Monday, January 30, 2017

Fun with Sixties Super-Heroes

In 1966 with the success of the "Batman" television show and the "Green Hornet" and the "Marvel Super Heroes" show, Button World put out several buttons of both the Marvel and DC characters. These buttons turned out to be highly collectible, even in 1966.  

The collection consists of 20 known buttons. 12 of them are numbered on the front (from #3-#16). Numbers 1, 2, 11, and 12 are missing. Research has uncovered a display card for the actual buttons. (see red display stand above picture). The card only advertises the first 10 Super Hero buttons, but you can clearly see that they included #11 as "Sad Sack" and #12 as "Casper." It may be that the #1 and #2 buttons were the "Superman Club" and the "Batman Society" pins. Button World did not have the rights to make the "Green Hornet" button which was neither a Marvel or DC character. They were sued by ABC TV (who ran the TV show), and that lawsuit put them right out of business. 

Finally, of note, four of the original Marvel buttons (Spider-Man, Thor, Submariner, and Daredevil) were considered to have inferior artwork. They were then revised by Marvel artists and reissued, which is why you have two different ones in this set. In the collecting world these revised buttons are considered more valuable than the original versions. One original button in its original poly bag and header card can sell for as much as $200 on eBay. This gives you an idea of their value.

The display stand is a fan's creation. Needing a way to show them off, he created the artwork for the top of the stand, using button artwork to keep the whole concept consistent. Later he found the artwork for the actual banner. He then used that to head a second stand. Using peg board metal posts, the buttons were hung as shown. Perhaps some sort of rack was originally used, as there were holes in the header cards for such a purpose.

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