Friday, March 15, 2013

Licensed to Sell

Doug:  Back in the Bronze Age, there was certainly no lack of opportunity for seeing our favorite heroes and villains in places outside of our four-color funnybooks.  Today we'd like you to tell us of those periphery things you collected besides comics.  We've talked about different action figures, there has been discourse on the Pocket Books reprints, and I'm sure along the way we've hit several other types of products.  Today let's open it up again, but at the same time zero in on a few loves of my life -- I'd like to know if you had similar collecting experiences.

Slurpee Cups:  As I've shown in the picture-laden posts of "Doug's Stuff", I have a fair collection of Slurpee Cups.  All of the ones I have were purchased with that frozen concoction inside -- sometimes I fantasize about going on eBay and beginning to collect a really nice set of all of them, Marvel and DC.  But I'm so stuck in the trade paperback/hardcover buying mode that I doubt I'll get to it.  It's really amazing that the cups have lasted, as the plastic of which they're made is not of the highest quality; in fact, they can be quite brittle.

Third Eye posters:  Again, as I'm sure I've mentioned in the past, I have two of these -- the Fantastic Four and Medusa.  I also have a Dr. Strange greeting card that I did purchase via eBay at some point.  If you're not familiar, these are black light posters that are really quite garish.  I won both of them at a carnival when I was around 10 years old, throwing darts at balloons.

Topps Superhero Stickers trading cards:  How about these?  Did you have any of these stickers?  They were pretty silly, but I was just so comics-crazed at that point in my life (1975 -- I would have been 9 years old) that I would beg for anything I saw that had Marvel's characters on it.  I think I still have three or four sheets of construction paper with these stickers affixed to them!

Doug:  So there are a few ideas to get your memory working.   What of the above did you dabble in, and certainly what else not mentioned did you try to get your grubby little mitts on?  Thanks in advance!






 

41 comments:

Matt Celis said...

I only ever cared about the comic books. Never saw a lot
of the merchandise, though.

david_b said...

Here growing up in a midwest small-town, you only saw some department store offerings.. I will say the Mead school products was pretty nice back in 1975.. I collect the folders for matting/framing (as I do the vintage Marvel calendars nowadays for Silver Age covers..), but the vinyl 'trappers' or whatever they're called typically don't stand the test of time..., after 40yrs. Mead had the Marvel property, not sure who (if any) had DC covered.

Also nice was the Power Records 'readalong' 45&comic, not too shabbily done, great voicings done. Many moons ago I had suggested a column here on all the Bronze Age audio adventures, including both Power Records, the Spidey album "From Beyond the Grave" and the FF radio show to name a few...

The Megos were certainly a cornerstone of comic hero collectables.

Other than that, just thrilled to have Dynamyte and other scholastic magazines include awesome posters. Just bought (again) the John Denver issue with the nice FF poster.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/jonknutson/2314876530/

I WISH I had those stickers as a kid.

Doug said...

I had a few Power Records -- always wanted more!

The 7-11 that I frequented was up in the suburbs near my uncle's home (my sister and I spent a week with them each summer) -- we didn't have one in our hometown, so my opportunity to get the series 1 and 2 Marvel cups was quite fleeting. This would also explain why the only DC ones I've ever seen are on the web.

Dynamite and Smash were highlights of elementary school book orders!

Doug

Anonymous said...

I won’t hear a word said against Topps trading cards. They were practically currency when I was at school, like cigarettes in prison.

But what the Hell was that chewing gum made of? It must be the only chewing gum in world that you could actually cut yourself with.

Wasn’t there also a card square inside that when you collected them; they made up a comic cover? I remember taking forever to get the last FF one.

Particular favourites: Werewolf By Night (“Only my hairdresser knows for sure”), Son of Satan (“waiter, bring me a clean fork”) and Deathlok (“I’m the Seven Million Dollar Man”). The Shang Chi one about aspirin seemed amazingly dark.

