Monday, August 31, 2009

Disney Buys Marvel For $4 Billion

"Here comes the Spider-Mouse..."

From Yahoo! News --

LOS ANGELES – The Walt Disney Co. is punching its way into the universe of superheroes and their male fans with a deal announced Monday to acquire Marvel Entertainment Inc. for $4 billion, bringing characters such as Iron Man and Spider-Man into the family of Mickey Mouse and "Toy Story."

The surprise cash-and-stock deal sent Spidey senses tingling in the comic book world. It could lead to new rides, movies, action figures and other outlets for Marvel's 5,000 characters, although Marvel already was aggressively licensing its properties for such uses.
The deal won't have benefits right away, and Disney stock sank on the news. Disney expects a short-term profit hit, and Marvel characters from X-Men to Daredevil are locked up in deals with other movie studios and theme parks. But Disney's CEO, Robert Iger, promised an action-packed future.

"`Sparks will fly' is the expression that comes to mind," Iger told analysts.

Stan Lee, the 86-year-old co-creator of "Spider-Man" and many more of Marvel's most famous characters, said he was thrilled to be informed of the marriage Monday morning.

"I love both companies," he said. "From every point of view, this is a great match."

The deal is expected to close by the end of the year and marks Disney's biggest acquisition since it purchased Pixar Animation Studios Inc., the maker of "Up" and "Cars," for $7.4 billion in stock in 2006.

Marvel would follow another storied comic book publisher into the arms of a media conglomerate. DC Comics, the home of Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman, was bought by Warner Bros. — now part of Time Warner Inc. — in 1969.

Buying Marvel is meant to improve Disney's following among men and boys. Disney acknowledges it lost some of its footing with guys as it poured resources into female favorites such as "Hannah Montana" and the Jonas Brothers.

"Disney will have something guys grew up with and can experience with their kids, especially their sons," said Gareb Shamus, whose company Wizard Entertainment Group runs several of the Comic-Con conventions around the nation.

Marvel TV shows already account for 20 hours per week of programming on Disney's recently rebranded, boy-focused cable network, Disney XD, and that looks likely to increase, Iger said. The shows are "right in the wheelhouse for boys," he said.

There will be some lag before Marvel's trove of characters are fully developed at Disney, because of licensing deals Marvel has with other studios.

For example, Sony Corp.'s Columbia Pictures is developing the next three "Spider-Man" sequels, starting with "Spider-Man 4" set for a May 2011 release. News Corp.'s 20th Century Fox has the long-term movie rights to the "X-Men," "Fantastic Four," "Silver Surfer" and "Daredevil" franchises.

Both studios maintain those rights in perpetuity unless they fail to make more movies.

Separately, Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures has a five-picture distribution deal for Marvel-made movies, the first of which will be "Iron Man 2," set for release next May. Paramount said it expects to continue working with Marvel and Disney.

General Electric Co.'s Universal Studios has an attraction called Marvel Super Hero Island in Orlando, Fla., that will stay in existence as long as Universal wants to keep it there and follows the contract terms, Universal said.

Disney said it will honor and re-examine Marvel's licensing deals upon expiration and may extend the profitable ones. Iger noted that when it bought Pixar, that company also had third-party licensing agreements that eventually expired, allowing the companies to move forward together.

Despite beginning to make its own movies, starting with "Iron Man" last year, licensing remained a key driver of Marvel's $206 million in profit and $676 million in revenue last year. Iger said Disney could give Marvel broader global distribution and better relationships with retailers to sell Marvel products.

However, analyst David Joyce of Miller Tabak & Co. noted that the $4 billion offer was at "full price."

Marvel shareholders will receive $30 per share in cash, plus 0.745 Disney shares for every Marvel share they own. That values each Marvel share at $50, a 29 percent premium over Friday's closing stock price. The final ratio of cash and stock will be adjusted to ensure Disney stock makes up at least 40 percent of the final offer.

Marvel shares shot up $9.72, or 25 percent, to close at $48.37 on Monday. Disney shares fell 80 cents, or 3 percent, to $26.04.

Disney investors were probably unhappy that the deal will reduce earnings per share in the short term and might not turn positive until the company's 2012 fiscal year. Disney's earnings per share will drop partly because the company will issue 59 million new shares, and partly because Marvel plans to release two costly blockbusters, "Thor" and "The First Avenger: Captain America" in 2011. DVD sales of those films likely won't roll in until fiscal 2012.

Disney said the boards of both companies have approved the transaction, but it will require an antitrust review and the approval of Marvel shareholders.

If it works out, Marvel's chief executive, Isaac "Ike" Perlmutter, 66, will pocket a hefty payday. He snatched Marvel assets out of bankruptcy in 1998, in a deal that valued the company at around $450 million including debt, outmaneuvering investors Carl Icahn and Ronald Perelman. His 37 percent stake in Marvel is now worth about $1.5 billion.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Left Over Joe

I still have a few ads left over from GI Joe week. So here they are --

This one's from December 1964 --

This is my era of GI Joe, Adventure Team! Back in the day I had Eagle Eye and the Intruders and my brother had Bullet Man and Mike Power.

