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?
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?

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

15th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Child World and Children’s Palace!

Yesterday, we looked at two different Children’s Palace stickers.

At the end of the 1970s, Children’s Palace merged with Child World. During this period, both retailers purchased large amounts of ©1979 carded Mego Super-Heroes, originally intended for French distributor Pin Pin Toys to sell into the European market. Apparently ordered by an “overzealous European buyer,” according to Mego vice president Neal Kublan, the majority of these toys were returned to the United States.

Many of these “2nd Issue” carded heroes bear an item number with “/F” (presumably denoting “France” or “French”), as well as an applied (legally required) English-language ‘Age Labeling’ sticker, which reads “Recommended for ages three and up.”

Here are two examples of such Pin Pin Spider-Man cards, sold through the merged Child World/Children’s Palace stores:

Child World/Children's Palace

The stickers bear identical information, with the exception of the numbers “52″ and “71,” presumably a reference to the store or region that sold the figures.

Do you have any price stickers you want to share? Any recollections of buying Mego toys from Child World or Children’s Palace? 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 2nd Issue Blister Cards, Child World, Children's Palace, Daily Mego Adoration, Price Stickers, Spider-Man | 0 Comments

17th April 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Mego Price Stickers - BEST Products!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Thursday, April 17, 2008:

Mego Price Stickers - BEST Products!

Continuing this week’s examination of Mego price stickers, we turn our attention to BEST Products, one of the last-standing catalog showrooms in America. I really miss the catalog store business model, but I guess shopping malls and the internet rendered them obsolete. Sigh.

Best Products

Do you remember BEST Products? I loved that store as a kid.
From Wikipedia:

Best employed the “catalog showroom” concept for many of its product offerings. Although some product categories (such as sporting goods and toys) were stocked in traditional self-serve aisles, the majority of products (notably consumer electronics, housewares, and appliances) were featured as unboxed display models. Customers were permitted to examine and experiment with these models, and if found to be desirable, they could be purchased by submitting orders to store personnel. Saleable versions of the merchandise (typically boxed and/or in its original packaging) would then be retrieved from storage and delivered to a customer service area for subsequent purchase.

As a cost-saving measure, Best jointly published its catalog with Service Merchandise and Modern Merchandising, and had regional non-compete agreements with those chains.

BEST Products, well-known for avant garde store architecture, used several different corporate logos, including the ‘escalating letter forms’ and the “USA” map that appears on this ©1975 Spider-Man card, which Mego issued after February 1977:

Best Products

The sticker reads:

  • Best Products
  • CATALOG NUMBER
  • 694843
  • BUYER’S CODE
  • 397
  • REFERENCE RETAIL
  • $4.95

Pretty cool! During the late 1970s, Mego figures definitely started climbing in price!

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.

Benjamin

The Best Products Catalog Showroom (pictured above), formerly located in Langhorne PA, was decorated by Venturi Scott Brown and Associates, back in 1978. Store photo © Tom Bernard.

Link - VSBA: http://www.vsba.com/projects/
Link - Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Best_Products

posted in 2nd Issue Blister Cards, Best Products, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Packaging, Mego Retailers, Price Stickers, Spider-Man, World's Greatest Toys | 2 Comments

2nd April 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Poster Fun with 2nd Issue 1975 Marvel Cards!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Wednesday, April 2, 2008:

Poster Fun: 2nd Issue ©1975 Marvel Cards!

Here’s a new addition to my Poster Fun series. Today, we truly marvel (ahem!) at every Marvel character Mego issued on a 2nd Issue ©1975 card, in chronological order of release. Originally, I didn’t want to present this poster, because I cannot show the original, ©1975a card for each character.*

But Dan Crandall, whom we all can thank for most of the cards pictured below (thank you, Dan), suggested it would look cool anyway. So, this one’s for you, Dan. You were definitely right. There are 13 such cards. Enjoy!

*All cards below are ©1975a cards, except Spider-Man, Hulk and the Fantastic Four, which are the ©1975b cards.

Daily Mego Adoration

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

Exclamation!In keeping with today’s Marvel theme, Brian Heiler has a great look at vintage Spider-Man goodness over at Plaid Stallions. It’s great stuff!

Benjamin

p.s. If anyone out there owns a ©1975a Spider-Man, Hulk, Thing, Human Torch, Mr. Fantastic or Invisible Girl, please send me pictures and I’ll update the poster!