(And, no, those weren't from memory...I googled).

Richard

Edo Bosnar said...

Hmm, begging for anything that had Marvel's (or DC's for that matter) characters on it? Sounds familiar...

I had samples of quite a bit of the stuff already mentioned, i.e., Mead products, random stickers, Power Records, 'action figures' (I had no problems calling them dolls), Slurpee cups (had several, but the only one I remember distinctly is my first, with Sub-mariner wearing his '70s vest and blue leggings), etc. Other than that, I also had a few T-shirts when I was about 7 or 8, when they were being sold in Montgomery Ward or JC Penny: Spider-man and the Thing for sure, and I vaguely recall something with Thor on it.
However, once I had these things, they weren't put aside and cherished; I used them: T-shirts were worn constantly, stickers were stuck to something, folders and binders went with me to school, dolls were played with vigorously, etc., so none of it survived my childhood. In fact, I think the Slurpee cups lasted the longest - I recall that when I was in high school they were still around the house being used to hold pencils and pens.

Richard, good point about that gum. When I went through a Star Wars card phase, I remember marveling at the weapons-grade quality of those dull pink sticks. Additionally, you could take a hammer or similar blunt object and pound them to powder.

J.A. Morris said...

I didn't get any of the 7-11 cups, we lived in Wyoming and there wasn't a 7-11 in site.

But I had this Riddler glass, got it from Arby's, I think it was Arby's:

http://img0.etsystatic.com/000/0/6357176/il_fullxfull.289441688.jpg

And I still have this lunchbox:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ya-2j5c8cRM

Doug said...

The most irritating thing about the gum, other than it's deadly properties already stated, was the waxy film it left on the card that was packaged immediately next to it. I even tried to scrape that white gunk off the card, often to no avail.

I will try to remember to find the Marvel stickers that I have on that construction paper and scan them to add to the post (I'll hopefully get to that later this evening or tomorrow morning -- don't hold me to it, though).

Does anyone have the glass drinking glasses that Hardee's and other restaurants gave away (I shouldn't say that -- there was probably a surcharge on your Coke)? I have a Wonder Woman glass that I actually acquired as an adult. I have three of the Marvel glasses from 7-11 that were sold during the Series 2 Slurpee phase.

Doug

Doug said...

Arby's... J.A., you just added to the mystery, as it was Hardee's in my town.

The plot thickens...

Doug

Karen said...

Ah, 7-11! Man, that was the go-to place for me as a kid. It had comics, Slurpees, and treats. We didn't get one near our house for some time though. At first, the only 7-11 in town was near my grandparents' place, which was on the opposite side of town from us. So when the DC Slurpee cups came out, we only got them when we were visiting the Grandparents -and the cups stayed with them! I think we only collected about 6 -I know for sure we had Cosmic Boy, the Penguin, The Riddler, Alfred(!), Brainiac...and then memory fails me. The Cosmic Boy cup was my intro to the Legion -it would be another year before I would buy my first Legion comic.

By the time the Marvel cups came out,we had a brand spankin' new 7-11 only about a half mile from our house. I spent a good portion of my allowance on those cups! I really loved the second series, with the wraparound art. Unfortunately, none of them made it into adulthood with me.

Anonymous said...

Hi Doug - if you google those stickers, you can pick up some images (some en masse) easily.

Get ready to fall over when you see what people are selling them for !!

Richard

Doug said...

David --

I just got round to checking out the FF poster. I thought I knew what it would be, and it was. I never had that as a kid, but in college I had a friend who had a very well-loved copy of it hanging in his dorm. When he graduated I inherited it, and have it neatly folded up with many of my other posters. It is a mish-mash of wrinkles, tape, and dog-eared corners, but I've always loved that image.

Doug

PS: It's getting pretty sentimental around here.

Doug said...

