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

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

18th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Otto Lange’s Captain America Oil Painting!

Daily Mego Adoration

Here is your Daily Mego Adoration for Tuesday, March 18, 2008: Otto Lange’s Captain America Oil Painting!

While working on the book, I was fortunate enough to meet Otto Lange, a brilliant artist with a shared passion for vintage toys… especially Mego. Otto is a successful fine artist, well-known for his pop culture-oriented oil paintings that are priced reasonably enough for those of us who appreciate unique works of art — but lack the requisite funds — to actually acquire.

Otto painted one such piece of fine art that got me hooked… a gorgeous representation of the Mego Painted Cowl Batman head. After purchasing the original painting, I contacted Otto and told him about World’s Greatest Toys!, which was then only halfway done. Otto immediately signed on to create some original works of art for the book, and I’m just thrilled with his contributions. One of Otto’s paintings in the book is a full-body, oil-painted portrait of Mego’s Captain America:

Daily Mego Adoration

It’s hard to capture Otto’s wonderful detail in a JPEG, but here are some exquisite details, which give you an idea what the piece looks like in person. Take, for example, the neckline (below left), which includes a ’stray’ thread. If a stray thread doesn’t say “Mego,” I don’t know what does.

Daily Mego Adoration

Painted in 2006, “Mego Captain America” is 8.25″ x 10.75″, Oil on Gessoed Panel. If you are interested in acquiring the ORIGINAL OIL PAINTING, please contact me.

You can see more of Otto’s gorgeous work at his Web site: OttoLange.com. While you’re at it, be sure to check out his hysterical blog, Making Art the Otto Lange Way.

Benjamin

posted in Book Status, Captain America, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Otto Lange, World's Greatest Toys | 33 Comments

17th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Removable Cowl Batman!

Daily Mego Adoration

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here’s your Daily Mego Adoration for Monday, March 17, 2008: Removable Cowl Batman!

(Bonus: New Photo!)

Daily Mego Adoration

I discuss Batman quite a bit in World’s Greatest Toys! Here’s a snippet from the book (page 27, for those reading along), discussing the differing outfit and bodysuit variations:

The Dark Knight comes with a gray bodysuit featuring sewn-in black trunks. Every other accessory is removable: a yellow plastic utility belt, blue cape, blue vinyl gloves and blue plastic boots. The character’s famous Bat emblem is a sticker applied to the chest. Early versions of the figure included a removable blue rubber cowl.

The color of polyester bodysuit material changed over the years, and outfits exhibit one of several shades of gray. Early bodysuits display a reddish tint. On the earliest Batman outfits, the gray portion is a corduroy-textured, polyester material. Known as the “ribbed” costume variation, early version outfits for the other 1st Wave characters use a similar material. Ribbed Batman outfits are rare and only appear on Type 1 outfits with nylon trunks. The ribbed outfits may or may not feature the stirrups (see page 15).

Both Superman and Aquaman have outfits with and without Sewn-Sleeves, but the pattern for every Batman bodysuit features sleeves cut from the same cloth as the torso.

Want to read more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $49.95

Benjamin

posted in Batman, Book Status, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, World's Greatest Toys | 2 Comments

14th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Batgirl!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s your Daily Mego Adoration for Friday, March 14, 2008: Batgirl!

There are a variety of Mego Batgirl costume and figure variations, including the ‘original’ (screen printed) and ’standard’ outfits — both of which utilize the Type 1 Female body — as well as the ‘late-issue’ outfit, which utilizes the Type 2 Female (straight arms) body and notably different materials for the accessories.

Daily Mego Adoration

Above: Original Screen Printed Batgirl (left), the ‘Standard’ Batgirl (center) and the late-issue Batgirl (right) featuring the Type 2 (straight arms) body

I discuss Batgirl variations in World’s Greatest Toys! Here’s a snippet from the book (page 114, for those reading along):

Mego first issued Batgirl in a screen printed outfit, along with vinyl gloves and a removable nylon cape. Like the other three Super-Gals, the original figures were shipped without plastic boots. Batgirl’s cowl is the only plastic Super-Gals accessory Mego tooled in time for Christmas 1973 shipments. The original gray bodysuit is screen printed with yellow details: a bat emblem, a belt, boots and cuffs.

Given time to create the requisite molds, Mego eliminated the yellow screen printing, outfitting all Batgirl figures with a cloth emblem, a yellow plastic purse-belt and yellow plastic boots to complement the existing gloves, cowl and cape.

