Wednesday, September 08, 2010

One Strange Marvel Team Up


My good pal at Heroes West Coast suprised me last week with some pictures of a truly rare item that I could not afford to own. This display of Marvel Comics "Action Figures" (most of us would call these Jigglers) is both wonderful and well, odd. The assortment on the front kind of proves that, these characters have little to do with one another and it's a merchandising first for two of them.


Ben Cooper was well known for doing Jigglers of popular comic book characters before, the Spider-Man in this assortment was a staple of my childhood, so it's no surprise that in 1980 they chose to expand on their Marvel Universe characters. However, the Red Skull and Doctor Strange are odd choices, you can argue the Thing is an A Lister but is he bigger than the Hulk?

Finding the loose figures of these can be pricey, there isn't a pile of Doctor Strange stuff out there so he's a coveted commodity. It's pretty unheard of to find a display box of these characters.

It's possible that the focus of these characters is based on their previous television exposure, Strange had a 1978 TV movie, Captain America had two Red Skull free movies in 1979 and the Fantastic Four had an animated series the same year. That must be the connection.


Ben Cooper also used the same character assortment for their Halloween offerings that year, the addition of a Captain America costume seems to add more sense to the Red Skull being here. It's still confusing as to why Cap, a heavy hitter for Marvel was absent for this figural assortment.

Don't get me wrong, I'm happy this stuff got made, it's about time some B players got some merch, I'd just love to know how it came to be.

More Ben Cooper with the 1980 Catalog


Devlin Thompson said...

One of the great frustrations of my eBay career was the time some years ago (pre-eSnipe) when I got distracted by a phone call or something and missed the end of the auction for a "Lando Calrissian jiggler", which closed for its opening bid of $2.99. At least I've got the Red Skull.

plasticfetish said...

Wow... seriously... wow.

Sherman Unkefer said...

Amazing find - those are priceless. But I agree, The Thing but no Hulk? Head scratcher!

Neal said...

My guess is that Ben Cooper was looking for characters that would tie in well with Halloween. Red Skull and The Thing certainly have gruesome faces that make good masks, and Doc Strange has that warlock sorta thing going. Hulk would've been a better choice, though, especially in 1980.

John III said...

NOT some of the costumes I would have chosen. Maybe "Cap" though.

rob! said...


Jeffmc2000 said...

I'm wondering if some of those toys might have originally been other characters and Ben Cooper chose the Marvel heroes (and villain) that the templates could have most easily been changed to. Dr. Strange looks like it could have been made out of some leftover Dracula toys, and the Red Skull could have originally been a mummy or werewolf or something.

Steven Fallon said...

While Doctor Strange was never a huge A-lister, he was always a little more popular than most realized. He always had a big 'cult following' and that's why he had the '78 movie made, and there's even going to be a new Doctor Strange movie supposedly. Red Skull, he simply looks cool. The Thing? He is an A-listed without a doubt!


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