12-String Bass Promotional Items
A wide variety of different types of promotional items have been created that include 12-string basses. Most of these items are quite difficult to obtain, not because of the inclusion of the 12 but because many people collect souvenirs of their favorite bands, and these happen to include the 12.
View-Master released a set of three reels showing the band members of Cheap Trick in various staged poses. CT was the first band that View-Master chose to honor, and this set is now among the rarest View-Master packets although sets still frequently come up for sale. The set is listed as Packet L 33 and is copyrighted in 1980. There are three views of Pete Comita with Rick Nielsen’s Hamer B12S.
We have discovered that the 1980 release date is incorrect - this set was not released until early 1981. Through a stroke of good luck we acquired the test reels for this set (from the president of the View-Master collectors club) and they were not approved for production until January 15, 1981. It is evident from the different handwriting and date formats shown on these test reels that multiple persons were involved in reviewing the final product.
Pins and Buttons
A few pins and buttons display a 12-string bass.
This puzzle was released by Cheap Trick in 1980 and includes at least seven images of 12-string basses. It was released late that year as there are three black/white images of Pete Comita; presumably the puzzle design had to be updated when Tom Petersson left the band that fall.
Cheap Trick Puzzle 1980
The puzzle comes in a small cylindrical canister which is about 5½” high.
Puzzle has 308 pieces, 14 pieces wide by 22 pieces high, and measures 11¼” by 17½”.
The copyright notice reads, “©1980, Tom Korsberg/KAM, INC.” The View-Master reels were also copyrighted by KAM, INC.
This shopping bag features images of Cheap Trick from 1979 or 1980. The bag is 12½” wide by 4¼” deep by 17½” high - plenty of space to hold several t-shirts, puzzles and View-Master reels. It has plastic locking snaps to keep the bag closed, as well as plastic handles. The bag was produced by Shinko Music Publishing Company, LTD and shows the copyright date ©1974 by KAM. That is obviously a misprint since the B12A didn’t appear until 1979, or perhaps that is actually the patent date for the bag.
Tom is shown playing his Hamer B12A 12-string bass.
Credit and debit cards
These are all actual credit or debit cards that include an image of a 12-string bass. For obvious reasons the card numbers have all been Photo-shopped out, and all are expired. Many credit card companies will allow you to change the image on your cards; for instance, Capital One allows you to upload a new design every month, and there is no charge for this change. And as a bonus, having a guitar pictured on your credit card can be a great conversation starter with 5’8” brunettes!
Included are images of the Musicvox Gold Sparkle Space Cadet 12, a close-up of the dragon head design from a Hiroshigi Kids Dragon 12, the Chinese Tennessee 12, and a fantasy 12 that was originally intended to be a signature model for Doug Pinnick of King’s X but was never realized.
In 2006 Cheap Trick used the artwork from their “Rockford” album as the image for a $5.00 poker chip for the Hard Rock Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada. Tom is shown playing a Waterstone 12.
Spinning top toys
These child’s spinning top toys includes images of Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam and his Hamer B12A “Ament” variant, and Tom Petersson and the Hamer 10-string bass prototype in the Pepto-Bismol Pink finish. These tops were made in Argentina, and it is presumed that the players and bands displayed were never paid for the use of their images. Toys such as this were intended to be used in several ways; Gumball and cereal premiums, gifts for birthday parties, funfair prizes and gifts at small circuses. Given their scarcity it is not known if these tops were mock-ups created in an attempt to sell them to the cereal companies or if they were actually manufactured and distributed.
Similar to the spinning top toy, this handheld pinball game made in Argentina includes an image of Jeff Ament from Pearl Jam and his Hamer B12A “Ament” variant 12-string bass.
Like the spinning top toys, it is unknown how widely this pinball game was distributed. It might also be a mock-up.
Rockford Illinois Vehicle Registration STicker
In 2007 the city of Rockford, Illinois honored their hometown heroes by using the cover art from band’s latest album for their annual vehicle registration sticker. The decal was to be applied at the lower right hand corner of the windshield, and was valid for a maximum of one year.
Tom is shown playing a Waterstone 12.