SHAZAM! Dig These 13 Fantastic Vintage CAPTAIN MARVEL Toys

TOYHEM! The swag from when Captain Marvel was at his most popular…

Welcome to TOYHEM! For the fifth straight holiday season, we’re bringing you a series of features and columns celebrating the toys of our youth, which often made for the best memories this time of year. Click here to check out the complete index of stories — and have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays! — Dan


The 1940s was a great time to be a superhero fan, especially if your favorite was the World’s Mightiest Mortal, Captain Marvel!

With the success of Fawcett Publications’ Big Red Cheese, the publisher capitalized by licensing a flurry of products and initiatives, from a club to toys and even clothing. Holiday gifts didn’t always mean just playthings — during the mid-1960s Batman craze, you could get a Batman t-shirt or hat as a gift.

With that in mind, I may well be stretching things, but here are 13 CAPTAIN MARVEL HOLIDAY GIFTS I would have loved had I been born a couple of decades earlier. And a few of them were pretty inexpensive for the time!

When I was a kid, whistles were a big deal (not so much for tired parents, however). I don’t know how magical this whistle was, but Fawcett was awesome at putting great images of Cap on these products.

OK, this is definitely not a toy, but boy would it have made a great gift! I’ve always loved character clubs! It’s hard to describe the joy of getting a newsletter in the mail from your favorite hero! With Captain Marvel’s Club, it just kept on giving as Fawcett sent out lots of newsletters.

With Captain Marvel hawking other titles, Fawcett-adjacent magazines like Mechanix Illustrated, or clothing items like suspenders and dresses, who wouldn’t beg their parents for a trip to J.C. Penney?

I don’t know how long this felt cap would have lasted before it was destroyed or became filthy dirty, but what a cool way to display one’s affection for the Big Red Cheese!

I absolutely adore this shirt– from the collar and cuffs to the shoulder patches and uniform-style buttoning as well as the buttons! Why can’t we have nice things like this today?!?

When I was a kid, I played with banks. While they didn’t contain much money, I was fun trying to figure out how to open them! I don’t know how I’d fare with this colorful one with the image of Cap flying with fistfuls of cash (perhaps he was a doppelganger for the Fawcett execs) but I know I’d be impatient to wait 50 days before being able to open it up! And with kids dropping a dime in this thing every day, how were they going to buy their favorite Fawcett comics?

Can you imagine having one of these capes? Holy Moley, I would have begged and begged for this! My only issue is the pensive image of Captain Marvel. I hated items that had branding on them as they destroyed the illusion of authenticity! However, I don’t know if you can see it but it contains a warning that reads “Play Cape—Does Not Possess Superhuman Powers.”

Oh, man! This stuffed toy is marvelous and mostly spot on! I would have played and played with this, which most likely would have demanded that my mother resew the splits!

Here’s another Captain Marvel noise maker! The siren itself, has very little to identify it as a Captain Marvel item but that placard would have drawn me right in and I’m sure I would have been delighted to get one of these as a present.

If I’d gotten one of these as a present, I’d have wanted to get back to school as soon as possible — and you better believe there would have been some Marvel Family comics stashed inside!

This would have been a perfect gift for church later in the morning! Surely, God would have been fine with a marvelous tie like this, as Cap got one of his powers from Solomon! I just don’t know if I would have been able to get my mom to adhere the patch to my blazer!

Watches were a big deal when I was a kid. I remember having both the 007 watch and the 1966 Batman watch, so this would have been right up my alley!

I dig these wind-up racers! They claim to be steerable (I don’t know how) and there’s a rumor that if you took one apart there’d be a Captain Marvel driver inside… but never mind that, I love the logo. On the other side is an image of a flying Captain Marvel!

And here’s yet another noise maker! But this time with true Captain Marvel branding! And it’s perfect for hiding in your pocket for school!


— The Complete TOYHEM INDEX of Stories and Features. Click here.

— SHAZAM! It’s the World’s Mightiest Plush Toy. Click here.

A 10-year-old Walt Grogan fell in love with the Big Red Cheese thanks to essays written by Dick Lupoff and Don Thompson in the paperback edition of All in Color for a Dime, released in 1970 and bought for him by his father off a paperback spinner rack in a liquor store on the South Side of Chicago. Walt runs The Marvel Family Web Facebook page devoted to all incarnations of the Fawcett/DC Captain Marvel and blogs about Captain Marvel at

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. What a gorgeous assortment of items, Walt. I think this really hammers home the fact that Cap was pretty damn popular back in the day, maybe far more than anyone today really realizes.

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  2. Wow! These are great Walt! Some of these are new to me, and every one of them is really stunning! It’s amazing to think how huge Captain Marvel was in his 40s heyday.

    Several years after both my grandfather and my mother had passed away, we found a Mary Marvel watch in his tool shed. We assume that the watch belonged to my mother, and my grandfather took it to his shed to try to fix it at some point, but never did. I still have the watch, and it’s one of my most prized collectibles because of that.

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  3. Yeah, that’s some great stuff. Did anyone ever make a Billy Batson shirt ?

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  4. If anyone in the world was to do a list like this, it has to be Walt! Superb!

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  5. Thanks, all! It was fun to do! Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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  6. What a fantastic collection.

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