Kenner Star Wars variant comic book covers look so good you want to open them up!

Personal Comic CoversMarvel has brought us back to a time when we wanted to collect every variant cover of our favorite books.  From foil covers to holograms to lenticular images and even polybagged, it feels like the 90′s!  One cover variant in particular will interest any Kenner vintage Star Wars fan.  I am talking of course of the action figure variant covers.  Above are examples from my collection of the covers released so far.

These covers pay homage by replicating the look of a vintage Kenner Star Wars carded action figure.  Everything about these covers look good enough to hang on store pegs.  Artist John Tyler Christopher has done an amazing job bringing these covers to life and not missing a single detail.

So far we have had Luke Skywalker and Han Solo released for the Star Wars series #1 and #2 respectively.  Darth Vader’s was released in his own title series.  Also confirmed Obi-Wan Kenobi will be a variant for Star Wars #3 and Princess Leia Organa will be released as a variant for her self titled series.  Leia’s series will be released on March 4th, while Star Wars #3 will hit shelves March 11th.  I am personally hoping that at least the first 12 will be released.

Obi and Leia Variant Covers

My local comic book shop, Downtown Comics still has a few of the released covers available, so find your closest shop and collect them all!!

 

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Kenner’s Gooney Bird now available in new Kennerflex foam!

Kenner Kennerflex Gooney Bird

I’ve been known to play favorites when it comes to certain items in my collection, but if I had to play the “what would you grab if your house was on fire” game, this would be the thing I grabbed first.  Please don’t tell my wife that.

This is a foam representation of Kenner’s famous Gooney Bird, made from a material called Kennerflex.  Feels pretty much like painted foam to me, but hey, who am I to question the marketing minds of Kenner.  The bird measures approximately 13″ tall x 10″ wide.

The Gooney Bird is packaged in a clear plastic bag with the words BENDABLE, WASHABLE, and HUGGABLE printed on it in red.

Kenner Kennerflex Gooney BirdKenner Kennerflex Gooney Bird

The top of the cardboard packaging wrapped around the bird is printed with: “made of new KENNERFLEX… soft, washable, durable foam,” and “TWIST HIM, BEND HIM, HE STAYS” on the lower section.

Kenner Kennerflex Gooney Bird

The pop-up sign by his feet reads Kenner’s GOONEY BIRD AWK AWK.

Kenner Kennerflex Gooney BirdKenner Kennerflex Gooney Bird

The taller end of the cardboard packaging shows a Gooney Bird logo with the famous slogan “It’s Kenner It’s FUN!,” the copyright info © 1964, KENNER PRODUCTS COMPANY, CINCINNATI, OHIO, and No. 280.

Kenner Kennerflex Gooney Bird

 

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I’m Batman: A look back at some of my favorite Kenner Batman figures

Now that Gentle Giant is coming out with a new Jumbo Batman Figure lets take a look back at some of the original Kenner Batman figures.  I’d like to thank Dork Dimension for the nice images of these figures.

Lets start with the 1984 Kenner Super Powers Batman figure. This is one of my favorite figures that I had when I was a kid.  I remember watching Super Friends sitting in front of the TV with my Batman and Robin figures trying to act out the scene that was on the show.  This was a 3.75” with 7 points of articulation and came with a cloth cape.

batman1984    batman2

Super Powers Batman from the 1984 Kenner Toy Fair catalog:

Kenner Collector Toy Fair Catalog Super Powers 1984

Next we have the 1993 Kenner Batman: The Animated Series Figure (This is the one that  Gentle Giant will be using the scans from for the new jumbo figure ).  The figure was a 5” with 5 points of articulation with a cloth cape.

batman4    batman5

Batman: The Animated Series from the 1993 Kenner Toy Fair catalog:

Kenner Collector Toy Fair Catalog Animated Batman 1993

Last we have the 1998 Kenner The New Batman Adventures Figure.  This was another 5″ figure with 5 points of articulation with a plastic cape.

batman7    batman8

There have been more then a 100 different Batman figures produced by Kenner over the years, so tell me what was your favorite one?  There has to be at least one that perked your interest to shell out your hard earn money for one.  I know I did!

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Super Powers is back…again!

Koto Super Powers

Update!  Pictures added from Toy Fair 2015.

Announced on the Kotobukiya Facebook page, they have teamed up with DC to re-imagine the Kenner Super Powers line!

Kenner Collector Super Powers Kotobukiya Toy Fair

Kenner Collector Super Powers Kotobukiya Toy Fair

Kenner Collector Super Powers Kotobukiya Toy Fair

Kenner Collector Super Powers Kotobukiya Toy Fair

Kenner Collector Super Powers Kotobukiya Toy Fair

Kenner Collector Super Powers Kotobukiya Toy Fair

Here is the announcement from their Facebook page.

