UPDATED: The May 5th episode of Toy Hunter on Travel Channel featured this very playset variation! In the episode host Jordan Hembrough barely misses out on grabbing the set when Mego collector extraordinaire Mark Huckabone runs off with it. Mark tells us that he only knows of 2 that exist. He confirms that the set contained carded Mr. Spock and Captain Kirk figures placed inside the playset.
Jordan is kind enough to stop by the Mego Museum Forums to chat with fans from time to time. If you aren’t a member of the forum yet you are missing out on one of the best vintage toy communities online.
This week we are keeping an eye on this eBay auction. It’s a Star Trek Enterprise Playset…and it comes with no furniture, no transporter, is very sloppily put together….and yet, we LOVE IT!
We’ve heard people talk about this set before. In fact, Palitoy says he saw one years ago at a toy show and I have a friend I worked with who has vivid memories of getting his in San Diego at Fed-Mart, a discount grocery store chain. This is the first photographic evidence we’ve had of this piece.
A little history: We know that Mego playsets were manufactured in Hong Kong and then assembled in the United States. They were likely shipped flat and then folded into shape and riveted together stateside.
Our educated guess: There were probably extra playset cases left after the supply of furniture and transporters were used up making proper playsets. Whether it was Mego itself or, more likely, a third party distributor—someone just slapped these sets together–notice in the photos they didn’t even rivet all of the flaps and shipped them off in a discount close-out sale. Note also that the white edge piece at the center of the playset is cardboard, not plastic as is the case on a normal playset.
An empty shell of the Enterprise may not be much to write home about, but with this printed card attached it’s a whole other story. Mego never used photographs on their Trek packaging, so having the pictures of the actors on this piece is really special. The retro typography is wonderful, and has the distinct feel of a discount store from the 1970s. It’s doubtful Mego printed the paper card, it doesn’t bear any markings from Mego. It was probably printed by whatever distributor got them without regard for licensing propriety.
The set is advertised to come with two figures, Kirk and Spock, but the seller says they are nowhere to be found inside. This is puzzling because he does not feel the paper was removed to open the playset, it’s actually adhered with tape or light glue on the back of the card. It’s possible the figures were attached to the outside, we can’t be sure. (Edit–We have since learned that the carded figures were included inside the playset, but this example did not have them present. The set must have been opened contrary to the seller’s opinion.)
Thanks to the seller, Devon Alexander – of The Vintage Toy Chest for sharing this item with us and letting us add it to the Mego Museum Star Trek Gallery.
Other remaindered oddities from Mego:
- “Kitchen Sink Aquaman”, a figure slapped together at the warehouse from the last vestiges of the WGSH line.
- Dorothy of OZ in a plastic bag with a header card.
- A fashion doll dressed in left over Planet of the Apes clothes
- Action Jackson “Gift Sets” assembled by distributors for close-out
- Fashion dolls wearing left over WGSH clothes