Tuesday, 28 June 2022

BATMAN AND, ER... WHO'S THE OTHER GUY? I DON'T KNOW HIM FROM ADAM... (RELAX, OF COURSE I DO!)



It's amazing how you can forget what you own, isn't it?  (Frightening too, sometimes.)  The Batman on the left of the picture is one I'd completely 'disremembered' until digging it out of a box recently.  It's in the Mego style (size-wise), but I can't recall who the manufacturer is (Kid Biz/Toy Biz, according to eBay).  I've probably had it for at least 20 years (maybe even 30), and should never have forgotten it as it was on display in my bedroom for a good stretch of that time.

The Adam West figure is by Figures Toy Company, who've reissued a lot of the DC Comics heroes first produced by Mego back in the '70s, though this wasn't one of them.  Nice to see Adam being recognised as Batman, because even back in the '60s, most items of merchandise (with a few exceptions) were of the comicbook Batman, even though it was the TV show that inspired them.  In fact, there seems to have been more Adam West (specifically) Batman collectables over the last few years than there ever was at the time of the show.

My reissue of the '70s Mego Batman arrived at the same time as AW, but the toe of one boot has a big blob of moulded plastic in it and won't fit over the foot, so I can't display it to good effect.  I've contacted the manufacturers about it, but they haven't responded as yet.  I'll give it a day or so, then 'let loose the dogs of war' if they don't send a replacement boot.  They seem difficult to deal with when it comes to rectifying a problem, but I'll give them a chance to put things right.

I'll keep you posted, 'cos I know none of you will be able to sleep until you find out what happens. (Cough!)  Any comments?  Go on, you can at least pretend to be interested.

Monday, 27 June 2022

THE 'BEAR'-FACED MASK OF YOGI...


Fellow Crivvies, rejoice with me.  Remember the cardboard/papier-mache Yogi Bear mask I've previously mentioned owning back in my childhood?  (Had it twice, on two separate occasions: first time in 1963 or '64, second in '65 or '66 - both bought from the same Woolworth's store in my local shopping centre.)  I've just acquired one on eBay after the seller kindly contacted me to say he had one.  Because it was such a fragile item all those years ago, I was resigned to the distinct possibility that few, if any, would've survived and I was unlikely ever to see one again, so I've never been more happy to find my pessimism was misplaced.  That's one of the seller's photos above, I'll show my own photos once it arrives.  Hey, I'm happier than the average eBay buyer.

Saturday, 25 June 2022

THE FOUR FRANKIES...



Pop sensation The Four Frankies are on tour at the moment and, last night, they played The Olympia Ballroom in my hometown.  From the moment they took to the stage, there wasn't a person in the venue who wasn't comatose with delight as the fab four grunted their back catalogue of hits.  True, when their songs are played on the radio, it's usually during the 'graveyard shift', but the group is immensely popular with 'coffin dodgers' throughout the country who are too afraid to go to sleep in case they don't wake up again.

The hits stuttered slowly-but-surely, with a fair share of (tweaked) cover versions; Dangers In The Night, Monster Mash, Thriller, Mack The Knife, I've Got Glue Under My Skin, Is It Really Over?, and many more.  True, the choreography appeared just a little stilted and uncoordinated, but if you had as much lead in your boots as these guys, you'd be lucky to be able to move at all.  Should they come to a concert hall near you, be sure to drag yourself out of your bed and go and see them perform - they're dead good.

******

Okay, so they're only Mego figures, but the first one is an original Frankenstein from the '70s, to which I've added a 'rope', as he's got a gold braid around the waist of the grey tunic (under his jacket), which doesn't quite look right.  The other three are more recent, having been issued in the last few years, but they're a nice little collection.  If you've got a favourite out of the four, declare your preference in our currently 'quiet as the tomb' comments section.

And if you can think of any song titles that lend themselves to the horror/monster theme, feel free to say what they are.  Minor tweaks allowed to make them more apt.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

BAT INTO SPIDER...


