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

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.

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mego prototype cornelius

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.

mego prototype cornelius

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"

mego prototype cornelius

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.

mego prototype cornelius

The only finished figure appears to be the Astronaut which lends creedance to the theory that his head sculpt from another project.