8th November 2009

Mego Memories: Scott Neely’s 1974 Christmas!

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

30th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Solid Box WGSH!

Thanks to Mego-head Scott Adams, we have seen some unusual examples of Mego price stickers. Today we offer a gem from Scott Adams’ MIB collection. The very first “Mego Price Stickers” blog, back on April 15th 2007, was a look at price stickers affixed to the original Mego packaging — the “Solid” boxes. We have come full circle.

Given how scarce any “Solid” box is today, it’s really special to locate specimens that retain their original price stickers. We have already been fortunate to show two such stickers.

Today, Scott adds yet another retailer into the fray of early Mego adopters: Roses also purchased Solid Boxed WGSH!

Price Sticker

The sticker reads:

  • Roses Special
  • $1.97

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, Roses, Superman, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

27th May 2008

Mego Price Stickers: Late Toys “R” Us

Yesterday, we looked at an early Toys “R” Us price sticker. Today, we look at the more common, later orange price sticker (most commonly associated with Mego “2nd Issue” cards) that Toys “R” Us affixed to Mego toys, such as this “6th Version” (New Logo) Superman box:

Price Sticker

What’s cool about this particular sticker is that it demonstrates approximately when Toys “R” Us introduced the orange sticker (i.e. while Mego was producing the final box variation). I always associated the orange Toys “R” Us stickers with the “2nd Issue” cards, which started appearing after 1977, but now we know the retailer actually introduced the new sticker design in 1976.

Cool!

The sticker reads:

  • 51300 F
  • TOYS R’ US
  • 118893 $2.82

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, Superman, Toys "R" Us!, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

5th May 2008

USPTO: Fist-Fighters!

Fist-Fighters As collectors, it’s easy to get down on Mego for failing to further expand the WGSH line. Despite Mego’s then-unprecedented production of 37 unique characters, we wish there were even more!

“Where’s our Flash?” we plead. “Why didn’t Mego make a Green Lantern? Or a Dr. Doom?!” we lament.

As the line started to die around 1977-1978 (no, that’s not a typo), collectors now question why Mego failed to push the envelope in an effort to revitalize the line… especially during that critical period exacerbated by George Lucas’ introduction of “Star Wars” to the Pop Culture lexicon.

In fact, Mego did attempt to ‘flip the script’ at least twice. But neither concept had much of an impact on children of the 1970s. Mego’s final attempt at pumping life into a fading line was the introduction of “Fly-Away Action,” a contraption included with some 12″ WGSH figures, which allowed action figures to traverse a zip line.

Several years earlier, while the Mego’s WGSH line was arguably in its prime, Mego also went outside the proverbial box in developing a brand new body style intended to enhance play-value. Mego introduced the “Fist-Fighting Power Fist” Super-Heroes in 1975.

Fist-Fighters

I love Mego’s submissions to the United States Patent & Trademark Office (USPTO), and I have previously discussed this informative documentation. In World’s Greatest Toys, I discuss the Fist-Fighters (page 147) as well as Mego’s dealings with the USPTO (pages 7-9), depicting just one of the four USPTO Fist-Fighter submissions.

Here is Mego’s “Fist-Fighter” submission in its entirety (NB: Click Images to EMBIGGEN toward legibility!):

PAGE 1 and PAGE 2:

USPTO

PAGE 3 and PAGE 4:

USPTO

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, Captain America, Copyrights and Trademarks, Falcon, Green Arrow, Iron Man, Joker, Lizard, Riddler, Robin, Spider-Man, Superman, United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO), World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

1st May 2008

Mego 1979 Annual Report: Toy Goodness!

Courtesy of World’s Greatest Toys editor Rob Chatlin, Mego’s 1979 Annual Report is filled with fantastic photos, including this splash collage on the very first page, promoting Mego’s wide array of toy offerings:

Annual Report

More pictures from this glorious bit of print-matter are coming soon. Thanks, Rob!

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 Acknowledgements, Hulk, Mego Corporation, Superman, Wonder Woman, World's Greatest Toys | 1 Comment

16th April 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Mego Price Stickers - S.S. Kresge!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Wednesday, April 16, 2008:

Mego Price Stickers - S.S. Kresge!

Continuing yesterday’s examination of Mego price stickers, we turn our attention to S.S. Kresge, one of the most significant U.S. retailers of Mego products.

Skipping past the original Kresge-branded “1st Issue” cards that feature pre-printed price stickers, we instead look at the “1st Issue” card variation that marks the end of Kresge’s history of ordering ‘owned-brand’ (i.e. Kresge-branded) Mego packaging.

Neither of the final two “1st Issue” card variations are marked with Kresge branding (see page 149 of World’s Greatest Toys! for an explanation and additional information). Despite this, Kresge — which evolved into Kmart — continued to sell Mego figures packaged on Mego’s original card style. This shift resulted in different (affixed, rather than pre-printed) Kresge price stickers.

