Saturday, January 29, 2011

Comic Book Advertisements!

I'm sure this ad will bring back some fond memories for many of you...
Ah, 1976... truly a glorious year to be a comic book fan (for that matter, pretty much the whole 1970s were great for being into comics). DC and Marvel were not only trying different things in their comics, they were also reprinting some classic material from the past (Marvel definitely took the lead here, having started in the 1960s with Marvel's Greatest Comics and Marvel Tales, but expanding those books in the 70s, but DC made up for it with the 100-Page Super-Spectaculars)... and the level of superheroes merchandising reached a level that I don't think has ever been matched since (at least, so far as merchandising featuring a variety of characters... there were the Batman booms of the 1960s and 1980s, but that was all Batman). And then, in 1976, Mead made it easy for geeks to make our geekery known to our fellow students with their line of Marvel Superheroes school supplies! Notebook paper with iron-on transfers! Organizers! Pocket Portfolios! Three-Ring Binders! Spiral Notebooks! Could it get any better?

Well, yeah, it could have... because Mead only used one cover from each of the books they were featuring, so you'd see the same covers used over and over again! Sometimes I think that Mead would've been smarter to use different covers all over the place, so that there'd be a different Hulk cover used on each of the products. Now, THAT would've gotten the collectors buying, wouldn't it? Still, these one-year-wonders are very popular with collectors these days!

In 1977, superhero merchandise was still going pretty strong, as you can see from this ad that appeared in the July 1977 cover-dated DC comics. Marx Toys seemed to always take a cautious approach with their superhero licenses... they may have produced a wider variety of superheroes items in the 1960s, as all I can recall from the 70s was play watches and... Sky Heroes! The idea of a glider toy featuring a superhero wasn't a new one -- they'd been around since at least the 1960s -- but these were still pretty cool... so long as you didn't let it bother you that 75% of the characters in this line DO NOT HAVE THE POWER TO FLY!!!

Yeah, it bugs me, too. At least they didn't do one with the Hulk!

Ah, we're back to Megos! Yes, I love Megos, even if I don't currently own any. It's always been amusing to me that all ads for Megos use drawings of the action figures, never photos (even if the ads were on the inside covers, where the printing was better). Still, there is something appealing about these Superheroes Shops ads, which always seemed to identify themselves differently each year (as well as with each publisher whose ads they appeared in). This ad says it's "NCG Merchandising" that's offering these items for sale, but I've also seen ads saying "Superheroes Merchandise" and "Heroes World" among others!

Anyway, you can see that this ad offered all of the 8" Mego DC characters as well as the 12" Wonder Woman (which is completely honest about it being a doll, not trying to pass it off as an action figure). Apparently the decision was made to not just feature Megos here, as there's that ad for the Frank Frazetta calendar... I almost wonder if this had been a last-minute change?

This ad doesn't say so that I can see, but I believe that all of these ads were designed and executed by students of the Joe Kubert School!

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