Thursday, May 5, 2011
BAB Book Review --Mego 8" Super-Heroes: World's Greatest Toys!
Doug: For Christmas 2010 I finally got a book I'd been after for quite some time -- TwoMorrows' Mego 8" Super-Heroes: World's Greatest Toys! I loved my Megos almost to death when I was a kid. I wouldn't say I'm a collector these days, although I do retain several that I had as a child. So for those of you reading this, whether you are collector or enthusiast, I can't recommend this book enough. Sure, there are fantastic websites about Megos (the Mego Museum comes immediately to mind), but as we've discussed when the subject was comic book reprints, sometimes you just can't beat the feel of a book in your hands, and this one's pretty darn near comprehensive.
This volume is a hardcover with no dustjacket -- it's very sturdy and the colors on the cover are just vibrant. The photography in the book is HD quality -- if you want to see the texture on a particular costume, you can. Paint applications? Ditto. It's abundantly obvious that author Benjamin Holcomb has had a love affair with these dolls (let's be honest -- a Marvel Legend is an "action figure"; these are dolls. And I don't care...). His passion shines through in the images as well as in the background information and the meticulous way in which any and all data relevant to collectors is presented. The scan above left shows the various styles of arms and legs; if you look at the joints, you'll notice the evolution of technology over the life of the line. And details like that are present throughout the tome.
It's a bit of a history book, too. The history of the Mego company serves as a prologue. There are also explanations for the changing look of the figures as the reader is informed that shifts in petroleum prices often led to the use of different grades of plastics. There are noticeable variations throughout the line, and the above-mentioned photography is perfect in guiding us through these differences even in runs. There's also a wonderful attention to detail for all of the different packaging that at one time surrounded these figures. Even the somewhat plain brown boxes that were used for catalog orders have a certain charm to them -- it's how I got my first Batman with the removable cowl!
Hardcore Mego enthusiasts should be aware that, as the book title suggests, only the World's Greatest Super-Heroes line is covered. While there are mentions of other lines, such as Star Trek, Planet of the Apes, the Wizard of Oz, etc., there is no real space dedicated to discussion of such. I for one would love a companion volume on Mego's other figures.
Enjoy some of the scans I've provided, and the next time you're at your LCS, check to see if you can leaf through this book!