] type='image/vnd.microsoft.icon'/>

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

DC Superhero Pencil Toppers

This awesome collection of superhero "pencil toppers" comes from my pal and F.O.A.M. member Dan Hunter (who co-runs the equally awesome horror movie site The Terror Trap).

Dan thought the presence of Captain Marvel in this set in lieu of Aquaman would make me mad--and it does! That said, these are wonderfully little figures, very highly detailed and colorful for such little pieces. Here are some close-ups:
...very spiffy. I love how they made the effort to replicate Marvel's off-the-shoulder cape look. Thanks Dan!

This is probably as good a time as any mention, my series of posts labeled "My Grudge Against Shazam" have led some Aqua-Fans to think that I don't like the good Captain.

Actually, nothing could be further from the truth: I've always loved the character, both as a comic book star and as a TV one (I watched the Shazam! Saturday morning show religiously), so my issue is really with DC, over their decision to favor him so much over Aquaman in terms of 70s merchandising. But since about every fourth post on the Shrine involves some grudge I have with DC, I thought in this case I'd give it a different name.


Aaron said...

Love 'em! Especially the Supergirl, I think.

Russell said...

I would love it if you could talk to somebody at DC's merchandising division and find out if there is any rhyme or reason as to who gets on what. In this case, for example, I'd make a guess that characters with capes would give the Toppers more of a mass, so better known (?) characters like Wonder Woman and Aquaman (who are both capeless) were passed over for more obscure (?) characters such as Supergirl and Capt Marvel.

Now I see a LOT of Green Lantern stuff out there...is that because of next year's movie? I can only imagine, but it would be fun to find out for sure.

Earth 2 Chris said...

I had these as a kid, and I believe they came as cake toppers on one of my birthday cakes. Mine were soft and rubbery, but I found a set years later that was rigid plastic, but used the same molds. I have Supes, Bats, Robin and Shazam from the hard plastic set. And somehow my soft rubber Captain Marvel survived through childhood to today!


Rudy Panucci said...

Among the reasons that Captain Marvel was used so much in the 70s were the facts that he did have a highly-rated TV show, DC was still paying a license to Fawcett that allowed them to retain the merchandising money for the "Shazam" line--giving them an extra incentive for licensing the character so that the merch fees would cover what DC was paying Fawcett, and they wanted to establish Captain Marvel as a potential replacement for Superman when the Superman movie deal forced an embargo on including him in group licensing.

Sadly, Aquaman was at a serious nadir of popularity after the superhero bust that followed the boom. His book had been canceled, and his cartoon was not in heavy syndication.

The weird thing is that, in the 1980s, after DC bought the rights to Captain Marvel and Shazam outright, they stopped most of their merchadising of him. He was sort of in the same boat as Aquaman in the 1970s.

rob! said...

Aaron--They are cute, aren't they?

Russell--I'd love that, too. I'm fascinated at how this stuff is conceived. I've tried some inquiries in that vein, but it hasn't yielded anything yet.

Chris--cake toppers, too? Huh! I missed these babies entirely growing up.

Rudy--Welcome and wow, thanks for the info!

matthew jones said...

I love the pencil toppers too. What could be better than having one of them on your pencil! I like the good Captain too, but wish we could also have had an Aquaman pencil topper to complete the set.

Dan said...

I looked high and low for an Aquaman. I still have "rubber" and "topper" Aquaman on my Ebay saved search list. But I've given up hope. It's yet another slap in the face to the King of the Seven Seas!