FW PRESENTS: DC & MARVEL SLURPEE CUPS
Rob welcomes 13thDimension.com's Dan Greenfield to talk about the DC & Marvel line of Slurpee cups from the 1970s! Pour yourself a Slurpee and give a listen!
Check out images from this podcast by clicking here!
- DAN GREENFIELD - http://13thdimension.com/
- THE DORK REVIEW Slurpee Checklist - http://thedorkreview.blogspot.com/2010/09/1970s-7-11-slurpee-comic-checklist-for.html
- E-MAIL - email@example.com
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12 responses to “FW Presents: DC & Marvel Slurpee Cups”
Another excellent program! In 1975 my family moved half a block from a 7-11 and as a latchkey child I stopped there pretty much every day after school for 11 years. I often tell people that i was raised in a 7-11, and my mom really hates that. I never saw the pre-75 Slurpee cups, but I had a bunch of those cups back then. It seems like I always got the Stan Lee cup.
7-11 never opened in my hometown until the spring of 1975, so I missed the DC cups, but would have killed for that Vigilante cup. But being 1975, meant I was in line for the Marvel cups late that summer. You mentioned other cup lines, like the pop music cups, so I wanted to tell you about a line that was out earlier that spring JUST BEFORE the Marvel cups. Of course I was a comic guy, but I loved history – particularly Old West history.
And yes, that year, they had a line of — wait for it — Old West Slurpee cups! You could get a cup with artistic renderings of wild west figures created from photographs. Billy the Kid, Buffalo Bill, Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Butch Cassidy, Sundance Kid, Davey Crockett, Jesse James, etc. along with a short bio on the back. What’s more, the story was inclusive – along with all of the gunfighters, they probably had around a third of them were native Americans, like Geronimo and Sitting Bull, but also some onscure figures such as Sequoyah, who created the first Cherokee language newspaper. There were also women – Calamity Jane, Annie Oakley, and some others. I have no idea who solicited these cups, did the artwork or research, but they were really well done. They did a lot to spur my interest, and guess what I do today? I’m a historian. And one of the characters I was pleased to research and see my name in publication for? The Sundance Kid – because of this cup, I learned that he had spent time in southern Alberta, and I could share what I learned with American authors.
But then one day, I went in to the store, and guess what? My Old West cups were gone, and the display rack full of these very dynamic Marvel figures. I too, was impressed by the deep dive. I had the Red Sonja cup, and I can recall my adult brother looking at it- now that I think of it – rather disturbingly! But like the other cups, the Marvel line caused me to do research, and discover Luke Cage, Kull, Killraven, the Inhumans, and so many others.
At least the Old West and Marvel cups found one common thread – the Night RIder cups.
Thanks, Rob for this show — and thank 7-11 for a summer that may have fattened me up, while planting seeds for a fertile mind.
Really enjoyed the show, Rob and Dan.
When I discovered these at 7-11, it was already deep in the Marvel era – I never even knew there were DC variants until the dawn of the internet, when I saw other comics fans mention them. I only had a few, and the only one I clearly remember is the Sub-mariner cup; I never treated those as something to collect – i.e., I never put them on my shelf after draining the original Slurpee. I drank juice out of them, and when I stopped using them, other members of the household put them to use. The Sub-mariner cup held pens and pencils next to the telephone, and another one, the art on it almost entirely worn off, ended up in my dad’s workshop (he was a self-employed machinist for a time), holding drill bits.
Looking over them now, I think the only one of those I’d want now is Super Stan, just for the weirdness of it.
Also, I just can’t let this go. I have to tell Dan who Clea and Thundra are:
Clea is a scientific genius who was Reed/Mr. Fantastic’s college sweetheart and then, briefly, first wife. Their romance fizzled and the marriage dissolved when Reed couldn’t take any more of her obsession with finding a formula to halt aging (the experiments actually led to her hair becoming prematurely white). She eventually made some sort of electrical bodysuit that did slow the aging process. She appeared in some issues of FF when Reed needed her expertise, and she and Sue always gave each other icy stares and traded snide remarks.
Thundra is Thor’s half-sister (although which parent they shared was never made clear, probably Odin, though). She had about half of Thor’s strength and she could shoot thunderbolts. At one point, she was captured and enslaved by the Frost Giants, so Thor went to rescue her. She decided to keep carrying around the chain that had bound her and use it as a weapon (usually charging it with her electrical powers).
I have a similar background with 7-11 Rob. It was at the bottom of my neighborhood, within walking distance of home (and school bus stops!). It was where I bought comics. It was where I bought slim jims and cheetos on saturdays before the local ‘creature double feature’ of kaiju movies on UHF.
I was a toddler when these came out but I’m the youngest of 5 so an older sib must have got one at some point. The Luthor cup was in our garage and had loose screw/nuts/washers in it.
I’d love almost any of the Marvel ones, as you say they were beautiful. But I’d still love a Supergirl one for my collection. That was the standard stock art for here then, currently on the Toon Tumbler.