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, Acknowledgements, Captain America, Conan, Daily Mego Adoration, Falcon, Green Goblin, Hulk, Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Iron Man, Lizard, Mego Corporation, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mr. Fantastic, Posters!, Spider-Man, The Fantastic Four, Thing, Thor, World's Greatest Toys | 1 Comment

1st April 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: New Mego Discovery!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Tuesday April 1, 2008:

New Mego Discovery: 2nd Issue ©1977a Superman Card!

I am not all that surprised to finally find this specimen, but it is still incredibly exciting!

Sometime around Summer 1977, Mego produced a mysterious packaging variation, presumably a “filler” piece, which appeared between the “©1976″ and “©1977b” cards. This transitional card variation boasts a totally unique ‘butterfly’ peg hole, and the back uses uncoated card stock. It is as mysterious as it is different.

Until today, it was believed that Mego issued only four characters on this card: Batman, Robin, Shazam and Green Arrow. We now know Mego issued Superman on this card, too.

April Fool's Day

With the odd assortment of figures previously known to exist on this card, it’s not surprising that Mego produced other characters (especially the popular Superman!) on this card. I discuss this particular packaging variation on page 224 of World’s Greatest Toys!, as presented below:

“1977a” 2nd Issue/2nd Version (DC) Card—Summer 1977 (c2-DC-77a)

April Fool's Day This card was produced between the ©1976 and the ©1977b card, which includes more characters. The card has a 1977 copyright and new illustrations, but bears the same Country of Origin statement as the ©1976 card. The graphics on the back of the card remain identical to the ©1976 card. These elements suggest it preceded the more common ©1977b card.

This variation has several striking differences from every other 2nd Issue card. First, the card stock is glossy only on the front; the back of the card has an uncoated matte finish. This card also boasts a peculiar “butterfly” peg hole not seen on any other WGSH package. The die cut shape is different than the Teen Titans’ butterfly peg hole.

To date, only four characters are confirmed to exist on this variation: Batman, Robin, Shazam and Green Arrow. Presuming these are the only characters produced on this card, one guesses Mego issued these cards to fill an immediate need for those characters. For this to be true, it would mean that inventory of the ©1976 cards was depleted. This is not unreasonable, given the relatively low production quantities of both Shazam and Green Arrow. The existence of Batman and Robin is surprising, but could reflect the immense popularity and constant demand for them. Only time will tell if other characters appear on this extremely rare card.

Most of the new “1977″ artwork is redrawn from the work of legendary comic book artist Neal Adams. A testament to his popularity, this is among the most popular artwork used on Mego packaging.

One more thing: Happy April Fool’s Day! Yep. Just funnin’ ya… A ©1977a Superman has not been discovered. YET.
Want to learn some things that are actually true? Buy Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! Just $32.97

Benjamin

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

posted in 2nd Issue Blister Cards, April Fool's Day, Batman, Daily Mego Adoration, Green Arrow, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Robin, Shazam!, Superman, World's Greatest Toys | 0 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

23rd March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: DC “2nd Issue” Cards (part 3)

Here is our Daily Mego Adoration for Monday, March 24, 2008.
Let’s finish up with these lovely 2nd Issue DC Cards!

This post wraps up my 3-part series of Daily Mego Adoration blogs about Mego’s “2nd Issue” DC cards. Today I want to show ‘detail’ photos of each card’s distinguishing features, which I discussed in yesterday’s blog.

On the front of each card, Mego printed a “Country of Origin” statement, a legal requirement for all goods manufactured outside the United States. These statements comprise some of the packaging distinctions, as demonstrated below. Most notable is Mego’s cessation of the phrase “THE BRITISH COLONY OF” from later cards.

Note, too, the ©1977 Wonder Woman’s “Country of Origin” statement; the typography is unlike any other card! Incidentally, the trademark (â„¢) on the Mego logo helps chronologically place the mysterious Wonder Woman card before the ©1979 card.

2nd Issue DC Card-Front Variations: Country of Origin
Above: ©1976 “Country of Origin” Statement
Above: ©1977a “Country of Origin” Statement
Above: ©1977b “Country of Origin” Statement
Above: ©1977c “Country of Origin” Statement
Above: ©1977 2nd Issue Wonder Woman “Country of Origin” Statement
Above: ©1979 “Country of Origin” Statement

On the back of each card, there are three areas of distinction: Batgirl’s purse, the WGSH masthead and Penguin’s coloration. Following are pictures that demonstrate the differences between Batgirl purses and WGSH mastheads.

Batgirl’s purse started out yellow-on-gray. The ©1977c card is red-on-black, while both the Wonder Woman and ©1979 cards are black-on-red.

The trademark (™) on the WGSH mast started out white. On the ©1977c card, it is black, while both the Wonder Woman and ©1979 cards replace the trademark with a white registration (®) mark.

