Mego Museum News
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Thursday, September 24, 2009
Monday, August 17, 2009
Mego Heroes World Ad from 1981
Click on the ad to see a bigger version and for more Heroes World Goodness, visit our Heroes World Gallery today.
Friday, April 11, 2008
MegoMuseum Takes a Look at Superman: The Movie
December 15th, 1978 saw the release of the Richard Donner helmed Superman: The Movie, the world's first (but definitely not last) comic book blockbuster movie.
Evidence can be seen from Mego Designer Vinny Baiera's production notes from one of those meetings, the notes mention that the "New Movie Line" would feature and "Ali Size" (10") Chris Reeve, a Krypton with Space Ship playset and a series of action figures that would be 12.5" tall.
Harvey Zelman explained this philosophy to the Museum "You got a lot more for a 12" [figure] than you did an 8" figure. [Abrams] wanted more detail to the outfits, when you did a 12.5" figure you did nice, dressy outfits whereas the 8" were [not as nice]. "
Mego ordered six headsculpts from toy artist Ken Sheller, they included a Reeves Superman, Jor El, Lex Luthor, General Zod, partner in crime Ursa and his silent henchman Non. It's not known why the latter two were not released maybe Mego was made aware that much of their contribution to Superman The Movie would be put into the sequel (The majority of Superman 2 was filmed at the same time as the original) but in the end four 12" characters were released.
Mego was optimistic about the line and Marty Abrams was especially impressed with Sheller's work, as Mr. Sheller relates "when I delivered the six wax heads, I recall that Marty (Abrams) was so happy to have them that he held up the Chris Reeve head, looked at it, said "he looks great Ken!" and then gave it a big kiss. He did this probably for two reasons. One, he liked the head alot and two, he had to get on a plane to Hong Kong right away with them, and I'm sure that he was very happy that I made the deadline."
Only the Christopher Reeve Superman Figure bore both a head sculpt and outfit that matched the movie character. The rest of the line had outfits that followed the directive of their comic counterparts. It's not known why Mego chose to do this, it may have involved rights to the movie costumes or the fact that the company simply felt the movie apparel wasn't "toyetic" enough. Certainly in the case of Lex Luthor this is true, most would prefer purple and green to one that resembled Hackman in the movie.
Mego also pitched a playset for the 12" line that would include different scenes from the Movie, the playset though not released seems to have gone through several transitions and can be seen in great detail at it's new gallery page.
Mego also added new characters to their fledgling Pocket Super Heroes line in the guise of Jor El, Zod and Luthor. These figures appeared rushed as did their resulting generic packaging and were not good sellers for Mego.
Later revisions to the Pocket Superheroes packaging would still show the movie trio but they were not produced past their initial run.
Mego also pitched two playsets for this line, both movie based The Fortress of Solitude and Earth Quake sets were clever recycling of old "Comic Action Heroes" molds that made sense but buyers balked at the concept and both were not released.
In the end, the man of Steel movie merchandise did not fly for Mego. Former Mego VP Cindy Schriebman explained in a 1982 newspaper interview "Superman didn't increase sales for us" she added "It came out at the time of Star Wars and other blockbusters. It was a question of vying for dollars for action figures."
Today, the Mego Superman line is somewhat underrated, the Pocket Heroes can be found MOC for under $20 and the high quality 12.5" figures are somewhat under appreciated for what they are. We are pleased at the Museum to debut our new galleries for this line:
Discuss this on the Mego Forum
Also be sure to check the World's Greatest Toys Blog today, as they present the fifth and final segment in their series unveiling the 1975 Mego Spring Catalog, today's reveal is all about the heroes!