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And I’m not sure what’s up with that extraneous “K.”

§ May 27th, 2020 § Filed under marvel, merchandise § 6 Comments

So I had a fella bring in a few Spider-Man comics to sell the other day, and he had them stowed away in a small cardboard carrier. That that carrier looked a little something…like this:


I bought the comics, as it turned out I needed them all, and the seller left behind this box when he departed. At first clance, I thought it was a homebad box, as I’ve certainly seen a lot of personally-decorated comic boxes over the decade.

But no, the lettering appears to be printed directiy on the cardboard, which doesn’t preclude someone making one of these for himself, but more likely it’s some kind of mass-produced item. And it’s not official Marvel merchandise, given the lack of copyright notices. Not sure if this really counts as a copyright violation, despite the phrase “Amazing Fantasy” appaering, and having a spider dropping from the name “Peter,” which must be some kind of look ‘n’ feel thing.

Anyway, no idea where this comes from. I’d be very surprised if this was an Official Spider-Man Item™, but if you know where this came from, let me know!

“It’s Superman’s Fist o’clock.”

§ September 11th, 2019 § Filed under merchandise § 2 Comments

So the other day I had a gentlemen bring in this item to see if I’d like to sell it on consignment. I was kinda busy at that moment but I said I’d do some research and see what they were selling for online.

As it turns out, they weren’t selling at high enough prices for his liking (around $60 to $80) so he passed, but I still have these photos I took for reference:


This is one of the Super Heroes watches you used to see advertised all the time in 1970s comic books. This particular example, a Superman watch, is dated 1977.

Here’s a better look at the watch face:


This is actually the first one of these I’d ever seen in person…well, okay, maybe I saw someone wearing one at some point and didn’t realize it, but this is definitely the first time I’d seen one in the original packaging. Kind of a strange feeling to see the actual physical object that I’d seen advertised countless times in all the comics I’ve read. Nice to know there’s still weird stuff I’ve not seen yet even after 31 years in the business.

Why isn’t “Smile…Doctor Doom Loves You” still in print?

§ February 6th, 2019 § Filed under marvel, merchandise § 5 Comments

So please let me know if you’d like me to put in orders to Pacific Coast Distributors for you on any of these items from their August 1984 catalog (click to expand):

Any room,” you say? I say every room! Redecorate the interior of your house solely with mighty Marvel banners!

I remember seeing these banners around the old shop back when I was but a mere customr, and then eventually selling the last two or three still languishing about the backroom when I was doing the eBay thing for that same shop a couple of decades later. The one I remember specifically is that Alpha Flight pennant. I bet that Spider-Man one will still sell great today.

Now these things:


…Sure, it’s a little more common knowledge nowadays who the “X-Men” are* but I can only imagine how the mundanes reacted to the whole “Mutant Maniac” thing. …By the way, do people still refer to non-nerdy folk as “mundanes” or is everybody too infected with nerdiness now to be separated out? Gobble gobble one of us, and all that.

When discussing these on the Twitters pal Andrew noted that his younger brother still had a “Follow Me to the Secret Wars” bumper sticker on this car. As I said to Andrew, given its current non-awareness by the general public, I can imagine the uninitiated seeing that and thinking it’s some kind of political statement or somesuch. Or, like, some conspiracy-minded talk radio thing. It can serve multiple purposes!

And I was serious about the subject line. That Doctor Doom sticker needs to make its comeback, especially if this image of ol’ Vic were used on it:


 
 

* A story I’ve told before, but worth repeating: one of my earliest experiences in comics retail was, sometime in the late 1980s, someone calling the shop alarmed that these X-Men books she just heard about were “X-rated,” hence the name. “No, lady,” I replied, “the 1990s aren’t here yet.”

Now here’s a thing I had no idea my girlfriend even owned.

§ July 31st, 2013 § Filed under merchandise § 12 Comments


I am told I should have no reason to worry.

I don’t know how I missed including this…

§ February 10th, 2013 § Filed under merchandise § 5 Comments

…in one of my “End of Civilization” posts, but this here is a gen-you-eene Walking Dead Axe replica offered through Previews:

“Go after the zombies with this axe replica from the hit television series, The Walking Dead!”

“Zombies,” nuthin’. At $6.99 a pop, these are cheap enough to arm every kid in the neighborhood with one, and watch as passerby realize that oh good gravy, all the children are chasing each other around with bloody axes! Let’s get out here, Mabel!

Anyway, it’s a bit nutty, but not nearly as crazy as this, if only because there’s a greater chance of getting nearly seven bucks’ worth of entertainment out of a fake axe.

This post features a scan of a Mockingbird patch from 1985.

§ May 29th, 2011 § Filed under merchandise § 6 Comments


You’re welcome.

I could talk about current comic news and review recent releases, or I can look at more 1970s Marvel Super Hero Stamps.

§ March 29th, 2011 § Filed under merchandise § 6 Comments

I know which I’m choosing!

I have this package here that showed up in some collection or ‘nother of Marvel Stamps (as seen here):


…that contains several uncut sheets of said stamps. Since each package is supposed to only contain 10 stamps, plus one “special stamp,” obviously this package was only kept to store the stamps. Why the original owner didn’t go out “get [his] own Marvel Stamp Album,” as is blurbed on the back, I do not know.

Below are the five “special stamps” that this person had…they are normally sort of a shiny gold-ish color, but they didn’t scan all that well. Or rather, I didn’t scan them all that well. Should probably look at the scanner’s instruction book one of these days.


