July 22, 2013 posted by

Comic Con Finds


Just got back from the San Diego Comic Con, and thought I share a few of things I came across that I liked. If you can put up with my mug on a few of these pics – you can see there are still things to find there, whether you can afford them or not.

Above, a very rare title cel from an MGM theatrical compilation of cartoon shorts. Below, a model sheet of the Papa (voiced by Mel Blanc) from MGM’s Peace on Earth (1939).


If I had a spare $1500, I might have bought this beautiful cel set up (I’m sure created for a publicity still) from Invitation To The Dance (1957). Click the cel in my hands to see a close-up of the art.


If I can’t afford to buy this Mutt & Jeff poster, I can at least take a picture with it.


Couldn’t resist taking a photo of this vinyl doll representing the Rankin-Bass Pinocchio… even if it barely looks like him.


Never saw this 45rpm Hanna Barbera Records sleeve. Interesting to note the initials “W.I. and R. D.” (under Pebbles cradle) which I’ll assumne to be Willie Ito and Ron Dias. Very cool.


Went to the Cartoon Network presentation of new comedy series… and all three went over very well with the convention crowd. Rebecca Sugar is already a super-star, and Clarence (who’s pilot was just nominated for an Emmy) blew everyone away. Good things are coming… and these promotional buttons were distributed to the attendees will find a nice place in my collection.


I’m an admitted 1966-Adam West Batman nut, so allow me thank Warner Bros. (who has finally wrested away the merchandising rights to the series from 20th Century Fox) for all the cool stuff coming our way. Here was the 2013 Comic Con tote bag, which was seen often on the the convention floor. Each bag even came with a bat cape!


Mattel is going to soon make available a utility belt and batarang faifhful to the original series.


I have no idea what this vintage 1966 Batman toy is, but the box was cool…


I did buy this – its a repro of a cool Aurora Batmobile model kit banner. Couldn’t resist.


And finally (for now), I was surprised that their were a few copies of my forthcoming SpongeBob Squarepants book at the Insight Editions booth. They are being printed and bound now, and these were the first publishers proof copies. It looks really good. Can’t wait to read it.



  • That MGM Cartoon Carnival title cel is a really cool find! Actual footage of that title is present on the same 16mm reel that Thad Komorowski found that has Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl with its original titles; Thad has a screenshot from it on the MGM Cartoon Filmography by Production Number page on his blog (link).

    …Now if only I was several years ago where I am now as far as interest and involvement in the classic cartoon community so that I could have seen that title and those original Tom and Jerry in the Hollywood Bowl titles in motion!

  • “f I can’t afford to buy this Mutt & Jeff poster, I can at least take a picture with it.”

    That’s been my excuse lately.

  • So Warner’s has the rights to sell 60s era Batman maerchandise – in exchange for that, does Fox get the right to finally put out the tv series on DVD and Blu-Ray? I’d love to see a legit release of the tv show (far more than being able to buy a Bat tote bag).

  • But the average Batman fan has no need for medium sized utility belt

    • Thanks Jeremy, I needed that!

  • Every time I think of returning to Comic Con it’s either too close to July and all the tickets are gone, or I get overwhelmed thinking that the crowds keep growing. (I haven’t been since 2002). There is some cool stuff there, though. They even have comic books. (insert sarcasm).

  • The Mattel Bat-maker Pack was part of a really great idea for a toy, the Thingmaker. The device was a literally a hotplate that allowed you to cure rubber/plastic that was poured into molds that sat on the mini hotplate. In this case, you got two or three plates and containers of goop, so that you could make rubber bats that could be used as pencil toppers, jewelry, rings, etc. Of course, this was before the realization of the number of kids who burned themselves…

    • The Thingmaker was part of the “Creepy Crawlers” set. Wikipedia says the Thingmaker was actually spun out of the previous VacUFormer toy. Incredible Edibles worked on the same principal, but the molds were a different shape (round, while Thingmaker molds were rectangular). That didn’t stop me and my brothers from burning up some Gobble-De-Goop to see if we could make edible Creepy Crawlers.

  • I actually did see that MGM Carnival package screened at a theatre when I was a kid, centuries ago. That setup looks to be in great shape. Was there a price tag on that, Jerry?

  • I’m surprised no one asked at Shout!’s booth about the Mr. Magoo Theatrical Collection.

    • You would think. That’s still a burning question indeed and it would be said if we’re still going to be left in the dark on that one.

  • If I had to guess, since that Batmaker-Pak references the Thingmaker and Vac-u-form, it’s probably some molds to create the objects seen on the box.

    From wikipedia:

    The Vac-u-form, also called Vac-u-former, was a toy made by Mattel in the 1960s. Based on the industrial process of vacuum forming, a rectangular piece of plastic was clamped in a holder and heated over a metal plate. When the plastic was soft, the holder was swung to the other side, over a mold of the object to be formed. Then pressing a handle on the side of the unit created a vacuum, sucking the plastic down over the mold and shaping it to it. When the plastic cooled it solidified, making an impression of the item.

    Various molds came with the kit, but almost any small object could be used as a mold.

    Because very hot surfaces were easily accessible to a child (or adult) playing with the toy, it probably could not be sold today due to safety restrictions.[1]

    And let me just add, from my childhood memories of the toy (I never owned one, but friends did), from the stink that used to come off of it, it probably produced some hellaciously toxic fumes as well!

    • I had a Vac-U-Form when I was a kid, got it for Christmas when I was about ten. It wasn’t quite as easy to use as they made it seem on TV (what else is new?) and the metallic plastic blanks were a little too thick to form very well. The novelty wore off pretty quickly, though; there was just so much you could do with it.

  • That’s some neat stuff there, Jerry! 🙂

  • Thanks, Jerry – those are some great finds! My wife and I were at the Con and we also saw much more than we could possibly afford.

    But if I may brag (or confess, perhaps) we lost our resistance when we saw a limited edition cel based on “Little Red Riding Rabbit” from WB’s Virgil Ross collection. It’s one of our favorite cartoons, cracks us up just thinking about it, so we bought the cel…TA HAVE! It’s a prototype, I of III, but officially stamped and signed, purchased from a respected dealer. I’m not very handy with the camera, but this photo works well enough.


  • Jerry
    Did the dealers say how they did for the show. I am curious with all the attendees and various distractions if the show is worthwhile for them.

    • A few dealers I personally spoke to said that sales were lousy this year – worse than ever. However, I overheard a few big-ticket back issue dealers talking and they seemed pleased with the show. So, I cannot really say.

  • Thanks for the information, I have been wondering how dealers compete with all the distractions a show like Comic Con offers. I know some of the dealers who do Chiller on the East Coast have had the same problem.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *