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.
Dinah-Mite pool picture courtesy of Johnny Mego.
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.
1st issue larger card ( square or round blister)
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)
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)
The Astronaut box. (courtesy of ABMAC)
Carded Astronaut courtesy of Paul Moya
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.
Astronaut was released in a window box by Bullmark Japan, who also took the time to pose the figures. Picture courtesy of Mike Jimenez.
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