Early plastic accessories exhibit translucency, while later accessories are a bright, opaque plastic. Batgirl was the only Super-Gal manufactured when Mego introduced the new material; no other Super-Gal accessories are molded with the opaque plastic.

Want to read more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $49.95

Benjamin

posted in Batgirl, Book Status, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Super-Gals | Comments Off

13th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Kresge Aquaman!

Daily Mego Adoration I plan to post a daily blog series, entitled “Daily Mego Adoration,” which will give me an opportunity to discuss and show fantastic images of Mego toys (not just Super-Heroes, either!).

This first entry is a personal favorite of mine: the 1st Issue “Kresge” carded Aquaman. I once owned an example of this packaged Mego, but I regrettably sold it a while back. I’m on the hunt to re-acquire it!

I discuss this rare packaging variation in World’s Greatest Toys! Here’s a snippet from the book (page 60, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited page-spread:

“Original Kresge” 1st Issue/2nd Version (DC) Card—August 1973 (Hc1-DC-4h-Kv1-O)

This was the very first blister card produced explicitly for Kresge and Kmart stores. Several codes appear on pre-printed price stickers. One code is the “initial in-store” date. A long-time Kmart employee confirmed that the “8-3” on the price sticker means “eighth month, third year” (i.e. August 1973). This date code relates to Kresge’s original purchase order and plays a vital role in explaining seemingly anachronistic anomalies (e.g. later issued 2nd Version “Gals” and both “Foes” Kresge cards, bearing the same date code).

The other code on Kresge price stickers is a set of three hyphenated numbers. This code was abandoned shortly after the introduction of 1st issue cards, and only the first two versions have it. The first number determines which department the product goes into (e.g. “4” is the toy department and “5” is hardware). The second number is a department subcategory (e.g. “1” is dolls and figures). The third number is the product/manufacturer code (e.g. “26” is Mego products). The immediate popularity of the 1st Wave made Kresge assign each figure separate product codes for subsequent orders.

While the date code asserts these cards were not available until August 1973, it is very likely they were shipped earlier than that. The earliest costume variations (such as Removable Mask Robin and Large “S” Superman) are found on this card, yet the same variants are not found either the 2nd version or 3rd version boxes, released around the same time. Thus, these cards were actually produced and shipped prior to the intended receipt date. Furthermore, the 3rd version Kresge cards (see page 94) were expected in-store by February 1974, and it’s difficult to believe Kresge could receive three distinct orders in four months.

Surprisingly, there is no Mego logo anywhere on the card. This omission supports the theory that blister cards were created especially for Kresge, since every box created at the same time features several Mego logos.

Want to read more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $49.95 (sadly, Amazon recently raised the price!)

World's Greatest Toys!

Here’s your Daily Mego Adoration for Thursday, March 13, 2008: Kresge Aquaman!

Daily Mego Adoration

Benjamin

posted in 1st Issue Blister Cards, Aquaman, Book Status, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, World's Greatest Toys | 2 Comments

10th March 2008

Vintage Mego Photos: Circle-Suit Spider-Man

One of my favorite aspects of Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! is its documentation of vintage photographs of Mego figures in the proverbial wild.

On the heels of blogging the six-part series of vintage, childhood photographs from Mike Armes, I want to continue by discussing one of the vintage pictures that appears in the book… along with one that does not appear in the book.

Andi Jones is one of my oldest and dearest friends. I met Andi while I was still in high school, and he inspired me to pursue my creative interests and join him at the University of Michigan School of Art. Many years later, while working on the book, Andi mentioned that he probably had childhood pictures of himself with Mego figures. Sure enough, a few days later, Andi sent me two incredible photos:

Andi Jones

The image of Andi holding his RC Batman in 1973 (right) does not appear in the book, but it is a wonderful picture. The picture of Andi holding his Spider-Man (left), however, does appear in the book. Not only is it a great photo (that’s a Big Wheel steering wheel in the foreground, by the way), it is highly unusual documentation of one of the four, scarcest Mego Spider-Man costume variations, known as “Circle-Suit” Spider-Man costumes.

I talk about the “Circle-Suit” Spider-Man (or “CSS”) outfits in World’s Greatest Toys! Here’s a snippet from the book (page 81, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited page-spread:

Among the numerous patterns, the most desirable and fascinating are the four “Circle Suit” designs. The earliest product photography, appearing in Captain Company (Warren Publications’ mail order division) and Marvel Merchandise (which ultimately became Heroes World) ads, suggests a Circle Suit preceded all others. The design in Captain Company ads is likely a never-produced prototype, since no specimens have surfaced. The other three designs were demonstrably produced, as there are known specimens for each pattern. Produced only on Type 1 bodies, Circle Suits are quite rare and mysterious to collectors.

