With the announcement of the third ReMego set from Diamond Select/EMCE being Canadian superstar Wolverine. We thought it was a good time to sit down with Museum regular and co-founder of EMCE Toys, Paul “Dr Mego” Clarke for a discussion on how you go retro with a figure who wasn’t present in the original Mego World’s Greatest Superheroes.
Wolverine is the first 8 inch figure of a Marvel character in since Mego closed it’s doors, do you think this figure is close to how Mego would have done it?
We always try to visualize any character in MEGO 1977 style production. Custom boots and accessories like Thor or Conan, instead of recycled boots like Captain America and Shazam. We try to simplify the costume materials, silkscreening details instead of using separate fabrics.
The sculpting style of MEGO was to smooth away fine facial detailing due to the fact that these were toys for kids, not collectibles for adults, so we try to have less detailing on the classic versions than the modern ones.
What did you do that Mego wouldn’t have done?
MEGO in 1977 would have made Wolverine with a sculpted head wearing a mask. They would not have given him a removeable mask, especially since the character’s face in 1977 was not shown that much in the comics. Making a separate mask costs more in production that cannot be recouped at retail since MEGO kept the same retail price for the entire line regardless of number of accessories.
They could not sell the Andorian for more than Spider-Man, but the production costs for the Andorian was higher than Spidey.
Do you think Wolverine would have sold if Mego added to the WGHS say in 1977?
Sad to say, I doubt Wolverine would have been popular in 1977 since Uncanny X-Men at that time was up to issue #102-108, since it was a bi-monthly book at the time, and Wolverine was becoming a more interesting team member, but not yet the complex character he would develop into as the years went on. In terms of visual appeal, yellow is not the best color for a superhero.
Red and blue are the dominant superhero colors.
The character has had many different looks over his tenure, what influenced you to choose these specific outfits/head sculpts?
Being 70s kids, Joe and I first think of Wolverine in his yellow and blue tiger stripes costume, then the brown and orange costume that debuted in X-Men #139. To us, those are the classic looks of Wolverine that have stood the test of time.
Can you walk me through them?
We thought about going with his Hulk #180 first appearance, but disliked the whiskers on the mask, and were concerned that they would not look right on a removeable mask. We also considered the Weapon X look, with all the tubes, but it wouldn’t fit in the classic/alter-ego/modern dynamic of the set.
Was there any specific reason tied into the WGSH that you chose green for the window box colour?
The box color was chosen after studying the colors combinations MEGO used for its boxed heroes. Red would have looked
good next to the yellow and blue, but we just used red for Captain America, and were using blue for Thor. Neon pink was out
of the question, so we went with green to stand out.
EMCE has been known to utilize little pieces from existing Mego product into these sets, is there any in this new set?
The “mego Wolverine” in yellow and blue has gloves with claws extended. Those gloves began as casts of the MEGO Iron Man gloves before being altered.
Not holding this to any speculation whatsoever but what would your dream Marvel character be for this treatment?
I am a huge fan of the Thing and would love to make sculpted rock segments on a bigger, more articulated body
than the one MEGO made, but I suspect that in order to make the Thing, we would have to commit to the entire
Fantastic Four, and I don’t know if the fan interest is strong enough for these characters today.
Many thanks to Paul Clarke and EMCE Toys for this fun conversation.
Wolverine is the third in the series of Marvel ReMego sets from Diamond Select. Included with the three heads and outfits is a Magazine that celebrates the character and Mego toys. Look for some familiar names from the Mego Museum within those pages. The set is due to be released in June and is available for pre-order at Entertainment Earth or your local comic book shop.