March 2019 Update

bayport beat
Welcome to the March edition of The Hardy Boys News with a look at upcoming releases and the book of the month, “The Mystery Of The Flying Express”.

New This Month

Clue Book 4 in 1Clue Book 4 in 1 – 03/19
For Sale: Hardcover

Illustrated by Matt David

Join detective brothers Frank and Joe as they solve exciting mysteries with four books in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series, now available in a special bind-up edition!

Get to the bottom of Bayport’s biggest mysteries with expert kid detectives, Frank and Joe Hardy! Follow the clues to find the totally awesome—and mysteriously missing—video game system, figure out what happened to their baseball team’s top-secret playbook, track down Joe’s water-skis, and uncover the talent show prankster with four books in the fun and engaging Hardy Boys Clue Book mystery series!

This bind-up edition includes The Video Game Bandit, The Missing Playbook, Water-Ski Wipeout, and Talent Show Tricks.

coming soon

Clue Book #89: Who Let The Frogs Out? – 04/19
For Sale: Paperback – Hardcover
Illustrated by Santy Gutierrez

Detective brothers Frank and Joe must solve a muddy mystery in the ninth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series.
Bayport Elementary is hosting a Mud Run to celebrate spring! A particularly muddy part of the town’s park will be set aside for the race and Coach Lambert has even managed to make more mud by using the park’s hoses and shovels. Frank and Joe can’t wait to splash through the muck.
But on the day of the race, the runners are stopped in their tracks by croaking, blurping bullfrogs! Lots of people in the town had been annoyed that the park was being taken over by a bunch of muddy kids. Could someone have sabotaged the race with buckets of frogs?

Hardy Boys Adventures #1819: Dungeons & Detectives – 10/19
For Sale: Paperback – Hardcover
Brother detectives Frank and Joe search a hidden castle for clues to help them find a missing comic book in the nineteenth book in the thrilling Hardy Boys Adventures series.
Frank and Joe have been hanging out at Sir Robert’s Comic Kingdom, the local comic and gaming shop, and got the exclusive invite to this year’s Halloween costume ball at Bayport’s one and only castle. Sir Robert plans to use the big event to unveil his most prized possession, a super rare comic that is rumored to contain a map to buried treasure.
Sir Robert agrees to show his store regulars-who now include Frank and Joe-a sneak preview of the comic before the party. But when he goes to unlock the fireproof casing, he finds the book is gone.
It will take all of Frank and Joe’s recently acquired LARPing skills to solve this case. Anything can happen in a castle full of dungeons and deception. Can the Hardy boys keep up?

Clue Book #910: The Great Pumpkin Smash – 09/19
For Sale: Paperback – Hardcover
Illustrated by Santy Gutierrez
Detective brothers Frank and Joe investigate a crime of smashin’ in the tenth book in the interactive Hardy Boys Clue Book series.
Frank, Joe, and their best friend Chet are attending Bayport Zoo’s annual Halloween carnival. Frank and Joe have a routine planned for Scaryoke, and Chet has entered the pumpkin pie-eating contest-he even brought his own whipped cream!
After their performance, Frank and Joe go to check out the painted pumpkins on display. But when the brothers enter the tent, they see their Scaryoke song wasn’t the only smash hit at the carnival. The floor is littered with bits of pulverized pumpkins! What’s worse, the organizer says that unless the culprits are caught by the end of the day, this will be the last Boo at the Zoo.forever!
Can Frank and Joe find out what happened before it’s too late? Or is this pumpkin crime unpatchable?


