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Comments: 55


Want to trap roaches while tripping on acid? Try prusakolep!

…and that last commercial reminded me of one of Mego’s other fine products:


Are you saving Pt. 3 of the Eagle Insurance trilogy for later?

Mark (spelling?) from Norton Furniture is kind of creepy.


Ah, my favorite furniture ads were out of New Orleans where the poor sap customer with no credit was told to “Go see the Special Man.” The Special Man would take one look, wave his cigar and extol “Let emnh haaah it.” or something equally incomprehensible. Brilliance.
Alas, the Special Man is gone now. They tried doing the spots with someone else, but it wasn’t the same.


You don’t suppose there was any, er, prior planning into the way that babe was holding those eggs do ya?

Nah, didn’t think so.

I’d like to meet the muy malo hombre who punched Mark Norton in the throat all those years ago. ‘Cause if he lived through it, he’s my hero…



…and that last commercial reminded me of one of Mego’s other fine products:

Holy God, my dad designed that game. He was a toy designer at Mego in the mid-’70s.

IIRC, their lucrative action figure line sort of financed the rest of the crazy ideas they had.


While we are on a commercial break – my favourites are eagle insurance and the thug offering low credit – season five of The Wire begins in January!!! – has episode descriptions on mouseover. (preview)


The Special Man

Damn, I wish there were video.


were you his toy tester? some kids have all the luck!


Gavin’s dad was a rocket scientist! What a cool guy.


Well, the subtext is that he met Linda there and subsequently divorced my mom — which caused a bit of upheaval — but that’s pretty much all water under the bridge now…


Geez, your dad also invented the Cabbage Patch Kids’ “holding-hand” feature and “all the Cabbage Patch accessories, the Cabbage Patch Phone and my sculptors created all the variety of heads required from the very beginning of Cabbage Patch until the end of my tenure at Coleco.”


I remember my ex’s ex-wife almost getting into a fist fight with someone for a cabbage patch doll their kid had to have one Christmas.


I’m terrifically impressed that the game “Ball Buster” managed to see actual shelves without significant outcry. I am reminded of product of the 1980s, a cake mix called “Tunnel of Fudge”.


Gee, all my dad ever designed was several novel ways to engage in petty graft and insurance fraud. I’m so glad I don’t really take after him.


I was telling someone at work about my dad spaying the cat on the kitchen table while I helped. They said, “was your dad a vet?” I said, “no, but he did spend the night at a Holiday Inn Express.”


How true this is for many bright people…all of them liberal neonazifascists, of course.

He went to Wilson High in DC, a few years earlier than Ian MacKaye and all those guys, but it’s comforting to think that MacKaye and my dad were bored by the same institution.


Wonder why my parents never bought me a Ball Buster?


I can’t get over the suspicion that, like ‘Baron Karza,’ the name was a sneaky dig at somebody, perhaps my mom.



Woodrow Wilson High? What years?


I guess he would’ve been Class of ’56, although like a bad son, I’ve forgotten his birth year.

Actually, I’ll email him and see if he’s online this evening. Who knows?


Notorious P.A.T. said,

December 23, 2007 at 0:56

Wonder why my parents never bought me a Ball Buster?

They wanted to let you pick out one for yourself?


My dad graduated in ’59. He was there from sophomore year on (i.e., from Fall ’56).


Christmas always reminds me of Micronauts.

Since when has Ace been doing auto insurance adverts?


Damn, Gavin.
Did you get prototypes for Xmas n shite, then?


links are all dead.


Ok, the links are dead on the front page, not here.


Did you get prototypes for Xmas n shite, then?

Sometimes — not for Christmas, but randomly. They tended to be oddball ideas that never made it to the market. There was one action-figure set where the hero was powered by a 9-volt-battery in a ‘power glove’ glove that the kid wore. Interesting R&D idea, in retrospect.

The real benefit was the comic-book library at Mego. When I’d go there for the day (not often, but maybe a few times a year), I’d just grab handfuls of comics from a metal file cabinet, and read through an entire 3-month period of DC titles. They didn’t have many Marvel comics, for some reason. .


