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:
â€œOriginal Kresgeâ€ 1st Issue/2nd Version (DC) Cardâ€”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 â€œinitial in-storeâ€ date. A long-time Kmart employee confirmed that the â€œ8-3â€ on the price sticker means â€œeighth month, third yearâ€ (i.e. August 1973). This date code relates to Kresgeâ€™s original purchase order and plays a vital role in explaining seemingly anachronistic anomalies (e.g. later issued 2nd Version â€œGalsâ€ and both â€œFoesâ€ 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. â€œ4â€ is the toy department and â€œ5â€ is hardware). The second number is a department subcategory (e.g. â€œ1â€ is dolls and figures). The third number is the product/manufacturer code (e.g. â€œ26â€ 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 â€œSâ€ 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 itâ€™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!)
Here’s your Daily Mego Adoration for Thursday, March 13, 2008: Kresge Aquaman!