13th June 2008

Celebrating a Mego Birthday!

I spoke with Linda McNett yesterday. Between 1974-1978, Linda was (Mego V.P.) Neal Kublan’s Personal Assistant. Linda’s husband, John McNett — whom she met while working at Mego — was Mego’s Director of Design from 1977-1979.

Here are two shots of Linda working at Mego in the 1970s:

John and Linda McNett

Above Left: Linda in Mego’s ‘new’ offices at 41 Madison Avenue, NYC.
Above Right: Linda answering the phone in Neal Kublan’s office inside the ‘Old Building’ in 1975 (note the Mego Wants You To… Go Ape! poster in the background).

Here are two (never-before-published) 1978 photos of John, working and smoking* in his Mego office:

John and Linda McNett

Above: John, looking too-cool-for-school. They’re hard to make out, but there are the prototype Micronauts on his desk in the left-hand photo!

*Don’t smoke cigarettes, kids. Apparently, they’re bad for you. (NB: Smoking is still cool)

Both Linda and John helped me create the Mego book, improving it immeasurably. Early on, John critiqued my graphic design (he absolutely hated my type face… advice I really needed and happily accepted), while Linda shared her memories and photo albums of days spent working at Mego. I’m proud to say that Linda and John have become dear friends.

John and Linda McNett

Above: Linda, looking adorable in the “old” Mego office at 1 Madison Square Plaza, NYC; Linda McNett’s (Née “Larkin”) gold-foil Mego business card.

We hadn’t spoken in a while, and Linda called yesterday to check in with me, to see what’s up and ask how the book is doing. She told me that John recently celebrated his 70th birthday! Please join me in shouting-out-loud:

Happy birthday, John!

Thanks to Linda, we can be there in belated spirit. Here’s John, blowing out the candles on his 70th birthday cake:

John and Linda McNett

The Guest of Honor at John’s surprise party was none other than legendary Mego artist Sal Mucaro (whose son, Tory, also worked for Mego). I was thrilled when Linda Emailed me this photo of Sal Mucaro, chillin’ at John’s birthday party… and thumbing through the Mego book!

John and Linda McNett

Above: Legendary Mego artist Sal Mucaro perusing my book. Phew. How cool is that?!

Linda must be the coolest cat I know. Catching up on the phone, we talked about music and her love of Metal bands. Admittedly, I was taken aback by her musical tastes. Hell, the last time I discussed music with her, I was sending her bootleg CDs of vintage Harry Chapin concerts (courtesy of Mego-head Rob Chatlin). I guess I had her pegged for a ’70s folk music fan.

Lo and behold, Linda is a true aficionado of all things cool. She asked whether I am down with bands like Deftones, early Marilyn Manson, Disturbed, Godhead and Static-X (for you old-skool Mego-heads: Yes, I did tell her that Static-X story).

Linda’s favorite album? The soundtrack to Queen of the Damned. Right on! No folk music on that record.

Jeez. I already knew Linda was cool. I mean, she got to work at Mego, for the luv o’ Mike. She loves to paint. She loves to travel and constantly learn. She has the most enviable “Joie de Vive” I’ve ever witnessed. And now she’s gotta be a hard-core, hipster music geek, too?! It’s just not fair.

Linda even loves her some cheez-metal (a particular weakness of mine), as evidenced by this snapshot of a Tshirt she feverishly hunted down:

John and Linda McNett

Yep. That’s a freakin’ Skid Row Tshirt. Linda searched for a long time to find a Tshirt featuring Baz with the entire band. And she finally found it.

And she’s stoked.

When I grow up, I want to be cool like Linda McNett.

Mego Ben’s Related and Cool Links:

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?
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posted in Acknowledgements, Articles, Book Production, Book Research, Daily Mego Adoration, John and Linda McNett, Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

12th June 2008

Reminder: Father’s Day is Sunday!

A lot of guys in the hobby are dads themselves, but let’s not forget our own fathers, dads, pops, da-das, daddies, or whatever dumb name you called your old man.

I always called my dad “Ray.”

Long story.

Forgot? No problem. Send dad an Amazon Gift Certificate. They’re cool, plus you support WorldsGreatestToys. Woo-hoo!

Benjamin

posted in Acknowledgements, Random Musings, World's Greatest Toys | 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

11th June 2008

Mego Sketch Pad: Splash Pages!

While working on the book, I spent a fair amount of time developing and refining the ‘universal’ elements of the book. In an effort to present the information (somewhat) comprehensibly, I recognized a need for strict consistency among the chapter layouts.

From the outset, I knew I wanted to include 360-degree ‘revolution’ photos of each figure. I also knew I wanted each character to have his or her own chapter, including a standardized ‘Splash’ page. I recall many hours spent developing the final layout for the Splash pages.

Back in November 2006 (a year before the book’s release), I posted a “Mego Sketch Pad” blog, discussing a sketch for the Tarzan Splash page. Shown below is that original concept (left) next to the final layout (right).

Sketch Pad

Going through my image library recently, I came across another original Splash page sketch… for Joker. This early sketch, created at the beginning of 2005, reveals just how much the concept evolved, including the addition of Mego box character illustrations (thanks to the incredible work of Mego-head Scott Arendsen, who provided all the drawings) as well as a large strip of each character’s packaging color; It has been suggested to me that another book — which shall remain unnamed, but was released shortly after mine — shamelessly ripped off this design element.

Following is a side-by-side comparison of my early Joker Splash page concept (left) next to the final layout (right):

Sketch Pad

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?
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posted in Book Production, Book Status, Daily Mego Adoration, World's Greatest Toys | Comments Off

10th June 2008

1977 Mego Giveaway!

Neato Coolville has posted a fun blog showing a vintage ad, a 1977 promotion between 16 Magazine and Mego.

Check out the blog!

Neato Coolville

Benjamin

posted in Mego Corporation, Mego Memories, Mego's Glory Days, Random Musings | Comments Off

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?
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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

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