2nd Issue DC Card-Back Variations: Batgirl Purse and WGSH Masthead
Above: ©1976 card
Above: ©1977a card
Above: ©1977b card
Above: ©1977c card
Above: ©1977 Wonder Woman card
Above: ©1979 card

The Penguin illustration in the lower right corner on the back of each card also changed along the way. With the introduction of the ©1977c card, Mego finally added the character’s skin color that is missing from earlier packaging variations:

2nd Issue DC Card-Back Variations: Penguin Coloration
Above ©1976 card Above ©1977a card Above ©1977b card
Above ©1977c card Above ©1977 WW card Above ©1979 card

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

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, 2nd Issue DC Cards, Batgirl, Batman, Copyrights and Trademarks, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego Packaging, Mego Questions, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Penguin, Robin, Wonder Woman, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

21st March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: DC “2nd Issue” Cards (part 2)

Here is our Daily Mego Adoration for Friday, March 21, 2008.
Let’s continue talking about 2nd Issue Cards!

Expanding on yesterday’s Daily Mego Adoration Blog, which shows the front and back of every Mego “2nd Issue” DC card, I want to discuss the elements that distinguish each variation. The next blog will show photo details of each distinction, but for now I want to compile the information that is scattered throughout the (chronologically ordered) book into one place.

“1976″ 2nd Issue/1st Version (DC) Card—Spring 1977 (c2-DC-76)

DC 76 Mego created this new card, consolidating their entire DC offering onto a uniform package design. This card is marked “1976,” the most recent year DC updated their copyrights. As with all the window boxes that preceded this packaging style, the copyright information includes the phrase “in the British Colony of Hong Kong.”

Mego discontinued both Wonder Woman and Tarzan prior to releasing this package. Every other 8″ DC character is available on this card.

Characters Issued
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Robin
  • Aquaman
  • Shazam
  • Penguin
  • Joker
  • Riddler
  • Mr. Mxyzptlk
  • Supergirl
  • Batgirl
  • Catwoman
  • Green Arrow
Instant Identification
  • Front features “1976″ DC artwork
  • Copyright year below WGSH masthead reads “1976″
  • Penguin has no skin tone, colorless face and wrists
  • Batgirl has light gray outfit and purse with yellow Bat symbol
  • Country of Origin reads “in the British Colony of Hong Kong”

“1977a” 2nd Issue/2nd Version (DC) Card—Summer 1977 (c2-DC-77a)

DC 77a This card was produced between the ©1976 and the ©1977b card, which includes more characters. The card has a 1977 copyright and new illustrations, but bears the same Country of Origin statement as the ©1976 card. The graphics on the back of the card remain identical to the ©1976 card. These elements suggest it preceded the more common ©1977b card.

This variation has several striking differences from every other 2nd Issue card. First, the card stock is glossy only on the front; the back of the card has an uncoated matte finish. This card also boasts a peculiar “butterfly” peg hole not seen on any other WGSH package. The die cut shape is different than the Teen Titans’ butterfly peg hole.

To date, only four characters are confirmed to exist on this variation: Batman, Robin, Shazam and Green Arrow. Presuming these are the only characters produced on this card, one guesses Mego issued these cards to fill an immediate need for those characters. For this to be true, it would mean that inventory of the ©1976 cards was depleted. This is not unreasonable, given the relatively low production quantities of both Shazam and Green Arrow. The existence of Batman and Robin is surprising, but could reflect the immense popularity and constant demand for them. Only time will tell if other characters appear on this extremely rare card.

Most of the new “1977″ artwork is redrawn from the work of legendary comic book artist Neal Adams. A testament to his popularity, this is among the most popular artwork used on Mego packaging.

Characters Issued
  • Batman
  • Robin
  • Shazam
  • Green Arrow
Instant Identification
  • Front features “1977″ DC artwork
  • Copyright year below WGSH masthead reads “1977″
  • Country of Origin reads “in the British Colony of Hong Kong”
  • No copyright text in white stroke around card
  • Peg hole is unique “butterfly” shape
  • Card stock has glossy front, matte back

“1977b” 2nd Issue/3rd Version (DC) Card—Fall 1977 (c2-DC-77b)

DC 77b This is the primary 1977 DC card, as Mego issued eight characters, compared to four for the preceding ©1977a card, and just three for the subsequent ©1977c card. All artwork is identical to the ©1977a, except for Batgirl, whose card uses the “1976″ artwork. The Country of Origin statement reads “…Hong Kong” instead of “…British Colony of Hong Kong.”Prior to production of this card, Mego cancelled Supergirl, Catwoman, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Green Arrow.

