Just in time for Christmas, I've been unwrapping some great covers featuring some terrible toys. I only wish the Overstreet Guide would noted whenever these Misfit Toys Covers popped up. It would save me so much time. Here are some highlights featuring toys that will hopefully avoid your stocking.
Let's start with a real classic: Weird Mystery Tales #24. This series is probably the least well remembered of DCs Bronze Age horror anthologies, which is a shame because it is a lot of fun. Have you ever read a tag line that's better than "Death is a Wind Up Bear"? This is the final issue of the series and it can be a tough one to track down. Bill Draut is credited with the cover. He's a solid, if unspectacular journeyman artist who rose to the occasion here. OK, so there's no real indication of why that guy's on the ground in the first place, but there's not fun in sweating the details.
Misfit toys seem like a perfect fit for a Warren magazine. The cover to Creepy #63 by Ken Kelly does a good job of conveying the feeling of helplessness when under attack by army of 'Devil Dolls'. The look of sheer glee on some of the doll faces is particularly disturbing. I'm actually surprised that this theme didn't pop up on more Warren covers. This one really reminds me of an episode of the early 80s show The Darkroom. I'm sure there was one with toys attacking a man. Anyone remember that - or am I just dreaming?
Marvel Two-In-One #74 might be the last place you'd expect to find some misfit toys, but to be honest - some really nutty things happened to The Thing and partner in the pages this series. First of all, he's teamed up with the Puppet Master, and that just ain't right. The always underappreciated Frank Springer creates a very fun and chaotic cover. Say, is that one of those wind up bears from that other cover? How did he crossover into the Marvel Universe? It doesn't look like Ben Grimm is going to have a very fun Christmas. Hopefully, his Hanukkah was better.
Finally, I've picked one with a slight different vibe. Instead of an army of misfit toys, the cover to Ghost Manor #50 features one very tattered and very creepy, teddy bear. Although I'd have to dig through my old Charlton boxes to confirm it, I'd wager a guess that this cover is simply a reworking of the interior art (originally published in Ghost Manor #23) by Tom Sutton. The story is titled "Terrible Teddy". I just love it! If memory serves, Sutton hits a home run with this one. I'm sure the killer teddy has been used somewhere in TV before. Anyone remember?
So that's a quick look a cover from the Misfit Toys genre. If you've got any favourite - don't hesitate to share.