Click Links to See Individual Mego Pages
Comic Action Heroes
Dukes of Hazzard
One Million B.C
Planet of the Apes
Pocket Super Heroes
Star Trek 1974-1977
Star Trek 1979-1980
Starsky & Hutch
Wizard of Oz
World’s Greatest Super Heroes
The History of Mego in the 1970’s
When you think of iconic toy lines for each decade, Mego’s action figures of the 1970’s stand out as one of the biggest things that ever happened to toys. Along with Star Wars and GI Joe, Mego has earned their place on the action figure Mount Rushmore, but their journey to becoming an iconic toy brand went through quite a few trials before finally becoming the mighty toy line we all know and love. The Mego Toy Company was founded in 1954 by David Abrams in New York City. The company was a big producer of dime store type toys and dolls with steady sales for many years. Mego Toys was a known name in the toy industry but very far from the household name that it would later become. When David Abrams’ son, Marty, came to power within the company, he decided to change things up a bit and created a brand new line of action figures to compete with the mega successful GI Joe line. Marty Abrams decided to shrink the figures down a more cost effective 8 inch size, which would also reduce the size of the vehicles and accessories. Another new concept introduced was the concept of interchangeable bodies. Mego created three different head sculpts, but only one body type so each head sculpt could be used on the same body. This helped to reduce production costs and proved to much more effective for future Mego lines. The first line released under this new innovative plan was the Action Jackson action figure line, which ran from 1971 – 1974. Action Jackson was never considered to be a huge success, but it was successful enough to produce a couple of different waves of figures and accessories. The biggest thing that Action Jackson was known for however, was that it laid down the groundwork for all future Mego action figure brands and showed their new 8 Inch action figure system would definitely work!
Being the innovator that he was, Marty Abrams reached out to an untapped resource for his next magic trick, Comic Books. He signed a licensing deal with Marvel and DC Comics to produce toys based on their characters and called it, the World’s Greatest Super Heroes line. During its unprecedented 9 year run from 1972-1980, Mego gave us some truly iconic figures and accessories for the World’s Greatest Super Hero line, which included some ultra popular characters from both major comic book lines. All together, there were 33 different characters made into action figures, or 37 if you want to count the four Secret ID figures. Since Mego changed their packaging a few times, there are several different variants of each figure, with varying degrees of variations. The first four figures (Batman, Robin, Superman, Aquaman) were released in 1972, but were only available in limited retail locations across only a few regional locations. The figures proved to be so popular that the line was expanded each year through 1978, with no new figures being released in the1979 and 1980 waves. During its run, Mego also releases several incredible vehicles and accessories, along with three simply breathtaking large scale playsets. A line of 12 Inch figures were released as well, to include figures based on the Superman Movie and the Wonder Woman Television Series. After an amazing run of over nine years, Mego finally ceased production on their flagship World’s Greatest Superheroes line in 1980. This line has certainly been imitated many times throughout the years , but no toy company yet has been able to re-create the absolute wonder of Mego’s amazing toy run through the 1970’s.
Since Mego had already proven themselves with Action Jackson and World’s Greatest Super Heroes lines, they began branching out to original properties, such as the Super Pirates, Super Knights, Robin Hood, American West and the Mad Monsters lines. They all showed varying levels of success, but the best was yet to come. By 1974, Mego Toys was quickly becoming a global name in the toy industry, so Mego turned their sights on other licenses from the big and small screens with Star Trek and Planet of the Apes. Mego signed licensing deals with both companies and were able to release toys for both lines in 1974. At the time, Twentieth Century Fox was attempting to revive the Planet of the Apes franchise with a new television show and re-releasing all the original moves. Paramount Pictures was doing the same with their Star Trek brand with strong syndication of the original show and releasing a new animated series as well. This meant Mego jumped in at just the right time with both as they made a huge splash with the action figure and toy lines. Both the Planet of the Apes and Star Trek lines would turn out to become some of the biggest selling products that Mego ever produced (other than WGSH of course). They both did well enough that additional series of figures were released the following year in 1975. Star Trek and Planet of the Apes gave Mego some real clout in the toy business, and the years 1974 and 1975 proved to be the biggest and most profitable that Mego ever saw during its amazing run. Mego would go on to release many other lines of action figures during the 1970’s and early 80’s, including Happy Days, Starsky and Hutch, The Walton’s, Our Gang, Dukes of Hazzard, CHIPS, Black Hole, Buck Rogers, the new Star Trek Movie and many, many more. Every child growing up during this period knew the name Mego because it meant fun toy lines based on the hottest franchises at the time. Mego brought a level of creativity and innovation to the toy industry that no one had seen up until then. Marty Abrams truly ushered in a golden period of toys for an evolving generation of youth, who has truly earned the title of “The Father of the Modern Action Figure”.
Mego released some real quality and amazing products from 1971 to 1982, and just like every toy line, the values of certain items can greatly fluctuate over time. This is based on several factors, including the item’s time period, scarcity, consumer demand and overall condition. The good news for Mego fans and collectors is there is always a demand for items from this era, as Mego created some truly iconic pieces. Loose individual figures from the various lines can still be found in most secondary markets but boxed or carded figures are becoming harder and harder to find in good condition. It should be noted that while certain lines can still be fairly easy to find in boxes or on cards (such as Our Gang, CHIPS, Dukes of Hazard, etc.), other more popular lines such as World’s Greatest Heroes, Star Trek Planet of the Apes, Mad Monsters and many others can be very tough to find in good complete condition. One thing that remains consistent though is that values on the various Mego lines items remain steady with a strong secondary market, due to an ever present 70’s and 80’s nostalgic desire. Boxed versions of the playsets and vehicles from these lines will always remain tough finds on the secondary market and usually fetch high prices for any in good condition. The figures, playsets, vehicles, packs and other sets from these iconic Mego lines will only increase in value as these figures and sets become rarer and harder to find in the future. Any purchase of a nice boxed or carded Mego item should always be considered an investment that may fluctuate over time but will always hold their value due to a high demand.
Action Jackson / American West / Black Hole / Buck Rogers / Celebrities & TV Starz / CHIPS / Comic Action Heroes / Dukes of Hazzard /
Happy Days / KISS / Mad Monsters / One Million BC / Our Gang / Planet of the Apes / Pocket Heroes / Robin Hood / Star Trek 1974-1977 /
Star Trek 1979-1980 / Starsky & Hutch / Super Knights / Super Pirates / Wizard of Oz / World’s Greatest Super Heroes
Unproduced Dallas Figures
Unproduced Black Hole Playsets
Unproduced Western Dodge City Playset
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