Mego Planet of the Apes


Because Cornelius in the original Planet of the Apes movie and Galen in the Planet of the Apes TV series were both portrayed by the same actor, Roddy McDowall, and wore costumes that were nearly identical, Mego chose to use essentially the same action figure for both characters.
Although variations abound, and some are more common on one character than the other, there is no absolute way to differentiate the figures. Both sets of Planet of the Apes figures were released on the Mego "Type 1" body with metal rivets in the joints (most prominent in the wrists) AND on "Type 2" bodies with plastic pins in the joints. Most collectors prefer to call a male Chimp on a Type 2 body "Galen," and a male Chimp on a Type 1 body "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.

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

Brown ears , green ears, green hair and orange ears? Just some of the many Cornelius variations, enough to drive an Ape collector mad! (courtesy Mike J)

The variant of Cornelius in a brown outfit courtesy Joe DeRouen. It is a striking contrast to the green.
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.
Boxed Mexican Cornelius like all apes is sold without pants! (courtesy of Luis Felipe).
Cipsa (Mexico) Mego Cornelius courtesy of Mike J,
Boxed Galen courtesy of Mike J,
First Version Mego carded Galen courtesy of Mike J,
Third Version Mego carded Galen courtesy of Mike J,
Palitoy Carded Galen from Mike J, Cornelius was released on a Bradgate card,
Japanese Bullmark Cornelius courtesy of Mike J,

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)

General Urko  Galen   Virdon and Burke   General Ursus  

Dr Zaius   Cornelius   Zira   Soldier Ape   Astronaut  

Mego Ape Playsets