Friends, it is quite fair to say that when it came to sci-fi toys in the late 70’s, the lion’s share of sales were going to Kenner and their Star Wars line of toys. That’s not to say there weren’t other toys available at the time however – case in point Mattel’s Battlestar Galactica or Mego’s Buck Rogers in the 25th Century and Star Trek: The Motion Picture figures. But Mego had another line of toys at the time – perhaps having realized that everyone but Kenner missed the boat with the merchandising of Star Wars the company doubled down with the addition of The Black Hole toys. When I was seven years old I was lucky enough to get two of the action figures for my birthday – V.I.N.cent and the evil Maximilian. My Grandparents grabbed me those because of my love of all things robotic and droid related – sadly my fumbling fingers immediately broke one of the legs off poor V.I.N.cent but being a kid I chalked it up to battle damage.
While that may have been the only two figures from Mego’s The Black Hole line that I ever received – there were quite a few more produced as you can see in that ad above. In the initial push eight figures were made with the Sentry toy being made available in 1980. Interestingly enough there were three other toys produced for Sears but only available in Canada and Italy, these were Old Bob, S.T.A.R and the mirrored masked Humanoid. I found that on eBay these three figures demand a very high price – the loose Humanoid figure was upwards of $1,500. In addition Mego released 12″ figures for The Black Hole – they included only the human characters from the film, which is an odd choice. As you can see from this catalog advertisement courtesy of the always impressive Mego Museum – just like with the 3″ figures it was your only opportunity then to purchase toy versions of Ernest Borgnine, Anthony Perkins, Maximilian Schell, Robert Forster (Alligator), Yvette Mimieux (The Time Machine), and Joseph Bottoms.
Mego had much more planned for their Black Hole line of toys and playsets – like the bridge of the incredibly impressive space vessel known as the Cygnus or even a replica of the U.S.S. Palomino. In addition there were plans to make toy replicas of the awesome laser guns used in the film as well as a radio controlled V.I.N.cent and even the likes of Yo-Yo’s and handheld pinball games. They did at least make an awesome wind-up V.I.N.cent walking toy but it seems like that was only released in the UK. At the very least we got other merchandise from The Black Hole – coloring books, Colorforms, View-Master reels, Fisher-Price movie cartridge, and even a comic book adaptation and sequel.
Now then, you can see some of the products I just mentioned including the U.S.S. Palomino in this awesome sales reel commercial courtesy of the Mego Museum.