Those 70s Toys – The Return Of Mego Star Trek September 6, 2007by John Tenuto , Filed under: Review,Toys , trackback
The year was 1974. Richard M. Nixon was President. Stamps were ten cents. $11,197, now the cost of college tuition, was most people’s salary. Star Trek fans were enjoying the show on television re-runs and at toys stores. During the 1970s, Mego was the leader in action figures and toys with movie or television themes, from Planet of the Apes to Marvel Comics. Mego’s Star Trek toys are among the most collectible items from the 23rd Century. Toys included the amazing USS Enterprise playset with working transporter or the Mission to Gamma VI environment. Mego continued to make Trek toys through the 70s including figures for Star Trek The Motion Picture. Mego closed its doors in 1983, but now these classic Trek toys are back and as good as new (because they are new).
Diamond Select brings back Mego
Modern fans know Mego from Toyfare from Wizard or perhaps Robot Chicken which feature Mego type toys. With the nostalgia for both the Kirk era of Star Trek and Mego toys, Diamond Select Toys has started a retro line of 8" Star Trek figures. These action figures are near perfect recreations of the original Mego figures. Everything from the costumes to the packaging art for the 2007 retro action figures are the same as their 1970s predecessors. Former Mego CEO Marty Abrams has been supportive of the new retro Star Trek items. Paul "Dr, Mego" Clarke has been working with DST to ensure authenticity of the figures which are being created using the original Mego molds from the 1970s.
front and back of new packaging
2 available now 4 more announced
The retro version Captain James T. Kirk and the Klingon are now available. This autumn, retro versions of Mr. Spock and the Andorian join Dr. McCoy and the Romulan. See below for comparison of the 1970s Kirk with the 2007 Kirk and the 1970s Klingon with the 2007 Klingon. Although there are some variations in color, that is actually due to the aging on the 70s version. The 1970s Aliens, except for the ubiquitous Klingon, are among the most valued because of their limited number, especially the Romulan because of its detailing. Because of how amazingly perfect the new versions are compared with the 1970s Mego toys, fans should be careful when collecting (make sure you are really getting originals when paying for originals).
Comparison with original (left) and new recreations (right)
More on the way?
Sales have been very strong according to online retailers. The original Mego line included two more crew members (Scotty and Uhura) as well as a number of aliens (some of which were actually not even from Star Trek). Mego fans have made customized versions for years of characters like the Orions or even Khan. There are rumors that should the line endure it may include these types of characters. For now Diamond Select are keeping mum on future plans for Mego retro figures, but hopefully we will end up seeing all the originals and maybe some new figures in the Mego style as well.
Fans looking for something unique compared with retro might enjoy the Star Trek Minimates collection from DST. These are popular two inch Lego style figures. The first series (Kirk, Spock, Scotty, McCoy, McCoy variant, Pike, and Vina) have already been released, but is sold out most places. Below are exclusive photos from Wizard World of the next 2 series of Star Trek Minimate action figures.
Minimates series 2 (available to pre-order see below)
Minimates series 3
Purchase new Mego toys
Mego and Minimates figures can be ordered now from Action Figure Express (at up to 25% off retail)
More TOS figures
These additional DST figures are available at AFX for up to 25% off retail
Mego 1970s commercials
also check out the excellent Mego Museum