SkyGuy by Schaper Toys AKA the Mego Mystery Man/Pilot/Astronaut
His name is SKY GUY!
One of the biggest appeals of Mego collecting is the mysteries and discoveries still happening some 50 years later. The company made and sold products for different markets and distributors, causing widespread collector speculation and theories.
One of the longest-running is the “Mystery Man”, who has also gone by the moniker “Myster Astronaut” for his resemblance to the Planet of the Apes Astronaut (which some conjectured the figure might be connected to somehow.)
This figure began popping up in the mid to late 70s, usually in clear plastic baggies. One wise collector even wrote the date on the price tag (from Big Red’s a NYC-based pool supply store known for toy closeouts).
Mego very clearly produced this figure, he is on a type-1 body wearing a unique jumpsuit, Action Jackson boots and Airforce helmet painted yellow (mego astronaut).
The head sculpted for this character is one Mego was fond of recycling, it began life as Batman for the initial run of remvoable cowl figures, Mego would famously swap this head out due to children losing the cowl but it would also be used for the Bruce Wayne Alter Ego exclusive from Wards in 1974.
Internationally, Mego would reuse the head for two more foreign distributors that same year. In Italy, he would become a popular Western comic book hero, Tex Willer, in a deal with Baravelli. In South Africa, Mego would turn him into popular Radio star (and Oatmeal spokesperson) Jet Jungle.
When shown the figure for the first time, Mego chairman Marty Abrams remarked to us that the figure was “Something my dad [Mego founder D. David Abrams] made.” During this time, David Abrams was running the Mego operation in Hong Kong. Abrams also mentioned that Mego would manufacture for other toy makers, saying that his father oversaw the production of the diecast peanut cars sold by Aviva.
Unfortunately, Marty Abrams’s memory couldn’t completely place the figure for us, stating to me he believed “The character was supposed to be a stunt man, like Evel Knievel.” It seemed like we would never find the answer to this Mego mystery.
That was until we received a note from Jordan, asking us if we’d seen an auction listing featuring a lot of toys. In the lot is a boxed toy called “Sky Guy” by the Minnesota-based Schaper Toys.
Sky Guy is a toy concept that essentially allows you to mimic sky diving through a pully system not unlike what Mego would dub “Fly Away Action.”
Jordan pointed out that this auction was close to Schaper’s head office, meaning it might be a production sample.
All searches for this product seem to come up as a dead end, but there is no doubt that the figure was likely created for this purpose. However, it is not known if Sky Guy went into full production or merely was scrapped, and the inventory of figures quietly closed out.
We hope to find more about Sky Guy and Mego’s connection to this, but what an absolutely wonderful discovery.
Special thanks to Jordan Barrett for this amazing discovery and detective work!
Thanks to toy historian Eddy Berst, we have these amazing catalog pages from the 1974 Schaper Catalog featuring Sky Guy and Sky Crane.
According to this, there were even TV commercials for Sky Guy.
Our previous gallery page for the Mystery Man is below.
This handsome figure started surfacing in collectors’ circles in the late 1980s and since then has been stumping collectors as to who he’s supposed to be.
No Mego packaging has ever been found for the Mystery Man, he’s usually found loose or sometimes in polybags.
The boots, Type 1 body, helmet and the head sculpt are all reissues of Mego materials. The jumpsuit is unlike anything else produced.
The first theory is that this fellow is supposed to be an astronaut, the strongest case is made when you compare him to the Mego Planet of the Apes Astronaut and Space:1999’s Alan Carter. However we found the word astronaut taints the creative process, he could easily be a pilot, race car driver, stunt man, we may never know.
Is he a promotional item? A failed prototype for “Blue Thunder’ figures? A long lost POTA astronaut?
We may never know…
See what a difference a little paint makes? The five faces of the Mysteryman. From Left to right: Jet Jungle, Bruce Wayne, MM, Batman and Tex Willer.
Seen below: A simple cellophane bag holding the Mystery Man with a discount price sticker. He was purchased at a discount store called “City Dump” in October of 1977, other new reports suggest he could be found in Florida and New Jersey as well. One Museum reader swore he saw the character sold in Planet of the Apes Astronaut window boxes.