From August 1975 --

July 1976 --

August 1976 --

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I've Won A Major Award!

Well, it may not be "major", but it's still pretty cool.

I've been awarded the Honest Scrap Award by Max at The Drunken Severed Head blog. Thanks Max for the kind words about the Wonderful Wonderblog. I really appreciate it.

I'm not sure who originally started the Honest Scrap Award, but apparently it's been around for at least a year and has been passed around by blogs on several continents. The logo is a picture of an old chewing tobacco sign.

According to the rules of the award, I'm supposed to send it to 10 other blogs and list 10 true things about myself. That's gonna be tough. There are over 200 blogs in my blogroll and I like each one of them for different reasons. And I don't know if there are 10 things about me that anyone will find very interesting.

OK, so here are 10 blogs that I currently check out on a regular basis. Of course none of them are obligated to send this award on. This is really just a way to let others know about some other cool blogs. In alphabetical order --

Ernie (Not Bert)
Franklin Mint Blog
Geek Orthodox
Jon's Random Acts of Geekery
The Manchester Morgue
Monsterland Ohio
Music You (Possibly) Won't Hear Anyplace Else
Plaid Stallions
Ratchet's Hulk Collection
Vinnie Rattolle's

And here's 10 things about me you may or may not know --

1. I don't drive. I took driver's training and had my temps when I was in high school back in 1984. I just didn't care for it and never got a driver's license.
2. I met my wife through a personal ad I placed in a local singles paper in 1996. We married in 1998. She was the only one that answered my ad, so I had to marry her.
3. I like mushrooms. On pizza, in pasta, on my salad. They're my favorite fungus.
4. People don't like to play Trivial Pursuit with me. My brain is filled with tons of useless knowledge.
5. I make scrapbooks. There's nothing I enjoy more than going to the local scrapbook store on "crop night" and scrapping with the ladies.
6. I like to listen to movie soundtracks. When I was a kid I had the records of Star Wars, Superman: The Movie, CE3K, The Muppet Movie and others. I would listen to them along with my KISS records.
7. I've lived in Akron, OH my whole life, except for one year I lived in Kent with some friends.
8. I had perfect attendance my senior year of high school.
9. I played Dungeons & Dragons through most of the 80s with my brother and friends. My favorite characters were Brister Firethorn (a dwarf fighter) and Spry Brusque ( a human thief).
10. I blame my warped mind on my parents. They took me and my brother to age inappropriate movies when we were kids. We saw movies like Blazing Saddles and Andy Warhol's Frankenstein.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Halloween Countdown 2009

It's hard to believe that the Halloween Countdown begins in less than two months.

The Halloween Countdown features a ton of blogs that post Halloween related posts every day in the month of October. You may find pictures of old costumes, music, toys, decorations, candy and a whole lot more. Last year over 70 blogs participated, this year will probably be even bigger. I've been doing it for the last couple of years, although I usually miss a few days. I need to be more organized. Maybe if I start planning now, I'll have enough stuff to post in October.

If you have a blog or have participated in the Countdown before, please let John Rozum know at his blog here.

Sunday, August 09, 2009

GI Joe - Now In Color!

Here's some classic GI Joe ads in color. From March/April, May and June 1967.

And here's the 1967 TV commercial for the 'Capture Hill 79' promotion.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Andy & George Strike Back!

I think these are the last of the Andy & George ads. From October, November, December 1966 and January 1967. Is everyone enjoying these ads?

A special shout-out to my brother for finding these ads. Thanks bro.

Here's another classic Joe commercial. I sure would like to hear that record.

Friday, August 07, 2009

Have You Heard The Big News About GI Joe

Have you had enough of the ads yet? Don't worry, there's more to come.

From December 1965, January, February and March 1966.

And now for something a little different. Here's the beginning of the 80s cartoon --

Thursday, August 06, 2009

The Continuing Adventures of Andy and George!

These ads are from June, July, August and September 1966. Enjoy.

Here's a 1960s commercial. Wouldn't it be cool to have all of this stuff?

GI Joe on Amazon --

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Fighting Man From Head To Toe...

Three more vintage GI Joe comic book ads. These are from April, July and November 1965, respectively.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

The Adventures of Andy and George

The Adventures of Andy and George In the GI Joe Club.

These ads appeared in DC Comics in April and May of 1966.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Showcase Presents GI Joe

In honor of the new movie coming out this Friday, it's GI Joe Week at the Wonderful Wonderblog. I'll be posting some vintage comic book covers and ads.

First up is DC Comics Showcase Presents #53. Dated Dec. 1964. Cover by Joe Kubert.

Showcase Presents #54. Dated Feb. 1965. Cover again by Joe Kubert.

This ad appeares in issue 54.