By this time, Mego secured a distribution deal with Harbert, based in Milan, Italy. It is unknown what happened to Baravelli, the Italian company that distributed Mego figures in the mid-1970s. Over the next several years, Harbert purchased massive quantities of WGSH. In fact, their inventory was so large, they still offered figures in their 1983 sales catalog, more than a year after Mego discontinued the line.

To accommodate Harbert’s immediate inventory needs, Mego sent an unknown quantity of the most popular characters in the line (including Superman, Batman, Robin and Spider-Man) to Italy, with a Harbert sticker covering the WGSH masthead. These rectangular stickers are white and feature the character name, Harbert’s item number and logo. There are also examples of round white stickers (see ©1975b Spider-Man card on page 83), which are considerably scarcer than the rectangular stickers.

Characters Issued
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Robin
  • Shazam
  • Penguin
  • Joker
  • Riddler
  • Batgirl*
Instant Identification
  • Front features “1977″ DC artwork*
  • Copyright year below WGSH masthead reads “1977″
  • Country of Origin does not include “in the British Colony”
  • No copyright text in white stroke around card
  • Card back artwork is identical to the ©1976 Card

* Batgirl has “1976″ artwork on the front


“1977c” 2nd Issue/4th Version ©1977c (DC) Card—Spring 1978 (c2-DC-77c)

DC 77c Mego only issued Superman, Batman and Robin on this 3rd Version of the ©1977 Card. Large quantities of ©1977b cards went to Harbert for distribution in Italy. Superman, Batman and Robin were top sellers in the line, and it’s possible there weren’t enough ©1977b cards produced to satisfy both Harbert and U.S. retailers. Another contributing factor could be the ©1978 Hulk and Spider-Man cards produced at the same time. Additional quantities of the equally popular DC character would add variety to casepack assortments.

This variation is the most common ©1977 card for Superman, Batman and Robin. It is unlikely other characters were issued on this variation.This card represents the first appearance of a Registration (®) mark within the WGSH masthead of a DC card, replacing the Trademark (â„¢) symbol used on all previous packaging. The printers filled the white Trademark symbol with the red background, printing the black Registration mark on top. The black Registration mark is significant, as it helps determine the chronology of other 2nd Issue cards, such as the ©1978 “Marvel” Card, and various foreign cards. Additionally, Mego added the licensor copyright information within the white border on the card front.

The card back exhibits two minor modifications. Mego finally added flesh tone to Penguin, and Batgirl features a black costume (instead of gray) and a black purse with a red Bat symbol.

Characters Issued
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Robin
Instant Identification
  • Front features “1977″ DC artwork
  • WGSH masthead has Registration mark printed in black
  • Copyright below WGSH masthead reads “1977″
  • Penguin has skin toned face and wrists
  • Batgirl has black outfit and black purse with red Bat symbol
  • Licensor copyright information printed within white border on card front

The ©1977 Wonder Woman Card— (Spring 1978-Spring 1979)

2nd Issue Wonder Woman The mysterious 2nd Issue card combines graphical elements Mego used between 1977 and 1979, but never simultaneously. The front character illustrations match the ©1977 cards while the coloration on the back matches the ©1979 cards, in particular, Batgirl’s red purse. Unlike other ©1979 cards, however, the Wonder Woman card back includes the word “Official” above the masthead. Also, the registration mark (®) is printed in white ink, a distinction Mego did not introduce domestically until the ©1979 cards.


“1979″ 2nd Issue/5th Version (DC) Card—Spring 1979 (c2-DC-79)

DC 79 This was the last official card issued for DC characters. It came out sometime between fall 1978 and spring 1979, and was produced until Mego cancelled the line in 1982. The copyright year is 1979 on all cards, except for Batgirl, which is incorrectly marked “1977.”

Along with the updated copyright year, the Batgirl illustration features inverted colors on the purse (red purse with a black Bat symbol). Additionally, Mego changed the color of the Registration mark in the masthead from black to white. Incidentally, the packaging for the mysterious 2nd Issue Wonder Woman card exhibits design elements placing its creation directly before this card.

Incredibly scarce today, this is the first Aquaman package Mego issued since the ©1976 card. Unlike Thor and Conan, who were featured in the Spring 1979 Mego catalog, Aquaman was not included. Mego issued all three characters in limited quantities.

