Collecting MAD Stuff
MAD COLLECTING, THE BASICS...
To collect MAD stuff, you have to be a part of an elite group of people who recognize the significance of one of the most influential magazine/comic book publications. For almost 50 years, MAD has helped paved the way for much of what we see on TV today, as well as define, both legally and artistically, the humor style known as SATIRE. There are relatively few MAD collectors competing for an even smaller amount of merchandise and collectibles. This is what makes the hobby difficult at times. This page will help new collectors understand the "basics" of collecting as they enter the hobby. The examples shown are from my collection, and represent just a fraction of the items "out there". So, if you are new to the hobby, get ready to empty the 401K and dive in! What, You Worry?
TYPES OF MAD STUFF
Collecting MAD stuff is interesting in that there are so many different "types" of MAD memorabilia to find. Some collect all type (like I do), while others specialize. Listed below are the various "categories" of MAD stuff.
The term PRE-MAD refers to the use of MAD's mascot Alfred E. Neuman before he was adopted as the MAD symbol. One of the first sightings of what many say was the prototype of Alfred E Neuman came early in the century. The controversial "medicine" ANTIKAMNIA used a picture of a young boy sporting a missing front tooth as one of it's logos. (CLICK HERE FOR THIS EXAMPLE). Later, the phrase "ME WORRY" came to be associated with another version of the toothless boy in ads and publications. To see more examples, click on the links below or click HERE for a complete list of pre-MAD items in my collection..
UNAUTHORIZED MAD STUFF
This term refers to Alfred E Neuman stuff released without the permission of the copyright holder, E.C. Publications. Over the years, there has been plenty of this stuff. Some people were caught soon after they began to make the stuff, others never got caught. It does lend itself to quite a neat bunch of collectibles. Shown below are some pre-Mad collectibles. Click on the listing to see a few examples.
EARLY GENUINE MAD ITEMS
These are undoubtedly the most collectible MAD items. They can vary in value, the most expensive and rare being the MAD straight jacket and t-shirt. Shown below are a few examples of early genuine MAD collectibles.
CERTIFIED MAD MERCHANDISE
This is the latest attempt to license the MAD, Alfred E Neuman and Spy vs Spy characters/logos to businesses that want to "cash in" on the MAD name. They carry the "CERTIFIED MAD" logo. Below are some examples.
- MAD OFFICE AND PROMOTIONAL STUFF
These are the items that were used either internally at MAD or for MAD promotions that did not involve the general public. Also included in this group of items are pieces that MAD used to promote sales of the magazine such as subscription cards and subscription bonuses.
MAD FOREIGN COLLECTIBLES
These items were released by foreign editions of MAD Magazine.
MAD PAPER COLLECTIBLES
This category includes non 3-D items and includes the actual MAD Magazines. Use the menu below for further breakdowns.
MAD Regular Issues
The basis of all Mad collecting. For a complete listing, visit the MAD COVER SITE. Rule of thumb is that unless the magazine is in fine or better shape, or a rare issue, these are the least valuable of Mad collectibles. Your goal is a complete run of regular issues.
The specials began appearing in the late 50s, and since then over 150 "specials" have appeared. Many had "bonus inserts", a valuable part of your special collection. To see a complete listing of Mad specials, click HERE.
A collector's NIGHTMARE! That's all I can say. Hundreds of paper back books have been released including many featuring the work of individual artists and writers. To make things worse, there have been tons of cover revisions, publishers and printings to deal with. As of this time, there is little reference in this Web Site for paper backs, although an attempt is being made to get this part of the site updated.