Mego Planet of teh Apes Cornelius


Cornelius ( item number 1961) ( assortment number 1960) packed 6 per case

Because Cornelius and Galen were both portrayed by the same actor, Roddy McDowall, Mego chose to use essentially the same head for both action figures.

The costumes and shoes are also virtually identical. It is speculated that Galen received some brighter colors of vinyl (from burgundy to a near purple tone) while Cornelius tended to get a simple brown. There are even different shades of thread in the stitching of the tops.

There is no absolute way to differentiate the figures, however, since both sets of Planet of the Apes figures were released on the Mego “Type 1” body – that is, the body which used metal joints, most prominent in the wrists — AND on “Type 2”
(plastic jointed) bodies. What does all this mean? Simply, a male Chimp on a Type 2 body is probably Galen, while a male Chimp on a Type 1 body is probably Cornelius, but it is impossible to be sure unless the figures are carded. A complete figure (Cornelius OR Galen) has green tights, a green top with vinyl details, and moccasins (of either brown or burgundy tones). There is a very rare but confirmed variation of Cornelius in an outfit made of brown fabric in place of green, but with the same vinyl details. This outfit has been found on Cornelius only, not yet on Galen.



Above are some screen caps of the Apes TV Commercials featuring some early Mego Cornelius and Zira prototypes. Note the early head sculpts and uniforms and that the astronaut is obviously just an Action Jackson.(all photo cred for the commercial photos go to Mike T1K)

Brown Version

The variant of Cornelius in a brown outfit courtesy Joe DeRouen. It is a striking contrast to the green.


1st issue US card (all characters copyright of Apjac Prod and 20th Cent. Fox)

2nd issue US card ( astrerix on Ursus (black face) all other copyright of only 20th Cent. Fox)

3rd issue US card ( Ursus and Urko switch names, asterix on Ursus (helmet head))

Mailer box

US window boxed

Palitoy card (UK)

Forbidden Zone Gift Set (none found to date)

Fortress Gift Set (none found to date)

Catapult and Wagon Gift Set ( none found to date)

Card Variants

Tom has provided the Museum with a guide to Planet of the Apes card
variations, great eye Tom.

Brown Version

The variant of Cornelius in a brown outfit courtesy Joe DeRouen. It is a striking contrast to the green.

1st issue Card

Carded Cornelius courtesy of Troy has green ears which puts to rest the whole Galen/Corny differences theory.Both first issue and second issue cards can contain the mini catalogs.

Cipsa Mexico

Boxed Mexican Cornelius like all apes is sold without pants! (courtesy of Luis Felipe).

Cipsa (Mexico) Mego Cornelius courtesy of Mike J

Bullmark Japan

Japanese Bullmark Cornelius courtesy of Mike J

Watch our video on Bullmark Planet of the Apes figures


Prototype Cornelius

Mego Planet of the Apes Cornelius

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 cornelius has an outfit made of denim, the patterns on the leather patches have been hand painted. It’s nowhere near screen accurate but it is really interesting to look at.


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 Cornelius body is merely a type one Action Jackson with it’s hands crudely painted brown, 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 credence to the theory that his head sculpt from another project.

Cornelius/Galen : Original Accessories and Known Repros

Loose Cornelius/Galen




Cornelius and Galen wear the same moccasins as Peter Burke, Alan Verdon, Starsky from Starsky and Hutch and some figures in the Western line. They come in various shades of brown and burgundy tones. They have been factory reproduced by Classic TV Toys, EMCE Toys and Tim Mee. The CTVT reproductions are a darker brown than originals and are a little shorter with a slightly different overall shape. They are marked CTV on the inside. The EMCE reproductions fall well into the range of color shades you find originals in and the material used to make them is spot on, however, they are taller than originals. You can also notice that the original mocs were poured from the side (the minor flashing is evident) but the new EMCE versions are poured from the back. The other thing that makes the EMCE version spotable is there is a stamp on the inside of each moc. On the one I examined, one moc had the number 1 stamped in it, the other had a 4. To make matters a little more confusing, Tim Mee reproduced the Mego western line back during the Mego era using the same molds. So there are vintage mocs out there that are identical to mego in almost all respects. Color, material, molds, etc… The Tim Mee mocs are just a touch thinner, making them a little more flexible than originals. The big difference is that the Tim Mee’s are marked made in Hong Kong on the bottom, while the original Mego’s are unmarked.



Cornelius/Galen shirt has been factory reproduced by EMCE Toys. It should be easy to describe the differences in something as simple as a shirt, but in this case, it’s not so simple. Cornelius/Galen shirts come in shades of olive and possibly brown. It’s hard to find any two that match completely due to age, fading or simply different lots. They tend to be fairly similar though and the EMCE repro seems to be a bit on the browner side of olive than the average Mego original. The same color problem exists when discussing the vinyl trim on the shirt. Original shirts have trim that can be either brown or burgundy. With the EMCE, they chose to go with brown for the trim. These shirts in color do not make identification impossible though. The modern reproduction is made of a slicker material, the vinyl for the chest area is glued completely down on the reproduction, where on the original it is only spot glued. The details on the chest piece of the repro are more more clear and sharp edged, although not imprinted as deep as an original. The other differences on that chest piece is the sides are more curved on the reproduction. Other differences regarding the vinyl are the bands on the arms. The pair on the reproduction are much closer together than the pair on the original, and the cuff vinyl on the reproduction is wider. The last difference between the shirts is the fur trim. The reproduction fur is a little bit lighter in color, and a little more “long haired” than the original fur. The shirt is unmarked.



Cornelius/Galen pants have been factory reproduced by EMCE Toys. Like the shirt, it’s not so easy to describe in absolutes the difference between the two when you are considering color. Cornelius/Galen pants come in shades of olive and possibly brown. It’s hard to find any two that match completely due to age, fading or simply different lots. They tend to be fairly similar though and the EMCE repro seems to be a bit on the browner side of olive than the average Mego original. The modern reproduction is made of a slicker material and fit a little tighter at the waist. The pants are unmarked.



The Cornelius/Galen head has been factory reproduced by EMCE Toys. The reproduction is a slight bit taller than an original, the detail lines in the hair and in the face are a little more dull on the reproduction and it’s a little softer. The ears on the reproduction are painted tan, while an original can be either green or tan. The new EMCE head is stamped with a 1968 and a 2008 FOX copyright on the back of the head.

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