Oh, Richard, I know I could do that to add art to the post. I was more thinking of the time several months ago when I scanned the covers of my copies of Thor #'s 147-148 and how much people said they liked seeing the actual comics rather than database images. That's why I was going to try to find my own stickers.

I'll probably forget to look...

Doug

david_b said...

Doug, as mentioned I just bought off eBay a pristine mint copy of that Dynamite (w/unused poster still attached to the magazine) for only $20.. For Christmas, I matted my used original copy and gave it to my young comic-collecting nephew.

Never any 7-11s around, so I never had those cups, or nicer glasses. I know some of those old DC glass glasses are rare (like the later Joker, Riddler, GA and GL ones..) are quite pricey these days.

Edo, not to gloat, but I was one of those 'weird kids' that kept everything pristine, never used the stuff (my mom taught me well....). Still have my minty Captain America beach towel, bright as the day it came...:

http://megomuseum.com/mmgallery/showimage.php?i=12425&catid=member&imageuser=1797

Doug, who drew your new avatar..?

david_b said...

The re-released model kits were cool, most have been re-released AGAIN by Polar Lights a few yrs back. Only had Spidey, Hulk and Batman.

I would have LOVED to had the Captain America one, but with my so-so modeling skills back then I would have driven myself nuts trying to make it perfect..:

http://www.entertainmentearth.com/images/AUTOIMAGES/RT856lg.jpg

I did just pick up the un-cutup comic for $10. Pretty cheap and nice later John Romita Sr. art.

I don't know why, but folks will pay top dollar today for auctions with original model parts even if you've painted them (and they've been reissued..). I'd just purchase the re-issued ones myself, but some folks want vintage.

Not mentioned here yet and I probably won't collect any since I've gotten away from 1:6 scale, but I'm certainly buzzed they're issuing out new Captain Action sets, with Thor/Loki out now, Red Skull/Iron Man coming this year, all including 'build-a-hero' parts to ultimately make your own 1:6 Silver Age Hawkeye.

I would have given ANYTHING to have had them growing up.

Doug said...

David, the image is from a sketch of me made by sometimes-DC Comics inker Mike Babinski, back in 1992 when I had him as a freshman in world history. It's in one of the Doug's Stuff posts that ran way back when.

Loved the Aurora model kits, too. Terrible painter, am I!

Doug

William Preston said...

I'll mention only glancingly what I owned that others here owned or likely owned--the Slurpee cups (though I never had a Slurpee...I think my father just bought the cups), some Marvel glasses (where'd those come from?), the stickers, calendars (loved those), a life-sized cardboard articulated Spiderman, posters, school folders (beautiful!), the 33 1/3 records (along with reprints of the issues) of the first appearance of Thor, Spidey, and the FF), goofy 45s of Batman-oriented songs.

The thing I want to know is: Did anybody else here own the Justice League album? I probably got it in 1966 or 67 . . . '68 at the latest. It was songs about the JLA ("Superman--here! Aquaman--here!") and about various heroes (Plastic Man, the Flash--songs that are still stuck in my head) along with readings of comics stories (the only one I can recall being the origin of Metamorpho, whose song I also recall). Andybody?

Oh, here it is! http://tapewrecks.blogspot.com/2011/12/songs-stories-of-justice-league-of.html

Doug said...

Mr. Preston, you have opened a new world with that JLA album!

Doug

Karen said...

I have never heard of that JLA album -either version. I'll have to wait til I get home to check out the songs though.I'm sure they are appropriately wacky.

I had five DC glasses from Taco Bell, circa the mid 70s. Three are still with me, though extremely faded: Batman, Robin, and Aquaman. Wonder Woman and Superman were both broken several years back, after surviving a couple of moves.

I loved those big Marvel stickers -but Dad hated 'em. He got sooo mad when I put some on my door! Those things did not come off easily -I know because I had to scrape them off. It was painful for many reasons. After that I just put them on binders and lunch pails.

