Saturday, January 19, 2008

Justice League Toys by Ideal - 1968

Bizarre records weren't the only products the JLA got its logo slapped on in 1968!

I thought before we moved into JLA comics released in 1969, we'd take a moment to talk about some of the actual Justice League of America products that hit the shelves in 1968.

Ideal Toys created several different JLA-related pieces, usually focusing around one member. The above Batman/JLA playset is uber-rare and ridiculously expensive, partly because of its fairly flimsy packaging and that it is so damn cool. Look at this thing--it comes with the Secret Sanctuary for pete's sake!

The company Multiple Toys did a similar one for Aquaman, a piece that still eludes my collector's grasp and haunts my dreams:
What Aquaman needs an AquaSub for, I have no idea, but it's so cool looking I don't care. I've seen this surface(sorry) once or twice on eBay, but for like eight or nine grand(!) so until I become a millionaire this will remain one of my Aquaman Holy Grails.

I've never seen whether Ideal (or Multiple) did one for Superman, but someone must have, right? Supes, Bats, and Aquaman were the three cartoon show headiners, so it only makes sense.

Another product, as dear to my heart but one that I actually do own, is this gen-u-ine Aquaman board game:
It's a pretty boring game(you move around the board,'re done), but the box art is so awesome it doesn't matter. And how many times did you see the Martian Manhunter on anything? Clearly, Ideal thought the JLA was a major selling point, since its logo is almost as big as Batman and Aquaman's.

I have never been able to find any existence of a Green Lantern or (the mind reels!)Martian Manhunter game, but I have seen a Flash one, but was unable to find a picture of it at press time(I love that phrase--makes me feel like a journalist).

Until the debut of DC Direct, the JLA was never the subject of this much merchandising attention again after their banner year of 1968.


wich2 said...

Oy, Rob, was the big Ideal set one of the Grails of my childhood!!!

(The Aqua-set isn't Ideal; Multiple, I think - and not as well done.)

I actually held its glory in my hands at Bargain City; but it was just too 'spensive for a non-Christmas gift...

I'd always try to talk guys at school into trades for the loose figs, but no takers...

Over the years, I've gotten less-than-mint copies of all the heroes but Flash; a similar fast food one stands in.

Even a Joker, which I'll paint one of these days (sorry, Purists!)

-Craig W.

rob! said...

>>(The Aqua-set isn't Ideal; Multiple, I think - and not as well done.)<<

i can't believe i made that mistake--AGAIN! i mistakenly credited it to Ideal when i posted the pic on the shrine, and Brian corrected me. sheesh, i can't seem to keep that straight.

duly corrected!

TheincredibleshrinkingDamian said...

Oh man. To have a hero invested in a set like this.

Nowadays you might get a little red and blue piece of plastic thrown in there, and have "Bonus Atom figure" slapped on the box. You're supposed to be excited about that.

It's just toys like this that are my absolute faves. I'm severely jealous.


BentonGrey said...

Wow! That is some seriously awesome stuff! Why didn't they put thing like that out when I was a kid? Anyway, what the heck is Batman doing in that first playset? Tae-bo? Also, who's the first figure in that Aquaman set, it looks like it says "Mong." Who the hecks is he? Ohh, and that HAS to be the only piece of Fisherman merchandise, EVER.

TheincredibleshrinkingDamian said...

C'mon Benton, of course that's Mong. Who else would it be?

Mong is the typical choice for a playset like that. From what I understand, kids would tug on their mother's sleeves shouting "please mom (Mong?), please! I'll be so good! I need a Justice League of America Mong playset with Aqua sub and bonus Aquaman figure! I'll never be bad again!"

No, seriously, what the hell is mong?

Let me do a quick tally to this point:

featured in DC related playsets

Mong - 1
The Atom - 0

Okay, cool.

Did we find out what that octopus did to make Arthur zok him?

rob! said...

if the Batman set had come with a Snapper Carr, i wouldve melted it in a microwave.

wich2 said...


Scroll down, for some of the most amazing repros of this you've ever seen:

-Craig W.

meamwayne said...

There was a Superman set with Superman, Superboy, Brainiac, Lois Lane and a Robot as well as Batman set with Batman, Joker, Riddler, and Robin on a Batcycle and a “Wonder Jet” collection with Wonder Woman, Colonel Steve Trevor, Countess Nishki and Angle Man and the Wonder Jet – a sort of rocket sled like vehicle. I think mention needs to be made of the bizarre selection of villains in the Batman/JLA set. The Joker is obviously a sensible choice, and I assume that Brain Storm, the Key and the Thunderbolt got in just because they happened to be the villains in the last six consecutive issues of the JLA to come out before they designed the set. But who decided on one-shot Aquaman villain Kaltor and idiotic Wonder Woman villain Mouse Man? Besides being ridiculously obscure, they are wildly out of scale since Kaltor is supposed to be about twenty feet tall while Mouse Man is only six inches tall. I can picture the Joker laughing maniacally as befuddled children try to concoct a story in which this random assortment of freaks unites to battle the Justice League.

Scipio said...

The BOARD the BOARD! I must see the Aquaman game BOARD!!!!

Scipio said...

By the way, "MONG" is supposed to be Lord Mongo, ruler of Necrus, the Dark City, from Aquaman #30 (1966).

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