Thursday, February 2, 2012

ACK ACK ACK: The Art and Toys of Mars Attacks!

2012 marks the 50th Anniversary of the most mean spirited creation known to man. The 1962 Topps science fiction trading cards...Mars Attacks!

The full set can be viewed at retroCRUSH, but here are some of the most goretastic:

It's hard to believe that these cards came out in the early 60s. I don't think it would be possible to market such a thing to children now. Fox News would have a field day with this shit.

Most of us wouldn't have seen or heard of Mars Attacks if it wasn't for Tim Burton's movie of the same name!

Fresh off making Ed Wood (a true gateway for me getting into cheesy B movies) Burton made it his mission to capture the feel of a 60s drive-in sci-fi movie and succeeded in almost every way. Even if that idea went over the general public's head, the movie bombed big time at the box office. I think they were expecting the film to be in the same vein as ID:4. I always loved the fact that Burton was able to convince so many A-listers such as Jack Nicholson, Glenn Close, and Michael J. Fox to do this movie along with cult actors such as Pam Grier and Jim Brown! The casting was a stroke of genius. The only person that could have made things better would have been Christopher Walken!

I loved everything about the movie Mars Attacks when I was a kid, from the dead stuffed cat to the cameo by Tom Jones. Although, there really wasn't any movie merchandise except for a small toy line that was limited to only a few figures. At least they did one for the Martian Spy Girl played by Lisa Marie!

There was some regained interest in the cards after the movie was made. So, Topps went ahead and made a new comic book series based off the cards as a tie in to the movie. I don't know how many books were made, but here are the issues I have. I wish I could say that the stories and artwork inside were as half as good as these covers.

The special mail away issue, from Wizard Magazine.

The Certificate of Authenticity it came with, lol

Issue #1

Issue #2, featuring inter-species rape

Issue #3, Martians . . . They Taste Like Chicken!

Issue #4, poor little green guys :(

Issue #5, did Notre Dame really give them permission for this?

Issue #7, guess I never owned #6

A baseball special? . . . Let that sink in for a second.
In this game human heads are used for the balls and plates!

Now, there has been some Mars Attacks Model Sets and Busts over the years, but all of those are pretty pricey! One thing that I have seen pop up online, that I will hopefully get at the horror cons next month is this:
It's a Mars Attacks! Martian Pop Vinyl Figure. The company has put out many different horror/sci-fi related ones in the past, but this is my favorite!

To help celebrate the franchise's 50th anniversary Topps has partnered with a variety of companies for a merchandising campaign that will include comic books (via IDW Publishing), bobble heads and vinyl dolls (Funko), action figures and plush (Mezco Toyz), costumes (Incogneato), statues and busts (Quarantine Studio), electronics skins (Gelaskins) and a hardcover commemorative book (Abrams Books). Topps will also be issuing a special 50th Anniversary card set. It has been announced via the official Mars Attacks facebook page that the IDW comic book will launch an all-new Mars Attack universe with plans to expand into other mediums.

I hope you enjoyed this post. If you did don't worry, you're not a sick fuck. You are just a little ACK! ACK! ACK! before seeing someone ray-gunned to death!

- Tom Bryce

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