16th June 2008

New Article: Mego Retailers!

Today, we gather the collective knowledge of Mego Museum members, who contributed their memories in an effort to catalog every retailer that sold Mego toys back in the day! Sadly, most of these stores are long-gone, but that’s partially what makes visiting the past so much fun… it’s the only way we can go back in time.

I recently blogged my compilation of Mego WGSH Item Numbers, which is a helpful resource for collectors, fans and historians alike. While that article may be interesting only to hard-core collectors/historians, I believe this new article is fun for anyone (those raised in the ’70s, at least) to browse.

Without further ado, I present:

Mego Retailers: Stores from the Good Ol’ Days!

Retailers

You can read the article here.

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Memories, Mego Packaging, Mego Retailers, Price Stickers, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

13th June 2008

Incredible Mego WGSH Auctions on eBay!

41 year-old Joseph A. Zyskowski is a real estate agent in Nevada, and he has one of the most incredible stories in the history of Mego collecting.

This week, Joe started auctioning his staggering collection of Mego WGSH figures. Joe started buying these toys as a prescient 11 year-old kid, way back in 1978. In just three years, Joe managed to acquire nearly every 8″ Super-Hero toy Mego ever produced, including several of the rarest packaging examples known to exist.

Joe’s childhood collection includes Window Boxes, one 1st Issue card (perhaps the rarest) and several 2nd Issue cards.

There are precious few holes in Joe’s collection, all of which befuddle him. I recently Emailed Joe, asking about Speedy and Kid Flash, two figures curiously lacking in his collection. Joe wrote back:

When I was 12 I wrote the words “1979 Hero Obsolite” [sic] on the bottom of this card and Wondergirl’s. The word “obsolite” [sic] was meant to indicate that the figures were discontinued and no longer being sold in stores. The Teen Titans figures were EXTREMELY difficult to find. I was only able to purchase Aqualad and Wondergirl and never found the rest of them in stores after that. Which was quite a bummer because I really wanted Speedy and Kid Flash, too.

Tonight, I replied to Joe, in an attempt to shed some light on his other mysteries. If he replies, I’ll discuss it further on the blog. Until then, here’s what I wrote:

Hi Joe,

Thank you for the wonderful response. I wanted to pass on some information I gathered while researching my Mego book, which you might find interesting:

First, the likely reason you were never able to find Tarzan as a kid, is that you started collecting in 1978. Due to contract disputes between Mego and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. (ERB), Mego lost the rights to produce Tarzan figures in 1976… two years BEFORE you started collecting. Under the terms of the agreement, ERB allowed Mego to sell off existing inventory, but clearly the stores near you (wherever you grew up) had already run out of Tarzan inventory when you started hunting down Mego toys.

Second, regarding the other two characters you couldn’t find as a kid (Speedy and Kid Flash): The truth is, all four Teen Titans were poor sellers (aka ‘Peg Warmers’), and could be found on discount clearance at Toys “R” Us stores well into the 1980s. However, you purchased most of your figures through Heroes World (by the way, did you shop at one of their mall stores, or did you order figures through their comic book catalogs? I’m really curious!), and Heroes World evidently sold out most of their Titans inventory very early on: The Titans first appeared in the April 1977 Heroes World catalogs. By the time Heroes World issued their very next catalog, mere months later (Fall 1977), they offered only Speedy and Wondergirl.

Based on that fact, I’m surprised you were able to acquire Aqualad from Heroes World. I would have guessed Aqualad and Kid Flash would be the two you couldn’t find, but the point is that HW either: 1) Ordered lightly on the Titans wave; 2) Sold the figures briskly; 3) Sent you one of the last Kid Flash figures in their inventory or; 4) Some combination of the above.

Next, in your “1st Issue” (aka “Kresge”) carded Shazam auction, you commented:

“The funny thing about this figure is that I can’t remember Kresge’s at all! In my mind’s eye, I remember buying this figure at a K-Mart, but that obviously wasn’t the case. I must have been more concerned about where the toy isle was vs what store I was shopping at! Thanks for your interest in my collection.”

