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 | 5 Comments

2nd April 2008

Aquaman Shrine: Interview with Paul Levitz

I absolutely adore Aquaman. As a child, I had more Mego Aquaman figures than any other character; ruined every one of ‘em in the bathtub. Inexplicably, my mom kept on replacing them.

As a friend of the constantly-dissed Aquaman (or “F.O.A.M.” as Rob dubbed us few and proud), there is no better treat in the world than Rob Kelly’s incredible Aquaman Shrine, a “daily devotional” blog dedicated to the proverbial King of the Seven Seas.

I am entertained by every one of Rob’s blogs, and I plan to call out the articles I find especially exciting.

Aquaman Shrine

For example, check out this goodness: Rob just scored a major interview, publishing a fascinating interview with DC Comics’ President and Publisher, Paul Levitz. Way to go, Rob!

Benjamin

Blog Credits and legal stuff: Blog masthead © 2008 Rob Kelly. Mego Aquaman ©2004 Tom L. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.

posted in Aquaman, Aquaman Shrine | Comments Off

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

25th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Poster Fun with 1st Issue Cards!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Wednesday, March 26, 2008:

Poster Fun: 1st Issue Cards!

Here’s a new addition to my Poster Fun series, wherein I create large, composite photos of appropriate groupings of Mego figures and packages. These are the types of images I couldn’t fit into Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys!, but they’re an awful lot of fun to look at!

Mego issued numerous “1st Issue” card variations, yet manufactured just 17 characters using this exquisite packaging style. Here’s a composite of all 17 characters produced on 1st Issue cards, in chronological order of release. 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 1st Issue Blister Cards, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Book Production, Captain America, Catwoman, Daily Mego Adoration, Green Arrow, Joker, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Penguin, Posters!, Riddler, Robin, S.S. Kresge, Shazam!, Spider-Man, Supergirl, Superman, Tarzan, Wonder Woman, World's Greatest Toys | 8 Comments

24th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Poster Fun with Loose Mego WGSH Figures!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Tuesday, March 25, 2008:

Poster Fun with Loose Mego WGSH Figures!


I wish I had been granted more pages in the Mego book, Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys!

At 256 pages, it’s already chock full of Mego goodness. But had it been longer, I would have included a whole bunch of other Mego goodness, such as large, composite photos of appropriate groupings of Mego figures and packages.

Sigh.

Since I didn’t have enough room to include such indulgences, I have decided to start a new Blog series to showcase my intended goodness, and I’m callin’ it Poster Fun!

Up first, a composite of every 8″ Mego World’s Greatest Super-Hero figure, in chronological order of release. Between 1972 and 1982, Mego issued 37 different Super-Heroes. 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 Aqualad, Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Book Production, Captain America, Catwoman, Conan, Daily Mego Adoration, Falcon, Green Arrow, Green Goblin, Hulk, Human Torch, Invisible Girl, Iron Man, Isis, Joker, Kid Flash, Lizard, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mr. Fantastic, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Penguin, Posters!, Riddler, Robin, Shazam!, Speedy, Spider-Man, Super-Foes, Super-Gals, Supergirl, Superman, Tarzan, Teen Titans, The Fantastic Four, Thing, Thor, Wonder Woman, Wondergirl, World's Greatest Toys | 6 Comments

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

19th March 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Counter Display Boxes!

Here is our Daily Mego Adoration for Wednesday, March 19, 2008. Daily Mego Adoration
This is one of my favorite Mego subjects, so strap in, and let’s talk about Mego’s awesome Counter Display Boxes!

Mego Catalog Mego first promoted the World’s Greatest Super-Heroes line with a late addition to their 1972 Toy Fair catalog.

Mego staffers inserted a photographic one-sheet (shown at right) into leftover copies of the original, bound ‘72 catalog. The page features the actual prototype Superman figure (see page 17 of the book for a detailed view of the Superman prototype).

Given the impressive WGSH sales generated by Mego’s ‘test marketing’ (conducted at stores operated by retailer E.J. Korvette during Christmas 1972), it’s not surprising Mego scrambled to promote their sizzling new line as quickly as possible… even if it meant manually inserting a one-sheet into each catalog distributed throughout the year (after Toy Fair, which was held each February).

From the outset — before the other three original figures were developed, even — the one-sheet reveals that Mego planned to: 1) sell figures in individual Solid boxes (i.e. no acetate window) and; 2) ship each case of 24 boxed figures inside an “Overall Printed Counter Merchandizer” (AKA the “Counter Display Box”).

By the time the next Toy Fair rolled around in February 1973, Mego’s WGSH line had already proven to be tremendously successful, and the company was finally able to show the entire range of four characters (shown below), which included Batman, Robin and Aquaman, in addition to the Superman figure depicted in 1972 (note the earliest costume variations, including the Large ‘S’ Superman emblem, ‘Skinny’ boots, Robin’s cloth belt and the removable masks for Batman and Robin):

Mego Catalog

Mego was also able to show the revised Counter Display Box. The prototype Counter Display Box depicted in the post-1972 Toy Fair catalog (shown below left) includes just eight individual boxed figures, while the 1973 catalog (below right) boasts a fully-loaded Counter Display. Interestingly, Mego modified the die-cut opening between 1972 and 1973, as demonstrated in the comparison below.

Mego Catalog

Just look at all those Solid Boxes! Like, Zoiks, Scoob!