I know all you Crivvies just love my posts about Mego 8 inch action figures (whaddya mean "He's delusional"?) so here's another one.  I showed you the Spidey figure a little while back, given to me by a friend, though the left shoulder joint was broken.  I managed to fix it, but it was a 'fist-fighting' figure with a little lever on the back that, with the elbows bent, moved the arms and made them look like they were punching, so the repair, alas, turned out to be a temporary one as the robust action put too much strain on the shoulder joint and it broke again.  The plastic is a little waxy, so even superglue wasn't up to the task of ensuring an effective, long-lasting repair, so -  what to do?

Well, I went onto eBay and saw an old Batman fist-fighting figure, bereft of everything but his leotard.  It was going for a song so I nabbed it for the purpose of transferring Spidey's head and hands onto the body.  My local B&M store was selling Mego Star Trek figures for a mere £3 each, so I bought a few and put the Batman head onto one so that the head wouldn't go to waste.  Why not just put the Spidey head and hands onto a new Mego figure though?  Simply because Spidey's costume had a bare circle around where the lever was situated, though the Batman one didn't.  Had I given Spidey a new Mego figure, he'd have had a bare space where the lever had once been.  As Batman's didn't, his leotard would fully cover his back area, so it was no contest.

As to why Spider-Man had a hole in his costume to accommodate the lever and Batman (and maybe even other Mego heroes) didn't is beyond my ken, but it decided my course of action.  So Spidey once again had his fist-fighting figure and Batman had an 'ordinary' one, though was missing parts of his costume.  Searching the Internet, I found replica boots, gloves, utility belt, cape and bat insignia, and promptly ordered them.  They arrived last week, but I was disappointed to see that the blue of the gloves and boots was too light in hue, so I've ordered more accurate blue versions from another source.  The emblem you see here is a temporary one I made myself as the black area on the one I bought started flaking with the slightest handling, but a better one is on its way.

So Batman has a new body and costume accoutrements, and Spidey has an original '70s fist-fighting body exactly the same as the broken one I discarded.  Bat into Spider indeed!  Feel free to tell me what a talented individual I am, and confirm my own personal assessment of my undoubted genius.  (What's with the "He's delusional" bit again?)

Oh, and don't worry - I'll add a new photo when Batman's proper shade of blue boots, gloves, and bat emblem are delivered.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

THE NAME'S MARTIN - ASTON MARTIN, D.B.5...


Yup, they're mine - all oh... oh... seven of them

The first issue of the Corgi Toys James Bond Aston Martin D.B.5 (261) went on sale in 1965.  The model had been considered for release earlier, but was decided against, only for a subsequent change of heart by management necessitating it being rushed into production to be ready for the run-up to Christmas.  There was no time for new tooling, so an existing mould of Corgi's D.B.4 was modified, with three designers/engineers working separately on the trio of working features, namely the extending machine guns and over-riders, the bulletproof shield, and the opening roof-hatch and ejector seat.  (The D.B.4 rear lights gave the game away, despite what it said on the box and base.)  The toy was a huge success, with supply not being able to meet demand for Christmas '65.

Three years later, a newly-tooled more accurate model (270) of the car was issued, with two extra features along with the original three.  This time it also had revolving number plates and rear tyre slashers, and this version was around 4-5 millimetres longer with the proper silver birch colouring, as opposed to the impressive-but-inaccurate gold colour of the '65 model.  (It's said that early test-cars looked like unpainted bare metal in silver [h'mm - really?], and that the gold hue tied-in better with the name 'Goldfinger', hence the colour-change.)  Interestingly, the main vehicle in the movie (several were purportedly used) was actually a D.B.4 Mark V (5) Vantage, which was the prototype for the D.B.5, meaning that Corgi weren't too far off the mark with their toy version.

In 1978, Corgi issued a larger model (271) with only the original three working features from '65, and since then, various versions (with diverse finishes and features, as well as variable degrees of quality) have appeared over the years, but none really matched the 261 and 270 releases.  Despite claims to the contrary, the original 261 wasn't reissued until 2021/'22, when a pretty faithful replica became available via the Corgi Model Club and also their online shop (at a higher price than club members paid).  Previous models described as the 'original' were actually based on the 270, with a gold coat of paint to make it look like its predecessor, and sometimes packaged in a replica of the 261 box (or something resembling it).  In the photo above of my own cars, the middle one in the top tier is just such a model - a 270 passing itself off as a 261.

