Author, historian and former comic book editor Michael Eury brings Captain Action to Geppi’s Entertainment Museum (GEM) in Baltimore’s historic Camden Yards sports complex for a signing on Saturday, August 15, 2009, from noon to 3:00 PM.
The event will mark the debut of the brand new edition of Eury’s critically acclaimed Captain Action: The Original Super-Hero Action Figure. In addition to the author, Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn, the owners of Captain Action Enterprises, will be in attendance for the signing.
The event will also kick off a special exhibit covering the history of Captain Action, from the first action figures in the 1960s to the latest merchandise (and everything in between). The exhibit will run from August 15 through October 13, 2009.
Published by TwoMorrows Publishing, Captain Action: The Original Super-Hero Action Figure chronicles the history of this quick-changing champion, including photos of virtually every Captain Action product ever released. This new, full-color, hardcover edition is due in stores on or about August 10.
The original superhero action figure first arrived on the scene in 1966 with the ability to change into a fantastic range of other incredible heroes, including Superman, Batman, Captain America, Spider-Man, the Lone Ranger, Buck Rogers, and the Green Hornet. He took on their costumes and personas and fought the forces of evil in their places. Produced by the Ideal Toy Company and developed by Stan Weston, who had been involved in the genesis of Hasbro’s G.I. Joe just two years before, Captain Action enjoyed a fairly brief shelf life. The last of Ideal’s original production runs ended in 1968.
In that short time, though, the 12-inch action figure had also doubled for Aquaman, Flash Gordon, the Phantom, Steve Canyon, Sgt. Fury, and Tonto. He had a sidekick, Action Boy (who became Superboy, Aqualad and Robin the Boy Wonder) and a blue-skinned, bug-eyed alien arch foe named Dr. Evil (obviously years before Austin Powers fought another Dr. Evil). There were playsets, vehicles, a headquarters, flicker rings, playing cards, a Ben Cooper Halloween costume, and a fondly remembered five-issue series from DC Comics that included contributions from such legends as Wally Wood, Jim Shooter, and Gil Kane.
As the years followed, Captain Action became the purview of the collecting community. A thriving secondary market developed and kept interest in the character alive within its ranks. In 1998, thirty years after the original production run ended, Playing Mantis brought Captain Action back to the world of new toys. Although their tenure with the toy line would also end after two years, it greatly fanned the flames of interest in the character and the original collectibles, and led eventually to the formation of Captain Action Enterprises, the present day owners of the intellectual property.
Geppi’s Entertainment Museum Address, 301 W Camden St, Baltimore, MD 21201