In the spirit of yesterday’s Blog about Christmas catalogs and Mailer Boxes, I have a wonderful opportunity to continue discussing Christmas memories. Back in the 1970s, Christmas was a rare opportunity for most kids to finally get the toys they’d been pining over â€” and begging for â€” all year long.
I devoted an entire chapter of World’s Greatest Toys! to Christmas catalogs, this wondrous time of year, and the joys-’n-toys the season brought. Here’s a snippet from the book (page 54, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited page-spread:
Mego Worldâ€™s Greatest Super-Heroes toys appeared in a variety of Christmas catalogs between 1973 and 1981. 1976 marked the last time a retailer promoted new characters; Montgomery Ward added Green Goblin and Lizard from the 3rd Wave, but passed on any of the 4th Wave heroes, including Thor, Conan and the Fantastic Four. Introducing Isis as a â€œspecialâ€ in 1976, Montgomery Ward opted against promoting the Teen Titans in 1977. While no American retailers promoted the line past 1980, the Canadian arm of Sears featured four of the remaining characters in their 1981 catalog.
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I think it’s safe to say that all Mego-heads have vivid memories of Mego and Christmas. However, few of us actually have childhood photos to supplement our recollections and collections. Mego super-collector Mike Armes is incredibly fortunate to have both memories and pictures! As you will see in the forthcoming series of Photo Blogs, Mike enjoyed a particularly Mego-centric childhood. When Mego implored consumers to “Collect ‘em all,” Mike’s parents really took it to heart!
Without further ado, I present Part 1 in a series (woo-hoo!) I am calling:
The Mego book includes three photos from Mike’s family photo album, including this shot of Mike holding his RC Batman on Christmas morning in 1973:
Here’s a detail of Mike’s Mego goodness:
What the book didn’t include is a picture from the night before this picture was takenâ€¦ Christmas Eve 1973. Mike’s parent allowed him to open one toy that night. Mike chose wisely, but before going to bed, he put the toy back in its original packaging and placed it under the tree, to enjoy on Christmas morning:
Dig that vintage Speedaway sled! Here’s a detail of the Mego goodness underneath the Christmas tree, an RC Batman in the 2nd Version box (issued shortly after the original Solid box, which Mego revised to add an acetate window):
I want to thank Mike for sharing these incredible mementos with us.
Mike and I were intrigued by the large, yellow price sticker afixed to the box front. Mike’s father told him the toy was likely purchased at either “Weston’s” or “Jamesway” in upstate New York. I have no memories of either retailer, so I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Feel free to post your thoughts and comments on the Mego Museum message board (NB: links to a specific thread about this subject). If you’re not already a member of the Mego Museum, now is the perfect time to join!
I have more great blogs lined up for the near future, including more “Mike Armes’ ’70s Christmas Spectacular” entries. Until then, Iâ€™ll see you on the boards!
Blog Credits and legal stuff: Images published by Benjamin Holcomb, Mike Armes and TwoMorrows Publications. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.