12 Inch Super Heroes: Batman & Robin:

12 inch Batman and Robin

 

parkdale773

Original Parkdale Novelty Catalog page for the 12 inch heroes launch in Canada, their country of origin.

The Dynamic Duo came in two different twelve inch forms, the best known stateside being the Magnetic Batman and Robin. The head sculpt on the Magnetic Batman is especially cool and severe and the grimmest visage of the man Mego made. Robin looks all grown up here and is actually a reused sculpt from the Gabriel Lone Ranger line, I guess once you’ve seen one masked man in Hong Kong……

Recently Non Magnetic versions of these figures have emerged in completely different boxes, these are later foreign releases as the “Fly Away Action” logo is printed on the box.

 

With magnetic hands and feet, these hefty Megos have built-in play appeal. Batman comes with the buff stocky body, while Robin has a skinny one. Both are 12 inches tall. Note the cuffed gloves and boots to enable totally mobility in the hands and feet. Batman’s logo is fused plastic, while Robin’s is a sticker.

 

Mego 12 inch Batman in the Canadian Parkdale Novelty Box.

Mego 12 inch Batman in the Canadian Parkdale Novelty Box.

The first versions of Batman and Robin were the Canadian exclusive Verisons. Found commonly due to a mid eighties warehouse find and their subsequent distribution through Diamon Comics Distributors, these are often NRFB as store stock. This is especially true of 12 inch Comic Batman and Spiderman, but the 9 1/2 inch version of Robin below is a different story.

Easily the rarest large-size Mego, 9 1/2 inch Robin and 12 inch Batman represent the only time Mego ever addressed the scale issue with the Dynamic Duo.The President of Parkdale Novelty was not particularly happy with a small Robin advertised as 12, he believed it to be “false advertising”

 

Burbank Toys sounds American but it’s a European Company.

Of note on the back of the boxes is that the standard Mego clip-art is used for the Heroes on the flap, but the box back has new artwork. The art is quite cool, click here for close-ups.

 

uk-Batman-front

This is the second edition of the box which mainly shows up in Europe, normally with a distributor sticker covering the Mego logo. I got this one from the UK.

12 inch Batman from harbert

This 12 inch Batman comes courtesy of Paul Hougland, note the Italian WGSH insignia  and Harbert logo and of course, the revised hero artwork that came with the second release of the 12 inch heroes.

12 inch Batman from harbert

 

 

 

12 Inch Mego Robin in the Canadian Box

12 Inch Mego Robin in the Canadian Box

Robin was first released in Canada with a 9.5″ Body to make him a different height than Batman, to our knowledge this is the only time Mego attempted to have scale with the Superheroes. This figure was initially released in Canada by Parkdale novelty but also saw limited release in the United Kingdom and France. By the time Mego launched their version of the 12 inch heroes, they completely retooled Robin into a 12″ version. This version of the figure is highly desirable on the secondary market.

 

Scott Arendsen provides us with a very cool shot of 3 different kinds of Mego Robin, from left to right 8″ Robin, 9.5″ verion (Foreign only) and the 12″ Non Megnetic version.

Here courtesy of Scott Arendsen are the three different kinds of Robin shoes from top to bottom : 12″ non Megnetic (note Magnetic Robin shoes are attached to the body) , 9″ Robin and the standard WGSH 8″ Robin.

Mego 12 Inch Batman with magnetic hands and feet and fly-a-way action

Mego 12 Inch Batman with magnetic hands and feet and fly-a-way action

 

 

US released 12″ Magnetic Batman has a very striking box, typical of some of the late seventies releases.

Mego 12 Inch  Magnetic Robin MIB

Mego 12 Inch Magnetic Robin MIB

 

The US Magnetic Robin Box has some really beautiful artwork on the back, a real pinnacle for Mego. It’s interesting to note that a great number of Mego’s 12″ releases in the US used white packaging.  This item is signed by Burt Ward, which some believe actually devalues an item such as this.

Burbank Toys UK version of the Magnetic Robin. (we could use a better picture)

fly-batman

Above is the boxed Non Magnetic Batman,.While the Robin is spotted from time to time, these Batman figures are almost never seen. The release time for these figures appears to have been very limited.

The Mego 12 inch Batman is non magnetic and has a unique box

A side view allows for a good shot of the figures non magnetic colored hands.

 

 

Mego 12 Inch Non Magnetic Robin

Mego 12 Inch Non Magnetic Robin

12 inch Non Magnetic Robin is slightly easier to find on the secondary market, this is due to a small find in Argentina during the late 1990s where it is believed at least 24 were found.  This source has understandably dried up and this figure is a tough get.

The back of the packaging is the Neal Adams Artwork used on the Wayne Foundation

Above is the boxed Non Magnetic Robin, Mego used artwork from the 1977 Style guide for the front and reused the art from the Wayne Foundation for the back. These were likely released around 1980 and are extremely diffucult to find.

The Mego 12

Evolution of a headsculpt The Mego magnetic Robin headsculpt got around, it was originally sculpted by Freelance Sculptor Bill Lemon (who also sculpted Marx’s Johnny West) for the Gabriel Lone Ranger series (where it no doubt originated) and then by Mego for the Denys Fisher Angels series before ending up as the Boy Wonder’s visage (Thanks to Chris Franklin for help in this one) UPDATE Laurie Halbritter was nice enough to point out that the Lone Ranger’s head surfaced as Hasbro’s Super Joe as well, man that’s one busy man of action!

The Mego licensed Ensueno Batman 12″ doll, found only in Mexico.