13th June 2008

Celebrating a Mego Birthday!

I spoke with Linda McNett yesterday. Between 1974-1978, Linda was (Mego V.P.) Neal Kublan’s Personal Assistant. Linda’s husband, John McNett — whom she met while working at Mego — was Mego’s Director of Design from 1977-1979.

Here are two shots of Linda working at Mego in the 1970s:

John and Linda McNett

Above Left: Linda in Mego’s ‘new’ offices at 41 Madison Avenue, NYC.
Above Right: Linda answering the phone in Neal Kublan’s office inside the ‘Old Building’ in 1975 (note the Mego Wants You To… Go Ape! poster in the background).

Here are two (never-before-published) 1978 photos of John, working and smoking* in his Mego office:

John and Linda McNett

Above: John, looking too-cool-for-school. They’re hard to make out, but there are the prototype Micronauts on his desk in the left-hand photo!

*Don’t smoke cigarettes, kids. Apparently, they’re bad for you. (NB: Smoking is still cool)

Both Linda and John helped me create the Mego book, improving it immeasurably. Early on, John critiqued my graphic design (he absolutely hated my type face… advice I really needed and happily accepted), while Linda shared her memories and photo albums of days spent working at Mego. I’m proud to say that Linda and John have become dear friends.

John and Linda McNett

Above: Linda, looking adorable in the “old” Mego office at 1 Madison Square Plaza, NYC; Linda McNett’s (Née “Larkin”) gold-foil Mego business card.

We hadn’t spoken in a while, and Linda called yesterday to check in with me, to see what’s up and ask how the book is doing. She told me that John recently celebrated his 70th birthday! Please join me in shouting-out-loud:

Happy birthday, John!

Thanks to Linda, we can be there in belated spirit. Here’s John, blowing out the candles on his 70th birthday cake:

John and Linda McNett

The Guest of Honor at John’s surprise party was none other than legendary Mego artist Sal Mucaro (whose son, Tory, also worked for Mego). I was thrilled when Linda Emailed me this photo of Sal Mucaro, chillin’ at John’s birthday party… and thumbing through the Mego book!

John and Linda McNett

Above: Legendary Mego artist Sal Mucaro perusing my book. Phew. How cool is that?!

Linda must be the coolest cat I know. Catching up on the phone, we talked about music and her love of Metal bands. Admittedly, I was taken aback by her musical tastes. Hell, the last time I discussed music with her, I was sending her bootleg CDs of vintage Harry Chapin concerts (courtesy of Mego-head Rob Chatlin). I guess I had her pegged for a ’70s folk music fan.

Lo and behold, Linda is a true aficionado of all things cool. She asked whether I am down with bands like Deftones, early Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Godhead and Static-X (for you old-skool Mego-heads: Yes, I did tell her that Static-X story).

Linda’s favorite album? The soundtrack to Queen of the Damned. Right on! No folk music on that record.

Jeez. I already knew Linda was cool. I mean, she got to work at Mego, for the luv o’ Mike. She loves to paint. She loves to travel and constantly learn. She has the most enviable “Joie de Vive” I’ve ever witnessed. And now she’s gotta be a hard-core, hipster music geek, too?! It’s just not fair.

Linda even loves her some cheez-metal (a particular weakness of mine), as evidenced by this snapshot of a Tshirt she feverishly hunted down:

John and Linda McNett

Yep. That’s a freakin’ Skid Row Tshirt. Linda searched for a long time to find a Tshirt featuring Baz with the entire band. And she finally found it.

And she’s stoked.

When I grow up, I want to be cool like Linda McNett.

Mego Ben’s Related and Cool Links:

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 Acknowledgements, Articles, Book Production, Book Research, Daily Mego Adoration, John and Linda McNett, Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

11th June 2008

Mego Sketch Pad: Splash Pages!

While working on the book, I spent a fair amount of time developing and refining the ‘universal’ elements of the book. In an effort to present the information (somewhat) comprehensibly, I recognized a need for strict consistency among the chapter layouts.