Aside from the Circle Suit patterns, several significant variants exists among the more common outfits. Earlier versions of the Type 1 suit feature very tall boots, reaching the knees. Subsequent boots are much shorter, reaching only the calves. The spider emblem on the chest can also be one of many different designs. Some spiders are solid black while others are hollow, revealing the base blue color (particularly on Type 2 outfits). Earlier suits tend to have spiders with short legs, while later designs usually feature long-legged spiders. The webs may be thick or thin. Around the abdomen area, the red dickey may taper toward the belt or flare out from the chest. The reality is that there are too many variants to properly catalog.

Want to read more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97 (save 34%)

World's Greatest Toys!

The CSS outfits are truly unique and incredibly rare. Here’s an enlarged detail of the four chest patterns that define each Mego Spider-Man costume variation:

CSS
(Above: Circle Suit details, left to right: the “Warren Prototype” pattern, the extremely rare “Diamond” pattern, the “Broken” pattern and the “Standard” pattern.)

The “Standard” pattern earned it’s pedestrian name simply by being the most common of the four patterns; the “Warren Prototype” pattern, for example, has never been seen outside the black-and-white Warren Publishing ads that appear in magazines such as Eerie, Creepy and Vampirella, wherein toys were sold (via mail order) under the name “Captain Company.”

The Comments section is now open! Feel free to post your thoughts and memories, by clicking on the “comments” link below.

Benjamin

posted in Acknowledgements, Book Status, Captain Company/Warren Publications, Christmas Memories, Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, Mego Retailers, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Vintage Toy Photos, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

8th March 2008

Mike Armes’ ’70s Christmas Spectacular! (Part 6)

This is the final installment of our ongoing series:

Mike Armes

If you want to catch up on prior posts before reading this installment, you can do so here:

Past Installments of “Mike Armes’ ’70s Christmas Spectular”

The year is now 1979, and “The Hulk” is the hottest property in licensing. Kids clamor to capture the excitement of TV’s “The Incredible Hulk” (starring Bill Bixby and Lou Ferrigno), while manufacturers scramble to fill the market demand.

In today’s marketplace, such a popular TV show would create a financial windfall for the master license-holder; In 1979, that would have been Mego. However, licensing was much different back then, and Mego struggled against the undefined ‘rules of the game.’ With a Hulk toy license from Marvel (for four years running, back in ‘79), Mego should have been free to print their own money!

However, the relatively new world of licensed merchandise was rife with malleable, unclear rules. Non-exclusive contracts allowed multiple manufacturers to cash in on toys that Mego, alone, should have been free to produce and capitalize on.

I discuss the resultant issues, several times, in World’s Greatest Toys! including this snippet from the Hulk chapter of the book (page 180, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited page-spread:

Originally, Mego did not heavily promote Hulk in any country. Aside from Heroes World, mail order companies generally passed on the figure. Only JC Penney sold Hulk in their 1975 Christmas catalog, dropping him the following year. For the next few years, Mego produced the figure with lukewarm results. Once the TV show aired, things improved. During this period, Mego sub-licensed the character to Palitoy, who issued Hulk in the UK.

In America, Hulk grew wildly popular, and retailers scrambled to offer Hulk merchandise. Sears introduced Hulk in their 1979 TOYS catalog, carrying him over to the 1979 Christmas catalog. By that time, Montgomery Ward added Hulk to their Christmas catalogs, and JC Penney reintroduced the character. The following year, public interest sufficiently diminished to the point that only the JC Penney and Sears TOYS catalogs offered Hulk. In 1979, upstart Tara Toys produced the “Hulk Hideaway” playset exclusively for Sears, and Empire Toys produced the Hulk Van, both designed to fit Mego’s 8” Hulk. While Hulk was sporadically offered through mail order companies, no mailer boxed Hulk figures have surfaced.

Want to read more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97 (save 34%)

World's Greatest Toys!

The overwhelming success of ABC’s CBS’ “The Hulk” TV show is evidenced by a full page in the 1979 Sears Christmas catalog, which features a variety of Hulk merchandise. The centrepiece of the catalog page is the “Hulk Hideaway” playset, manufactured by Tara Toys. Also prominently displayed is Empire Toys‘ “Hulk Van.” Both toys were produced primarily for interaction with Mego’s 8″ Hulk, and other 8″ WGSH figures.

