This is the debut of a brand-new feature called "Win What's Never Been Won." This is about looking back at the history of comic book contests and showing who the winners were of the various contests (if we can tell who the winners are - I don't think anyone will ever know who won that Clark Bar Superhero Sweepstakes from the late 1970s).
We begin with a contest that I featured in a Comic Book Legends Revealed many years ago, but it certainly belongs here, the iconic 1967 Revell comic book contest where the lucky winner could get a life-sized model of the Gemini capsule!
Revell, as you may or may not know, is a very prominent company in the world of model kits. They continue to be so to this day (here is their website), but especially during the 1950s and 1960s, you could barely pick up a comic book without finding an ad for a Revell model kit!
But what's the deal with the Gemini replica? Did they ever actually give this thing away?
Luckily for us, Mark Engblom, of the awesome website, Comics Coverage, got to the bottom of the story, getting a response from Ms. Joyce Collier of the Revell Sales Department, who noted that the campaign was the brainstorm of Howard Reider, the PR and Marketing Manager of Revell during the 1960s. She had a bunch of interesting info about the campaign, including:
To confirm for all, this was not a model. This was an actual replica that was produced by McDonald Douglas. The capsule had to be shipped via railroad direct to the museum. The prize was awarded via a sweepstakes type entry, in order to win; the winner had to agree that they would donate to a local museum for two reasons, (1) So that others may enjoy and (2) Because it had to be shipped via railroad direct to the donation site.
A little more trivia for you, the cost of building this kit was $5,000. In 1967 $5,000 was unheard for any type of prize. Plus the additional model kits that the kid won. At least the kid got to keep all the model kits as he watched his beloved capsule given away. There were numerous glitches along the way in production. At the last minute McDonald Douglas said they would not provide the capsule. However, after seeing all the press etc, they some how found a way to complete the project and deliver to the museum.
Here's a few shots of the exhibit in use at its current home, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry...
Be sure to read more from Ms. Collier's letter at Mark's website here.
So who actually WON the contest?