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darklord1967
Jun 30, '08, 6:37 PM
Several years ago, my good MEGO buddy Scott Arendson was kind, and generous enough to do me a HUGE favor:

You see, I wanted to create a nice, pristine repro box for my loose Mego BATCAVE PLAYSET, and I needed a decent looking original box specimen that I could scan into Photoshop. Scott came to my rescue.

He kindly packaged and mailed me his own MEGO Batcave Box (large version) so that I could perform the operation.

Considering its age, the box was in VERY nice condition, but it had the usual wear and roughness that is typical of toy packaging that was over 30 years old.

Anyhow, I scanned the box, mailed the original back to Scott, and stored away the digital files to work on later .

Well a couple of months ago I finally began the Photoshop restoration work… cleaning up all the nicks, gouges, image rubouts, etc. Some parts of the photo image were re-colored (Robin on the Batpole), or replaced altogether because of poor photography (MEGO Joker’s head replaced).

Of course being a customizer, I was simply incapable of restoring the look of this box without some MAJOR custom tweak. I just couldn’t help myself…

My main issue was with the artwork. I felt like the main Batman and Robin artwork needed A LOT of help, and some updating to make it a bit more polished.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/darklord1967/MEGO%20Bat-Toys/batcavesection1.jpg

Even as a kid, I never really understood why MEGO felt the need to make Batman’s tights so lavender in color in some of their packaging artwork. Additionally, his cape was virtually non-existent, and the utility belt was a bit messy in appearence. Most offensive of all was the goofy facial expression that the artist put on him… even if the eyes weren’t crooked… which they were! Full head replacement required there.

As for the Robin artwork, there were most certainly some detailing issues that needed to be addressed, and parts of his costume were colored incorrectly. He was also a bit “thick” in the way he was drawn, and needed to be slimmed a bit. But it was his original head / likeness that I did not care for. Again, a full head replacement required.

I decided I wanted the emblem on the Batsignal to be the more modern version, so that too was updated.



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/darklord1967/MEGO%20Bat-Toys/batcavesection3.jpg


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/darklord1967/MEGO%20Bat-Toys/BATCAVESECTION4.jpg



The small images of the villains were replaced with more modern more detailed artwork, properly de-resed to match the original box’s soft imagery.

I had a little fun replacing most of the written text on his box, including the copyright info, which now reads “DC Comics” rather than National Periodicals Publication (the way it originally did). And as usual, I added my little collector in-joke regarding age recommendation for the product.




http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v516/darklord1967/MEGO%20Bat-Toys/BATCAVEBOX.jpg

This image measures 26” X 16.5”. When laser printed, it will be carefully aligned and spray mounted onto the face of a custom-sized corrugated carboard box,.

Presto! Brand new custom Box for my MEGO Batcave!

GaryPlaysWithDolls
Jun 30, '08, 6:44 PM
That is cool! Man, I remember wanting that toy! Heck, you wouldn't even need the actual toy it would be cool to just have the box sitting on a shelf.

boss
Jun 30, '08, 8:12 PM
that looks nice. I think I would have stuck with the original Joker, Penguin and Riddler art. It seems more iconic. Or maybe it's just because I see the Pepsi glass versions everyday.

Bo8a_Fett
Jun 30, '08, 8:38 PM
thats nice...love it

Customslab
Jun 30, '08, 9:10 PM
very nice work

bobws
Jul 1, '08, 2:58 AM
My that is amazing work! i would have left the old joker though, the newer one is even less kid-friendly. but nice work!

thunderbolt
Jul 1, '08, 3:45 AM
Nice work, but I agree with the guys knocking the replacement ofthe arch foes art. The ones Mego used have a bit more charm to them.

ScottA
Jul 1, '08, 8:16 AM
Wow, I had forgotten I had done that. Nice work Roberto. I still want to see that custom batmobile.

SUP-Ronin
Jul 1, '08, 8:20 AM
Nice work. Should be a really cool and unique addition to your collection. It looks great.

REMOVED
Jul 1, '08, 9:57 AM
That's really cool. Thanks for sharing....:cool_y:

SoulSinger
Jul 1, '08, 9:59 AM
That rocks! Great job!

darklord1967
Jul 1, '08, 10:21 AM
:rolleyes_2:
that looks nice. I think I would have stuck with the original Joker, Penguin and Riddler art. It seems more iconic. Or maybe it's just because I see the Pepsi glass versions everyday.




My that is amazing work! i would have left the old joker though, the newer one is even less kid-friendly. but nice work!




Nice work, but I agree with the guys knocking the replacement ofthe arch foes art. The ones Mego used have a bit more charm to them.


I understand your stance on this, guys. Believe me I do. And when I began performing this restoration, it was initially my plan to NOT embellish or "upgrade" anything.

But then as I worked, and as my plan evolved, my viewpoint became one of bringing things into a modern era and addressing what MEGO would have likely done if they still existed into 2008.

It's the same two frames of thought that exist throughout the MEGO customizing community: Keeping it MEGO-esque and "cute" VERSUS upgrading it into something more modern but with a MEGO basis or foundation.

I even seriously considered Re-photograhing the Batcave Playset itself with MY OWN custom MEGO Batman Robin and Joker figures posed around it for use on this custom box.

Once again, it's it old "apples" versus "oranges" dillema.

Should villains be depicted as "child friendly" and cute in some instances? Well... Probably. Certainly the case could be made for that viewpoint on toy packaging that prominently shows a 4 year old playing.

However, as the text at the top of my custom box suggests, this product is "Recommended for Collectors over 18 years of age":wink:

And as a collector who is... somewhat older than 18, I prefer my comic book villains mean, nasty, and scary.:smile: Heck... I even perfer some of my HEROES that way.




Wow, I had forgotten I had done that. Nice work Roberto. I still want to see that custom batmobile.


Howdy Scott!! It's been a long time good buddy!! Too long!! We need to catch up big-time. Yup, you were my real hero on this one, and I wouldn't dream of posting this without giving you your props!

But, uh... Batmobile you say? Why... what Batmobile are you referring to??:rolleyes_2::smiley8:

Meule
Jul 1, '08, 10:38 AM
Pretty cool... I love it

ScottA
Jul 2, '08, 8:47 AM
:rolleyes_2:

Howdy Scott!! It's been a long time good buddy!! Too long!! We need to catch up big-time. Yup, you were my real hero on this one, and I wouldn't dream of posting this without giving you your props!

But, uh... Batmobile you say? Why... what Batmobile are you referring to??:rolleyes_2::smiley8:

Anytime. I actualy ran across the pics you sent me of your figures way bacj when. Still as impressive as the first time I saw them. Hopefully you've made progress on Catwoman and Batgirl.

Yea, you heard me - Batmobile :yeah::smiley1:

darklord1967
Jul 2, '08, 11:41 AM
Well ONE of those ladies is about a month away from being unveiled here at the museum. That much I can promise.

As for this... this BATMOBILE you keep mentioning, let me check my work bench. It's QUITE cluttered at the moment, but I DO think I see a LARGE black tail fin buried under there...:wink:

Megospidey
Jul 2, '08, 11:48 AM
Roberto - super fantastic work on this box! I'm not even a DC fan and I love what you've done!