Anyway, that one car aside, the others in the photo are a mixture of originals and replicas, and don't they look impressive all grouped together?  Perhaps one day I'll find the time and energy to dig out all my 270s and 271s and share a piccie or two of them with you also.  I know, don't tell me - you're counting the seconds, eh?  Did you have a 261 or 270 as a kid?  Share your reminiscences in the comments section.

Incidentally, you can currently buy the Club model for around £35 (plus p&p) direct from their online shop, but better be quick while there's some left.  Some unscrupulous sellers are already asking for well-over £100 (approaching £200) on eBay.  Chancers, eh?

Sunday, 19 June 2022

TIME EBAY DID SOMETHING ABOUT SOME OF THEIR SELLERS... (UPDATED)


Copyright DC COMICS

Some eBay sellers continue to astound me with their attitudes and behaviour.  Case in point is one by the name of Cannhall, who was selling a copy of 80 Page Giant Issue No. 1.  It was unclear from his picture of the item as to whether a sticker and some creases were on the comic or the bag, so I messaged him to ask.  He said he'd check when he got back home.  I later received another message volunteering to send me some photos - they never came.  What did come was yet another message saying he'd taken the item off sale because it had a rip up the middle of the inside of the comic.  However, despite his claim the mag remained on eBay.

I contacted him again and he said he didn't know what had happened as he'd tried to take it off sale three times.  Still wouldn't answer my query about the sticker and creases though.  A couple or so days later, the item finally disappeared from the eBay listings, only for the same ad to reappear a few days later - with no update on the alleged rip inside.  Curiously, it was now £2 cheaper.  He isn't replying to any of my messages for clarification, apart from one in response to me saying that I'd reveal his 'curious' way of doing business on my blog, in which he belligerently said he'd benefit from the publicity.  I rather think that folk would steer clear of such a seller, who doesn't appear to know whether an item he claims to have for sale has creases on the cover or its poly bag.  Does he even have the comic?

I see he has negative feedback from a buyer saying the item he received wasn't the same one pictured (same issue number, different, lesser condition copy), so I think that says everything one needs to know about this particular seller.  Definitely dodgy and one to avoid, I'd suggest.

******

And guess what?  The seller must have another account, as, without realising it was the exact same copy, I purchased it from a differently-named seller a few weeks later.  Their photo showed it unbagged, which is why I never realised it was the same item or I wouldn't have bought it.

No sign of any tear in the middle of the inside of the comic as was previously stated as to why it was (eventually) withdrawn from sale.  Below is my scan of the comic after I'd done a little work on it to optimise its appearance and condition (the actual comic, not the scan).

Sunday, 12 June 2022

WHEN THE FIRST ISSUE IS NOT NECESSARILY NUMBER ONE (AND VICE VERSA)...


Copyright DC COMICS

I recently acquired the above 1964 80 Page Giant Superman Annual Issue #1, which raises an interesting question.  You see, there was an earlier Giant Superman Annual in 1960 which is nowadays retroactively referred to as #1, though I don't know if that was stated in the indicia at the time.  What I do know is that it's listed that way in the indicia of the 1998 Replica Edition, but that may or may not have been its intended status in 1960 - it certainly wasn't numbered that way on the cover.

So the 1960 Giant is definitely the first Superman Annual, but until I can discover what it says in the indicia, it might not be '#1' and could well have been produced as a one-shot.  The 1964 Annual was obviously conceived as the first in an occasional series, hence it being numbered on the cover, but another possibility is that it was only #1 of the 80 Page Giant series, the featured star of which could be any hero, not solely Superman.  In other words, #2 could've been Batman or The Flash, for example.

The latter scenario is made the more likely when one considers that the indicia lists it as '80 Page Giant No. 1', with no mention of Superman.  It also says it's published 8 times a year, so it's unlikely that every issue would be described as an Annual, probably just an 80 Page Giant.  So what's the actual explanation?  Don't know, to be honest, so if anyone who owns the 1960 Annual would take a look at the indicia and let me know what it says, I'd be much obliged.

In the meantime, enjoy the piccies.


