By the late 70’s Star Trek has snowballed into a phenomenon, the announcement of a Star Trek motion picture had truly excited the movie going public then sci fi crazy after Star Wars Mania had struck. While Paramount initially attempted to treat the movie as a separate license, Mego fought hard that their agreement included merchandising rights to the movie.
Mego hoped that a little Star Wars magic would trickle onto this line, the once innovative company aped the Kenner approach with their 1979 Trek releases. No 8″ers released this time, just a 3″ and 12″ line.
The Movie was successful at the box office but it didn’t transfer into big sales for Mego. Mego’s merchandising of newer characters
such Ilia and Decker also proved unwise, Ilias were seen in stores up until the mid eighties.
Click on the original Mego Toyfair Handout for the
Movie Trek Line.
Mego broke the figures into two waves, the intial being the Enterprise crew and the second were the many aliens that appeared onscreen. Due to the poor sales of the crew, the aliens were only sold in the US through catalogs (Who would have placed the figures months before the film even opened). Of the characters, Kirk and Spock proved most popular at the time, with Decker and Ilia being the least popular for obvious reasons.
From Left to Right: Admiral Kirk, Mr.Spock, Dr.McCoy
Captain Decker (called “Decker”) Ilia Scotty (Anyone have a better picture of Ilia? The most common figure in the set and I don’t own one!)
From left to right: Rigellian, Klingon, Arcturian
Mego mixed up the actual Rigellian (an alien that can be seen here with the aliens known as Saurians) So it’s not a Rigellian at all you see. “Rigellian” was planned for the 12″ series as well but eventually cut from the line.
From Left to Right: Betelgeusian, Zaranite, Megarite.
The majority of the aliens showed up in Canada or Italy, this is because both these distributors paid up front for the merchandise (or used a letter of credit) and didn’t have the luxury of cancelling the order. Grand Toys in Canada blew the aliens away in K-Mart stores for one dollar each in 1981.
While the aliens weren’t released carded in the United States, you could get them three of them through JC Penney. You can see the corresponding JC Penney Catalog page here It seems that Mego got a little careless with assortment, while the catalog number matches, they’ve replaced Rigellian with Megarite. Thanks to Robert Doyle for the great picture.
Enterprise Playsets are fragile vacuform and very similiar to the pocket heroes batcave and Buck Rogers sets of the same year. A vacu-form Vulcan Shuttle is rumoured to have been released in Canada by Grand Toys but no examples have ever surface.
Enterprise in it’s US packaging.
Canadian Boxed Enterprise from Grand Toys, the French version translates Star Trek to “The Cosmic Patrol”. This item actually got marked down to $0.50 at Hudson’s Bay Stores in 1980. From the collection of Craig MacKillop.
Above is one of the few known photos of the Vulcan shuttle prototype, while rumours abound of it’s release in Canada (which is never completely dismissable when it comes to Mego) no examples have shown up, which is surprising considering Star Trek was commonly collected even in 1979.
Klingon and Arcturian on Italian cards. (courtesy of Brain)
Megarite (Canadian Card,note no name) and Rigellion. (courtesy of Brain)
Zaranite and Betelgeusian on Italian Ceppi Ratti Cards.
Captain Kirk on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Mister Spock on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Dr. McCoy on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Ilia on a Canadian Grand Toys Card, this figure hung around at retail for years. (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Klingon on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card, the aliens saw a wide release in Canada and Italy but were next to impossible to find in the US. (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Rigellian on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Arcturian on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Betelgeusian on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Zaranrite on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
Megarite on a rare Canadian Grand Toys Card (courtesy of Craig MacKillop)
These great little ship models saw very limited release in the United States (although some did trickle in) but they were readily found in Canada, Germany and the UK. It’s rare for the World’s Greatest Toy Company to attempt models but these fun items still had a toy aspect to them. It’s a pity they weren’t released wider as they are pricey and hard to find now:
This rare Enterprise, the forward saucer section is removable and has landing gear.
The Klingon bird of Prey from the series.
Back of the Canadian Grand Toys box for the Klingon Cruiser.
Original Boxed Klingon Cruiser in the Grand Toys (Canada) box courtesy of Brain from PlaidStallions.
The Vulcan Shuttle is the toughest of the three ships to find.
Vulcan Shuttle in the rare US packaging.
Uber rare Canadian boxed Klingon Cruiser warns children it’s an “Ennemy Spaceship”
Who proof read this thing?.
The back of the box actually details where everything is on the Klingon ship, I’m not hardcore enough to debate it’s accuracy.
When ERTL pitched their 1984 “Search for Spock” action figure line, they used mocked up Megos at Toy Fair!
Check out the 12″ Offerings by clicking on the pic below!
Another astounding pic from the John Bonavita archive is a shot of the original Mego “Two Up” of the 3 3/4″ Klingon Figure sculpted by Bill Lemmon.
Two Up means the prototype’s size in relation to the actual production run; two sizes bigger or three times the size of the production size. In this case the figure looks to be 7″ tall.
This comparison shot goes to show how much of the original figures detail was lost back then in the conversion from 7″ Sculpture to 3 3/4″ figure. The Two up shows a great deal of workmanship and should give a new found respect into the quality put into this line..