On the heels of my last post, I wanted to finally open this Hasbro 9" Punisher I've had in my collection for 9 years. I started this blog just prior to finding it on eBay, the focus of my new hobby on action figures that resembled my childhood Mego dolls, Mattel's DC Retro-Action Series and ToyBiz's Famous Covers Series being two examples. Later, Figures Toy Co. would relaunch the craze for Mego-styled figures, in their own design reimagining, and using Mego molds outright. Then, seemingly out of nowhere, Marty Abrams relaunched Mego through an exclusive distribution deal with Target in 2018! While I've so far resisted buying any of the new 8" figures, I've purchased a few of the fantastic 14" line, of which I plan to buy more. Be sure to visit the online Mego Museum! I only had a handful of these 9" Hasbro figures from the mid-2000s, which were unique in design, and different than the earlier ToyBiz Marvel Famous Covers figures. Check out the video:
Like many of the early Marvel Legends action figures, these 9" Hasbro figures included a comic, this one a reprint of Amazing Spider-Man #129 from 1974, introducing Marvel's infamous antihero, The Punisher. In the middle of this comic is an advertisement for these "Signature Series" Spider-Man Orgins figures, featuring Green Goblin, Doc Ock, and two versions of Spider-Man. Hasbro would also release an Iron Spider, Daredevil and Captain America in this format. I've had the Spider-Man and Wolverine from this series for years, two favorite toys in my collection, and had a black suit Spider-Man at one time, as well as a Cyclops. If Hasbro were making theses today, after the Spider-Verse craze, we would have undoubtedly seen Spider-Gwen, Miles Morales, Prowler, and Spider-Man Noir among many others.
As a teenager at the end of the '80s, I got my hands on a copy of The Punisher, a graphic novel compiling the 1986 five issue run "Circle of Blood". Revered as the character's foray into success in a solo title and definitive Punisher story, this book blew my young mind and made me a fan. It was gritty, violent, and perhaps a little more than adult in nature than intended for kids. Written by author Steven Grant and illustrated by Mike Zeck. It is sometimes, and fairly, accused of being dated, but that's part of the fun for me now. More recently, I enjoyed Punisher in the 2012 Marvel NOW! relaunch of Thunderbolts, alongside Red Hulk, Agent Venom, Elektra, and Deadpool, but "Circle of Blood" will always be the impression branded on my imagination.
More Later- Make It FUN!