Mego’s 1973 WGSH Assortment Number (1310) was identical to 1972, as was the case-pack assortment:

(9) Superman
(9) Batman
(4) Robin
(2) Aquaman

Now you know why Aquaman is the rarest of the early Mego Super-Heroes!

By Toy Fair in 1974, Mego had expanded the super-hero offering to include four new characters: Captain America, Tarzan, Spider-Man and Shazam. Mego granted this 2nd Wave of Mego Heroes a new Assortment Number, 1311.

Mego Catalog

Mego also modified the Counter Display graphics, to accommodate all eight heroes:

Mego Catalog

Above: the 1974 1310/1311 Counter Display box, as depicted in the 1974 Mego catalog (left) includes a strange assortment of boxed figures, including 2nd Wave heroes Captain America, Spider-Man, Shazam and Tarzan, along with three of the four Super-Foes wave (no Joker) and one Batman. The same Counter Display from my personal collection (right) is filled with a slightly more appropriate combination of 1310 and 1311 figures.

The 1974 Assortment Numbers are as follows:

Asst. 1310:
(4) Superman
(10) Batman
(6) Robin
(4) Aquaman

Note that the quantity of Superman figures dropped from nine to four… in just one year! Until the “Superman” movies started appearing, the Mego Superman figure just was not as popular as collectors once assumed.

Asst. 1311:
(4) Captain America
(4) Tarzan
(12) Spider-Man
(4) Shazam

Note the confidence Mego had in Spider-Man (half of the entire assortment!), not to mention the ambivalence Mego suffered in guessing the other three characters’ potential popularity. “4… and 4 and, ummm… 4? Yeah, that sounds good.”

Mego’s 1974 “1310/1311″ Counter Display Box looks great either open or closed (below):

Counter Display Box

1974 also marked the first year Mego promoted their new Super-Gals and Super-Foes lines.

In 1974, Mego offered retailers the option of receiving Super-Gals packaged in 1st Issue blister cards or window boxes, the latter of which included a wonderful Counter Display Box:

Mego Catalog

The 1974 boxed Gals Assortment (1340) included the following case-pack quantities:

(7) Wonder Woman
(3) Supergirl
(7) Batgirl
(7) Catwoman

Now you know why Supergirl is the rarest of the four Gals!

That year, Mego offered retailers the same packaging options for the Super-Foes:

Mego Catalog

The 1974 boxed Foes Assortment (1358) included the following case-pack quantities:

(8) Penguin
(8) Joker
(4) Riddler
(4) Mr. Mxyzptlk

Oh, if only Mego had predicted kids’ distaste for Mr. Mxyzptlk. Riddler might not be so rare today!

Sidebar The Counter Displays for both the Gals and Foes waves are extremely rare: an example of the Super-Gals Counter Display, auctioned on eBay on February 9, 2008, sold for $7,100; an example of the Super-Foes Counter Display, auctioned on eBay two days earlier, sold for a whopping $9,600.

I really adore the Mego Counter Display Boxes. Adding one to my collection was a significant moment in my life as a toy collector. I discuss Mego “Shipping and Counter Display Boxes” in World’s Greatest Toys.

Here’s a snippet from the book (page 233, for those reading along), with a scan of the cited page:

World's Greatest Toys!With each case of 24 boxed figures, Mego shipped a graphical Counter Display box, designed to help retailers merchandise the figures. To prepare the box for display, retailers took the following three steps: 1) Remove and discard the perforated portion (see photo 1); 2) Fold the exposed front and top flaps together (see photo 2) and; 3) Tuck the front flap behind the figures, allowing the top flap to stand upright, becoming a display header card (see photo 3).

All very scarce, there are at least eight* different Counter Display boxes:

1] 1972/73 1st Wave (#1310)
2] 1974 1st and 2nd Wave (#1310 and #1311)
3] 1974-76 Gals (#1340/51340)
4] 1974-76 Foes (#1358/51358)
5] 1975/76 DC Assortment #1 (#51310)
6] 1975/76 Marvel Assortment #2 (#51311)
7] 1975/76 Marvel Assortment #3 (#51312)
8] 1976 Assortment #4 (#51313)

Most boxes are white. 1975/76 Marvel Assortment #2 (Spider-Man, Captain America, Lizard and Green Goblin) boxes are reportedly orange, while 1975/76 Marvel Assortment #3 (Hulk, Tarzan, Falcon and Iron Man) boxes are sky blue. 1976 Marvel Assortment #4 (the entire 4th Wave), boxes are tan.

*If one differentiates boxes with “old” versus “new” Mego logos, there are likely eleven variations. It is unknown whether Mego created Counter Display boxes for the 1975/76 Fist-Fighters (#51601); if so, there is likely only one such version, with the “old” Mego logo.

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

Perhaps it’s the cool graphics on each Counter Display Box. Perhaps it’s the scarcity of surviving specimens. Or maybe it’s just the fact that these utilitarian packages were intended for retailers to merchandise the products… not for kids (or adults) to covet and collect.

Regardless of the reasoning behind their desirability, Counter Display Boxes are very special. And I just love ‘em all.

Now if I could just Collect ‘Em All.

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 Aquaman, Batgirl, Batman, Book Production, Captain America, Catwoman, Counter Display Boxes, Daily Mego Adoration, Joker, Mego Corporation, Mego Packaging, Mego World's Greatest Super-Heroes, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Penguin, Riddler, Robin, Shazam!, Spider-Man, Super-Foes, Super-Gals, Supergirl, Superman, Tarzan, Wonder Woman, World's Greatest Toys | 6 Comments

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

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