The Replica Edition has omitted the original 25c price, and, just like the original,
isn't numbered on the cover.  The Replica is thrice referred to as #1 inside though


Blowing My Own Trumpet Department: Below is the seller's photo of my recent acquisition.  Far from pristine, but I did a little remedial work on the actual mag to enhance its condition before scanning.  Look again at first pic to see how it looked at the 'after' stage.  (Tears repaired, creases less obvious, cover now far more secure.)


Oh, go on then - I'll make it easier for you.  Below, the 'before' and 'after', side-by-side.  Click on image to enlarge for a better comparison.

Saturday, 11 June 2022

HE'S MAKING A LIST, HE'S CHECKING IT TWICE...

Just to let those in my blog list know that I operate in a reciprocal way.  If I'm in your blog list, you'll be in mine.  If I'm not in your blog list, then you won't be in mine either.  However, if you currently are, but I'm not in yours, then this is just to say that unless that situation changes in the next few days, the link to your blog will disappear from my list.  Why?  I don't see why I should extend a courtesy to those who don't extend that same courtesy to me.  Simple as that.

Here's how to add a blog list with other blogs in it:  (Click each image to enlarge.)

Go into Layout...


Click on '+Add a gadget...


Scroll down until you see the Blog List option, then click on it...


Add the required info for whatever blogs you want, then press Save...


Easy-peasy.

Saturday, 4 June 2022

DETECTIVE COMICS #416...


Copyright DC COMICS

There's something about Detective Comics #416 that seems awfully familiar to me as I thumb through its pages, so I think it's highly likely that I had it way back when.  I'd forgotten it until seeing it recently on Super Stuff In The Bronze Age, whereupon I immediately bought a copy via eBay.  It arrived on the same day as Action Comics #398 (previous post), but it's only now I've found the time to scan a few pages and let you have a look at what you're missing if you don't already have this classic from yesteryear.

Interestingly, three other titles are advertised (separately, on different pages) in this mag and they're all by Jack Kirby.  The first is Mister Miracle #5, the second, Spirit World #1 (and only), and the third, Jimmy Olsen #142.  However, that's by-the-by; it's the art of Frank Robbins which is the main reason for this post.  Robbins was a controversial artist among readers, with some loving his art and others hating it in equal measure.  It's surprising, though, just how many who weren't fans back then, now say they've since grown to appreciate (and even love) his art and storytelling.

Anyway, here are a few pages to give you a taste of the contents.  Just think - only 7 and a 1/2 pence for all this.  What a bargain, eh?






Wednesday, 1 June 2022

WALLS MAY HAVE EARS, BUT THEY ALSO HAVE POSTERS... (In MY house anyway.)


Copyright DC COMICS

On one of my walls is a Superman poster which originally comprised two pages of a UK Annual, acquired in the very late '70s or very early '80s.  I no longer recall where I got the Annual from, but I don't think it was new, so I either obtained it from a jumble sale, was given it by someone, or bought it mail-order from a comics dealer because it piqued my curiosity.  This was before eBay and the like, so I know for a fact that it wasn't purchased in that manner.

It couldn't have impressed me too much, hence my decision to remove the poster pages, tape them together to hang on my wall, and then give the Annual to a pal who didn't mind the absence of the couple of story pages on the reverse side of the poster.  Thing is, I never got to adorn my wall with it until I moved to a new house in '83, and it wasn't until I moved back to my former house in '87 that the poster finally graced the wall it was intended for in the first place.

Do you care?  Of course not, but bear with me.  Two or three years back (or thereabouts) I scanned the poster and printed it out on a single sheet of card, then replaced the original with its brand-spanking new doppelganger, which still resides in the same spot today.  But guess what?  I'd always assumed that the illo had been culled and isolated from an internal comics panel for its transformation into a poster, but last week I found out that my assumption was mistaken.

Superman had actually been lifted from the cover of Action Comics #398, which I saw on eBay and bought straight away.  I was familiar with the main story (but not the back up) as it had been reprinted in Superman From The '30s To The '70s, but this was the first time I'd seen the illustration in its first published form.  It arrived yesterday, and it's good to finally have the original incarnation of a picture which has adorned a wall in my current home for 35 years.

How's that for a game of soldiers?  Anyway, not much of a tale perhaps, but I felt compelled to tell it anyway.  You can't complain - you got in here for free.



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