Astronaut



Introduction




Astronaut (item number 1965) ( assortment number 1960) packed 2 per case in 1974; 4 per case in 1975

The human created for the first line of figures was
not based on the Charlton Heston character of “Taylor.”Mego
did not get the likeness rights to Heston with their deal. Even
so, it is worth noting that the Montgomery Ward Christmas Catalog
of 1974 mistakingly referred to the Astronaut figure as “Taylor.”
Rather than granting the character a personality, Mego simply named
him the “Astronaut.” This title was used with very amusing
results in one Mego commercial, which began by showing a gorilla
sniffing the air. “Hmmm,” he grunts. “I smell an
Astronaut!”

The original Astronaut was dressed in a blue zippered flight suit, given an Air Force pilot’s helmet, and short, “laced” black boots. To be complete, he also needs a white plastic belt. The astronaut was never sold with an elastic belt like the one worn by Action Jackson and as pictured in catalog shots. The Astronaut’s head bears a 1972 copyright date and classic 1972 sideburns. It has been postulated that this head was originally sculpted to be Don, the male companion to Dinah-mite, but, for reasons unknown, the decision was made to use a Superman head instead. The astronaut is pictured on the box art of a Dinah-mite Pool set exclusive to Australia. The first austronaut released on the 1st issue cards have a suit made of a soft nylon which does not fade over time but remains a deep blue. Later issue figures have suits that turn grey, purple, or fade in sections only. He was released on a type1 body and for a very short time as on a type 2. His suit and belt were resized to fit the larger body. His hair color can vary in different shades of brown.

Mego Astronauts

Dinah-Mite pool picture courtesy of Johnny Mego.



Variations



Mego Astronauts

 

Different types of fabric were used over the figures production period, combine that with the suit’s tendency to grey over time and you get a few variations. Photo courtesy of Mike Jimenez.

Packaging List



variations of Soldier Ape Cards

1st issue larger card ( square or round blister)

variations of Soldier Ape Cards

Kresge Card

2nd issue smaller card ( 1973 copyright between feet, no age recommendation)

2nd issue smaller card ( silver/black stripe over 1973 copyright, age recommendation added)

2nd issue smaller card ( 1973 copyright removed completely, age recommendation)

Bullmark box (Japan)

2nd issue card with Baravelli sticker (Italy)

Bradgate/ Palitoy card (UK)

Palitoy Card

Mailer box

Treehouse Giftset ( came with set in plastic baggie)

Treehouse Gift Set ( came with set in plastic baggie)

Forbidden Zone Gift Set (none found to date)

Fortress Gift Set (none found to date)

Catapult and Wagon Gift Set ( none found to date)





Window Box



Mego Planet of the Apes Astronaut in a window box

Mego Planet of the Apes Astronaut in a window box

The
Astronaut in his window box. (courtesy of Scott Miller)

2nd issue Card



pota-astronaut_mocpota_astro_mocback


2nd Issue card

Palitoy Bradgate Card



Carded Palitoy (Bradgate) Astronaut has a different
backer than the US release. He is difficult to find on this card and was not released during the Palitoy second run.

Bullmark Japan



 

Astronaut was released in a window box by Bullmark Japan, who also took the time to pose the figures. Picture courtesy of Mike Jimenez.




Prototype



Above are some screen caps of the Apes TV Commercials
featuring some early astronaut prototypes (very early as it’s easy
to see that the first two slides are just action jackson) The third
is the regular POTA Astronaut wearing an ersatz Alan Virdon outfit.(all
photo cred for the commercial photos go to Mike T1K)

Thanks to Mike Jimenez for his help with both the photos and editorial content on this page

Astronaut : Original Accessories and Known Repros

Loose Astronaut

 

boots

The Astronaut sports a shorter version of the mego combat boot. This boot is also found in the Action Jackson Navy set, and on some of the characters in the Monsters line. Classic TV Toys has reproduced the boot. The reproduction is a touch smaller and has more flashing evident. The reproductions are unmarked. CTVT also makes a full lenth combat boot (see Soldier Ape) and this boot can be cut down to make an almost factory reproduction of the Astronaut boot. The full size combat boot reproduction is a very soft rubbery material when compared with the original and is also unmarked.



 

belt

The Astronaut wears a white plastic belt similar to Robin’s plastic belt. Reproductions are available from DM and CTVT. Both reproductions were made from the Robin belt, but in white. The common version of the original Astronaut belt (pictured) is shorter than the Robin belt, so the reproductions are longer than most originals. Once the Astronaut was released on a T2 body, the belt was lengthened to the same length as the plastic Robin belt (not pictured). This version is not as common. The Doc Mego reproduction belt has a slightly duller texture than the original and is marked DM on the backside. The CTVT has a sharper texture than the original and is marked CTV in the inside.



Helmet

 

helmet

The Astronaut wears a gray helmet with a blue transparent visor that slides up and down. It has a white elastic string to hold it on the head around the neck. This is the same helmet found in the Action Jackson Airforce set, and has not been factory reproduced.



 

head

The Astronaut’s head was also used for Kit Willer from the Tex Willer line. The paintjob on Kit is a little different. Kit has darker brown hair, shorter sideburns, and black eyes. The Astronaut has lighter brown hair and blue eyes. CTVT reproduced the head for their Willer line, but used the longer painted sideburns and blue eyes of the Astronaut, but the darker brown hair of Kit Willer. The reproduction is unmarked.