Meet the Beatles Electric Motion Display – 1964 Capitol Promo

A vintage 1964 Capitol Records promotional motion display for Meet the Beatles, which also mentions the Fabs’ first hit single, “I Want To Hold Your Hand” b/w “I Saw Her Standing There.”

This Capitol Records point-of-purchase electric store display for Meet the Beatles, the group’s debut Capitol LP, was sent out to record stores in early February 1964.

This big Capitol Records Beatles countertop promotional display runs on batteries, and the heads bob back & forth via a small motor located within.

Its not easy for collectors to locate one of these in working order. Much of the time, the small electric motor inside the Meet the Beatles bobble head store display is burnt out, or the batteries may have leaked acid, or it just plain stopped working from decades of inactivity.

This big Meet the Beatles promo window display would take up a lot of room in any store’s window, so Capitol had to make sure each preordained store was going to use it, and not just place it in their back room, unopened.

Generally referred to as a 1964 Meet the Beatles motion display, this item’s standout feature is the way John, Paul, George and Ringo’s heads rock back & forth when the battery-operated motor is switched on.

Stores that were lucky enough to be sent their own Meet the Beatles rocking head store display undoubtedly had to scramble to find a suitable, prominent place for it.

Renowned photographer Dezo Hoffman snapped the famous shot of the Fab Four which graces the Meet the Beatles 3-D Capitol Records point-of-sale promo display. This same picture was used for Capitol Records’ picture sleeve on the Beatles’ “I Want To Hold Your Hand” 45.

This Capitol nodding-head promo Meet the Beatles retail display was constructed of thick, sturdy cardboard and measures half-a-foot deep, so it would easily stand up by itself.

In fact, the dimensions for this Meet the Beatles large, heavy cardboard promotional store window display are 31” wide, roughly 26” tall and 6” deep.

The large cardboard Capitol Records Meet the Beatles merchandising display piece shown in this video was lovingly placed in a transparent Lucite box for long-term protection from dust.

Interesting to see that the Fab Four are wearing their famous collarless jackets on this Capitol Records battery operated Meet the Beatles cardboard display, a distinctive trademark of their earliest years.

It’s a bit ironic how Ringo Starr – the newest member of the group, basically the Beatles’ non-songwriter and the member who sang the fewest lead vocals – is located right smack dab in the middle of this Capitol Records Beatles electric store display, while John Lennon, obviously the Beatles’ founder and leader, is relatively tucked away in the corner.

Those really into graphics will note that the Meet the Beatles electric box display is B&W throughout, with the exception of just two words… “The Beatles,” in large red letters at the top. Very effective!

On this copy of the battery driven Meet the Beatles promotional display, the face of George Harrison got creased somewhere along the line.  All the others are fine and flawless.

While planning this Meet the Beatles moving face store display in January 1964, Capitol Records executives were really scrambling to make up for their late start in picking up the contract in America for this wildly successful British rock group.

In fact, the very elaborate and grandiose nature of Capitol’s Meet the Beatles point of purchase advertising display may have been in reaction to being embarrassed for initially missing the boat on the band that was printing money for EMI Records over in the UK.

Notice how the left flap of this Meet the Beatles Capitol retail store display says, “Three million Beatles records already sold in England.” Impressive, but way out of date; by the time this display was dreamed up, manufactured, mailed out and set up in stores, the Beatles had probably sold that many records in America, never mind their native Britain!

If you watch this video of the Meet the Beatles shaking heads store display, you’ll notice that two of the heads – Ringo and John – move together in one direction, while the other two heads – Paul and George – do the same, but in another direction.

The complete text, as it reads on this battery powered Meet the Beatles store display:

Meet the Beatles – Rock to Their Incredible First Album – Capitol Records (logo)

3 Million Beatles Records Already Sold In England

Paul – Ringo – George – John

Contains the smash single – “I Want To Hold Your Hand” and “I Saw Her Standing There”

Collectors who don’t wish to bother with this cumbersome Meet the Beatles Capital Records motion display can always opt for the smaller, easily framed advertising placard that the label also made and shipped out to record stores.

This Meet the Beatles nodding head store display is fully operational – joy! – and happily discussed by first-generation Beatles fan / collector Pete Howard. I can be reached at pete@postercentral.com or 805-540-0020. I will pay the WORLD’S TOP DOLLAR, PERIOD, for this Beatles display in any condition whatsoever, even if it’s missing the motor.

To see other original, genuine Beatles promotional displays from when they were together, check out this article I wrote for Goldmine magazine and then later updated and posted to my Web site: http://www.postercentral.com/goldmine-promoposters.htm

This entry was posted in **All Posters, *Beatles, British Invasion, Promo Posters & Displays and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s