8th November 2009

Mego Memories: Scott Neely’s 1974 Christmas!

{EAV:f6f317fdffca24bd} My publisher recently received an Email from the very talented Scott Neely. Scott is an approved “Scooby-Doo” and Cartoon Network artist, working on such licensed properties as “Dexter’s Laboratory,” “Cow and Chicken,” “Johnny Bravo,” “Courage The Cowardly Dog,” “The Grim Adventures of Billy And Mandy,” “Powerpuff Girls” and “Ed, Edd, and Eddy”. He has also worked on “Pokemon,” “Mickey Mouse Clubhouse,” “Winnie the Pooh,” “Strawberry Shortcake,” “Bratz” and “The Lil Learners Club.”

Scott wrote:

When I was down in Baltimore for the con I bought a bunch of books from Eric at the booth and got this INCREDIBLE Mego Toys book by Benjamin Holcomb. What a tremendous book it is! I scanned these pics of myself from pics at Christmas time in Dec of 1974 when I got the batcave and quite a lot of figures from Santa. I though Benjamin might like to see them since I also work for DC Comics on the side as well. Ha! I’ve attached them so you could see them.

Here are his FANTASTIC images depicting vast Mego Super-Hero goodness, including Batman, Robin, Superman, Spider-Man, Penguin, Joker and Riddler, as well as the Bat-Cave, Batmobile and Batcycle. Quite the haul, but Scott! No love for Aquaman or Mr. Mxyzptlk? Hey, you weren’t the only one. Heh.

-b

posted in Batcycle, Batman, Batmobile, Christmas Memories, Joker, Mego Batcave, Mego Memories, Penguin, Riddler, Robin, Spider-Man, Superman, Vintage Toy Photos, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

8th April 2009

Who’s Reading World’s Greatest Toys?

It’s been over 9 months since I posted a new blog. Didn’t think I ever would write another one… not, at least, about the book.

Tonight, however, I got a heart-warming note and photo from fellow Mego-Head (and Micronauts expert) Ray Miller.

Ray wrote:

“Heya, Ben! Here’s a shot of my youngest - Anya, 7 - enjoying WGT last summer after Collette won the copy you donated to Mego Meet!”

Anya

See you on Facebook.

-b

posted in Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, 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” on the bottom of this card and Wondergirl’s. The word “obsolite” 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 1977. Due to contract disputes between Mego and Edgar Rice Burroughs, Inc. (ERB), Mego lost the rights to produce Tarzan figures in 1976… the year 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 “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

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?
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, 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?
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, 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?
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, Gold Circle, Price Stickers, Shazam!, Window Boxes, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

5th June 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Two Guys!

Two Guys (AKA “2 Guys”) was a New Jersey-based chain of discount department stores with locations in PA, NJ, NY, IL, CT, MD and CA. This is one of the few retailers known to have sold Mego-branded “1st Issue” cards; most “1st Issue” cards were Kresge-branded, thus exclusively available through S.S. Kresge and Kmart stores.

Here’s a fine Two Guys price sticker, affixed to a “1st Version” (old logo) Batgirl box (just $2.99):

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?
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 Batgirl, Daily Mego Adoration, Price Stickers, Two Guys, 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

3rd June 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Lionel!

Originally a manufacturer of electric trains, Lionel Corporation became a holding company in 1969, specializing in toy stores. By the early 1980s, Lionel operated some 150 stores, under the names Toy City, Lionel Kiddie City, Lionel Playworld, Lionel Toy Warehouse, and Lionel Toy Town.

After multiple Chapter 11 bankruptcy filings, Lionel attempted to merge with bankrupt Child World in 1992, but was unable to secure financing. Lionel stores went out of business in 1993.

In other words, Lionel was a big-time player (reportedly the second largest toy retailer) during Mego’s heyday. They must have been pretty big, as they were one of the few retailers that offered Mego’s Fist-Fighting Power Fist line of action figures, including this Fist-Fighting Joker:

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • SKU 147439
  • LIONEL 097
  • $1.91

I have to think if I’d seen one of these in a store in 1975 or 1976 (for $1.91 no less!), I’d have been all over it. I know my mom would have hooked me up for that price.

Sheesh.

I honestly don’t remember ever seeing the Fist-Fighters in any store.

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, Joker, Lionel, Price Stickers, World's Greatest Toys | 2 Comments

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