Monday, December 22, 2014

Christmas Memories: The 1976 Superhero Merchandise Catalog

Christmastime's a-comin', Groove-ophiles, and Yers Trooly is getting ex-CITED! Mrs. Groove has my BATMAN '66 Blu-Ray collection snuggled under the tree, just waiting for moi to rip it open for a Bat-marathon Christmas Day! We've got presents for the kids and grandbabies just waiting to be opened and enjoyed by all on Christmas Eve! Got Christmas events with the families just raring to go on the two days leading up to Christmas! And of course, Ol' Groove has lots to be holly and jolly about, so my joy overfloweth and leadeth me-eth, um, me to wanna share some Christmas Cheer wit' y'all!

One of the coolest Christmas' ever was when I was in the eighth grade way back in 1976/1977. In the fall, I had ordered some FOOM  back issues through the Ivan Snyder generated ads in Marvel's mags. When my package arrived, I found the 1976 Superhero Merchandise Catalog tucked in with my goodies (which included Marvel Treasury Edition #4 featuring Conan--wow!--as a free gift). Seems that Marvel was getting out of the merchandising biz (they'd no doubt started it for their B&W mags to have something to compete with Warren's Captain Company), so Snyder, who'd been running that branch of Marvel, bought 'em out, took it over, and eventually used catalogs like this one to build Heroes World, which would eventually become the third largest comicbook distributor, get bought back by Marvel in the 90s, and almost decimate the comicbook marketplace. (Longest sentence ever? Oh, what would my high school English teachers think?) Anyway, I got this cool catalog with my stuff! Check it out!

Oh, the wonders The Superhero Merchandise Catalog held! It looked and smelled like a comicbook (it was even written and drawn by tons of Marvel Bullpenners), but it was a bank robber, baby! I made a deal with the Christmas money I hadn't gotten yet( but surely would) to pre-order some Christmas presents for myself (Hey, I was 13! Everyone else could get their own presents, I was looking out for moi!). I ordered some more FOOM mags, the gorgeous Buscema/Sinnott 1975 Marvel-Con poster, Bring On the Bad Guys, and Batman From the 30s to the 70s, baby! Whoo, what a Christmas!

How 'bout you, Groove-ophile? Ever experience the wonder of any of Ivan Snyder's cataclysmic catalogs? If ya did, what did you get? Let's rap about it in the comments section!


  1. Till seeing this post, I had forgotten that I had a life-sized posable Spidey in my bedroom. Good ol' days.

  2. Thanks for sharing this amazing catalogue. Incredible to think there's not a single photo in the thing - all drawn!

  3. I did pick up a few issues of the comic book catalog at the local newsstands but never ordered anything because I couldn't just narrow it down to just a few items. I did find some items like the Spider-Man webshooter, ViewMaster's DC Comics set and the giant Batman color by numbers book at the local Gibson's and Alco's dicount stores (the former closed up years ago while the latter will be closing next month).



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

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As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!