Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Wednesday, April 16, 2008:
Mego Price Stickers - S.S. Kresge!
Continuing yesterday’s examination of Mego price stickers, we turn our attention to S.S. Kresge, one of the most significant U.S. retailers of Mego products.
Skipping past the original Kresge-branded “1st Issue” cards that feature pre-printed price stickers, we instead look at the “1st Issue” card variation that marks the end of Kresge’s history of ordering ‘owned-brand’ (i.e. Kresge-branded) Mego packaging.
Neither of the final two “1st Issue” card variations are marked with Kresge branding (see page 149 of World’s Greatest Toys! for an explanation and additional information). Despite this, Kresge â€” which evolved into Kmart â€” continued to sell Mego figures packaged on Mego’s original card style. This shift resulted in different (affixed, rather than pre-printed) Kresge price stickers.
Today, we compare two different examples of the 5th Version “1st Issue” card (depicting Shazam in the masthead), each featuring unique, affixed Kresge stickers. As mentioned before, I discuss this particular packaging variation on page 149 of World’s Greatest Toys!
Here are two different specimens of the Superman card, which Mego started distributing (approximately) around Spring 1975:
On the left, the original price sticker, reads:
- KEY 1
This sticker utilizes Kresge’s original “date code” scheme, suggesting Kresge expected delivery by February 1975 (2-75). Presumably, this particular toy hung, unsold, on Kresge’s peg-display for some time, since the retailer ultimately added a reduced-price sticker (actually, they accidentally affixed two of the same sticker), which reads:
- KEY 1
Judging by the price of the second specimen (pictured above right), it’s safe to assume Mego sent additional quantities of the identical packaging style before Kresge sold out of the original run! The sticker on the later-issued specimen (above right) reads:
- KEY 1
- 1 4 75
While the nomenclature does not match typical Kresge “date code” schemes, it’s possible the “1 4 75″ refers to “April 1975″. I’m not so sure about that, but it’s a plausible assumption. I know that Kresge eventually abandoned the “date code” scheme, I just don’t know exactly when they did so.
However, understanding that retailers only ever marked products DOWN (they never RAISED product prices), coupled with the differing sticker codes, it’s safe to assume that the first specimen (above left) was marked DOWN to meet the subsequently released specimen’s (above right) price of $1.68.
By the way, I want to thank Mego-head Don Cassetori, who already sent me several amazing price sticker photos for my Price Sticker Library! I will post those pictures in a future blog. You rock, Don!
I am still 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! Please post in the comments below, or send me an Email.