Misfit toys?
Sweet. You should taunt boingboing with the occasional pic post, if any still exist.


Just wanting to add a favorite furniture store commercial, for a store in Champaign, Ill.:

Free onion!


I’m sure there isn’t anything left worth showing. There might be a couple of prototype Micronaut-parts or something, but no complete figures or playsets.

Nobody thought this stuff was worth anything: The collectors’ market for toys at the time was all about pre-war antiques, handmade items, etc. The idea that anyone would want a prototype for a failed mass-market item would’ve just seemed crazy…


Awww. Aside from the G.I.Joe figures a friend stole I still have almost all my old toys. Someday one or two of those Star Wars figures is gonna put my kids through 30 seconds of college.
If only comics had retained value, I’d be rich.


A consolation prize is that there’s a lot of money in punk 45s. I still have some of those, although I’ll definitely need to think of another angle when it comes time to send kids through college…

Haven’t most of the Marvel titles appreciated, though?


OH! Can I share a favorite video or two with my National Socialist friends? You’re gonna love this:

Lyapis Trubetskoy «Capital»

“surrealistic pop-art with a cynical view on world politics created in high energy frames for pop music channels. could the apocalypse be near? tried and tested technologies with deadly composing and a pint of morphing for good measure.”

If you liked that you can get a better version at Cosmos Film. I also really like Merry Poppins «My name is Love» too. For both of these, be prepared to have your mind puréed and then sucked through a straw. In a good way. BTW, CosmosFilm invented the “bullet time” effect seen in the Matrix.

I also am currently in love with Evil Bee by Menomena. Vomiting bees and a heart warming metaphor of market capitalism, what’s not to love?

But it just isn’t Christmas without “Oh Come All Ye Faithful”
by Twisted Sister

Christmas is finally here.


Had to step away.
Have they? All I know is the first appearance of Cable ain’t worth shit, anymore. Or do you mean stuff from the 80s before the explosion?


He went to Wilson High in DC, a few years earlier than Ian MacKaye and all those guys, but it’s comforting to think that MacKaye and my dad were bored by the same institution.

I graduated* from Alice Deal Jr. High, right next door, back in 1972ish.

I didn’t go to Wilson, went to Gonzaga, instead.

*I’m not sure graduate is the right word, when you leave a public school (grades 7-9) to go to a Catholic school (grades 8-12). But I did it, damn it!


In case you haven’t noticed, those Eagle ads feature Mancow Muller.


“I invented the Transporter, (from the Enterprise play set) the (never-produced) Tribble, the Tricorder and others, …”

Gavin has coolness in his genes.


John styled the entire Buck Rogers line, developing “action and construction of the vehicles and Twiki.”

oh my god, I might be in love. I’m glad Gavin waited to drop this on us until after he announced his engagement.


This is pretty much a list comprised of “Shit mikey has never heard of” but the ultimate coolness is still not lost on me.

Even though I can’t visualize any of them…



Mikey, take a squiz at the Mego Museum.. Gavin is the kid on the right.

I collected the Micronauts toys and the Marvel Comics tie-in. The toys are worth way more than the books. Predictably, I sold the toys at yard sales and kept the comics. I still have a few of Marvel’s oddball 70’s toy tie-ins, things like “Shogun Warriors” and “ROM: Spaceknight.” As for comics appreciating in price, my sense is that it peaked years ago, and the crash in values was helped along by eBay. Everyone with a box in their attic had visions of big paydays, and formerly scarce titles became commonplace.

Now where are my frickin’ Rocket Tubes…


Micronauts. Wow. I wonder where all of mine went. Jointed at the hips and elbows, too, right? I remember that they were impossible to stand up straight.


Ummm, Mark Norton’s voice sounds like it may have been the last thing a few people heard on their way to the bottom of the river. More than a bit sinister.

Diff Brad, do the first three issues of Zap! comics that I bought in 1970 have any collector’s value? They sure are icons of an era to me.