Besides the Mego figures, I recall there were some small, 4" or so bendies of Spidey and Cap.

A post just yesterday at the Back Issue Facebook page reminded me of the Superman card game from Mattel. I had this -one of the few Superman items I ever owned. It had Kirby art, but with redrawn faces, of course. Here's a link to a blog that shows the four different puzzles you could make: http://www.comicsalliance.com/2011/02/14/jack-kirby-superman-puzzle-game/

Anonymous said...

I never had any Slurpee cups or anything like that. I did have some superhero merchandise, mainly small toys and such. I had a little Batman on a motorbike and I still have a Spidey figure that (I think) is from some kind of board game. I had the Spidey and Batman utility belts (with the plastic handcuffs) and a yellow Superman raincoat with Supes breaking a chain on the back of it.

Does anyone remember the Presto Magix rub-on transfers? http://www.x-entertainment.com/articles/0761/ There were dozens of them, but I only had the Spidey, Batman and Superman ones.

I still have a couple of posters from Dynamite magazine, but no superhero ones, unfortunately. I DO have a couple of issues with Joe Kubert's "How to Draw Comics" feature, though.

Mike W.

Doug said...

Did anyone trace their comics onto Shrinky Dinks? Did you know they still make those?? I saw them at Micheal's craft store and almost asked my wife to buy them... Sick, sick man I am.

Doug

Edo Bosnar said...

Wow, William P., that JLA record is, well, interesting.
It also reminded me of something else I had: DC's Super Dictionary. Anyone else have this? It featured panels from comics, with new text to illustrate the definitions of various words. Also had some original art (as well as the cover) by Joe Kubert.

Matt Celis said...

I guess my only exposure to all this merchandise was ads in comic books. Never even noticed any souvenir cups/glasses ar restaurants and convenience stores. I was happy just to get something off the spinner rack.

William Preston said...

Doug, it's good that you have a safe place to talk about that . . .

Doug said...

Edo --

I never had the dictionary of which you speak, but know exactly what you're talking about. I think it may have even been in the school library.

Doug

Doug said...

Bill --

I was so pumped I could have started tracing, baking, and selling BAB-licensed keychains!

Doug

david_b said...

Oh, those big comic stickers..?? I LOVE those auctions, but heaven's they're expensive.

I remember buyin' 3-4 packages of DC hero stickers (no Marvels....) back in the late '70s for a buck each.

(Yeah, you know me.. keeping 'em in wrapping to stay minty. 'Told you I was weird..)

I sold each for $80 a pop a decade ago.

david_b said...

Y'know what's funny about on-line values...?

My Mom (now a widow..) asked me to price this expensive camera my step-dad and she bought in the early '80s. She spent a few hundred for all the best stuff.

Worth these days on-line..? About $10 tops.

MIB vintage Megos, comics, other toys back in the day for a few bucks..? $100's to $1000....

Ah, the look in her face was priceless.

Edo Bosnar said...

Doug, much as I love the idea of BAB merchandise, with reference to you and your wife at the craft store, I'm glad there's at least one adult in the family ... ;)

Karen said...

I LOVED SHRINKY DINKS!!!!

Matt Celis said...

what's a "shrinky dink"?

Doug said...

Matt --

Shrinky Dinks are sheets of stiff clear plastic that come with special magic markers. You trace over anything you want -- comic books, newspaper strips, etc. Cut out your finished drawing and then you bake them on a cookie sheet. The plastic shrinks to about 1/3 its original size and the plastic gets to be maybe 4-5 times its original thickness. They were cool little knick knacks, or you could hole-punch them before baking and make keychains, necklaces, or ornaments out of them. Great fun!!

