The 1976 remake of the classic RKO film "King Kong" was touted as being "the most exciting and original motion picture event of all time", it makes sense that Mego, then the hottest rising star in the toy business joined in on the King Kong merchandising blitz.
Neal Kublan described the deal as "not totally unfair" and Mego went and tried to work their magic on one of history's greatest movie characters. The trouble is the Delaurentis production removed a great deal of marketable characters such as the dinosaurs. Also, as adept as Mego was at creating action figures, Kong was just a gorilla, leaving the character very prone to knockoffs, Mego seemed to use the Kong brand to focus on areas they were lacking shelf space.
King Kong against the World was the name of the giant target game that Mego had devised. Kong was a large action figure that stood atop one of the towers of the World Trade Center while children armed with toy jets that fired darts, tried to knock him off.
Kong against the world is an ingenious item.The box alone rivals that of the Wayne Foundation play set.A definite attempt to grab some shelf space on Mego's part.
The nicest part of this set is the Kong figure included, in the US Mego didn't produce anything resembling a Kong figure. There was a Kong head sculpted for a proposed board game but it never materialized. (Kong against the World pics courtesy of Chris Johnson)
This King Kong drinking straw was another attempt by Mego to foray into other aisles in the toy department. While a child drinks from the straw, Kong slowly climbs the WTC. Prototypes exist for Star Trek the Motion Picture and The Black Hole drinking straws as well.
Hey, it's dishwasher safe! (Kong Straw courtesy of Chris Johnson)
Mego was always trying to enter the plush market, from the early Super Softies line to King Kong. In 1976, Mego offered plush of the Woody Woodpecker characters as well; the Kong Plush seemed to be one of the more widely sold items by Mego.
Kong came in two reported sizes, although three were offered in the 1977 catalog. (Plush Kong from the collection of Chris Johnson)
Mego held the master toy license for Kong World wide, as they produced several exclusive toys for BullMark Japan (who also carried the Mego Planet of the Apes line) like this great little wind up figure.
Wind up figure is courtesy of Mathew Rile (view his auctions here) Rile is a man who knows his Kong.
Mego also tried to corner the model kit market with this release of "Kong's Last Stand" which has some glaring scale issues. The Last stand Kit is easily the most common Mego Kong item, in the 1980s many sealed cases were discovered in Toronto
Oddly, Mego chose not to produce the "Kong on Monster Island" kit.
While not only being more visually exciting, the Kit also has a better sense of scale. Mego was obviously trying to recapture some of the thunder of the Aurora Plastic Company, the people who invented the Monster Model kit.
It's hard to say whether Mego"s lack of success in this area is based on a then soft market for Monster kits or the fact that Mego was entering into the hobby model category with a single sku instead of a line
There are actually two different figures released exclusively in Japan through BullMark. This one comes to us courtesy of Toy Fanatic
Mego pitched a toy classic, the King Kong Bop Bag, something that their competitors were better known for. Boxed examples of the bop bag are few and far between but the item was produced.
Mego also pitched an electronic climbing King Kong figure, the figure apparently lowers itself and starts over again. Note the glow in the dark eyes. This is another item that most likely was never produced....
This section would not have been possible without the generous help of Chris Johnson, Laurie Halbritter and Mathew Rile.