M.E.G.O. … Mego. It’s a glorious word. It represents some of my all time favorite action figures! Superheroes, villains, movie and television characters. Well, Mego has officially returned and is bringing some Mego monsters with it!
The first Megos I got as a kid, were Superman and Aquaman in the box packaging. My Dad took me to the doctor to have blood drawn (don’t know why, and I did ask recently -possibly tonsil removal ? I was super young- toddler aged) and I was none too pleased! Well, what better way to make a kid smile than action figures. We went to Murphy’s Department Store (which has been long gone) and downstairs to the toy department, which was next to the pet department. I recall fish tanks, giving off a light blue light. That light paled in comparison to the power of brightly colored superhero action figures!
[Via] Vintage TV Commercials
The next time I specifically recall getting Megos, was at my First Communion party. I received Batman and Robin in the blister card packaging. The last time I got a Mego was in Ohio while visiting my cousins. I got Captain America and a replacement Robin. Both were in the box. That was in 1980 and the last time I recall 8 inch Megos on the shelves for good. Would they ever return?
Leap ahead to the 1990’s and I started buying Megos from the dealers or collectors listed in the ToyShop classified ads paper. I had accumulated the whole line (nearly 30) of DC and Marvel figures in boxes or on cards. Add to that, a few of the vehicles in boxes like Green Arrow’s car and a Kresge carded Aquaman. I eventually sold everything, except a handful of loose figures, in one massive deal to a collector in the Midwest, to help make a down payment on our house. I had a feeling in my guts, that Mego would somehow return. Meanwhile, I used my loose Mego figures a few years later to teach my kids primary colors. Capes, boots and oven mitt gloves were fantastic tools to help them get colors memorized.
The Marvel “Famous Covers” action figure line tried to capture the Mego magic that enticed toy buyers in the 70’s and early 80’s. Toyfare Magazine gave us “Twisted Mego Theater” a feature using Megos both original and customized. The high popularity of this eventually led to “Robot Chicken” and more cultural references and reverence to the Mego and Mego Monster figures.
Roughly a decade ago, I spotted brand new “Star Trek” and “Planet of the Apes” Mego figures in some retailers. I couldn’t believe it! These were made in part by Emce Toys. There was another company called Classic TV Toys. They produced the Mad Monsters, which included Wolfman, Mummy, Dracula (with black hair or red hair) and Frankenstein’s Monster(with black hair or blue hair). These were exact reproductions and this was my first time getting these fantastic figures! They later offered the Enterprise Bridge playset and the Mad Monster Castle.
My Mad Monster figures ( and some of my other toys) are in a horror movie called Dry Bones directed by friends Greg Lamberson and Michael O’ Hear . The toys are on the shelves in a room occupied by Basket Case‘s Kevin Van Hentenryck. I’m in the movie as an extra!
The Monster figures weren’t the Universal licensed versions, but a little generic and still awesome as heck! Emce Toys went on to produce more Monster figures in Mego style that were officially licensed by Universal. They also had a hand in Mattel’s Retro DC Toy line, stylized in Mego tones, and Marvel’s collector packs – a Mego (either spot on reproduction or a brand new figure in Mego style and changes of clothes). Figures Toy Company released every DC character figure and they are very accurate. They keep expanding the line, branching into cartoon versions and variations,
etc. And yet, that glorious four letter name hasn’t emerged…
The Toys That Made Us is a Netflix documentary series, chronicling the behind the scenes stories of some of the most notable toys. Mego Inc.’s Marty Abrams appears on an episode about “Star Wars” Toys and there is a lot of speculation that his involvement in the show, got the wheels turning into what is the return of Mego toys to retail shelves! Whatever the reason, count me among the incredibly happy!!
Mego has returned and so have Mego Monsters! We’re at wave 3. The first two waves of the Mego Monsters included a terrific Bela Lugosi Dracula and Glenn Strange Frankenstein Monster, with a hint of Lon Chaney Jr. Wave 3 has a Werewolf that’s a little Lon Chaney Jr. and Paul Naschy. I couldn’t believe my eyes when I walked into Target and saw a entire “end-cap” display of Mego figures! Not having them in the stores since the early-mid 80’s really felt like forever. Yet, here they were- bright colorful figures in both 8 inch and 14 inch scale. My kids were with me and we kind of gazed at the display as you might a public Christmas tree. I think my brain was blasting “Ode to Joy” on the highest volume possible!
We’re expecting a wave 4 and 5 of Mego Monsters before the end of 2018. It’s so great to have these figures (new sculpts and accessories) back and it’s exciting to anticipate seeing the new arrivals on the shelves. I can’t wait to find out what the upcoming Mego Monsters will be. I subscribe to a Mego newsletter directly from the company and Mr. Abrams. It’s great to see the momentum building in the collecting communities.
Welcome back, Mego and Mego Monsters! We’ve definitely missed you!
[Via] Toy Galaxy