From the outset, I knew I wanted to include 360-degree ‘revolution’ photos of each figure. I also knew I wanted each character to have his or her own chapter, including a standardized ‘Splash’ page. I recall many hours spent developing the final layout for the Splash pages.

Back in November 2006 (a year before the book’s release), I posted a “Mego Sketch Pad” blog, discussing a sketch for the Tarzan Splash page. Shown below is that original concept (left) next to the final layout (right).

Sketch Pad

Going through my image library recently, I came across another original Splash page sketch… for Joker. This early sketch, created at the beginning of 2005, reveals just how much the concept evolved, including the addition of Mego box character illustrations (thanks to the incredible work of Mego-head Scott Arendsen, who provided all the drawings) as well as a large strip of each character’s packaging color; It has been suggested to me that another book — which shall remain unnamed, but was released shortly after mine — shamelessly ripped off this design element.

Following is a side-by-side comparison of my early Joker Splash page concept (left) next to the final layout (right):

Sketch Pad

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 Book Production, Book Status, Daily Mego Adoration, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

4th June 2008

Poster Fun with Splash Pages!

It’s been a while since I posted a new blog in my Poster Fun! Blog series, so it’s probably time for a new one.

I always thought it might look cool to line up all of the book’s character “Splash” pages into one collage. I finally did it, and this is what it looks like:

Kinda cool.

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 Book Production, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Posters!, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

21st May 2008

My Trip to NYC (with Mego Love!)

Last week, I enjoyed an amazing trip to NYC, to visit two of my oldest and dearest friends… helping one celebrate his 40th birthday.

We went into the city twice, taking time to visit geek strongholds Toy Tokyo, Love Saves the Day and Forbidden Planet.

Knowing Toy Tokyo ordered multiple copies of World’s Greatest Toys from my publisher, I hoped to find copies of the book, but learned they had already sold out their inventory (woo-hoo!).

I didn’t expect to find copies of the book at Love Saves the Day, but I did learn the store’s founder is a fan of the book. I even picked up a sweet, unpunched MOC ©1977c Mego Robin, which the owner originally purchased some 30 years ago.

Forbidden Planet provided perhaps the ’sweetest drop’ of my entire trip. My friends and I approached the building and found that the store had a copy of World’s Greatest Toys… in the freakin’ window!

Forbidden Planet NYC

It was absolutely magical to see the book prominently displayed in one of New York’s coolest stores.

Forbidden Planet, which has reportedly sold numerous copies of the book, still had five remaining copies inside the store:

Forbidden Planet NYC

Above: Holding my ‘Love Saves the Day’ Robin score in front of Forbidden Planet’s window (left); Proudly presenting the five remaining copies of the book, inside the store (right).

I quickly befriended the guys at Forbidden Planet (Jeff, you rule!), and even got a discount on a bad-ass Aquaman hoodie (with artwork I’d never seen before). I’ll post pictures of the Aquaman hoodie later.

I gleefully signed each of the store’s five remaining copies. Without a doubt, It was the best vacation I’ve ever had.

Post your comments about Toy Tokyo, Love Saves the Day, Forbidden Planet or New York City itself, 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 Aquaman, Book Production, Book Status, World's Greatest Toys | 6 Comments

3rd April 2008

Glory Days: Star Wars and Mego’s New Corporate Office!

Daily Mego Adoration

Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Thursday April 3, 2008:

Star Wars and Mego’s New Corporate Office!


Glory Days!
Martin B. Abrams, president, Mego International, Inc. and Lewis Rudin, executive vice president, Rudin Mangement Corp. shake hands after the signing of a lease for new corporate headquarters for the toy manufacturer in the New York Merchandise Mart, a Rudin building. Mego has taken approximately 20,000 square feet on 11½ floors with an option to acquire an additional 8,000 feet, as well. Standing in the rear are Judson H. Spencer, executive director of NYMM and Harvey Richer of Harvery Richer, Inc., exclusive rental agent for the building.

