Comic Books #46: Superhero Merch

I'd be a liar if I said I didn't enjoy The Avengers.  Indeed, comic book heroes have become big business in Hollywood, and I'm one of the millions who happily parts with his cash to see them on the big screen.

That being said, I still have a fondness for the days of old, when the exploits of my favorite superheroes weren't made with big-budget CGI, but rather simple illustrations on the pages of a comic book. It sounds cliched, but it really was a "simpler time"..... but the powers-that-be still tried to reach into our pockets (or our parents' pockets) via some good old fashioned superhero merchandise.   Here's some examples. Enjoy.

Who the hell would buy a Zor-El doll? Or even worse, the "also available" Steve Trevor doll or the Queen Hippolyte and Nubia dolls? I'm banking it was just the rich kids who had to have the complete sets.

That "all over print shirt" is bad ass.  I want that.

"Stranger, you went through that mountain like a bullet"
"You even look like a bullet"
"Your mask is shaped exactly like a bullet"
"Mister, you fly through the air just like a  bullet"

"Yep. That's why I'm called Bulletman. 'Cause I'm just like a goddamn bullet."

Much has been made of this little gem - the Spider-Man Reflections of a Rock Super-Hero LP.  One day, I may serve up this record in a Vinyl Dynamite post.  

There's many more where these came from - we're just scratching the surface in the world of super-hero merch, folks.  But we'll call it quits for now.  Adios.


  1. You americans had much cooler toys in the 60/70 then us swedes. i want everything in those ads!

  2. Gosh, I remember most of those ads! I thought Bullet Man looked cool, but now, um...

  3. "customs are removable and washable" besides the Wonder Woman doll. I guess a lot of kids bought that doll, I don't know how many used it for stricly superhero adventures, though.

    1. Especially when invited to "match" her with Superman...

  4. The first ad, the one with the Superman figures, was drawn by the late great Joe Kubert - a real legend.

  5. Even as a kiddie I always wondered why G.I.Joe went on patrol hanging from Atomic Mike's leg when he had a perfectly good helicopter, jeep and armoured command vehicle.

  6. Great article, this reminds me of The Avengers movie. I love Captain America. I also like this site which talks about comic books.

  7. I posted an entry about he wrap-around "Spidey/Cap" shirt on my blog--http://bigglee.blogspot.com/2011/03/spectacualr-secrets-of-sensational.html

    To some of us, the comics themselves still come first! The movies? Sorta like the "Zor-El" action figure!

    Al Bigley