Mego discontinued Riddler around this time. Their inventory of ©1977b Riddler cards lasted through the production of this card. While unconfirmed, a yellow ©1979 Riddler card may exist and would be extremely rare. Mego later packaged unsold Riddlers on generic Red cards, alongside remaining Aquaman, Batgirl and Green Arrow figures.

Characters Issued
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Robin
  • Aquaman
  • Shazam
  • Penguin
  • Joker
  • Batgirl*
Instant Identification
  • Front features “1979″ DC artwork
  • WGSH masthead has Registration mark printed in white
  • Copyright year below WGSH masthead reads “1979″*
  • Batgirl has black outfit and red purse with black Bat symbol

* Batgirl has “1977″ marked year of release.


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

Stay tuned: In Monday’s “Daily Mego Adoration” blog, I will post a pictorial blog, detailing the distinguising aspects of each “2nd Issue” DC card!

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, 2nd Issue DC Cards, Aquaman, Batman, Copyrights and Trademarks, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Mego Packaging, Mego Questions, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Robin, Superman, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

20th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: DC “2nd Issue” Cards (part 1)

Here is our Daily Mego Adoration for Thursday, March 20, 2008.
Let’s talk about 2nd Issue Cards!

Mego developed a wide variety of packaging styles for their “World’s Greatest Super-Heroes” toy line, so collectors have embraced nicknames to define each style. The earliest packaging style, which Mego introduced toward the end of 1972, is known as the “Solid” box. Mere months later, Mego modified the “Solid” box by adding a thin, acetate window that allows a view to the toy inside. Such packaging is known as a “Window Box.”

Around the same time, Mego developed a blister card-style of packaging, called “1st Issue” cards. This tall card (6″ x 12″) features a plastic blister that is sealed to the bottom-center of the card.

Sidebar Some collectors still refer to “1st Issue” cards as “Kresge” cards, simply because the term was coined at a time when collectors believed such cards were available exclusively through S.S. Kresge and Kmart stores. Nowadays, collectors know Mego produced plenty of “1st Issue” cards, available through other retailers, that lack any reference to S.S. Kresge. Thus, “1st Issue” is a more accurate nickname for any card that measures 6″ x 12″.

In Spring 1977, Mego ceased production of all boxes and “1st Issue” cards, introducing a new blister card-style of packaging that is wider and shorter than the original card. Measuring 7″ x 10″, the plastic blister is sealed to the bottom-right of each card. Not surprisingly, these cards are known as “2nd Issue” cards.

Sidebar Collectors once referred to “2nd Issue” cards as “Standard” cards, a term that does not recognize the numerous, seminal “1st Issue” card variations. Collectors also once referred to these packages as “U.S.” cards, presumably unaware of the myriad ‘foreign’ packages — available outside of America — which utilize the same packaging style. Thankfully, neither term is used much anymore.

Between Spring 1977 and December 1982 (when Mego cancelled the WGSH line), Mego produced five different “2nd Issue cards” for DC characters in the United States… six, if one includes the truly unique Wonder Woman card, which many collectors assume was developed for the Australian market. While marked “©1977,” the solitary “2nd Issue” Wonder Woman card was evidently produced sometime between Spring 1978 and Spring 1979.

One feature I could not fit into the Mego book (but really wanted to include) is an expository breakdown of the different “2nd Issue” cards. I have received a lot of questions about the different packaging variations Mego produced, so I will use this blog to expand on the information… using tons of pictures, of course.

Today, I will introduce each of the “2nd Issue” DC cards. Of all the DC characters Mego produced, only Batman and Robin represent each of the five U.S.-issued “2nd Issue” cards. I present all five cards in the Robin chapter of World’s Greatest Toys! (page 40 and 41), but now I will add the “2nd Issue” Wonder Woman card, too!

Here are Mego’s “2nd Issue” DC cards, in chronological order of release!

2nd Issue DC Card Variations:
©1976, ©1977a, ©1977b, ©1977c, ©1977 (1978) Wonder Woman, ©1979
Above: ©1976 card front Above: ©1976 card back
Above: ©1977a card front Above: ©1977a card back
Above: ©1977b card front Above: ©1977b card back
Above: ©1977c card front Above: ©1977c card back
Above: ©1978 Wonder Woman card front Above: ©1978 Wonder Woman card back
Above: ©1979 card front Above: ©1979 card back

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

Stay tuned: Tomorrow, I will post a blog explaining the defining aspects of each “2nd Issue” DC card. After that, I will post a pictorial blog, demonstrating the differences.

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, 2nd Issue Blister Cards, 2nd Issue DC Cards, Book Production, Copyrights and Trademarks, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Robin, Super-Gals, Window Boxes, Wonder Woman, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

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