Department store catalogs primarily represent a thing of the past in this day and age having
been largely replaced via online retail websites. Back in the 80's department store catalogs
represented an extremely popular method of day-to-day and holiday shopping. Several department
stores offered Super Powers figures via catalogs, however the packaging method differed slightly
than those sold directly through retail outlets. Bagged figures, unused cardbacks, and the
corresponding mini-comic were shipped in brown mailer envelopes; no plastic bubble needed.
The Aquaman example showcased above represents one of these department store catalog offerings.
These carded & bagged Super Powers figures were supposedly offered in the Kenner employee
store in this fashion as well. Although I've seen these blisterless cardbacks referred to
as "proof cards" on occassion, I consider them strictly as unused cardbacks due to their direct retail
links. Proof cards on the other hand served specific industry-only functions (creation of carded
samples for example) and were never intended for release to consumers. Although unused cardbacks are
virtually identical in many instances to proof cards, the intent and purpose differ substantially. As
such, I believe the term "unused cardback" is best suited when describing the catalog mailer
Green Lantern, Aquaman, Lex Luthor, Brainiac, Joker, and Desaad represent the characters I've been
able to locate thus far in this format, but additional characters most likely
reside in other collectors' hands.
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