Kenner Hardy Boys Dolls Used As Prototypes For Star Wars Figures
I got this information and scans from “Vic”, a Star Wars collector who wishes to remain anonymous.
    I recently purchased a collection of Kenner prototypes that included some unique Hardy Boys items. Specifically, I have four Hardy Boys action figure (doll) head prototypes – three Joes and a Frank. The Frank piece has a tenuous connection to Star Wars (more about that at the end).
I’m not sure how much you might know about the processes used to create toys like this, but a brief summary is needed to explain these pieces.
First, a sculptor creates a head in a relatively soft material such as wax, this is referred to as the sculpt. A silicon mold is made of the sculpt, and the mold is filled with a hard material to create what’s known as a hardcopy. (A soft material is good for sculpting, but the actual tools for making the toys have to made from hard materials.) One of these hardcopies is then used to create the actual tooling for the production figures.
There are a few other important details to note – for example, if the sculptor wants to make an experimental change to his sculpt, he might create a wax casting so that he can modify that without destroying his original, in case he’s not satisfied with the revision.
Also, extra hardcopies are made for purposes other than tooling. Often, hardcopies are used in catalog photography and licensing approvals, and some hardcopies are painted by hand to test and finalize paint schemes for the final toy.
The pieces I have include a wax Joe head, an unpainted hardcopy Joe head, and a hand-painted hardcopy Joe head. I don’t know if the wax is an unused casting, or if sculpting was done on it, but I do believe that it is a casting. The painted hardcopy is only painted on the front, so I’m sure it’s not the final paint master; given the soft rendering, I suspect that it’s a very early paint sample.
    To make things a bit more interesting, the Joe doll was originally presented to buyers with an entirely different head than he was eventually produced with, and the three Joe pieces I have all reflect the original, unused head sculpt.
As for the Frank head, what I have is a painted hardcopy that’s similar to the painted Joe head. The tenuous Star Wars connection – which might amuse you – is that when Kenner was prototyping a never-produced Lando Calrissian doll, they put the outfit on a Frank Hardy body, and painted him black. So, until I get an actual Lando head, I’m displaying the Frank Hardy head with my unproduced Lando outfit.
You might also be interested to know that Frank was also used as a stand-in for Harrison Ford (Han Solo) at one point.
I showed photos of these heads to Gus Lopez (the guy who runs the Star Wars Collector’s Archive) and he believes that none of the heads are hardcopies – the beige pieces are just a much harder kind of wax. He agrees that these are probably castings, as opposed to an original master sculpt.
For what it’s worth, if these were 12″ Luke Skywalker heads, I could probably get $300 for the first two, and $500 or more for the hand-painted one. As documented unproduced variant heads, they’d probably go for a fair bit more than that. Then again, in Star Wars collecting, Kenner’s 12″ figures are one of the most important segments for most collectors, and I gather that in the world of Hardy Boys, the dolls are relatively unimportant.

book of the month: The Mystery Of The Flying Express

Hardy Boys Cover Art Hardy Boys Cover Art Hardy Boys Cover Art

20: The Mystery Of The Flying Express – Collectible Editions For Sale
Cover Art & Edition Information
Original: 1941 John Button (217 pages)
Outline: Harriet Adams
Revised: 1970 Vincent Buranelli (177 pages) – For Sale
Outline: Andrew Svenson
Revision: Completely Different
Art: 1941 Paul Laune
Art: 1962 John Leone
Art: 1970 Rudy Nappi
Notes: Harriet S. Adams also signed a release form for the original edition.
Revised text title changed to Mystery Of The Flying Express
The Hardy Boys break up a spy ring which uses the speedy “Flying Express” train to maintain contact with its East Coast agents.
Revised: The Boys investigate the disappearance of the speedy hydrofoil ferry, the Flying Express.

Description of current edition: A sleek new hydrofoil is scheduled to start ferrying passengers between Bayport and Cape Cutlass. But business enemies of the hydrofoil owner have stirred up a hornets’ nest of violent opposition among small boat owners. Fearing sabotage, he begs Frank and Joe Hardy to guard the Flying Express on her maiden trip. Startling developments plunge the teenage detectives into a dangerous chase by sea, air, and land in pursuit of a gang of hardened criminals who operate by the signs of the Zodiac. Tension mounts when the Flying Express vanishes – and so does Sam Radley, Mr. Hardy’s skilled operative. Peril stalks Frank and Joe’s every moves as they hunt down the terrifying gangleader Zodiac Zig and his vicious henchmen.

original outline for “The Mystery Of The Flying Express”

Unfortunately, this is the last outline I have until I go back to the NYPL 🙁

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