I like how the Hulk stamp looks as if they just threw that “Bruce Banner” above the Hulk’s head to fill space. “You know what would complete this design? If someone would hastily scrawl ‘Bruce Banner’ in this blank space here. …Perfect!”


Your Spider Sense is telling you…what? There’s a spider above your head?


The FF stamp is a little scuffed-up, and required some brightness/contrast adjusting, but hopefully you can make it out just fine. I guess…the Thing is hitting giant baseballs emblazoned with the faces of the other Fantastic Four members? “What If…Marvel Published Strange Sports Stories?”


I’ve got nothing snarky to say here. That’s actually not a bad pic. Well, none of these are really bad pics, but I thought this Cap stamp was quite nice, even with “AVENGER” scribbled in there at the side.


Now I know “The Invincible Shellhead” is just combining two of Iron Man’s most common descriptors, but man, that just doesn’t look right to me.

Anyway, the package says there are six “special stamps,” but I have only five here. And yeah, I know what the sixth stamp really is…


…but a boy can dream, can’t he?

Found in the back room.

§ April 2nd, 2008 § Filed under merchandise Comments Off on Found in the back room.


This is an ersatz animation cel featuring Rob Liefeld’s character of Chapel, dated 1997, that we received for, I don’t know, ordering a certain number of comics (i.e. “any”) published by Awesome, or something like that. It’s just an image, with logos, printed directly on a clear plastic sheet.

I don’t think there ever was a Youngblood cartoon released…there’s no IMDB entry, though there are several references to a Youngblood cartoon being planned, here and there on the ‘net. This site [link dead] has images of what look like actual production cels, not (apparently) mass-produced like our Chapel “cel.”

While I was looking around for more info, I came across the Wikipedia entry for the Youngblood comic book, which included this note at the top of the page:


Sometimes, the jokes just write themselves.

EDIT 4/1/2017: Okay, it doesn’t say that anymore…now it’s “needs verification” or whatever, which isn’t nearly as amusing.
 
 
(post updated 4/2018)

"SWAMP THING, defender of all good"

§ September 13th, 2004 § Filed under merchandise, swamp thing Comments Off on "SWAMP THING, defender of all good"

“DR. ANTON ARCANE, the twisted scientist, is preparing to drain the bayou in order to gain access to the vegetation and sediments at the bottom of the swamp. He believes that a series of experiments will reveal the secret of the origin of SWAMP THING and that once he possesses that secret, he can rule the world.

“Your mission is to protect the bayou against the evil DR. ANTON ARCANE and his mutant partners the UN-MEN!

“In order to save the bayou, you must travel through the swamp and confront ARCANE. Your journey will be perilous. Along the way you will have to overcome the dreaded UN-MEN – SKIN MAN, WEED KILLER, and DR. DEEMO. At the journey’s end you must battle and defeat DR. ANTON ARCANE!”

“Never fear! Help is at hand. SWAMP THING, defender of all good, is joined by TOMAHAWK, a Native American game warden, and Bayou Jack, a former Medal of Honor combat soldier. Together, these heroes help you foil DR. ANTON ARCANE’s wicked plans.”

And so begins the instructions for this game from Rose Art Industries (1991), for 2 to 4 players, even though the game comes with 6 player pieces:

Sadly, the pieces are not in the shape of Swamp Thing, as one would have hoped.

This boardgame was part of the massive marketing onslaught* that accompanied the very short-run Swamp Thing cartoon series, but unlike the cartoon, this game is actually somewhat enjoyable.

The board itself is fairly attractive:

Here’s a little closer look at a segment of the board:

Movement in the game is determined by cards:

Each player starts the game with three of the “Swamp Thing”-backed cards, which you can play one per turn. The cards are either just pure movement cards (the Swamp Thing card, where you can move your piece – in either direction – the number of spaces indicated); the Anton Arcane cards, which allow you to move other player’s pieces, hopefully onto a space detrimental to them; and the Escape Cards, which allow you to bypass the spaces on the board where you do battle with one of the Un-Men.

Doing battle with the Un-Men requires using the die (AKA the “Battle Die,” according to the instructions), and you must roll a number higher than the one indicated in the space in order to continue movement.

The Hero Cards, which you get to draw if you land on one of the spaces that tell you to do so, allow you to do one of three things: you can play one of your opponent’s Swamp Thing cards in place of your own; you can add to the number of spaces a Swamp Thing card tells you to move (a typo on the cards says that you add the number to the Hero card); or you can increase your die roll by one during battles.

Swamp Thing’s ability to enter “the Green” and regrow his body in other locations is duplicated by the “Green Spaces.” By landing on the space by exact count, you can move your piece directly to another location on the board. There are also red spaces on the board (marked with things like “Oil Slick causes you to return to Start!”) that, well, return you to the starting square. These aren’t as tragic as they seem, as there’s only three of them, and they’re all no more than about a dozen spaces from the start square…the game’s designers probably anticipated problems with younger players getting too frustrated at having to start over from a point much later in the game.

The game ends when you get to the final square, where Arcane is waiting…you have to roll a 6 (or a 5 and play one of your Hero cards) in order to defeat the big purple-headed guy and get him outta your bayou.

Anyway, it’s not a bad little game, and it’s fun for kids or drunk adults. It does sorta make one wonder what a game based on the comic book version of Swamp Thing would be like (“Eat hallucinogenic tuber – wander around the board for a couple hours;” “Send Arcane to Hell – take another turn”).

* Perhaps I exaggerate slightly.

 
 
[updated 9/20]