You kidding me?
Those are worth a very large amount.
That’s original, mega limited, Crumb work.
Don’t take me as any kind of expert, but if they’re in any kind of decent condition they’re probably worth hundreds, if not thousands….
Looks like most likely thousands.
Go to a comic book store tomorrow and get the highest grade of protective container they have, for real.


Or wait…. assuming they’re first print. Might not be, if you got them in 70. Started in 68. Still, even second prints are probably in the hundreds. Get them checked out, maybe even officially inspected and graded, ask a comic books store dood to explain, so you can insure them.
If they’re first prints in good shape that could be 15k there.


Speaking as someone who fished his old comics out of the garage last summer and investigated their value, I can tell you that unless you (a) have a lot of Golden Age or pre-1980 titles in damn good conditions or (b) are willing to invest a lot of time and energy into individual eBay sales, you will be unlikely to turn them into retirement cash. Most comics buyers (i.e., stores) tend to pay about a nickel a book, and nobody is willing to go through looking for the gems in your collection and make you an offer. Some titles have appreciated — the Wolverine mini-series, for instance — but most of them, even complete runs of obscure titles from smaller publishers, are barely worth the effort.

According to online pricing guides, my small collection is worth something in the vicinity of $1500, but I don’t have the patience to do what I would have to do to realize anything close to that. Some day, I will try to pull out the valuable ones (the aforementioned Wolverine series, a couple of early Flaming Carrot books, etc.) and maximize the value from those, and then probably just dump the rest for whatever someone will give me.


Where’s the confounded bridge?


Thank Diff Brad! I dug them out. I’ve got issues No. 0 (Oct 67), 1 (Nov 67) and 3 (Captain Pissgums and His Pervereted Pirates)(69?) in pretty good shape, although one edge of No.1 got wet so there’s about an inch of minor discoloration. They’re not dog-eared at all even though they travelled around a lot when I was in high school. A senior named Val and I used to do (subdued) oral readings from them in high school study hall. Study hall was in a big assed auditorium so we could sneak burning insence sticks without getting caught too, lol.

I’m pretty certain I bought them in 70 so I doubt they’re original editions, but if they wind up being worth quite a bit then I’ll owe you a ride in my new used car.


and a beer.


Why do I get the feeling hanging out with Gavin would be like hanging out with Ralph Bakshi’s son, who was in the same grad school history program I was in? (This is a big compliment, Gavin.)

I had most of the Mego Marvel Super-hero toys. They were cool, but it used to bug me that the Thing was noticeably taller than the the Hulk. That’s just dumb.

The Falcon’s leg broke at the knee accidently, so when we were playing with the toys, the Lizard or the Green Goblin – or even the Joker, since there were so few Marvel villains – would always break the Falcon’s leg and he’d jut lay there until the fight was over.

The Hulk’s adventures were so weird that you could use him with just about any other toys you wanted. He could fight the cats too. We had a cat that loved people so much, she was always there to join in the fun, sniffing the action figures (yes, I know the are dolls) as they stomped up and pretended to hit her. One time, we rigged up a harness out of some clothesline and attached her to a Star Wars land speeder. She didn’t seem to mind at first, but she got a little annoyed and took off running, down the stairs, and Luke and R2-D2 and Obi-wan all went flying. It was a very well designed harness and it stayed on as she then waited at the bottom of the stairs for us to come and remove it.

She was such a sweet cat. We called her Zabu. She lived to be 19.

Of course, my favorite Mego toy was Action Jackson.


Wow, Gavin. That’s almost like having Rand Peltzer (“Fantastic ideas for a Fantastic World, I make the illogical logical”) as your dad. Except, I suspect, way better.


Hahaha…Mancow Muller (third commercial) selling crappy insurance, goes hand in hand with selling the crappy right wing agenda.

Perfect casting!


I had Star Trek action figures… Kirk and Spock. Wow, I had Action Jacksons too.

Don’t know if I should admit that or not…

I thought that was Mancow. What a tool.


You forgot “Crazy Bruce’s Liquor.”


Holy crap, it looks like George Carlin’s going to make me a credit offer I can’t refuse.


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