I really enjoyed this episode. Where I grew up, our version of 7-11 was Majic Market where, sadly, I did not see these cups, oh how I would have snapped them up
In ’78 or so, I got a Slurpee or Icee or something in a beautiful Fantastic Four glass that featured a wraparound scene with Dr Doom and a castle. It was glass not plastic and with beautiful color. Lost it over the years, I would love to have it now, along with my old Archie glass from Welch’s grape jelly!
Does anyone know if this was part of a series? Hey, maybe that could be a follow-up episode!
Thanks for another great episode! I have gone from listener of Pod Dylan and TreaduryCast to avid follower of the whole network and fans of the who!e crew, Rob, Tracey, Shag, the Franklins, Ryan, Xum, and your great guests, thanks for all you do
Just curious…. If a similar promotion were to be done now, who should be included among the 60 DC Slurpee cups?
I’d imagine there would be more representation of Supergirl, Flash, Green Arrow, Firestorm, Atom, and Vixen because of the live-action TV shows. Maybe Teen Titans and JLA because of the cartoons. Probably some Harley Quinn and Joker. Not a lot of room for supporting characters…
As we talked about on the show, no one does merch tie-ins to comics anymore, so if 711 or a similar national chain did another line of cups, it would be around a movie or TV show. Thought I *could* picture Batman being popular enough to spawn a line of cups, and there are enough characters to fill out a line:
Ra’s Al Ghul
…and that’s just characters from the movies!
Great show fellas. I enjoyed Dan’s retrospective a few months back as well. We never had (and still don’t have) 7-11 stores in my area, so while I had Icees and Slush Puppies ad nauseum as a kid, I have never tasted the frosty bliss of a Slurpee.
But I have seen these cups in my travels, and have been very tempted. And yes, the Marvel ones are FAR superior to the DC editions. These DC cups seem to come from the same Junior Woodchuck who picked the old art for use in the DC 100 Page Specatulars and the Treasuries of the time. Despite having Carmine Infantino, one of comics’ best designers in charge, DC from the later part of the early 70s through the middle of the decade really took a beating from Marvel in overall presentation and slickness.
Of course DC leapfrogged past them when they got JLGL (PBHN) to do their style guide art in 1982, which is still in use today! But as much as I love that artwork, I miss the chance for eclectic throwbacks like we see on these cups. But going THAT far back was a bit…odd. Jack Kirby couldn’t draw Superman’s face anywhere, but they’d go to a Sheldon Moldoff in Bob Kane mode for a drawing for Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson?
Fun, fun show guys!!!
Like Chris, I grew up in a world with Slush Puppies, rather than Slurpees. So, I missed out on these cool cups. My parents can be grateful for that fact, because I would have hounded them for these.
I remember the Marvel cups back in the day. The kids in my neighborhood were crazy for the Nighthawk one. None of us had seen any comics with him, just hooked by the art and description on the cup. That’s salesmanship right there!
We also had 4 glasses from Arby’s(?) with Batman. They’re somewhere in my mom’s house. I need to find them someday soon.
Excellent show, Rob and Dan!
I am a big fan of these podcasts since I grew up in the 1970’s in Warminster, Pa and even vacationed every summer in the Poconos, so I can completely relate to Rob. This episode was the one I have been waiting for. The Superhero Slurpee cups were a huge part of my childhood. I would spend my summer days riding my Schwinn Orange Crate to the K-Mart parking lot and scouring the ground for loose change. Once I had enough(sometimes it would take days), I would ride to 7-11 for a Slurpee and a comic book(I would always go for any team based book or team-up- anything to get more heroes for my money!)
The thing with our local 7-11 was you didn’t get to choose what cup. They were kept in a cup dispenser behind the counter and your cup was left to the gods of fate. I remember not loving the DC cups since I tended to get Alfred A LOT! The Marvel cups blew my mind as a kid, there just wasn’t anything as cool as those bright heroes in their Mighty Marvel Action Poses. I even loved the talking heads on the back of the cups.
In the recent years, I have set out to full fill my childhood dream of getting a complete set. I am not too far away from realizing that.
Thanks again for another entertaining podcast!
Loved this episode!! I’ve never lived near a 7-11, so I don’t even know how to spell “Slurpee” (as Rob can attest). However, your tales of getting the cups in your youth and describing the individual cups was fascinating!
One thought that occurred to me during this episode is regarding DC’s lack of salesmanship with these cups. As you described, Marvel went all out on the art. DC used questionable stock art. You also talked a lot about kids who loved comics trying to get these cups. Well, let’s flip that around. Given the distribution figures of comics in the 1970s compared to the number of Slurpee’s sold, wasn’t this really more of a boost for the comic companies than 7-11? Seems to me that more Slurpees were probably being sold, therefore, this was a chance for the comic companies to promote their characters and convince a kid to go out there and try their comics. Marvel capitalized on the opportunity, while DC only went halfway.
I postulate that these Slurpee cups caused the downfall of DC in the late Bronze Age, in comparison to the rise in Marvel. Yup. Not the quality of comics… it’s all about the Slurpee!!! 🙂