“Return to the classic era of action figures with the DC Comics SUPER POWERS COLLECTION, a vintage-inspired line of ARTFX+ statues from Kotokukiya! With features such as “Power Action” stances, multiple points of non-articulation and real cloth capes it will feel like the 80’s all over again! Remember…only you can decide the battle of good vs. evil!”

It appears that not only Mattel is pulling on our nostalgic heart strings.

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Kenner’s Capt. Space Bub-L-Rocket Bubble Blowing Toy

Kenner Capt. Space Bub-L-Rocket

Here is Kenner’s Capt. Space Bub-L-Rocket bubble blowing toy.  Kenner got it’s start in the toy making business with bubble themed products, and the Bub-L-Rocket was one of their earliest successes.  The first Bub-L-Rocket came boxed, and included liquid bubble making solution.  This early 1950′s carded version of the toy just recommends using any regular liquid soap.

The back of the package has a special message from Capt. Space that reminds me of the scene from A Christmas Story when Ralphie uses the decoder ring for the first time.  Imagine a young kid grabbing the package and flipping it over to realize “Holy cow, Capt. Space has a special message just for me!”

TO: All members of my Space Ship crew.
SUBJECT: Fueling and operating Capt. Space Bub-L-Rocket.  I have designed my Bub-L-Rocket as a precision toy.  I expect all my crew members to keep their equipment in perfect condition at all times.  Follow these instructions!  Capt. Space

So wait, Capt. Space’s special message to his crew was to keep their gun clean? More like Capt. Lame-O.

Kenner Capt. Space Bub-L-Rocket

The back of the package contains the following copyright information:  Copyright 1952 U.S. Patent D157,100 KENNER PRODUCTS CO. CINCINNATI 2, OHIO  Made in U.S.A.  Printed in U.S.A.

 

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Gentle Giant Goes JUMBO (again) with Kenner’s Super Powers!

 

GG Jumbo Super Powers

Update!  Pictures of the pre-production Superman and Wonder Woman from Toy Fair!

But wait, there’s more!

Gentle Giant isn’t quite finished with their jumbo-sizing yet.  Also announced today Kenner’s Super Powers line is getting some love!  With all the success of the Vintage Star Wars line it was only a matter of time before other vintage lines would be next.

Kenner Gentle Giant Superman Wonder Woman Batman Toy Fair

Lenner Gentle Giant Superman Wonder Woman Batman Toy Fair

Kenner Gentle Giant Super Powers Superman Wonder Woman Batman Toy Fair

Here is the announcement,

In 1984, Kenner began to release the next on their extremely popular action figure lines, the DC Super Powers Collection! This line included heroes such as Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and many, many more.

Gentle Giant is proud to announce the launch of this stunning line of retro figures that have been given the Jumbo Figure treatment. Each figure is developed using state of the art 3D technology. Gentle Giant has taken the original DC Super Powers figures and created a highly accurate digital model with the use of 3D scanners. These digital models are then scaled to 12 inches tall, and then printed using top of the line 3D Systems printers. These pieces are then used in manufacturing to produce extremely accurate, scaled replicas.

The DC Super Powers Collection Jumbo Figures from Gentle Giant will be made from high quality vinyl, and some ABS plastic parts. Many of the figures will also include fabric capes and accessories. Finally, these incredible figures will feature retro art packaging, and come in a protective re-sealable blister pack.

 

 

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Gentle Giant Goes JUMBO With Kenner’s Batman

GG Jumbo Batman

Update!  Pictures of the pre-production Batman from Toy Fair!

Exclusively on Action Figure Insider a nice article on the the new Jumbo Gentle Giant Batman: The Animated Series. This is a nice throw back to the animated series that debuted in 1992. The jumbo figures will be based off the 1993 Kenner action figures.

Lenner Gentle Giant Superman Wonder Woman Batman Toy Fair

Kenner Gentle Giant Superman Wonder Woman Batman Toy Fair

Here is the announcement,

In the fall of 1992, a new animated series debuted from Warner Bros. Animation on weekday afternoons. It would go on to leave a lasting impact on one of DC’s most enduring franchises.

Batman: The Animated Series took place in a Gotham very much influenced by the Tim Burton films, but added its own unique blend of film noir and “dark deco” elements. Characters in this world were developed with a layered complexity rarely seen in animated television at the time. Audiences and critics quickly embraced the series during its 85 episode run.

Gentle Giant Ltd. celebrates this much loved television show with the launch of this Jumbo line, Batman: The Animated Series figures. Based on digital scans of the original 1993 Kenner 5” action figures, this Jumbo line stands 12” tall in 1/6 scale.

Re-live a part of Batman history and afternoon nostalgia with Gentle Giant’s newest Jumbo line, Batman: The Animated Series jumbo retro figures.

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Intro to the Kenner Collector World of Curch

image

Hello, my name is Joe Curcio and I am a new contributor to this site.  I am an active collector and seller of vintage toys.  Many of you already know me as “Curch” but for those of you who don’t, I wanted to take this opportunity to introduce myself formally and tell you all a little bit about how I began collecting.

My journey started back in 1990 when I was 15 years old and collecting sports cards.  I was working part time job in a baseball card shop for fifteen dollars a night and turning around and spending my hard-earned cash on purchasing cards for my collection.  I should have known then how addictive (and expensive) this hobby could be!

One day while shopping at a Hills department store with my parents I wandered into the toy aisle.  I had heard about the Starting Lineup toy line but up until this point had never collected them.  Because I am a huge Yankees fan, I was curious to see if they made a Don Mattingly figure.  Sure enough, I found one.  I was hooked!  I thought, what could be better as a sports card collector?  You are getting 2 baseball cards (this was a special for 1990) and an action figure of your idol in one package!  I held onto that action figure in the store like a six year-old with a candy bar.  I bought my first Starting Lineup (SLU) for $4.00 and haven’t looked back since.

By 1993 SLUs were the craze of the toy industry and I was buying SLUs everywhere I could find them.  At this time computers and the Internet were just starting to trickle into mainstream and were not widely available as means of communication.  So, how did I acquire them?  I would scour the inserts from the weekend paper and by Sunday morning, myself and few other friends were lined up outside waiting for the stores to open.

Fast forward to 1995.  I was out of high school and working two jobs.  I continued to buy and sell Starting Lineups and it eventually turned into a small business for me.  I would set up displays at trade shows and large Starting Lineup Conventions throughout the Northeast.

Twenty years later my passion still continues.  My Starting Lineup collection consists of over a 1,000 figures. Some of the more rare items include ten sealed cases from the early years and 100 prototypes.  Generally I consider myself a “loose” collector because I collect items out of the package.  One of my favorite aspects of collecting loose figures is the back because the name and number are visible on the jersey.

My passion doesn’t stop with SLUs.  In 2005 I got the itch to go back and get the toys that I had or had wanted as a child.  Now, my collection of toys is rather large and is comprised of many toy lines.  These include vintage Star Wars, M.A.S.K. and G.I. Joes.  With the widespread use of the Internet my selling at shows and convention are long gone, but I do try to attend the occasional toy show in my area.

Collecting toys has become much more than a hobby to me. I have made many great friendships over the years and look forward to discussing toys with you all. I welcome your questions or comments. Please feel free to email me. I love talking toys!

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M.A.S.K. Making a Comeback!

MASK Grid Logo

 This year marks the 30th anniversary of Kenner’s M.A.S.K. franchise and all signs have been pointing in the direction that we might see a return to Boulder Hill sooner rather than later!

Here is a breakdown of what has been happening.

-Hasbro applied for a new trademark for M.A.S.K.

-There have also been a handful of tweets citing Hasbro sources claiming there is something in the works.

-According to an attendee at the Nuremberg Toy Fair, M.A.S.K. should be making a return sometime this year.

-Lastly, the rumors of Matt Trakker appearing in the next GI Joe film have surfaced.

I personally am hoping beyond hope that we will see M.A.S.K. return in one form or another.  Also, with New York Toy Fair this weekend we can all assume more information will be made available.

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Cincinnati Character Map Featuring Kenner’s Kroger Building Headquarters

Kenner Character Map 1982

This is a Cincinnati character map from 1982 showcasing various businesses and attractions from around the city.  These for profit character maps, also called fun maps, were popular in the 80′s as a way for local businesses to advertise.

This character map was created by Archer Inc. and measures 38 1/2 ” wide x 28 1/2 ” tall.  The copyright information along the bottom states: CITY CHARACTER PRINT PRODUCED BY ARCHER INC PO BOX 999 STATION U, TORONTO CANADA M8Z 5P9 © COPYRIGHT 1982 PRINTED IN THE U.S.A.

Kenner is represented on the map with a logo on the Kroger Building, located at 1014 Vine Street.  Kenner was headquartered at the Kroger Building from 1976 until 1992, when they moved to 615 Elsinore Place in Cincinnati.

Kenner Character Map 1982

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