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Following teaser promotion in Marvel comic books cover-dated November 1964, Marvel Comics introduced the company's in-house fan club, the Merry Marvel Marching Society, in its February 1965 comics, released in the fall of 1964. Generally abbreviated "M.M.M.S", the club offered readers a $1 membership kit that initially included a welcoming letter; a membership card; a one-sided, 33⅓ rpm record, "The Voices of Marvel"; a scratch pad; a sticker; a pinback button; and a certificate. The company offered permutations of this kit, plus additional promotional merchandise such as posters and sweatshirts, through comics cover-dated October 1969.
In those same October 1969 issues, Marvel announced in its promotional Bullpen Bulletins page that it had contracted with an unnamed "California executive" to create a new fan club, and that "the M.M.M.S. will be incorporated into a fabulous parent organization named Marvelmania International". The new company, the announcement continued, would be independent of Marvel. Marvel publisher Martin Goodman had felt that the M.M.M.S. was too expensive to maintain, despite Marvel editor Stan Lee arguing that the club was good public relations. Goodman's son, Chip Goodman, told Lee an executive from California would pay $10,000 to license every Marvel character and produce related merchandise, although Marvelmania employee Steve Sherman recalled in the early 2000s that he believed only $5,000 was ever paid.
The first of three Marvelmania membership kits was advertised in November and December 1969 comics, such as Fantastic Four #92-93. Marvelmania operated out of P.O. Box 718, Culver City, California 90230.
According to a biography in Mavelmania #1 (April 1970), company founder Don Wallace was born in Cleveland, Ohio, on July 27, 1940, with twin brother Ron. They and an older sister, Jerrie, grew up there and in Tallahassee, Florida, and St. Louis, Missouri, before the family settled in Los Angeles, California. Wallace spent three years in the U.S. Marines, where his service included judo instruction at Camp Pendleton in California. Working as "manufacturer's representative in a clothing business", he attended college at night and later entered law school. During this time he worked for the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, Juvenile Division, Vice Squad. He went on to form a company manufacturing "plastic advertising specialties" and another producing "three-dimensional photographs" before founding Marvelmania International. At the time of the biography, he was married to Jana Wallace and had a nine-month daughter, Desiree.
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Two membership kits followed the initial offering. Membership kit two was identical to the first but with the "Cap Goes Wild!" poster replaced by one of eight color Marvelmania posters (see below), randomly chosen, and a copy of Marvelmania Monthly Magazine #1 (April 1970).
The third and final membership kit contained a different membership card, a membership certificate, Marvelmania Magazine #3, Marvelmania Catalog #2, and six 8-inch (200 mm) × 11-inch, black-and-white "Marvel Art Masterpieces" pinups.
Additional Marvelmania merchandise included eight pinback buttons, depicting Captain America, Doctor Doom, the Fantastic Four, the Hulk, the Silver Surfer, Spider-Man, and the Sub-Mariner, all drawn by Jack Kirby; a 12-page "Marvelmania Comics Artist Inking And Coloring Kit" of black-and-white or blue-and-white preexisting images from Marvel Comics; a 12-page "Jack Kirby Portfolio"; and a seven-artist "Self-Portrait Kit" featuring 8½-inch × 11-inch (280 mm) card-stock self-portraits, plus signature characters, by John Buscema, Gene Colan, Jack Kirby, John Romita Sr., Marie Severin, Jim Steranko, and Herb Trimpe, with a biography on the reverse of each; a 29-page Spider-Man portfolio; a 27-page Daredevil portfolio; a 12-photograph "Bullpen Photo Portfolio"; two stationery kits; and six small, silver-colored plastic figurines called "Super-Hero Models" that were recast from the 1967 "Marx Super-Heroes" plastic figurines.