SUPERHERO MERCHANDISE was a mail order business run by Ivan Snyder that featured, as the name implies, super hero merchandise of all kinds. Snyder operated out of a storefront in New Jersey, which eventually transformed into the first of a series of HEROES WORLD comic book and merchandise stores in the late 1970s. Snyder had been involved in Marvel’s subscription business before striking out on his own, so he had relationships with a number of players at the Big Two. So this catalog was produced for him by moonlighting members of Marvel’s staff as well as a bunch of freelance artists. Later installments would be shipped out by Snyder to Joe Kubert’s school, which wasn’t far from the hub of Snyder’s operation. Once you were on SUPERHERO MERCHANDISE’s mailing list, it was impossible to get off, and copies of these catalogs showed up in your mailbox with frightening regularity. They were printed as comic books, on the same presses, and they promised all sorts of junky wonders to kids of the 1970s. So here’s the first catalog, with its vintage merchandise and vintage prices, which was released in 1976.
We’ll continue looking at this first Superhero Merchandise catalog in the weeks to come.