In 1975, Mego was riding high. With exponential growth and success, Mego was forced to move to larger quarters. I love this April 1975 photo… just look at Marty’s pride! Yet, interestingly, I opted to use this photo in the 1977 chapter of World’s Greatest Toys!

The irony is the fact that I took one of Mego’s happiest, most successful moments, and juxtaposed it against one of Mego’s greatest failures:

Not acquiring the George Lucas/20th Century Fox “Star Wars” license.

From World’s Greatest Toys!:

World's Greatest Toys!

An ad in the February 1977 issue of Toys mentions Mego’s showroom in the New York Merchandise Mart. Originally located at 1133 Broadway, Mego first relocated to 1 Madison Square Plaza. In 1975, Mego signed a 15-year, $2.3 million lease for approximately 20,000 square feet on 11½ floors in the New York Merchandise Mart, located at 41 Madison Avenue.

This new office was the setting for Mego’s legendary failure to acquire the Star Wars license. To protect the Micronauts line, all Mego executives enjoyed plenipotentiary authority to approve any science fiction license. Legend has it that both Marty Abrams and Neal Kublan were out of the state when the Lucasfilm representative showed up at Mego’s office.

Differing recollections obfuscate whether it was Mego patriarch D. David Abrams or merely a front desk receptionist who greeted Charles Lippincott, the Lucasfilm representative. In any case, Lippincott was turned away, only to take the elevator up one flight… to the office and showroom of Kenner toys.

During the “MegoCon” convention in June 2004, Marty Abrams discussed the profound misstep of losing the Star Wars license. “I believe that ‘to thine own self be true,’” Abrams confessed. “[The owner of] Kenner did a better job with Star Wars than we would have done. Because what he did was, he did not ship the product. He shipped empty boxes. We would have shipped the product. And so that means we would have been behind the movie curve, rather that at the movie curve.” Alluding to fact that Kenner did not ship the original toys until 1978, months after the movie was released, Abrams added, “He created demand for product, and so opportunity came out of the problem. He was so late, he couldn’t ship the product.” Considering the benefits of this timing, Abrams concluded, “There was nothing to fill the pipeline to hit the craving… so that combination worked. It was almost a magical explosion.”

Ever the Mego cheerleader, Kublan dissented. “See, I don’t agree. I think we would have done much better.” Collectors love to speculate how Mego would have handled the license.

Want to learn more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97

Benjamin

posted in Book Production, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, Mego's Glory Days, Star Wars, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

28th March 2008

Desktop Patterns: Mego Fantastic Four!

I really enjoyed photographing and designing the character “splash” pages that appear in World’s Greatest Toys! I sought to create the most iconic imagery possible for each, and I think they’re pretty keen.

I recently did something for myself, and thought I would share it with you guys. I created a Desktop Pattern (or “wallpaper”) for my computer screen, using one of my favorite splash pages: The Fantastic Four.

I created two different sizes, depending on your monitor settings: 1024×768 and 1280×1024. They look like this:

Desktop Pattern

If you want to try it out on your computer, you can download the appropriate size here:

I hope you dig it. I plan to create additional Desktop Patterns in the future, using other photos of Mego characters. Do you have a favorite image you’d like to see? A favorite character? Let me know in the comments below!

Benjamin

Blog Credits and legal stuff: Images published by Benjamin Holcomb and TwoMorrows Publications. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.

posted in Book Production, Desktop Patterns, Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Mr. Fantastic, The Fantastic Four, Thing, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

28th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Removable Mask Robin!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Friday, March 28, 2008:

Removable Mask Robin!

Perhaps the finest WGSH Mego I have ever owned — and by that, I mean both the toy and its condition — is a Removable Mask Robin, packaged in the rare “1st Window” box (discussed on page 58 of World’s Greatest Toys!). I acquired the piece during my ‘crunch’ period of preparing the final book for the printer in Hong Kong.

Due to time constraints, I could not include this exquisite specimen in the book. The book does feature a very high-grade Robin in the same box variation, but it is the more common “Painted Mask” version.

I regret not including this particular RM Robin in the book, but at least I can show it to you now.

