For kids growing up in the UK during the 1970s Saturday morning picture shows at the local cinema were a highlight of the week! This was a long time ago, of course, and it certainly feels like we were living in a galaxy far, far away...Indeed, in those distant, pre-Star Wars days a staple of kids programming was the 1936 sci-fi film serial Flash Gordon, starring Olympic swimming star Buster Crabbe in the title role, and Charles B. Middleton as his arch-enemy Ming the Merciless. A forerunner of … [Read more...]
The Mego brand name was synonymous with action figures during most of the 1970s. The Mego Corporation displayed enormous business acumen in its purchasing of the licensing rights to many successful movies, television shows and comic books, such as classics like Planet of the Apes and Star Trek, as well as their bestselling The World's Greatest Superhero line which featured Marvel and DC Comic book heroes.
Production features of interest:
- the Mego Bubble Card placed the clear plastic bubble containing the action figure in the middle of the card;
- action figures were made with interchangeable heads so that generic bodies could be more easily mass produced then transformed with the addition of only different heads or clothing;
- in 1976 founder David Abrams turned down an offer to license toys for a certain upcoming Sci Fi flick...that film was Star Wars!
The Mego Corporation closed shop for good in 1983 and vintage Mego action figures have since become highly collectible.
One of the most unlikely – but nonetheless wonderful – additions to my vintage action figure collection over the last couple of months must surely be this beautifully detailed 12 inch Mego figure of legendary Hollywood and television character actor Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine died at the grand old age of 95 in 2012 after a glittering career, which saw him win an Academy Award for Best Actor in 1955 for Marty, and star in classics such as The Wild Bunch, The Dirty Dozen, and my personal childhood … [Read more...]
The Black Hole, Walt Disney’s 1979 sci-fi blockbuster, with its multimillion dollar state-of-art special effects and a star-studded cast featuring such notables as Ernest Borgnine, Anthony Perkins and Maximilian Schell, was clearly intended to be the studio’s answer to Star Wars. That was the plan, anyway. Instead the film has become one of those forgotten movies to which the epithet “cult” is often applied. My own memories of the movie were very dim, so I watched it again on DVD recently, … [Read more...]
Kenner rightly deserves its place in toy making history for popularising the 3 ¾ inch figure through its vintage Star Wars line of the 1970s and 80s, with the huge success of the movie franchise proving to be a massive marketing lucky break for the company. The Mego Corporation definitely deserves a nod as the very first pioneer of the 3 ¾ inch scale, however, with their Comic Action Heroes line launched way back in 1976, and its revamped series three years later known as the Pocket Super … [Read more...]
The legendary Medieval outlaw Robin Hood has been a hugely popular figure in English folklore for centuries. Armed with bow and arrow and sword, he would steal from the rich to give to the poor, and then head back to his hideout in Sherwood Forest with his band of fellow “Merry Men”. With love interest in the shape of Maid Marian, and the Sheriff of Nottingham as his arch enemy, the story of Robin Hood has been a perennial favourite with Hollywood filmmakers since the early days of silent … [Read more...]
Whilst it was Hasbro who first coined the phrase “action figures” for military dolls aimed at the boys' market in the late 1960s with their G.I. Joe line, and in particular Palitoy's UK version known as “Action Man”, the legendary Mego company also earned a place in action figure history in the early 1970s with their own short-lived adventure hero line - Action Jackson. Selling well only briefly, and ultimately a commercial failure, these 8 inch figures with a wonderful range of costumes, were … [Read more...]
Whilst legendary toy makers Mego are probably most famous for their 1970s 8-inch line of comic book characters the World's Greatest Super Heroes, some of their most highly collectible figures today are a very different range of swashbuckling literary and historic heroes – The World's Greatest Super Knights! Ivanhoe here, was released alongside the Black Knight, King Arthur, and his knights Sir Galahad and Sir Launcelot, in what was a spectacularly detailed series of beautifully made action … [Read more...]