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

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

9th June 2008

Site Redesign, plus “Mego Item Numbers” Article!

Next to MegoMuseum.com and its community of Mego collectors, the most helpful resource I had while researching the book was “Papa Mego-head” John Bonavita’s out-of-print* magazine-style publication, which reprinted many vintage Mego product catalogs.

There are plenty of other potential resources and guides — documentation I didn’t have access to while creating the book — that I ended up creating myself. I wish I could have included all of this new documentation in the book, but I simply didn’t have the space. One such guide I always wanted is a comprehensive list of every Item Number Mego used for WGSH products.

It’s not the kind of document one casually peruses (though it includes plenty of cool tidbits and fun Mego trivia), but should you ever find yourself wondering what the proper Item Number for the carded 8″ Lion Rock Western Heroes Assortment is (#51369), or you get curious which Item Number Mego re-used the most times (#51317)… or how many times Mego used that number (thrice!)… well, this list is indispensable.

Also, I finally redesigned the non-blog pages of WorldsGreatestToys.com, so this article is a perfect way to introduce the redesign. At last, the entire site has a cohesive design.

*John Bonavita graciously gifted his last remaining case of these magazines to World’s Greatest Toys. Mego collectors can receive one free copy with the purchase of a TwoMorrows-exclusive Collectors Edition of the book.

Without further ado, I present the first of many articles:

Everything you ever wanted to know about Mego WGSH Item Numbers but were afraid to ask (didn’t really care)

Item Numbers

(Read the article and check out the redesigned site)

Covering every WGSH product between 1972 and 1982, it’s a fun look at Mego’s product planning and decision-making. 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 Articles, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, World's Greatest Toys | 1 Comment

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

26th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Early Toys “R” Us

On this Memorial Day, I wish to acknowledge all of the brave men and women in the Armed Forces, and give thanks and remembrance to those who have given their lives serving their country.

Here’s a nice example of an early Toys “R” Us price sticker, affixed to a 5th Version (5-digit/Old logo) Shazam box:

Price Sticker

Many Mego toys (especially the “2nd Issue” card variants) feature the later orange Toys “R” Us sticker, but this sticker pre-dates all of those more common tags.

The sticker reads:

  • TOYS R’ US!
  • 429791 $2.48

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?
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posted in Daily Mego Adoration, Price Stickers, Shazam!, Toys "R" Us!, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | 2 Comments

23rd May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: King’s

I don’t know much about King’s history in the world of retail and/or Mego, but they did sell this 4th Version (4-digit/Old logo) Batman box:

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • KING’S
  • 7 75 19
  • 310 M 24
  • 861
  • $3.27

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 Batman, Daily Mego Adoration, King's, Price Stickers, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

22nd May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Fedco, Inc.

I know very little about Fedco, inc., except to say that they sold Mego WGSH. And that’s enough for me! Here’s a diminutive Fedco sticker, affixed to a 4th Version (4-digit/Old logo) Tarzan 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?
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posted in Daily Mego Adoration, FEDCO, INC., Price Stickers, Tarzan, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

21st May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Simpsons

Simpsons was a Canadian retailer. After merging with U.S.-based Sears, Simpsons became Simpsons-Sears LTD. In 1978, the retailer was further modified, becoming Sears Canada. Here’s a cool shot of a Simpsons price sticker (from the pre-merger days), affixed to a 3rd Version (4-Panel) Spider-Man box:

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • SIMPSONS
  • 158-6
  • A9
  • $2.49

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, Simpson's, Spider-Man, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

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