The most infamous, notorious, and maybe most beloved of toymakers, Marty Abrams returned to the toy biz in 2018 (after a stint in prison for fraud and the bankruptcy of his famous toy company–get the whole story on Netflix’s The Toys That Made Us). The company he made famous–MEGO–gave kids a memorable 1970s line of licensed 8-inch (1:9 scale) action figures, and it has been adding more figures–often in limited supplies–the past few years. Abrams has pulled in a diverse cross-section of licensed properties to get his foot back in the door with kids and collectors. Look around at Wal-Mart and Target and you’ll find an eclectic mix of pop culture nostalgia, some figures resembling sculpts and costumes from the original MEGO figures, others representing characters that may leave you scratching your head, wondering who has been eagerly waiting to see this show in an action figure line. Finally it seems MEGO may be giving its licensors the look they deserve design-wise, as you’ll find with the Young Frankenstein and Universal Monsters line. Check out some of the new and recent figures available below.
First, for the Young Frankenstein line, that actually looks like Peter Boyle and Gene Wilder. The tuxedo set is expected to be a Wal-Mart exclusive coming this month, but a great color edition of Wilder in his lab coat is available now here and a new monster is available for pre-order here, both at Entertainment Earth. Take a look at the Creature from the Black Lagoon, especially the head, hands, feet, and chest gills–they look quite good. It’s available this month in black and white here, and in a 14-inch color edition here at Entertainment Earth (some of the figures are available in color and black and white editions).
The best of the detailed cloth clothing can be seen in the Invisible Man (available this month here in black and white, and no, it’s not just an empty box, but the figure under the clothes is clear plastic), and the sculpt of Peter Cushing’s Van Helsing from the Hammer movie franchise. From Star Trek, there’s also a Kirk, a Mr. Spock from the original series pilot (available here), a Kang the Klingon (here), Picard (here), Locutus (here), Q (here), Riker (here), and Michael Burnham (here), as well as a 14-inch Kirk and Spock, although these are closer in appearance to the original MEGO lines.
You may remember from 1996-2011 a new generation was introduced to MEGO figures (whether they were aware of it or not) in the pages of Wizard Entertainment’s magazine ToyFare. Their photo-image comic strips featured the original figures posed and participating in strange situations, all of the comics collected in a tenth anniversary edition compilation here at Amazon.
The Planet of the Apes line, much wider than the original, also reflects the characters from the TV series and movies recognizably–check out their available figures here. Plus, MEGO has added an Ultraman and The Last Airbender.
Easy to understand making a comeback are new characters in their Star Trek, Happy Days, Universal Monsters, DC Comics superheroes, and KISS series, but we’ve also seen Charlie’s Angels, Married with Children, Cheers, Bewitched, Charmed, The Brady Bunch, Facts of Life, and I Dream of Jeannie. Abrams was a groundbreaking importer, manufacturer, marketing maven, inventor, and brand developer who founded MEGO Corporation, the first company to license action figures based on TV shows and comic book superheroes, and the first to sell dolls in clear bubbles on cards that hung on pegs instead of in boxes stacked on store shelves. If you were a kid in the 1970s, you probably had at least one of his figures. Now you can have them again.
C.J. Bunce / Editor / borg