This is one of the only items on our Chronological Guide to Vintage Godzilla Items that I hadn't yet gotten round to featuring in a post...for some reason...but it's time to rectify that.  

For lots of kids, this was their first Godzilla toy, and/or even their introduction to Godzilla.  Technically, it's a "rack toy," a rubber monster with bendy wires inside to give it some posability, but can also count as an action figure (still a pretty new concept at that time):  it's even packaged in a bubble, on a card very close to the size of a Kenner Star Wars figure.  The "rack toy" status is revealed though, when you discover the back of the card is completely blank!

Speaking of the backing card, above is a good scan of one.  This one comes from an early example I owned that included the original bubble, and I was able to restore it a few years back to its natural glory (and sell it as recarded of course). I had a custom-made acrylic case built for my personal carded example, which was a good thing because apparently the prices for custom cases have gone through the roof in the last year:

This and the Shogun Warriors Godzilla are the two most iconic toys from the 1978 U.S. Godzilla merchandising boom.  We really wouldn't see another carded action-figure type Godzilla figure until 2021!


MONSTER GALLERY Coloring Book (Troubador Press, 1973)


Here is a little-known item that vintage monster fans should know about.  This is a coloring book from 1973, but don't let those words fool you.  This is not average-sized, dollar-store, pulpy kids' fare.  Instead, this is a higher-end piece, printed on heavy stock that could probably withstand nicer markers or even watercolors.  Also, it's really big:  9.75 by 12.5 inches! Inside are 15 portraits of classic vintage monsters, as well as full-page summaries of their stories.  

The illustrations are great, and obviously done (by Mark Savee) with knowledge of the subject matter.  They include lots of neat details, and often have intricate frame designs.  And, I should point out, aside from some brief copyright language by the publisher (which you can see above), there is no indication anywhere in the book that any of this was authorized at all or used with permission! And for the most part, they don't even try.  Which is good for us, of course!
The monsters included are The Fly, Frankenstein's Monster, The Mummy, Creature From the Black Lagoon, Hunchback of Notre Dame (I never understood lumping him in with classic monsters...oh dear, I just realized I said lumping...many apologies for that one), Godzilla, Cyclops (another strange choice), Werewolf, The Abominable Snowman, Mr. Hyde, Phantom of the Opera, a Morlock (again, random!), "Vampire," King Kong, and the Bride of Frankenstein.
I would imagine this book was sold in specialty stores and in the back of monster magazines, which kept it away from the more mainstream eyes.  A clean, uncolored copy today goes for around $100.  A copy with a colored-in page or two can be $50.  And now, the star of our show:
I think this is an interesting take on the big G; my problem with it is that the dorsal plates seem to turn into bumpy lumps the farther they go.  Close, but no cigar!  I must admit, I spent a bit of money on this post.  The book is far too big to scan, and if you were going to piecemeal it, who would buy a perfect copy just to disassemble it to fit it on a scanner, half at a time? So, I was determined it had to be photographed, which led me to constructing a sort of animation-stand type rig, where, using a tripod attachment that I purchased (which came with a handy remote), I was able to photograph all of the pages under a sheet of plexiglass.   It's not 100% perfect, but pretty close, and as scanned copies of this rare book don't appear to exist anywhere, I did the best I could.  That said, you can now download the whole thing in its entirety, preserved here for posterity! Enjoy!

ADDENDUM! Tonight I was watching a video on YouTube about a rip-off line of Mego-sized dolls from Tomland Toys called FAMOUS MONSTERS OF LEGEND that came out in the late 1970's (the cardback I saw was dated 1980)...suddenly it dawned on me where I'd seen the artwork before, for four of the figures. Take a look and see for yourself! This was a rip-off of 1)FAMOUS MONSTERS magazine, 2) several film franchises, and 3) the Monster Gallery coloring book, all at once!


Pac-Man and the Ghost Diggers (Book & Record, 1983)


Here is a book-and-record from the days when Pac-Man was EVERYWHERE. The Saturday morning cartoon opened up merchandising possibilities that the game alone really didn't allow for, in that it gave him an identity, a family, and a (somewhat ill-defined*) world to have adventures in, and this book follows that pretty well.

This read-along is unique for a couple of reasons.  First, it was available separately as a standalone with no record from Golden books.  I own a copy, but was unable to put my hands on it for this post.  It is basically identical, but does have an alternate title page (as was necessary).  Here it is (above) courtesy an Ebay auction.

Secondly, there are a few interactive mazes built into the story.  At first I thought this was strange, until I realized Pac-Man had quite an association with mazes (and then I felt dumb).  The record accommodates for this with some cool synthy techno-type music, giving the reader time to solve the maze.  (My copy has been completed in crayon.  I started to remove this, but when I got to the above page, where the kid sent Pac-Man right into the lion's mouth, it was just too funny.)
Kids! All your favorites are on KID STUFF! Such as "Nancy" and.......the Space Shuttle Columbia.  Also, "Marmaduke." No kid ever liked Marmaduke.

