Friday, February 11, 2011

Marvel Secret Marketing campaign, Say Cheese!

This one was spotted in G.I. Joe, Real American Hero # 38, 1985. Who remembers Secret Wars? I know I do. It was a huge crossover event from Marvel comics that ran from May 1984 to April 1985. It was epic, it was...Marvels answer to DC's Crisis on Infinite Earths, wait that should be the other way around.  So the story involved all the major titles and in a nutshell saw the heroes being taken from Earth to "Battleworld" by this dude named The Beyonder! The Beyonder was some lame looking dude in a white seriously, just click on his name. On Battleworld they were given all sorts of cool alien weapons and told to fight all their enemies. One of the biggest developments to come from Secret Wars was Spider-Man's black suit, which in turn became one of his greatest enemies...Venom.

What I didn't realize was that the entire crossover was conceived in order to sell a series of toys. Here is what Jim Shooter, the writer of the series and Marvels

"Kenner had licensed the DC Heroes. Mattel had He-Man, but wanted to hedge in case Super Heroes became the next big fad. They were interested in Marvel's characters, but only if we staged a published event that would get a lot of attention, and they could build a theme around. Fans, especially young fans often suggested to me "one big story with all the heroes and all the villain in it", so I proposed that. It flew.

Mattel thought that kids responded so well to the word, "secret" so after a couple of working names bit the dust, we called the story Marvel Super Heroes Secret Wars"

I don't know why this is a surprise to me. I mean it was nothing new. G.I. Joe and Transformer comics were made to sell toys. Don't forget Rom or Micronauts. I guess the thing is when you are a kid you don't realize it. You thing everything is pure and good. Let me say that G.I. Joe was actually a pretty good comic, even today. I think we have Larry Hama to thank for that. 

Say Cheese!

1 comment:

  1. Recent article on Jim Shooters new blog about Secret Wars.


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