Various SD Gundam figurines, scanned from an April 1987 issue of Japan’s Comic BonBon. I recognize… the Zaku I. Friends pointed out some of the others as the Gelgoog, the Bawoo, and the “Palace Athena”.
Gundam is full of silly names.
Can you name all of these, dear readers?
Front cover of an Inhumanoids trace and color book, which features some of the worst art I’ve seen in a children’s coloring book. Then again, maybe I’m spoiled by Steve Ditko’s work on Transformers.
The elegant kazoo solo was always my favorite part of “Jumpin’ Jack Flash”.
Front and back covers of The Official Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Treasury. Personal scans. I thought of Photoshopping out the price tag, but eh.
That rubbery-looking Raph face-mask is kiiiiinda creepy.
Moon Corporate Synergy Activation!
Yoshio Irie, the editor-in-chief [of Nakayoshi, a monthly for elementary and junior high school girls], assumed his position in 1990 at the young age of thirty-four. A soft-spoken man with an aggressive vision, he felt the magazine was overemphasizing the stock girl-meets-boy/first-love type of stories and failing to exploit the real strengths of manga. He thus tried to introduce more fantasy-oriented stories, an example being the wildly popular Sailor Moon, which stars five young women who were warriors in previous lives. Irie’s ultimate goal is to make Nakayoshi the largest-selling magazine in the young girls’ genre and to overtake rival Shougakukan’s Ribbon, which leads the pack.
“Our media-mix strategy” he told me, “includes utilizing not only the magazine, but television animation, character merchandising, and events.” Traditionally, he explained, a manga story would be animated for television quite a while after it appeared in a magazine, and then merchandise would be created based on the characters. For Sailor Moon, however, the basic story was determined in editorial meetings nearly a year before publication, and a coordinated media offensive was developed. The animated series started up after the second episode of the written story. “Animation and toys usually have very different production schedules,” Irie says, “with at least three or four months lead time required for television and six months for toys. Because we discussed the schedule in advance, we were able to carefully coordinate them.”
Peak sales seasons in this genre are February (new year), April (new school year), and September (summer vacation), so the Sailor Moon plot was designed to have exciting episodes hit at just these times, along with new characters or warriors and surprising revelations. The television animation show, furthermore, lagged the magazine story by only a month or two, and care was taken to make sure it did not overtake it. Merchandising was also coordinated, with sales of important items targeting summer vacation and Christmas.
- Author Frederik L. Schodt writes about the corporate strategy behind Sailor Moon (slightly amended for clarity). From Dreamland Japan: Writings on Modern Manga, pages 92-94, a book I’d recommend despite it being relatively outdated now.
This seemed too big for a normal quote, so text-post away.
A brilliant piece of merchandise I picked up from the Salvador Dali Museum some years back: one of Dali’s Clothed Automobiles made out of a foam material that squishes and reforms back into its original shape. Do-it-yourself surrealism!
Before the Hasbro/Kenner conglomerate purchased rival toymaker Galoob, they attempted to compete with Galoob’s MicroMachines via their own series of miniature figures, vehicles and playsets, collectively known as MicroVerse. Since Kenner held the Batman license at the time, they produced a few MicroVerse sets related to Batman: The Animated Series / The Adventures of Batman and Robin, including this tiny rogues gallery pack. Each figurine is roughly the size of a fingertip.
Personal photo taken in 2005, though I think the set itself was released concurrently with the show. Also: KB Toys “clearance” sticker!
ahahahaha THAT FACE
The “transforming” Wolverine Motorcycle, from Toy Biz’s 1991 X-Men line. Personal photo.