Included in the download is the audio, with the book scans in a separate ZIP.  The reason for this is, some folks use Comic Book Reader to advance the storybook while they listen (this works great and is a free program by the way).  If you prefer to do that, right-click on the book's ZIP file and rename it, changing "RAR" to "CBR," which will then allow it to magically work inside the software! Enjoy!

So, in the Ruby-Spears cartoon, Pac-Man lives in Pac-Land, and everything from garden animals to household tools is named so that "PAC" goes in front of it.  "Look out, it's a Pac-Snake!"  Pac-Man appears to be a simple citizen, but everything is named after him.  What's so special about him? Is he the deity of this world? Do the ghosts chomp the other, random citizens all day (I can't remember)? It seems like they would be low-hanging fruit, and ghost monsters HATE FRUIT.  Also, in this book we learn that Baby Pac-Man is a boy.  I always wondered about this.  He was obviously voiced by a woman, which supplemented my confusion about him as a child.  In the book he is referred to as "Baby Pac-Man," although if I remember right, in the cartoon he was usually called "Pac Baby."  I suppose if he were a girl, he would be "Baby Ms. Pac-Man"....I guess? Also, Pac-Land is full of annoying mazes.  They can't even get to the supermarket without having to enter the Maze of Despair or something.  Can't they just go around? Or over? It would seem like the general populace would vote to bulldoze all of the mazes, as they just bog down their daily lives, as well as get them chomped all the time (which, by the way, you simply recover from in the cartoon, so...big deal, anyway).


Chevrolet T-O-P Sales Training LPs (Jam Handy Organization, 1961)


Last weekend, at a flea market out of state, I pulled a dusty old 10-inch LP from a box of records.  It was in a tattered manila envelope, and included lots of paperwork.  When I examined it, I realized it was a vintage record for training Chevrolet salesmen, which immediately got me curious.  It was a couple of bucks, so why not? Near the back of the box was a second record from this same series, only by itself with no papers or sleeve...so I did what anyone else would do: I crammed it into the envelope and got two records for the price of one.

If the name "Jam Handy Organization" isn't familiar to you, it probably should be.  Handy was a medal-winning Olympic swimmer who began his own company for producing marketing/training films and other materials for large companies, as well as the U.S. government. In fact, you've probably run into some of these films through MST3K or Rifftrax.  And, who doesn't forget a name like "The Jam Handy Organization," anyway? I always thought it sounded like a guitar supply store ("Jam Handy to the rescue!").

Chevrolet "T-O-P" stood for "Trained Organization Program," and apparently somebody was dead set on having TOP as an acronym, because that doesn't make much grammatical sense.  They began producing filmstrip/record combinations through Jam Handy for training purposes in the 1950's (the earliest on Discogs are from 1955), and ran for several years (both examples here are from 1961).  I am guessing this was a monthly or bi-monthly thing, and that regular sales meetings after work consisted of watching them, lots of smoking, and then discussing thought-provoking, pre- supplied questions, just like school all over again (without so much smoking).  For one of our examples, we are lucky enough to have existing copies of both the script for the Meeting Leader, as well as a copy of the "Review Book" that was handed out to salesmen (both scanned and included here).  It was all this pristine paperwork (including six copies of the review books!) that really made me buy these records.

So here's what you get:  In "Best Foot Forward," a narrator tells us that this horseless carriage thing is probably going to work out, and that if you are a used car salesman, you should lie a lot always tell the customer lots of useful facts, and remind them how clean the car is.  If they ask questions, tell them the car is incredibly clean.  In "Stranger in Town," which is the disc that includes all the swell paperwork, a folksy, James Arness-sounding narrator reminds us that there are two kinds of people:  strangers we don't know, and people who have moved to town (or something like that).  Also, you can actually get new customers by not screwing up, doing things on time, and completely butting into people's personal affairs by telling them exactly how they should spend their day while you fix their cars.  For some reason, they also blatantly tell you to find as many things wrong with their cars as possible, in order to maximize profit.  Huh.  One thing that struck me--in light of the year we live in--was the story of how the entire repair shop should do backwards cartwheels in order to obtain parts to fix a car in the same day, making sure a rare motor was "on the 1:00 bus" so that it would be ready.  That one made me laugh out loud.

These are fun to listen to, either for useful samples, nostalgia, or just a crash-course in the then-new philosophy of Customer Service.  It's amazing to think that entire industries have built up around teaching this concept, and they all boil down to keeping your word, not screwing up, and not overcharging people.  It's really that simple, and yet I can't think of any large, brand-name companies that I deal with, or use their products, that I would use as shining examples of the art.  Something about the "human" part of "human nature" means it goes south every time, I guess.  Enjoy!

LINK:  "Best Foot Forward" and "Stranger In Town"

Scans included with download, but here's both sides of the Meeting Script, just for completeness: