Dr. 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.
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)
Palitoy card (UK)
Cipsa Box (Mexico)
Treehouse Giftset ( came with set in plastic baggie)
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.
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.
You're most likely to find Dr Zaius on this second issue Mego card, the body type will vary however.
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 Carded Mego Dr Zauis was issued on two different cards in the U.K., this is the second. (Courtesy of Mike J)
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.
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.