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!


dbutler16 said...

I only vaguely recall having a couple of the 8" Mego superheroes - Aquaman and Batgirl come to mind - but they're long gone. However, my all time favorite Mego creation was the Micronauts. Oh, how I used to love this lil guys! I have a few of them in the closet. I'm not sure why I don't recall having more of the 8" figures. Maybe I was too young when they came out, or maybe I preferred the 3-3/4" size. Who knows. They are great, though.

david_b said...

I'm blessed to have received the first issue Removable cowl Batman and Robin.. back in Easter of '73 'Course I got rid of them years later, unknowing how valuable Robin would become..

I had a 6-7 Megos at the time, but it was a bit past my childhood (Capt. Action was more my childhood toys..). I got rid of my remaining ones in the early 90s to collect vintage GI Joes. I remember my step-dad finally being able to tease me for buying a 'doll' when I bought my Batgirl. She was PERFECTLY done.

Fastforward to my 1st Army deployment a few years back: At the end, I decided to buy a set of the reissued Andorian and Spock, just for novelty purposes..

Now I've got most of the vintage Space 1999/Trek figs, Marvel, Teen Titan figures, some POTA and Starsky and Hutch.. I paid over a hundred for my John Koenig, Kid Flash, Speedy, and a few vintage boxed items of Spidey and the Goblin (thank you, OIF deployment paychecks..)

Everyone should visit for one of the friendliest Forums on line.. A great, great bunch of friendly folks discussing everything under the sun. Lots of extraordinary collections and custom work showcased as well. I commissioned a guy to make me a custom Antman.

Dida Displays makes EXCELLENT foldable Mego playsets (like the Mego Wayne Manor, only BETTER. I believe he's done with the business now, after making quite a load of gorgeous Trek Bridges, Hall of Justices, you name it.. I've got a beautiful three-story Baxter Building with all Kirby art coming next month.

LOL.., my wife jokes that she has her Facebook ~ I have Megomuseum (and BAB of course..).

Doug said...

That... is awesome.


J.A. Morris said...

I've eyed this book a few times. I was a big fan of the Mego dolls(that's what I called them when I was a kid too),but the price was bit too high.

I had all the big name Megos early on, but it took a while to find the less famous characters like Falcon(one of the best designed dolls,love the wings),Green Goblin and Lizard.

I never got the FF,that bugged me for a while.

It always bothered me that the Mego Hulk was shorter than the rest of the Megos, should have been the other way around. Mego's Pocket Superheroes Hulk was also smaller than the other heroes:

Doug said...

How about the prices on the page that shows old Christmas catalogs? Three for $5.99 in 1973? I thought there was an energy crisis!?! Man, with the "retro heroes" that DC is putting out these days, those three guys would set you back $60 easy.

By the way, has anyone heard the MSRP for the Legion 12-pack that is coming in the DC 6" line? It looks sweet, but I know it will be about $150!


Karen said...

I had a few of the Mego super-heroes: I remember being very excited one Christmas to unwrap Spider-Man. I also had Hulk and the Falcon. Never saw the FF or Thor ones in our stores. I also had three Planet of the Apes Megos -Zira, Cornelius, and Dr. Zaius.

I agree about the Micronauts -those were great toys! I really liked the Pharoid or whatever he was called, with the little sarcophgus!

Doug, it might be time for you to post some more collection pictures. Heck, for me too!


Allen c said...

We had mego heads and costumes that we would swap. You'd walk into the room with iron man, and your mego would come out of the room as Captain Marvel (Shazam). Of course this didn't always work out. You couldn't swap a superhero head and costume for a star trek head and costume because the boots were molded onto the body. Or if you weren't careful, you may end up with a Superman with ape hands. Once, I somehow ended up with a blond haired batman - Aquaman's head creeped under the mask somehow.

Daniel Graves said...

We had many of these mego figures in their various releases. I also had a couple of the mego pirates which made for some fun "back-up" supervillains.
Fr. Dan

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