Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Superman/Aquaman Set by Ideal - 1966

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Just when I think I've seen every Aquaman item there is to see...

Courtesy our newest F.O.A.M. member, big-time comics pro Doug Hazlewood, comes this photo of the uber-rare Superman/Aquaman set made by Ideal in 1966.

I've seen pics of the larger sets featuring Aquaman and other JLAers:

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...but never this mini-set of just the two (then) animated TV stars, plus two...let's just say less detailed villain figures.

As you can see, Aquaman was a bit of an afterthought on the packaging: Superman's logo couldn't be any bigger, and poor Aquaman has to settle for his name being in plain text.

These sets are crazy expensive in the package like this, I've seen similar sets on eBay go for thousands of dollars. Whoever owns the actual set the above pic is taken from, I'm betting its a large chunk of their eventual retirement plan.

Thanks Doug, and welcome to F.O.A.M.!

10 comments:

RAB said...

Now imagine how you'd feel if you actually had this set as a four year old but then lost the figures over time. Believe me, the monetary value is the least of it...

John said...

I have a few of these figures. The villains aren't that bad--it's just that they're solid color plastic. The detail is fairly good. And yes, I do have Aquaman, but the knife(!) blade is broken off. Alas.

Wings said...

Must have been such fun though, for the kids who did have this. When you are that little, the lack of detail or whatever isn't such a big deal. Imagination fills in lots of gaps! :)

Earth 2 Chris said...

I've seen this set in books before, but never in person. I too have the Aquaman, with a broken knife. I sometimes think he came from the factory that way!

Chris

Plaidstallions said...

I'm not big on 60s toys but these items are the pure exception, they're gorgeous.

Aaron Bias said...

Look! It's SUPERMAN!!! oh, and also aquaman. Poor Aquaman. I love how he's always packin' a pig-sticker in these old toys.

chunky B said...

That set is beautiful. I could imagine kids of the 60's had al sorts of great adventures with those.

Orin's dad said...

I've never seen this one before...I love how the villians are solid color plastic and the heroes are much more well-defined. That's cool in a 60's kitschy sort of way.

Glenn Walker said...

I've seen these on eBay numerous times, and just drooled.

Fun trivia, it contains the first 'JSA action figure' as Johnny Thunder's Thunderbolt came as a villain. Folks who made the toys must have gotten that impression from his quick stint under the evil Earth-One Johnny Thunder's control.

Don said...

Over the years that I worked as an Art Director for The Topps Company, I had several conversations with renowned Batman memorabilia collector Joe Desris. In the course of one conversation, touching on my own childhood interest in things Aquaman-related, Joe and I got to talking about the Justice League of America Playset figures produced by Ideal Toys in the 60s. I expressed my decades-long puzzlement at the pose of the Aquaman figure - specifically the decision to cast the character with a knife in hand. Without hesitation, Joe provided an explanation. Back in the 60s, licensing of trademarked properties was not the carefully-coordinated, thoroughly-planned and packaged presentation it tends to be today, with style guides and model sheets. In the case of these comic book properties, basically, whatever artwork was at hand was provided as reference for the designers of the toys. It would seem that the poses for the figures of Batman, Robin and Superman were based on designs for the Aurora model kits of those characters. The poses for Flash, Wonder Woman and Aquaman were based on current (at the time) comic book cover art which accounted for the more idiosyncratic choices for those characters (Don't get me started on the "ring of fire" in the Wonder Woman figure's outstretched hands!). My best guess, based on Joe's suggestion, is that Ideal took the cover art for AQUAMAN #20 as the reference for not only the appearance of the titular hero (complete with knife) but also the foe for Aquaman in the toy playset, Kaltor.