Today, comparatively small companies like Tara and Empire would not be allowed to produce ancillary toys that intermingle with the master license-holders’ products.

Can you imagine some upknown company producing a “Wayne Foundation” playset or “Bat-Boat” vehicle for Hasbro’s Batman: The Animated Series line, back in the ’90s?!

No friggin’ way!

But that’s exactly what happened to Mego, in 1979:

Sears

(Above: Hulk merchandise dominated the 1979 Sears Christmas catalog, including toys produced by Empire (the Hulk Van), Tara Toys (the Hulk Hideway playset) and Mego (the figures for which the aforementioned toys were produced))

Ever the arbiter of hot toy trends, Mike Armes and his little brother must have been on top of Tara Toys’ hot Christmas item, which was a Sears catalog exclusive in 1979, right?

Yep, they sure were:

Mike Armes

Way to go, Mike! Your parents are just about the coolest parents in the world!

This concludes our time-machine romp through the heart-warming Christmas’ of the 1970s. Thanks for reading, and thanks again to the Armes family for this joyous experience.

Benjamin

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

posted in Acknowledgements, Book Status, Christmas Memories, Mego Memories, Mego Retailers, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mike Armes, Sears, Vintage Toy Photos, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

7th March 2008

Mike Armes 1970s Christmas Spectacular! (Part 5)

With Part 1, Part 2, Part 3 and Part 4 under our collective belt, here’s the 5th installment of our ongoing series:

Mike Armes

The year is now 1978, and “Star Wars” has gripped the imaginations of children throughout the world. The licensing explosion, advanced exponentially by Mego’s merchandising efforts, is in full swing. Before Mego blasted onto the scene in 1972, Disney was one of the few companies to fully capitalize on licensed merchandise.

I discuss this in the “Introduction to Mego” chapter of World’s Greatest Toys! Here’s a snippet from the book (page 6, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited page-spread:

Mego made its most significant contributions to the world of toys when it established itself as a leading manufacturer of licensed dolls and action figures. By the time Mego secured its first character license, the practice existed for nearly forty years. Herman “Kay” Kamen created the licensing business as we know it when, in 1932, he was hired by Walt Disney as the merchandise licensing representative for Walt Disney Enterprises. In the 1970s, Disney was the largest licensor in the world, with Licensing Corporation of America (LCA), through whom Mego would acquire many licenses, following closely behind.

At that time, it was typical for a licensor to take five percent off the top, as well as a percentage of sales. Mego routinely avoided that paradigm and as they grew larger, they were granted licenses for very little, if any, advance against royalties. With astonishingly successful licenses such as Cher and Planet of the Apes, Mego became the premier manufacturer of licensed toys by the mid-1970s. In 1981, for example, Mego bought the rights to “The Dukes of Hazzard” television show (from LCA, incidentally) for a pittance of $2,500.

Want to read more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97 (save 34%)

World's Greatest Toys!

How appropriate Mike Armes and his little brother embraced the two companies that dominated the licensing world during the ’70s, as evidenced by this Armes family photo from Christmas 1978:

Mike Armes

(Above: Mike wearing his “Star Wars” pajamas, right, while his little brother, sporting Disney wearables, proudly displays his Gabriel Lone Ranger toys)

Did you catch the Mego goodness in the background? It’s Mego WGSH vehicles galore, with a loose Spidercar and a MIB Batmobile!

Later that morning, Mike and his brother gather ’round the latest gift, a pristine Mattel “Shogun Warrior” Mazinga:

Mike Armes

Once again, there’s plenty of Mego eye-candy in the background (and foreground!), including:

Mike Armes
(Above: The aforementioned MIB Batmobile, and a sweet little Sesame Street vehicle)

And then there’s this pair of Mego WGSH goodies:

Mike Armes

(Above: The drool-worthy MIB Mego Wayne Foundation and a case-fresh ©1976 Superman card. Wow!)

But wait! What’s that in the foreground, buried beneath the wrapping paper?! Why, it’s Mattel’s Pulsar, the “Ultimate Man of Adventure!”

Mike Armes

Very cool stuff. Mike’s family photos capture so much of the toy goodness available to us in the 1970s. We’re really lucky to have his memories and photos.

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 at least one more “Mike Armes’ ’70s Christmas Spectacular” entries. Until then, I’ll see you on the boards!

Benjamin

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

posted in Acknowledgements, Batmobile, Book Status, Christmas Memories, Mego Ancillary Toys, Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mike Armes, Vintage Toy Photos, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

5th March 2008

Mike Armes’ ’70s Christmas Spectacular! (Part 3: 1975)

Having covered 1973 and 1974 in previous Blogs that begin to reveal Mike Armes’ wondrous family photos, we skip forward yet another year. 1975 was a stellar year for Mego.

