Category Archives: History

Video of Bibo!

We never even dared to dream that this video existed! Thanks to a comment on a previous post and some Chinese language Google searches, we have actual footage of Bibo in action on the show Flame Bathing Phoenix. Bibo happy. Bibo sad. Bibo’s bodily functions. It’s all there. We thought more explanation of Bibo might [...]

Interview with Kirk Demarais, Author of Life of the Party

S.S. Adams, now owned by Magic Makers, was the original American novelty company. For their 100th anniversary, they released a pictoral history of their products called, Life of the Party. Kirk Demarais, the author, agreed to answer a few of our questions. Kirk is not just an author, he’s also an ace designer and the blog-master [...]

The True Story of Zombie Jesus! (Even though you probably won’t believe it.)

The story of the Zombie Jesus is hotly debated by our customers. They accuse us of cleverly importing a Zombie Jesus and trying to market it as a production mistake. Even when we tell customers the truth, they tend not to believe us. So, I’m here to set the record straight. It was a mistake. [...]

Archie McPhee Catalog 56, 1997

Catalog 56 was our most controversial catalog ever. It marked our move from black and white on newsprint to beautiful color on glossy paper. Believe it or not, we lost customers over this! Or so they said, we got lots of letters from people who said they were giving up on us because we dared [...]

Archie McPhee Catalog 32, 1994

By 1994 Seattle had become a hip place. While most of this is because of the number of amazing bands on the Seattle scene and some amazing comic artists, we like to think that we helped a bit. This catalog cover featured our store staff and one of them (Pete on the far left) still [...]

Jesus Action Figure in the Weekly World News

Sure, we’ve been featured in the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, but for us the highlight of our mentions in the press came in 2002 when the now web-only Weekly World News called about the Jesus Action Figure. They were everything you would hope they would be. The woman who called had [...]

Martian Cuke – The Forgotten Cousin of the Martian Popping Thing

The Martian Popping Thing is one of our best sellers, why wouldn’t we want to replicate its success? Well, the 20 year old Martian Cuke from our archives pictured above was an attempt to do just that. We tried to make it look a little less phallic by coloring it green, but people still found [...]

The Worst Selling Item in Archie McPhee History – Jabba Jam

In the early 1990s, we found some musty boxes of Jabba the Hutts on the third floor of an open air parking garage in downtown Chicago. The guy offering them for sale also had all of the ex-Shah of Iran’s stained glass collection, but we weren’t big enough customers that he would even let us see [...]

Archie McPhee Catalog 18, 1990

Here’s another scanned catalog – Catalog 18 from 1990. This catalog featured the muddy black and white pictures and awesome writing our customers had come to expect. Also included was a statement of purpose that is as true now as it was then. Except for the part about robots, we now welcome our robot overlords. [...]

Archie McPhee’s Owner on NPR

Our owner Mark, discusses his book about the history of our company on NPR with Jeremy Richards! Click here to listen, Mark starts about 12 minutes in.