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Marvel World Adventure Playset

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Last time we reached a mighty milestone for this blog, with the final text in the original list of Dcotor Doom appearances during 'The Marvel Age'. For my purposes this includes any comic with a cover date from November 1961 when the first issue of "Fantastic Four" came out, to October 1987 i.e. the last month to have Jim Shooter credited as "Editor-in-Chief" throughout Marvel's comics. It also includes other narrative-based texts, such as radio shows or cartoons, that came out between the dates those particular comics were published, so around August 1961 to July 1987. If you want more information about how this was all worked out, you can find it in the FAQ!

It's taken about four years to go through all of these texts, and along the way I've found additional items that weren't part of my additional list. A big addition early on was the string of Doom appearances in Not Brand Echh - these were discovered quite near the start, so I was able to add them to the database and do them as recap without spoiling the flow too much. Other items, however, turned up much later in the process, so I've been saving them up to do all together as a sort of Addenda section.

The first such item is this wonderful playset, made out of cardboard, which you took out of the box, assembled, and then, well, played with! Unlike most of the other texts discussed so far, I've not been able to get a copy of this as they're quite rare and so quite expensive! Indeed, most of the articles I've read about it spend quite a long time saying how difficult they were to get hold of, and also how much the author had always wanted to own one. They do look amazing - it feels like a similar sort of long-held desire that people of my generation had (and sometimes still have) for the idea of owning one of those Millenium Falcon toys to put your action figures in. Just looking at it now, I WANT one!

This playset is very much the same idea, and it looks like it was great. Reading the reviews on Sanctum Sanctorum Comix and 13th Dimension, it's delightful to see how impressed the authors were with the actual toys. They may be made of cardboard but clearly some thought and care went into their design.

Both those pages have small images of the Doctor Doom figure included, which appears to be the classic John Buscema folded arm pose. There are thirty characters altogether, including some very mid-70s ones like Valkyrie, Luke Cage and Shang Chi, and Doom is one of eight villains. Most of the others are Spider-man villains, which I guess is because they're most recognisable, and Doom himself had by this point appeared in several Spidey cartoons too.

Indeed, Doom's appearance here is another example of his transtextual nature, being able to combine with any of the other characters in this set, as well as any of the other locations. The main "buildings" here are The Baxter Building, The Daily Bugle, The Sanctum Sanctorum, and Peter Parker's house and, with the excpetion of the last one, we've seen Doom interact with all of these.

Having said all of the above, this playset does not have its own in-built narrative, only the potential of the ones which the kids who owned it would make up for themselves, so like the Doctor Doom Slurpee Cup or the Doctor Doom Mask it wouldn't have been included in my main analysis, and that's a terrible shame. Now I've read so much about it, I really want the excuse to buy one!

link to information about this issue

posted 17/9/2021 by Mark Hibbett

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DOOMBOT FILTER: an animal that says 'woof' (3)

(e.g. for an animal that says 'cluck' type 'hen')

A process blog about Doctor Doom in The Marvel Age written by Mark Hibbett