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Tag Archive: Target Stores


The most infamous, notorious, and maybe even most beloved of toymakers, Marty Abrams is back in the toy biz years 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 the ultimate 1970s line of licensed 8-inch (1:9 scale) action figures, and it returned to stores with a vengeance this year.  Not to toy stores–since they seem to be a thing of the past after the bankruptcy of Toys R Us this year–but to the end cap at your neighborhood Target store.  Replaced in recent years by the 3 3/4-inch line of licensed small-scale action figured from Super 7, Funko, and Biff! Bam! Pow!, the classic MEGO figures are making a comeback.  Abrams has pulled in a bizarre cross-section of licensed properties to get his foot back in the door with kids, collectors, and anyone able to be sidetracked on their way to pick up school supplies and shampoo.  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 (I’m pretty sure we still called them dolls back then).  My three-year-old self was not excluded:

The first wave of figures are already on the discount shelves at Target.  Look around 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.  So Wave One includes Sulu and Chekov from the original Star Trek series, Charlie’s Angels’ Kelly Garrett (complete with ’70s hairdo), Peg Bundy from Married with Children, Action Jackson (not the movie version) sporting a jumpsuit, NORM! Peterson from Cheers, Piper Halliwell from the original TV series Charmed, Dracula (sculpted after Bela Lugosi’s version), Alice the housekeeper and center square from The Brady Bunch, Tootie the youngest girl from Facts of Life, Jimi Hendrix in his Woodstock outfit, and probably the best of all (OK, besides Jim Hendrix): Arthur “The Fonz” Fonzarelli (aka Fonzie) looking like the original Mego figure from Happy DaysTwo dual figure sets feature Jeannie and Tony from I Dream of Jeannie and a Mirror Universe figure set of Kirk and Spock from Star Trek.  Mego also has a 14-inch (1:5 scale) DC Comics line, including Wonder Woman from the TV series, General Zod from the two original Superman movies, a classic style Harley Quinn, and a Golden Age Batman.

Wave Two, arriving this month at Target stores nationwide, includes Frankenstein, Greg from The Brady Bunch, John Ratzenberger’s Cliff Clavin from Cheers, Starchild from the band KISS, Alyssa Milano’s Phoebe from Charmed, Ron Howard’s Richie Cunningham from Happy Days, Cheryl Ladd’s Kris Munroe from Charlie’s Angels, Spock and the Gorn from Star Trek, Samantha from Bewitched, Kelly Bundy from Married with Children, Jo from Facts of Life, and dual sets featuring Dorothy, Toto, and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz, DJ and Stephanie Tanner from Full House.  In the 14-inch DC Comics line look for Superman, Batgirl, Green Lantern, and Poison Ivy.

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Yeah, Black Friday and Star Trek set decoration don’t really seem to go together, do they?  I’ll explain.

If you happened to be out and about on the retailers’ big day this week, and you happened to walk by the Target Portrait Studios inside your local Target Store, you might have seen this:

So what’s the big deal?  If you’re a Star Trek fan you might notice that Target is using some Italian-made “Calligaris Jam” counter stools for their photo salon guests.  Still no idea what I’m talking about?  These are the same style of chair that Chris Pine’s James T. Kirk is sitting in when he first meets Zoe Saldana’s Uhura, also sitting in this style of chair, in a Riverside, Iowa, bar, in the 2009 Star Trek movie.  This was the first ever meeting of these two characters in the Star Trek universe. The stools are visible at either side of the frame in this scene from the movie:

This isn’t an every-day chair, and set designer Karen Manthey selected these fairly high end stools along with chairs for the Riverside, Iowa, location filmed in L.A. from the Italian design company’s selection of futuristic colors.  Below is a screen-used version from the set of the film, in the transparent orange variety, which CBS Paramount sold at auction a few years ago with a handful of other props from this scene.  Target has the transparent red-colored version of the chair.  At $300-400 per chair, Target Stores must be doing fine in this troubled economy!

   

If you’re wanting to bring some of the Star Trek futuristic look to your own home, you can buy these online in the bar stool version or a chair version, which also was used in the Riverside bar scene in the film–for the Star Trek fan who has everything, as they say.

Or if you decide to use the Target Portrait Studio this season and you want to get a little sci-fi slant to your photo, ask to use this chair, and send the photo along and we might post it here.  Very unusual to see these obscure chairs as we roamed on Black Friday.

While we’re discussing the Riverside bar scene, below are photos of detail of a screen-used cadet sweater worn by background female cadets in the 2009 Star Trek film.  This is the same uniquely knitted costume sweater as worn by Zoe Saldana playing Uhura as she sat on the bar stools in the above scene in the film.

 

Although Anovos is scheduled to produce a Starfleet female cadet uniform for cosplayers, they haven’t yet announced whether they will produce a sweater for the set as used in the film.  Here is their prototype replica from their booth at Comic-Con this year:

Check out the Anovos website for other custom gift ideas for your favorite Trekker or Trekkie.

C.J. Bunce

Editor

borg.com

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