Spidey B.C. (Before Comics)

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After the TV show, my next encounter with Spidey came in toy form—specifically the Ben Cooper “Wiggler Jiggler.” This was a rubber figure with a loop of string attached to the head. It was a fairly cheap construction, and before long the figure started to break at the neck. (I think my father cut the string off at that point in order to extend the toy’s lifespan.) Here’s an ad for the toy (versions of Superman and Batman also available, as you can see), courtesy of plaidstallions.com:

jiggler ad

Notice the copyright dates of 1973/1974—that jibes with my memory pretty well.

I’m pretty sure I saw the Spidey cartoon before getting this toy, because if I had gotten the toy first, it may very well have scared me off Spider-Man forever, as the toy was kinda disturbing. The following images courtesy of bigislandtoys.com/ Dave Mamer:

jiggler1

IF

IF

Those lil’ bitty irises they put in Spidey’s eye pieces look way weird; kinda spooky actually. Even as a toddler I remember hating them. But since this was a Spider-Man toy, a character that had already captivated me, I was willing to live with it.

The other toy I vividly recall from this period was the Spider-Man Colorforms set.

colorform1

colorform2

Do they even make Colorforms anymore? Quickly, Robin—to the wikimobile!

…Okay, so apparently they do. Seventy-five products in current distribution, according to wiki, which is shocking to me as I can’t remember the last time I saw a set.

In any case, I loved this playset. I think I bought it a couple different times over the course of my childhood, either because I lost a bunch of the pieces, or the pieces simply didn’t age well. (As I recall, the pieces would slowly dry out over time and no longer stick to the background.) Also, as you can see, several of the poses are lifted straight from the comics—including the Spidey cornerbox pose at the time.

The specific set pictured was purchased off ebay several years ago. It’s beat to hell, but by God it’s complete!

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