Hey, my wife and I did the grocery shopping after school, ahead of the boys coming home tomorrow on their spring break. I thought of every one of you dear souls while I was there -- no lie. She was buying some candy, because at 18 and 21, you're just never too old to have an Easter basket. Laying there loose on a display stand was an egg-shaped Thing head with the Superhero Squad logo on it. Pressing the button on the top, it made some stomping noise and then said a few words before uttering the magic phrase: "It's Clobberin' Time!" I looked around and spied the original display box, which had heads of Cap, Spidey, Iron Man, Hulk, and of course the Thing. Here's an image grab so you see what I'm talking about. And if they weren't $5 a pop, I'd have owned a couple!!

http://www.silverlit.com/assets/toys/265/85429_1_241.jpg

Doug

humanbelly said...

William, the entirety of my cognitive functions have been overwhelmed and subsequently derailed by that Justice League album.

Somebody did this, I have to make myself realize. Somebody actually, for-reallies did this.

I couldn't make my mouth NOT hang there agape. . .

HB

Comicsfan said...

I had several of those Third Eye posters, and lined my room with them around a well-placed black light. The colors were amazing. I wasn't really immersed in collecting at that point, so I have no idea what happened to them--I'm pretty sure I got rid of them at the same time I grew bored with that black light.

(Does anyone still use black lights, I wonder? I only see them used nowadays when people want to identify stains.)

Anonymous said...

Lurker here..

I had a Neil Sadaka cup from 7-11.
...I was that kinda kid

Sigh..

Karen said...

Maybe it's just because I'm up late and I'm tired, but that Justice League song that William P. linked to sort of reminds me of "The Beat Generation" by Rod McKuen and Bob Mc Fadden.

That's some goofy stuff.

humanbelly said...

Didja notice that "Wonder Woman's" response in the roll-call was CLEARLY a man crying "here" in falsetto? Hoo-boy, I don't think we're in Kansas anymore. . . !

Part of the so-bad-it's-good appeal could be that the fellow singing the lead vocals (presumably the writer. . . man, HOPEFULLY the writer), was such an unaccomplished singer. A LOT of trouble hitting pitches cleanly in the first place, and then more trouble holding a steady pitch on longer notes.

But you know what I like, which trumps any criticism I might have? These guys DID it-! It's like Community Theater, where perhaps the quality of the final artistic product is far less important than the experience of going through that creative process. These guys and their little garage band (the proliferation of which was a very happy bi-product of the early-60's guitar combo explosion) wrote some songs about something they liked, worked on them, and got them recorded. At a very, VERY basic level, they did the same thing as the Beatles or the Stones or the Who. (Hmm-- wonder if they were waiting at the mailbox for a Woodstock invitation. . . ?)

It's sort of the Ed Wood phenomenon, really.

HB

Doug said...

Lo and behold, I remembered to seek out and then scan my Topps Superhero stickers. They are at the bottom of the Licensed to Sell post.

Doug

david_b said...

WOW, thanks a bunch for adding these, Doug. As mentioned, I dreamed of seeing these as a kid, never had them.

Interesting to see that Sonja sticker being done for young kids, 'course you had a vampire there, so guess it really didn't raise too many eyebrows.

Comics Bronze Age said...

I loved the Slurpee cups as a kid (and still do!) but I did not like the Topps stickers because of the silly dialogue. I took my superheroes so seriously at age 10 that I couldn't handle my favorite Marvel heroes being so out of character :-) I'd love to find a set of these now, of course.

Cheers,
Andrew

Edo Bosnar said...

Andrew, you have a point about the silly dialogue, but the Son of Satan asking for a clean fork is actually pretty funny...

Redartz said...

My comic fan friend and I spent most of a summer trying to assemble a complete set of those stickers. We finally did so, while accumulating quite a few duplicates. Wish I'd kept a few...

Another spot in the drawer held some View-Master reels. Batman and Spider-Man were the only hero-themed packets I had.The latter especially helped fill the void between the end of Spider-man reruns from the 1967 series (courtesy of WGN cable out of Chicago) and the premiere of "Spider-man and his Amazing Friends".

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