Today, we compare two different examples of the 5th Version “1st Issue” card (depicting Shazam in the masthead), each featuring unique, affixed Kresge stickers. As mentioned before, I discuss this particular packaging variation on page 149 of World’s Greatest Toys!

Here are two different specimens of the Superman card, which Mego started distributing (approximately) around Spring 1975:

Price Sticker

On the left, the original price sticker, reads:

  • KEY 1
  • 2-75
  • $2.47

This sticker utilizes Kresge’s original “date code” scheme, suggesting Kresge expected delivery by February 1975 (2-75). Presumably, this particular toy hung, unsold, on Kresge’s peg-display for some time, since the retailer ultimately added a reduced-price sticker (actually, they accidentally affixed two of the same sticker), which reads:

  • KEY 1
  • 49-52
  • $1.68

Judging by the price of the second specimen (pictured above right), it’s safe to assume Mego sent additional quantities of the identical packaging style before Kresge sold out of the original run! The sticker on the later-issued specimen (above right) reads:

  • KEY 1
  • 1 4 75
  • 4367
  • $1.68

While the nomenclature does not match typical Kresge “date code” schemes, it’s possible the “1 4 75″ refers to “April 1975″. I’m not so sure about that, but it’s a plausible assumption. I know that Kresge eventually abandoned the “date code” scheme, I just don’t know exactly when they did so.

However, understanding that retailers only ever marked products DOWN (they never RAISED product prices), coupled with the differing sticker codes, it’s safe to assume that the first specimen (above left) was marked DOWN to meet the subsequently released specimen’s (above right) price of $1.68.

Pretty cool!

By the way, I want to thank Mego-head Don Cassetori, who already sent me several amazing price sticker photos for my Price Sticker Library! I will post those pictures in a future blog. You rock, Don!

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

posted in 1st Issue Blister Cards, Daily Mego Adoration, Mego Corporation, Price Stickers, S.S. Kresge, Superman, World's Greatest Toys | 0 Comments

15th April 2008

Daily Mego Adoration: Mego Price Stickers!

Daily Mego Adoration Here’s our Daily Mego Adoration for Tuesday, April 15, 2008:

Happy Birthday To Me!

It’s my birthday today, so I’m writing a Blog that is probably only interesting to me. That’s my prerogative, right?

I adore vintage price stickers. A veritable time capsule to better days, I especially love price stickers that adorn my beloved Mego toys. I’m not as crazy about price stickers that cover ‘important’ packaging design elements — such as those that cover the character logo — but I love them all.

For several years now, I have been collecting and archiving images of Mego price stickers. I get tremendous satisfaction from comparing printed prices to particular packaging variations, studying the evolution of Mego wholesale-versus-retail pricing.

A self-styled Mego archaeologist, I also find myself trying to decipher each retailers’ unique (if utilitarian) item codes, intended to define each product.

By the way, I am 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!

This blog, surely the first in an ongoing series, focuses on Mego’s original packaging style: The “Solid” Box design, discussed on page 16 of World’s Greatest Toys!

Here are two different retailers’ Solid Box price stickers, each issued in early 1973:

Barkers

Price Sticker

The Barkers price sticker above, affixed to the front of a Solid Box Batman, reads:

  • Barkers
  • DP 77 373
  • 021 1310
  • $1.99

Note the recognizable “1310″ citation, denoting Mego’s original assortment code; the “1310″ assortment included Superman, Batman, Robin and Aquaman… I have no idea what the “021″ refers to.

BIG D

Price Sticker

The BIG D price sticker above, affixed to the top panel of a Solid Box Superman, reads:

  • BIG D
  • $2.19

What’s interesting to me is the $0.20 price difference between Barkers and BIG D; clearly Barkers ordered larger quantities, ensuring better wholesale pricing, which is notably reflected in the final retail price. Fascinating!

I’ve heard of Barkers before (though I don’t think we had them in Michigan, where I grew up), but I’ve never heard of BIG D… perhaps a small regional store?

Do you remember either Barkers or BIG D from your childhood? If so, how would you classify each retailer (i.e. “Department Store,” “Five-and-Dime,” “Drug Store,” etc.)? If you know, please post in the comments below.

Also, I look forward to hearing from fellow Mego sticker-heads. Please send me pics of your Mego price stickers!

Benjamin

p.s. It’s not only my birthday, it’s also Tax Day. Don’t forget to tip Uncle Sam for letting you live in this glorious-yet-troubled country! If you are one of the many ‘International’ Mego Collectors not beholden to our tax system, take a moment to send me good birthday wishes. I could use it.

posted in BIG D, Barkers, Batman, Mego Packaging, Mego Retailers, Price Stickers, Superman | 6 Comments

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

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

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