Dr. Zaius

Doctor Zaius Card Art

Introduction



Mego Dr. Zaius Accessory CheckDr. Zaius is the lone Orangutan figure of the Mego Planet of the Apes line, based on the character from the first two Apes movies, played masterfully by the venerable Shakespearean actor Maurice Evans. As Minister of Science and Chief Defender of the Faith, Zaius was responsible for the preservation of Ape Culture, which also meant that it was his duty to stifle discovery of the “long dead but superior human culture.”

Mego sculptors did a wonderful job of capturing the likeness of Zaius. His beige outfit includes knee-pants and a jacket, with vertical strips of brown fabric representing the leather glyphics of the originals, and fake fur cuffs. An orange outfit would have been more accurate, but Mego fans should be thankful they didn’t get Dr. Zaius in blue, as he was depicted in dozens of other toy lines.

Dr. Zaius came in the coolest of ALL Ape boots: Very tall and made in black plastic, these boots had fantastic “Glyphics” molded into the upper sides. These boots were unique to Zaius, and never used for any other figure. Very first issue figures, however, were packaged with a simpler black hero boot (available with the fishing outfit for Action Jackson). He was available on a type1 and type 2 body although type 1 is much more common. The only really significant variation found on Dr. Zaius is hair color, which could range from yellow to orange.


 

Other than the two kinds of boots, there are no outfit variants
for Mego Zaius, other than the different shades of hair colouring
which really doesn’t count.



Packaging List


1st issue larger card ( square or round blister)

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 (UK)

Cipsa Box (Mexico)

Mailer box

Treehouse Giftset ( came with set in plastic baggie)



1st issue Card


 

The
Mego Zauis first issue card is taller and wider than the common
second issue (See the Cornelius page for exact size comparison).
The figure will always have a type 1 body and may sport the black
hero booties.

 

 



Kresge Card


 

it’s not commonly known that Mego printed Kresge cards for the
apes like they did with the heroes, as you can see it’s essentially
a 1st version card with the kresge logo and price printed directly
on.



Second Issue Card


 

You’re most likely to find Dr Zaius on this second issue Mego card,
the body type will vary however.



Cipsa Mexico


This
is a photo of a Mexican Cipsa Dr. Zaius box courtesy Mike King of
Quest for Toys. EL PLANETA DE SIMIOS!!

 

Almost all Mego Dr. Zaius Information and packaging shots were
provided by Mike J.



Palitoy UK
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Much like the Star Trek line, Palitoy Bradgate initially released the first wave of Planet of the Apes on cards that were variations of the Mego US Cards. The major changes are obviously the card is blue instead of Orange and the back promises no playsets or accessories, just the basic assortment of figures.

 

It is important to note that there is no mention of Palitoy or Mego anywhere on this package, other than the usual copyright notifications, this figure has no brand connected to it. This would be rectified in the later release (see below)

 


 

Second release Palitoy Carded Mego Dr Zauis featured distinct artwork and the Palitoy Bradgate brand.(Courtesy of Mike J)



Bullmark Japan


 

Bullmark of Japan released the Apes in stylish window boxes (note
the posing) Box courtesy of Mike J. These figures are often thought
to be released by Popy another Japanese distributor, this isn’t
the case.

 

Prototype Dr. Zaius




When Mego first proposed the Planet of the Apes license, the R and D department created early mock-ups to visualize the concept. While this is common in the toy industry and occasionally you can see such mock ups in toy promotional materials, they rarely physically surface themselves. This is mostly because they were simply tossed out after production begins. Thanks to the foresight of a then junior Mego employee we can see the crude yet charming first attempts at the line, 35 years after creation.

 

This early Dr. Zaius has an outfit made of denim with leather patches sewn on, it’s actually quite close to the end product. The boots are from the Action Jackson Fishing adventure set.

 

If the head looks at all familiar, it should because it’s actually the head from the Addar model kit. This makes perfect sense as the Addar kits were the inspiration for the line according to this interview with Neal Kublan:
“Well what got us started was the first things out were [the Addar] model kits and they were doing well. I remember seeing it in a hobby shop, infact our product development guy named Vinnie Baiera lived up the street from this place. I went in and the owner said “I can’t keep these in stock”

 

The Dr. Zaius body is merely a type one Action Jackson with it’s hands crudely painted orange, to our knowledge these figures only appeared in print once, in Famous Monsters of Filmland Magazine.

The only finished figure appears to be the Astronaut which lends creedance to the theory that his head sculpt from another project.

Dr. Zaius : Original Accessories and Known Repros

Loose Dr. Zaius

 

Zaius is found with two styles of boots. More common (and much cooler) are the glyphic boots. Glyphic boots can also be found on the Ledy version of the Apes line. The Ledy version boots have a more glossy finish than the U.S. version. The glyphic boots have been factory reproduced produced by EMCE Toys on their reproduction Dr. Zaius figure. The EMCE boots have a higher gloss finish, making them look more like orignial Ledy boots. They are a little thicker plastic, so more firm. The size and shape are exactly like originals, but the details on the glyphic part are a little finer, and more sharp. The EMCE boots are unmarked. Less often, Zauis can be found wearing black hero style boots which are also found in the Action Jackson fishing set, but it should be noted that the AJ sets boots are shaped like the hero “skinny” boot, while the Zaius version was the wider, more common hero style. Both Doctor Mego and Classic TV Toys have made reproducitons of the hero style boots. Both reproductions are more glossy than originals. DM’s are a thicker plastic, more round around the edges and stamped DM on the bottom. CTVT’s are closer in thickness but are slightly different in shape. They are unmarked.


 

coat

Zaius sports an off white coat with brown trim and brown fur cuffs. The coat has been reproduced by EMCE Toys. The reproduction is almost exact in every detail to the original. Very minor exceptions. The fur on the cuffs is a little longer and bushier. The brown strips along the shoulders are a little wider on the reproduction and the snaps used to fasten it are a size bigger on the EMCE. The material is pretty much a dead match. Perhaps the whites are a little brighter, but that could vary from original figure to original figure due to age, fading, etc… The reproduction is unmarked.


 

pants

Zaius wears knickers! Knee length pants that aren’t meant to tuck in his boots, that is. These have been reproduced by EMCE toys. The reproductions are made of an almost exact material. The biggest difference is at the waistband. The EMCE’s are sewn more bunched up and tighter about the waist. They also fit a little more snug overall. The reproduction version is unmarked.


 

heads

The Zaius head has been factory reproduced by EMCE Toys. The vinyl head is very similar in material on both. The shape is a little different. The reproduction is bigger, nose to back of the head, but more narrow from ear to ear. The details on the reproduction are a little softer, and the paints are a touch different, especially around the eyes and eyebrows. The skin tone is darker on the reproduction, as is the orange hair color. However, Zaius hair can color slightly with age, so it’s hard to say for sure that the reproduction hair is darker than all original figures. The reproduction is stamped with a 1968, 2008 Fox copyright on the back of the head.