Your memory of buying this figure at Kmart is most certainly correct. S.S. Kresge (the five-and-dime store that created Kmart) was an early Mego supporter, ordering sufficient quantities to warrant ‘owned-brand’ packaging (i.e. true “Kresge” cards). However, by the time Mego issued your particular Shazam card, Kresge no longer ordered sufficient quantities to receive owned-brand 1st Issue “Kresge” cards. Kresge still offered Mego toys, but the lion’s share of inventory was routed to more profitable Kmart stores.

In other words, you don’t remember “Kresge” for a reason; you likely bought the toy at Kmart, as your memory suggests.

I hope this information sheds some light on the mysteries of your truly astonishing attempt to “Collect ‘em All” as a kid.

Finally, I would really love to correspond with you after the auctions are completed. I find your story absolutely fascinating, and I’d love to hear your memories, and document them on my book blog.

My fingers are crossed that Joe replies. I can’t wait to talk to him again!

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

Current Music: ‘Til I Gain Control Again, Emmylou Harris

posted in 1st Issue Blister Cards, 2nd Issue Blister Cards, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Memories, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, S.S. Kresge, Tarzan, Teen Titans, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys, eBay Auctions | Comments Off

12th June 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Another Scott Adams Mystery!

Recently, Mego-head Scott Adams shared his set of mysteriously identical price stickers. Scott’s pretty sure they are from Service Merchandise.

When Scott submitted those awesome photos, he also sent another price sticker that has me stumped. This sticker, affixed to a MIB Mego Lizard, is utterly mysterious:

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • PRANGE
  • T
  • 661 36
  • $2.97

P-Range? Prange? Pranget?! Any idea who produced this sticker, thus selling a fine MIB Mego Lizard? Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Lizard, Price Stickers, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | 1 Comment

10th June 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Service Merchandise?!

Thanks to Mego-head Scott (”megomuseum”) Adams, we have an incredible set of three identical price stickers, affixed to three different, 4th Wave Mego World’s Greatest Super-Heroes figures!

Scott tells me that, while he can’t confirm, he believes these were sold by Service Merchandise. Check out these three price stickers, affixed to MIB “2nd Version” Marvel (New Logo) heroes. Left to right, Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Thor:

Price Sticker

The stickers all read:

  • 03FO9
  • MEGO
  • 115605
  • 1313
  • $2.99

How freakin’ cool that the price stickers actually have “MEGO” printed on them?! More importantly, how weird that the stickers feature the “4-digit” Item Code, well after Mego introduced the “5-digit” Item Code? Wow.

Do you have any idea what retailer sold the toys pictured above? It was Service Merchandise, right? If you agree, or you think it was a different store, please explain why you think so. Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Price Stickers, Service Merchandise, Thor, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

6th June 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Gold Circle!

Gold Circle, a discount department store founded by Federated in 1967 (in Columbus, Ohio), went out of business in 1988. Thanks to Mego-head Anthony “Toyroom” Durso, we have this awesome Gold Circle price sticker, affixed to a “3rd Version” (4-panel) Shazam box:

Price Sticker

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Gold Circle, Price Stickers, Shazam!, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

5th June 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Two Guys!

Two Guys (AKA “2 Guys”) was a New Jersey-based chain of discount department stores with locations in PA, NJ, NY, IL, CT, MD and CA. This is one of the few retailers known to have sold Mego-branded “1st Issue” cards; most “1st Issue” cards were Kresge-branded, thus exclusively available through S.S. Kresge and Kmart stores.

Here’s a fine Two Guys price sticker, affixed to a “1st Version” (old logo) Batgirl box (just $2.99):

Price Sticker

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Batgirl, Daily Mego Adoration, Price Stickers, Two Guys, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

3rd June 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Lionel!

Originally a manufacturer of electric trains, Lionel Corporation became a holding company in 1969, specializing in toy stores. By the early 1980s, Lionel operated some 150 stores, under the names Toy City, Lionel Kiddie City, Lionel Playworld, Lionel Toy Warehouse, and Lionel Toy Town.

After multiple Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, Lionel attempted to merge with bankrupt Child World in 1992, but was unable to secure financing. Lionel stores went out of business in 1993.

