Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Tuesday, April 15, 2008:
Happy Birthday To Me!
It’s my birthday today, so I’m writing a Blog that is probably only interesting to me. That’s my prerogative, right?
I adore vintage price stickers. A veritable time capsule to better days, I especially love price stickers that adorn my beloved Mego toys. I’m not as crazy about price stickers that cover ‘important’ packaging design elements â€” such as those that cover the character logo â€” but I love them all.
For several years now, I have been collecting and archiving images of Mego price stickers. I get tremendous satisfaction from comparing printed prices to particular packaging variations, studying the evolution of Mego wholesale-versus-retail pricing.
A self-styled Mego archaeologist, I also find myself trying to decipher each retailers’ unique (if utilitarian) item codes, intended to define each product.
By the way, I am actively seeking contributions to my Price Sticker Library, so if you have access to vintage price stickers affixed to Mego toys, I want to hear from you!
This blog, surely the first in an ongoing series, focuses on Mego’s original packaging style: The “Solid” Box design, discussed on page 16 of World’s Greatest Toys!
Here are two different retailers’ Solid Box price stickers, each issued in early 1973:
The Barkers price sticker above, affixed to the front of a Solid Box Batman, reads:
- DP 77 373
- 021 1310
Note the recognizable “1310″ citation, denoting Mego’s original assortment code; the “1310″ assortment included Superman, Batman, Robin and Aquamanâ€¦ I have no idea what the “021″ refers to.
The BIG D price sticker above, affixed to the top panel of a Solid Box Superman, reads:
What’s interesting to me is the $0.20 price difference between Barkers and BIG D; clearly Barkers ordered larger quantities, ensuring better wholesale pricing, which is notably reflected in the final retail price. Fascinating!
I’ve heard of Barkers before (though I don’t think we had them in Michigan, where I grew up), but I’ve never heard of BIG Dâ€¦ perhaps a small regional store?
Do you remember either Barkers or BIG D from your childhood? If so, how would you classify each retailer (i.e. “Department Store,” “Five-and-Dime,” “Drug Store,” etc.)? If you know, please post in the comments below.
Also, I look forward to hearing from fellow Mego sticker-heads. Please send me pics of your Mego price stickers!
p.s. It’s not only my birthday, it’s also Tax Day. Don’t forget to tip Uncle Sam for letting you live in this glorious-yet-troubled country! If you are one of the many ‘International’ Mego Collectors not beholden to our tax system, take a moment to send me good birthday wishes. I could use it.