Friday, August 19, 2016

Buried Treasures: Mattel's Secret Wars Box Art

Doug: Yep, I'm still selling! And because of that, I'm still finding things I'd forgotten that I had. Of course I did not forget the 13 action figures in Series 1 and 2 of Mattel's Marvel Super-Heroes Secret Wars line -- they've been on one shelf or another for the better part of 30 years. I decided to list the entire set on eBay this week (search dlw66 under Sellers), which included all of the accessories. The auction was not live for 15 minutes when they sold on a "Buy It Now" for $150. How's that?

But what I'd lost track of were the short comics that adorned the back of each package. Today we're going to "hero up" and look at the good guys; next week we'll Bring on the Bad Guys.

Anyone with information on the creators associated with the little 4-panel comic strips, please don't keep it a secret (see what I did there?). The material on the left side of each of these was for the most part lifted from the Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, albeit with some editing to focus the context toward the toy line. I got a kick out of these after not laying eyes on them since the mid-80s; I hope you enjoy them, too!


Unknown said...

Very neat collectibles. I recall the Spider-Man action figure I had as a child, and it was one of my most valued possessions at the time. For some reason it was exceedingly difficult to find Marvel action figures here, and Spider-Man was naturally the most coveted figure of them all. The little four-panel comics are gems as well.I believe ol' Spidey is 5'10", not 5'11" though. Very cool collection.

Redartz said...

Quite a collection there, Doug! I never had any of these, actually never had any action figures (other than 12" GI Joe). In my pre-teens I'd create adventures and battles using the famous Green Army Men, but at that time there weren't many superhero figures and I was out of comics then anyway.Guess the timing wasn't right; my loss:they do look really cool.

Oh, and congrats on the fast sale...

William Preston said...

What's the scoop with the secret messages in the comic? Two you can see, but the rest you can't . . .

Doug said...

It was a secret. Duh...

But seriously, and maybe this is a true confession, I've not read the Secret Wars limited series. Neither of them. So I don't know if this was a "thing" in that tale or not. I am guessing that it was not. Most of us know that the mini-series was based on the toys. Jim Shooter was asked to craft a comic book around a toy line, and this was that.

If you check the photo at the top of the post, you'll see several plastic bags. Each of those bags came with a character and includes four 2-sided holograms. When inserted into the characters' shields they become visuals that I suppose would tip off said character to his next plan of action.


david_b said...

In college (like most of us) when these came out, I picked up a Wolverine (not an X-Men fan, but I liked his brown/yellow outfit color scheme..), later as that old store Gimbels was closing, I picked up a three-pack of Cap-DD-Black Spidey. I kept the box mint all those years, so I sold the empty box for a hundred about a decade ago.

I liked it for what it was, essentially a toy-line concept to compete with DC's Super Powers line. I know there were a lot of arguments about the comic series.., not really sure why other than it dipped too far into the MU continuity which I thought was a misstep.

If it had stayed an 'out-of-continuity' limited series, it would have came off much better. And the less-said about the regrettable SW2, the better.

All in all, I enjoyed the diversity of the figure line, like Falcon, the very-rare Iceman figure, and finally a great Iron Man figure (without the nose). I'd like to grab the black Spiderman again, I may have sold it somewhere along the line. I recall that Shooter was 'advised' by Mattel to 'modernize' how Doom looked, which made some toy action-figure sense.

Always wished they made a Hawkeye figure back then, but the more recent Universe figure lines more than made up for that.

Karen said...

Neat post, Mr. Doug. I never had these figures -I think they were a little past my toy buying years. But I seem to recall reading somewhere (Back Issue?) that only 2 or 3 body types were used, so the figures might not look 100% accurate to their comic book selves.

The less said about the Secret Wars comic series, the better! I just thought that was god-awful. Too many out-of-character portrayals for me to even begin to enjoy it.

Anonymous said...

If the Falcon can really fly 250 mph, wouldn't he need goggles?
Just sayin'.
Maybe he's wearing a set these days.

The Prowler said...

I have all 12 issues of the original Secret Wars. Go figure.

Started picking up Marvel action figures at Wal-Mart. My Captain America has two left feet. Guy can inspire the broken and crest fallen, lead the few to impossible victories but can't dance worth shiiiiiiiii............

(Well my goodness gracious let me tell you the news
My head's been wet with the midnight dew
I've been down on bended knee talkin' to the man from Galilee
He spoke to me in the voice so sweet
I thought I heard the shuffle of the angel's feet
He called my name and my heart stood still
When he said, "John go do My will!"

You can run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Run on for a long time
Sooner or later God'll cut you down
Sooner or later God'll cut you down).

PS: I am not a robot......I AM A MAN!!!!

Bill said...

The artist on the Secret Wars back of the package comics was none other than Mike Zeck; the main artist for the Secret Wars comic book. I don't know who wrote them, but I'd put my money on Marvel's then Editor-In-Chief, Jim Shooter (who also wrote the Secret Wars series).

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