Mego Planet of the Apes Zaius

Prototype Dr. Zaius

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 porno travesti foresight of a then junior Mego employee we can see the crude yet charming first attempts at the line, 35 years after creation.

mego prototype Dr Zaius

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.

mego prototype dr. Zaius

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.

mego prototype Doctor Zaius

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