In other words, Lionel was a big-time player (reportedly the second largest toy retailer) during Mego’s heyday. They must have been pretty big, as they were one of the few retailers that offered Mego’s Fist-Fighting Power Fist line of action figures, including this Fist-Fighting Joker:

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • SKU 147439
  • LIONEL 097
  • $1.91

I have to think if I’d seen one of these in a store in 1975 or 1976 (for $1.91 no less!), I’d have been all over it. I know my mom would have hooked me up for that price.

Sheesh.

I honestly don’t remember ever seeing the Fist-Fighters in any store.

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Joker, Lionel, Price Stickers, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

30th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Solid Box WGSH!

Thanks to Mego-head Scott Adams, we have seen some unusual examples of Mego price stickers. Today we offer a gem from Scott Adams’ MIB collection. The very first “Mego Price Stickers” blog, back on April 15th 2007, was a look at price stickers affixed to the original Mego packaging — the “Solid” boxes. We have come full circle.

Given how scarce any “Solid” box is today, it’s really special to locate specimens that retain their original price stickers. We have already been fortunate to show two such stickers.

Today, Scott adds yet another retailer into the fray of early Mego adopters: Roses also purchased Solid Boxed WGSH!

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • Roses Special
  • $1.97

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Price Stickers, Roses, Superman, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

29th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Thornbury’s and Toys By Rizzi!

Recently, I have focused attention on any retailer that sold Mego WGSH, with little regard to which toys those particular retailers offered. I am especially interested in comparing retailers that sold related Mego toys simultaneously.

We know that Mego offered better pricing for larger orders, so it’s fun to examine differing price-points each retailer required. The printed ’sale price’ is a strong indication of how large a retailer was… in other words, the cheaper the ’sale price,’ the larger that retailer’s purchase order with Mego.

Today, we examine Mego price stickers from two different retailers from the same time period (1976); both stickers are affixed to MIB 4th Wave “Marvel” Super-Heroes. Both Thornbury’s and Toys By Rizzi offered Mego’s final wave of WGSH-branded figures in 1976, at a time most retailers were cooling on Mego products.

First up, Thornbury’s (AKA “The Fun Place”) and this sticker, affixed to a MIB Thor:

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • The Fun Place
  • GJB664b
  • THORNBURY’S
  • $3.99
  • Toys-Bicycles

Next is Toys By Rizzi and this sticker, affixed to a MIB Conan:

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • TOYS BY
  • RIZZI
  • 1313
  • 256 MGO
  • $4.29

It’s interesting that Toys By Rizzi used part of the Mego Item Number (1313) on their sticker, not to mention the fact that Toys By Rizzi’s toy cost $0.30 more than Thornbury’s toy. The price discrepancy reveals the relative scale of each retailer’s buying power. Clearly, Thornbury’s placed a larger Mego order (at least in 1976) than Toys by Rizzi.

Three cheers to both retailers for supporting Mego in the face of diminishing consumer interest and slowing sales. I hope your Mego inventory eventually sold out. Heck, I wish I’d been there to buy them all up!

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Conan, Daily Mego Adoration, Price Stickers, Thor, Thornbury's, Toys By Rizzi, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

27th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Late Toys “R” Us

Yesterday, we looked at an early Toys “R” Us price sticker. Today, we look at the more common, later orange price sticker (most commonly associated with Mego “2nd Issue” cards) that Toys “R” Us affixed to Mego toys, such as this “6th Version” (New Logo) Superman box:

Price Sticker

What’s cool about this particular sticker is that it demonstrates approximately when Toys “R” Us introduced the orange sticker (i.e. while Mego was producing the final box variation). I always associated the orange Toys “R” Us stickers with the “2nd Issue” cards, which started appearing after 1977, but now we know the retailer actually introduced the new sticker design in 1976.

Cool!

The sticker reads:

  • 51300 F
  • TOYS R’ US
  • 118893 $2.82

Post your comments below. I’d like to hear your thoughts.

Benjamin

Exclamation Want to learn more about Mego and the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes?
Pick up a copy of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys from Amazon.com today! All sales support the author and help finance the blog. How cool is that?

posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Price Stickers, Superman, Toys "R" Us!, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

  • Calendar

  • December 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Nov    
     123
    45678910
    11121314151617
    18192021222324
    25262728293031