Well, I’ve got something special today for my loyal readers (reader?) out there. When I worked as a graphic designer for 8 years at my home town’s newspaper in New York, one of the things we’d sometimes have to incorporate into the ads was a piece of "line art" provided by a company specific to that particular product. This line art was sometimes provided by the local company and other times by the nationwide company if they were co-branding and co-op’ing the cost of the ad. It was also sometimes used to help in designing promotions for events in the paper, but with the dwindling amount of newspaper advertising sales these days it’s not done much anymore. These pages here are from a Kenner Toys binder that was sent to newspapers in the mid to late 80′s to help design such advertising and promotions.
As evidenced on the first page by the characters represented, this was printed after the 3rd series of figures was finalized for their release in retail assortments. You can also tell this by the offer-less & comic-less card design in the lower right corner. However, of glaring note is that someone must have "missed the memo" about who Orion and Cyclotron were, exactly. I’m surprised they didn’t accidentally label them "Sy-Clone" and "Man-E-Faces."
Apparently by page two they had completely given up with the clever nick-names for each character. "Mantis : Rambunctious Robot" and "Parademon : Dimwitted Dunce" just don’t have the right ‘ring’ to them, eh?
I’m not going to say anything that comes to mind as far as the two lamest vehicles to ever be included with any toy line, ever. The Batmobile, however, is spot-on in it’s design and execution. A perfect toy if there ever was one, agreed? I thought so.
I always thought it was weird that Kalibak needed a vehicle to launch boulders when he was strong enough to launch them by hand. Does he tire easily? Does he work construction during the daytime so he’s worried he’ll throw his back out? It’s a mystery. Also, doesn’t the Delta Probe One look like the underwater vehicles used by James Cameron in "The Abyss?"
Oh, did I say that some other vehicle was the lamest one ever produced for any toy line, ever? I was wrong. Justice Jogger? Looks like some sort of portable toilet excrement launcher. To save face for this page of art, the Hall Of Justice is, again, simply a perfect toy. Great representation of the TV show’s headquarters and something every kid wanted back then…and every collector wants now. One of those endearing timeless components that makes this line the classic that it is.
The Batcopter is the most difficult vehicle in the line to find both packaged and loose, with boxed prices regularly commanding $200-300 for ones in good shape. Also of note on this page is the inclusion of the unreleased Tower of Darkness playset, yet not pictured is the also-unreleased All-Terrain Trapper vehicle. It’s possible the ATT was not finalized at the time of this binder’s printing.
I was pretty lucky to score these, and am happy to have them in my collection. I enjoy the historical ephemera associated with Super Powers…it’s a great complement to the figure line, and there’s certainly a breadth of items available should one want to delve into adding some to their action figure collections.