RM Robin

Pretty cool! Just look at how tightly that mask fits! The whole figure just has the ‘crispness’ you all know and love… that untouched perfection of a “new” Mego. Yum.

I don’t own this piece any more, but it went to a REALLY good home, and that makes me happy. The new owner absolutely adores it.

Benjamin

Blog Credits and legal stuff: Images published by Benjamin Holcomb and TwoMorrows Publications. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.

posted in Book Production, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Robin, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | 2 Comments

26th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Poster Fun with 2nd Issue ©76 DC Cards!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Thursday, March 27, 2008:

Poster Fun: 2nd Issue ©1976 DC Cards!


Here’s a new addition to my Poster Fun series, wherein I create large, composite photos of different groupings of Mego Super-Heroes and packages. Today, we marvel (ahem!) at every 2nd Issue ©1976 DC card, in chronological order of release. There are 13 such cards. Enjoy!

Daily Mego Adoration

Want to learn more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97

Benjamin

Blog Credits and legal stuff: Images published by Benjamin Holcomb and TwoMorrows Publications. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.

posted in 2nd Issue Blister Cards, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Book Production, Catwoman, Daily Mego Adoration, Green Arrow, Joker, Mego Corporation, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Penguin, Posters!, Riddler, Shazam!, Supergirl, Superman, World's Greatest Toys | 10 Comments

25th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Poster Fun with 1st Issue Cards!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Wednesday, March 26, 2008:

Poster Fun: 1st Issue Cards!

Here’s a new addition to my Poster Fun series, wherein I create large, composite photos of appropriate groupings of Mego figures and packages. These are the types of images I couldn’t fit into Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys!, but they’re an awful lot of fun to look at!

Mego issued numerous “1st Issue” card variations, yet manufactured just 17 characters using this exquisite packaging style. Here’s a composite of all 17 characters produced on 1st Issue cards, in chronological order of release. Enjoy!

Daily Mego Adoration

Want to learn more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97

Benjamin

Blog Credits and legal stuff: Images published by Benjamin Holcomb and TwoMorrows Publications. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.

posted in 1st Issue Blister Cards, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Book Production, Captain America, Catwoman, Daily Mego Adoration, Green Arrow, Joker, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Penguin, Posters!, Riddler, Robin, S.S. Kresge, Shazam!, Spider-Man, Supergirl, Superman, Tarzan, Wonder Woman, World's Greatest Toys | 8 Comments

24th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Poster Fun with Loose Mego WGSH Figures!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Tuesday, March 25, 2008:

Poster Fun with Loose Mego WGSH Figures!


I wish I had been granted more pages in the Mego book, Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys!

At 256 pages, it’s already chock full of Mego goodness. But had it been longer, I would have included a whole bunch of other Mego goodness, such as large, composite photos of appropriate groupings of Mego figures and packages.

Sigh.

Since I didn’t have enough room to include such indulgences, I have decided to start a new Blog series to showcase my intended goodness, and I’m callin’ it Poster Fun!

Up first, a composite of every 8″ Mego World’s Greatest Super-Hero figure, in chronological order of release. Between 1972 and 1982, Mego issued 37 different Super-Heroes. Enjoy!

 

Daily Mego Adoration

 

Want to learn more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97

Benjamin

Blog Credits and legal stuff: Images published by Benjamin Holcomb and TwoMorrows Publications. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.

posted in Aqualad, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Book Production, Captain America, Catwoman, Conan, Daily Mego Adoration, Falcon, Green Arrow, Green Goblin, Hulk, Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Iron Man, Isis, Joker, Kid Flash, Lizard, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mr. Fantastic, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Penguin, Posters!, Riddler, Robin, Shazam!, Speedy, Spider-Man, Super-Foes, Super-Gals, Supergirl, Superman, Tarzan, Teen Titans, The Fantastic Four, Thing, Thor, Wonder Woman, Wondergirl, World's Greatest Toys | 6 Comments

  • Calendar

  • March 2017
    M T W T F S S
    « Nov    
     12345
    6789101112
    13141516171819
    20212223242526
    2728293031