In World’s Greatest Toys! I discuss the success Mego experienced that year, and the impact it had on the company. Here’s a snippet from the book (page 145, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited page-spread:

Along with the new Fist-Fighters, Mego introduced two new vehicles during 1975: the Mobile Bat Lab and the Joker Mobile. According to Sol Harrison, then Vice President of DC Comics, the Joker Mobile was developed in the pages of Batman comics with an eye toward toys and merchandising. “I’ve been able to talk to the editors and get them to think in terms of products for merchandise using our characters,” said Harrison in a January 1976 interview. “The Joker Van was created and Mego Toys [sic] made a vehicle similar to it.” Mego sold the Joker Mobile for three consecutive years before cancelling it in 1977 and reintroducing it in 1979 (see price sheet, below right). “We are now working on a Wayne Foundation building, which could become a playset,” Harrison concluded. Later that year, his prediction came true; the Wayne Foundation was first available on December 16, 1976, and nationally solicited at Toy Fair in February 1977.

According to Mego warehouse manager Ray Demato, 1975 was the year that the WGSH exploded. If 1974 was lucrative (it was the first year the revamped Mego was in the black), 1975 was colossal. Mego’s third quarter net earnings vaulted from $1.9 million (in 1974) to $4.5 million by the same period in 1975. Mego, publicly traded on the American Stock Exchange (AmEx), sold at 3¾ per share at the beginning of 1975. By February 1976, the price jumped to 14 ⅝.

Want to read more? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97 (save 34%)

World's Greatest Toys!

Mego’s tremendous success is largely attributable to families like the Armes. Today, Mike is an avid monster/horror fan. I think his choice of Halloween costume that year provides a little insight into his adult tastes, so let’s get this picture party started in October 1975:

Mike Armes

(Above: Mike (right), dressed as the monstrous shark, JAWS, while Mike’s little brother (left) makes cool like coooool, as Fonzie from Happy Days)

By the time Christmas rolled around, Mike had evidently compiled a massive Wish List for Santa… who delivered. Big time.

Mike Armes

(Above: Mike cracks a minty fresh, Mego Star Trek Spock from its Mego Mailer Box)

Mike Armes

(Above: Needing a play environment for his new Spock figure, Mike cracks a crisp Mego Star Trek Enterprise playset from its Mego Mailer Box, which is visible in the lower right corner)

Mike Armes

(Above: Mike with his little brother, father and grandfather, enjoying some quality time with the freshly opened Mego Star Trek Enterprise playset. Is that Cookie Monster chillin’ on the couch?)

Mike Armes

(Above: Later that Christmas morning, Mike mugs for the camera with his Planet of the Apes mask and generic Tommy Gun.)

The incredible photo above reveals all kinds of Mego goodness, including:

Mike Armes

(Above: Details of Mike’s MIB Shazam, MIB Mad Monster Castle, loose Mobile Bat Lab and loose Joker figure)

Mike and I laughed at the fact that, just like his MIB Robin from Christmas 1974, the Shazam box insert is already missing! We were also intrigued that Shazam has a Mego mini-catalog stuffed into the front of the box. Commenting to Mike that I have never seen that particular packaging variation (the 5-digit/Old Logo) with a Mego mini-catalog, Mike theorized that his father may have taken the mini-catalog included in the Mad Monster Castle playset, and tucked it into the Shazam box. It’s interesting to note, regardless. And you’ve gotta love that poor Joker figure, just slammed face-first into the righteous, ’70s earth-toned shag rug!

Even more Mego goodness from 1975:

Mike Armes

(Above: Presents all opened, the Armes boys dig into the spoils of the season)

This final picture from 1975 is incredible. It’s a shame that it’s torn, but closer inspection reveals some wonderful visual treats, including:

Mike Armes

(Above: Mike prepares his Mego Batman and Robin for adventures in the Mego Mobile Bat Lab)

Mike Armes

(Above: Now we know what happened to Shazam’s blue box insert. At this point, the insert hadn’t been discarded… but it was well on its way to a trash bag)

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 at least one more “Mike Armes’ ’70s Christmas Spectacular” entry. Until then, I’ll see you on the boards!

Benjamin

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

posted in Acknowledgements, Book Status, Christmas Memories, Mailer Boxes, Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mike Armes, Vintage Toy Photos, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

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