyright information.

posted in Acknowledgements, Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, Random Musings | Comments Off

7th August 2007

San Diego Comic-Con 2007: TwoMorrows Booth

I had a lot of fun finally meeting my publisher, John Morrow, along with his wife Pam and their adorable daughters, Lily and Hannah Rose. I also enjoyed meeting Eric Nolen-Weathington and Tom “The Comics Savant” Stewart (always impeccably outfitted in vintage 60s suits and Beatle boots).

It was especially gratifying to see the cover of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! emblazoned on the banner above the TwoMorrows booth.

TwoMorrows Booth 1

TwoMorrows Booth 2

TwoMorrows Booth 3

TwoMorrows Booth 4

posted in Book Production, Random Musings, San Diego Comic-Con '07 | Comments Off

7th August 2007

San Diego Comic-Con 2007: Negative Space

I managed to take a few compositionally interesting photographs. Despite the mad rush of bodies, seemingly everywhere you walked, I captured two (reported) “Dr. Who” costumers and a couple of thoroughly exhausted convention attendees. I like the rare occurrence of negative space.

Negative Space 1

Negative Space 2

posted in Geek-Grrls!, Random Musings, San Diego Comic-Con '07 | Comments Off

7th August 2007

San Diego Comic-Con 2007: Breakin’ 2 (Electric Nerdaloo)

OK. If anyone out there thinks Comic-Con is too ‘focused’ and that you won’t see anything except nerds and comics, I’m here to say you’re wrong. Presented for your consideration, this random break dancer and his posse.

Breakin' 1

Breakin' 2

posted in Random Musings, San Diego Comic-Con '07 | Comments Off

7th August 2007

San Diego Comic-Con 2007: Death Star Break Room

I thought Imperial Elvis was clever, but I happened upon a scene that just cracked me up. This Stormtrooper was really getting into a foosball game. You could hear muffled grunts and screams emanating from beneath his helmet. Yet he simply refused to remove his mask! Competitive nature battling character authenticity, and I was impressed that his Imperial duty prevailed.

I was even more impressed that the Stormtrooper actually won the foosball game.

Foosball!

posted in Random Musings, San Diego Comic-Con '07 | Comments Off

7th August 2007

San Diego Comic-Con 2007: Batman Family

Each year at Comic-Con, Batman and related characters account for many of the costumes you will see. I was quite impressed by some of the outfits, such as the Batman/Catwoman and Joker/Harley Quinn combinations I encountered.

Batman Family

posted in Geek-Grrls!, Random Musings, San Diego Comic-Con '07 | Comments Off