Advertisements

Tag Archive: Jimi Hendrix


The most infamous, notorious, and maybe even most beloved of toymakers, Marty Abrams is back in the toy biz years after a stint in prison for fraud and the bankruptcy of his famous toy company (get the whole story on Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us).  The company he made famous–MEGO–gave kids the ultimate 1970s line of licensed 8-inch (1:9 scale) action figures, and it returned to stores with a vengeance this year.  Not to toy stores–since they seem to be a thing of the past after the bankruptcy of Toys R Us this year–but to the end cap at your neighborhood Target store.  Replaced in recent years by the 3 3/4-inch line of licensed small-scale action figured from Super 7, Funko, and Biff! Bam! Pow!, the classic MEGO figures are making a comeback.  Abrams has pulled in a bizarre cross-section of licensed properties to get his foot back in the door with kids, collectors, and anyone able to be sidetracked on their way to pick up school supplies and shampoo.  Abrams was a groundbreaking importer, manufacturer, marketing maven, inventor, and brand developer who founded MEGO Corporation, the first company to license action figures based on TV shows and comic book superheroes, and the first to sell dolls in clear bubbles on cards that hung on pegs instead of in boxes stacked on store shelves.  If you were a kid in the 1970s, you probably had at least one of his figures (I’m pretty sure we still called them dolls back then).  My three-year-old self was not excluded:

The first wave of figures are already on the discount shelves at Target.  Look around and you’ll find an eclectic mix of pop culture nostalgia, some figures resembling sculpts and costumes from the original MEGO figures, others representing characters that may leave you scratching your head, wondering who has been eagerly waiting to see this show in an action figure line.  So Wave One includes Sulu and Chekov from the original Star Trek series, Charlie’s Angels’ Kelly Garrett (complete with ’70s hairdo), Peg Bundy from Married with Children, Action Jackson (not the movie version) sporting a jumpsuit, NORM! Peterson from Cheers, Piper Halliwell from the original TV series Charmed, Dracula (sculpted after Bela Lugosi’s version), Alice the housekeeper and center square from The Brady Bunch, Tootie the youngest girl from Facts of Life, Jimi Hendrix in his Woodstock outfit, and probably the best of all (OK, besides Jim Hendrix): Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli (aka Fonzie) looking like the original Mego figure from Happy DaysTwo dual figure sets feature Jeannie and Tony from I Dream of Jeannie and a Mirror Universe figure set of Kirk and Spock from Star Trek.  Mego also has a 14-inch (1:5 scale) DC Comics line, including Wonder Woman from the TV series, General Zod from the two original Superman movies, a classic style Harley Quinn, and a Golden Age Batman.

Wave Two, arriving this month at Target stores nationwide, includes Frankenstein, Greg from The Brady Bunch, John Ratzenberger’s Cliff Clavin from Cheers, Starchild from the band KISS, Alyssa Milano’s Phoebe from Charmed, Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham from Happy Days, Cheryl Ladd’s Kris Munroe from Charlie’s Angels, Spock and the Gorn from Star Trek, Samantha from Bewitched, Kelly Bundy from Married with Children, Jo from Facts of Life, and dual sets featuring Dorothy, Toto, and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, DJ and Stephanie Tanner from Full House.  In the 14-inch DC Comics line look for Superman, Batgirl, Green Lantern, and Poison Ivy.

Continue reading

Advertisements

star-trek-juan-ortiz

Review by C.J. Bunce

What do the art of Saul Bass, Salvador Dali, and Jackson Pollack, Russian film posters, Milton Bradley Board games, Aurora model kits, pulp novel cover art like that of Frank Franzetta and Joaquin Pertierra, Gold Key comics, Beatles and Jimi Hendrix album promotional art, and boxing match posters all have in common?  They are all part of the imagery and nostalgia that defines what we think of as “retro” today.  They also were the inspirations for a new book about 1960s Star Trek.

This month Titan Books is releasing what is probably the most attractive hardcover, coffee table-style book about Star Trek ever created.  And it’s incredibly unusual in its contents.  Back in 1966 to 1969 when the original Star Trek first aired, what if TV episodes had movie posters to advertise them?  And what if you found a box full of these folded posters and published them today?  In truth, no one created such a poster back in the 1960s.  But that didn’t stop artist Juan Ortiz from taking on a personal project of creating pulp novel style poster art in a contemporary style for each of the 80 episodes of the original Star Trek series in his new book Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz.

Juan Ortiz Arena

How do you come up with such creations?  In part, for thirty days back in 2011 Ortiz committed to producing a poster every day of the month.  This was enough to sell the concept so he could complete the series.  If Ortiz can obtain this quality in such a short period of time, the sky’s the limit for this artist’s career.  Mainly designing work under the direction of other creators, Ortiz has worked for Disney, Marvel Comics and Warner Bros.  For this project, the ideas and implementation were all Ortiz.

If you are fond of 1960s mod imagery and pop art design, Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz will no doubt deliver your own blast from the past.  And each page could be trimmed out and framed–most of these full-page posters would edge-out their Mondo poster counterparts in creating cool, evocative images–some obvious but most subtle in their messages, pulling just the right bits and pieces from each episode.  Ortiz’s pop art goes beyond this book–you can buy prints, T-shirts, posters, even wine, emblazoned with Ortiz’s Star Trek images.  Check out his website for more information.

ST_EP_28_QMX

Admirers of Ant Lucia’s incredible retro-style art posters and collectors of Mondo posters featuring revisited movie imagery will be sure to be fans of Star Trek: The Art of Juan Ortiz Ortiz’s book could also serve as a clip art book of sorts for ideas for creating posters, ads, and other signage for art directors and other creators of historic TV series and movies.  The design elements are all believable and if you didn’t know these were created in 2011 and 2012 you’d assume these posters were classic film entertainment memorabilia.  An added component is the aging of the posters Ortiz applies to make the posters seem fresh out of 45 years of storage, including folded pages, smudges and crinkled paper.

Continue reading

%d bloggers like this: