The thirteen Best MEGO Superheroes — RANKED
It’s the 45th anniversary of Mego’s World’s Greatest Tremendous-Heroes!
It’s all Phillip Tagliaferri’s fault.
When I was 5 or 6 years previous, I walked into Phillip’s room and standing on his dresser had been Batman and Robin in all their Mego glory.
Though I had an Action Jackson, I hadn’t even conceived that these could exist. This was in all probability late 1972 or early 1973 and the shockwave of seeing the Dynamic Duo like this completely altered my younger life and, I suppose by extension, the forty five years or so that adopted.
What I didn’t understand was that this scenario, or comparable ones, have been taking part in out for countless other youngsters as Mego unleashed its first wave of World’s Greatest Super-Heroes — Batman, Robin, Superman and Aquaman.
For a era, Megos had been it, and no quantity of Scorching Toys, DC Collectibles, Marvel Select and Funko figures — terrific though they’re — will ever surpass them for sheer childlike joy and surprise.
By means of begging and cajoling — my rudimentary bargaining powers and abilities of charm in full force — I managed over a number of years to build a fairly good size Mego assortment: Batman, Robin, the Joker, Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, Batgirl, Superman, Aquaman, Shazam! Captain Marvel, Spider-Man, Captain America, Mr. Mxyzptlk and Inexperienced Arrow. In some cases, a number of variations of each.
Add to that the Batcave, Batmobile, Batcopter and Batcycle. (Oh, and Cornelius and Dr. Zaius from Planet of the Apes.)
This poster was offered by way of WorldsGreatestToys.com
My originals are lengthy gone — a story for an additional day — however they’ve all been changed by different authentic figures or today’s lifeless-on replicas. My assortment is far greater than it ever was, crammed with characters that Mego by no means acquired around to producing or ones that I never had.
However I obtained to thinking. With Mego’s World’s Biggest Super-Heroes line celebrating its 45th anniversary this vacation season — it debuted for Christmas 1972 — which had been the very best And by best — a purely subjective idea — I imply finest designed. The ones that stroll that line between hokey and goofy and clever and cool.
Now, if I were being utterly sentimental, my listing would look fairly completely different. Batman could be tops, straightforward, palms down. Robin and Penguin would be on there. Most likely Captain America too.
As an alternative, that is a list that tries to dispassionately consider the aesthetics and inventiveness that went into creating these great toys.
So, with all that said, and your argumentative muscles already primed, here are The thirteen Greatest Mego Superheroes — RANKED:
Thirteen. Kid Flash. If I’m going to have one of many smaller-scale Teen Titans on this list, and i ought to, it’s going to be Child Flash, whose classic design is one in every of the best in comics historical past. (Click on here for extra on that.) I’m not loopy in regards to the pink knickers but virtually each Mego makes some concession to finances or production issues. I dig the molded gloves — and only want that Mego had gone on to create his mentor, the Flash …
Most pix are from eBay. I wanted to showcase the originals if in any respect attainable. Some of these could have repro parts.
12. Shazam! … whose outfit, I suppose, would have appeared so much like this. Shazam! Captain Marvel was one of many earliest Megos I had however he disappeared comparatively quickly, which is unusual as a result of I was cautious with my toys, but there you’ve gotten it. I do know that purists get annoyed by the shortcuts on the cape and even the face, however I dig it.
He seems to be like Wealthy Buckler’s Captain Marvel, and that’s just superb by me.
11. The Falcon. I was far more centered on DC’s Megos rather than Marvel’s. I used to be a Batmancentric kid and solely had Spidey and Cap. I could not have even turn out to be conscious that the Falcon had a figure until years later when i noticed him in a Heroes World catalogue. I don’t think I ever noticed him in a retailer. However this is a good design and does an admirable job of translating him from the comics page. Huge, huge factors off, although, for the versions that had Planet of the Apes fingers. That’s simply significantly messed up. (Also price noting that the Mego commercials used to single him out as the “black superhero.” Yeesh. Different times, I do know. But nonetheless.)
10. Batgirl. I suppose there was no different approach around it for the Tremendous-Gals, but I by no means liked the Megos with the flyaway hair. Too unruly and it really detracts from the general effect of the determine. So a part of what makes Batgirl work is her helmet: It retains her hair in verify. When you’re taking it off, you’re nonetheless left with that odd mask but I used to consider it as Barbara Gordon’s glasses. She’s the best of the feminine heroes Mego produced and was certainly one of my favorites as a child. Taking a cue from Batman Family (click on right here), I used to have her date Robin. I had an overactive imagination.
9. Superman. The Man of Steel is sort of bland and he by no means appeared quite large sufficient for me, but that is about as good a basic Superman motion figure as you’ll ever find. The colors are vivid and daring, the cape is safe and Superman seems to be like Superman. I played with him a lot more after Superman: The Movie came out but I used to be all the time upset that he didn’t look extra like Christopher Reeve (although he’s not far off, truly) and that he didn’t have higher villains to battle. That was an actual Mego oversight. Mxy however no Lex Come on!
8. The Thing. I virtually put the Hulk on this checklist as a result of he’s a near excellent adaptation of the character in plastic and cloth. And critically, I in all probability should have. But I simply love the Thing’s kitsch value and didn’t want to place two of the over-muscled figures on the record. Random, however true. Anyway, that’s a prime-flight head sculpt — Kirby in 3-D. And the suit is rocks painted on! If that doesn’t say Mego, I don’t know what does!
7. The Riddler. This can be a terrific determine, and wonderfully easy. With so few bells and whistles to need to adapt, this Riddler really appears to be like just like the Riddler. I suppose you can quibble that his purple belt ought to have been considered one of Mego’s generic smooth belts instead of a copy of Batman’s utility belt, but no matter. Though Spider-Man was also in stocking toes (as it had been), I always had a harder time getting Riddler to face on his own. Possibly that’s because Spidey’s toes have been sticky. (Get it I crack myself up.) Seriously, though, it’s a fantastic head-sculpt and an amazing jumpsuit. Nice determine.
6. Batman. Batman is my favorite Mego of all time for the plain causes but a much less biased view places him in the midst of the list, with a giant asterisk: If I only had to think about the removable-cowl version, he’d be at or near the top. But the molded-head Batman was the one that the majority children had. The removable-cowl Batman was magical. Getting to take that mask off to reveal Bruce Wayne beneath was a factor of transformative beauty.
On the other hand, the molded Batman headsculpt isn’t nice. By the early ’70s, the Batman of the comics had reverted to his position as a critical avenger of the night time — however merchandising didn’t catch as much as that for years so Mego Batman ended up with an oddly placid look. The oven mitts don’t help the look either, though I’m totally cool with that. They’re so indelibly Mego I can’t start to criticize them. I think I additionally would have most well-liked that his cape were fastened on, because it could typically spin round throughout Batfights.
(Side observe: Robin didn’t make the list because even though he’s one in every of the good Megos, I often discovered him irritating to handle: His tunic would typically come open or pull out from his belt. Not precisely conducive to the aforementioned Batfights. I still love him, nevertheless, although as a kid I usually wished his head sculpt have been up to date as a substitute of being based on the Golden Age.)
5. The Lizard. Now, we’re actually entering into it. The Lizard is certainly one of Mego’s finest — and may be why I like the character so much. Nice head sculpt, correct clothing and clever development of the cloth tail. I wished a Lizard in the worst means and by no means received one. It’s the vacation season, so if any of you readers on the market want to buy me one off of eBay, I’ll let ya!
Seems like a repro coat, judging by the pockets. However you get the gist.
Four. Inexperienced Goblin. As great as the Lizard is, the Green Goblin is best. Typically Mego overshot with its accountrements however here they hit it right on. It’s an incredible head sculpt, for one thing. All cackling menace. The jumpsuit is a excellent design too. They usually didn’t skimp on other particulars, either: It all the time bugged me that Superman had generic boots — identical with Batgirl — however right here the eye to element pays off with Goblin’s pointy footwear. Spidey deserved extra villains — particularly if they have been as well produced as these two. A first-fee determine — and one I also by no means acquired. (Hint, hint.)
Three. Green Arrow. Green Arrow makes it this excessive largely on the strength of certainly one of Mego’s best head sculpts ever. That is Neal Adams’ vision nearly completely tailored. Funny thing is I thought-about GA form of exotic, too: I bought him pretty late in the sport — years after my unique figures, which I largely acquired from 1972 to 1975 or so. He was the final DC eight-incher produced, hitting in ’75, however I didn’t learn about him till much later. And to at the present time I discover it strange that Mego produced him whereas never getting round to the Flash and Green Lantern, who were increased on the DC meals chain. So captain america white shirt usa there’s a certain aura round this determine. He’s not solely comics correct — he lacks those distinctive archer’s gloves and there’s no cross-stitching on the chest — but the outfit actually works. On the other hand, the equipment didn’t necessarily fare as effectively: The quiver straps by no means sat on his shoulder correctly, you couldn’t actually fit the bow in his hand properly and the hat would fall of his head when in action. However for those who pose him on a shelf, he looks rattling cool.
This looks like a reproduction to me however I’m unsure.
2. Spider-Man. That is about pretty much as good as it gets. Like the Riddler, this can be a case the place simplicity wins out. No capes, no litter, no belt, no nothing. Just an amazing-looking jumpsuit, with deep, wealthy colours. Now, as it occurs Spider-Man is one in all the best costume designs of all time, so that Kylo_Ren clearly helps. (Click right here for more on that.) But Mego actually nailed the presentation. Is it perfect Of course not. That captain america white shirt usa is Mego we’re talking about. The online strains on Spidey’s mask aren’t black. As a substitute, they’re indented — however I discover that actually cool. I also a lot favor the classic, comics-accurate chest brand, as opposed to the bizarre circle model.
And did you notice that this is without doubt one of the few Spider-Man captain america white shirt usa action figures to give you these John Romita eyes It’s true. Just try discovering another one. So that’s huge for me. As a result of it seems to be like this Spidey just jumped off of this cover:
1. The Joker. If Spidey is simplicity incarnate, the Joker is the right melding of Mego’s variety of manufacturing instincts. The head sculpt is the very best the corporate ever produced, with its shiny green hair, white pallor and daring red lips without end molded into villainous laughter. Although he was clearly meant to look like the fortunately crooked clown of the ’60s comics, he may also move for the more sinister criminal of the ’70s, depending on your temper and perspective.
You might want him to be sporting an precise go well with and vest — I wouldn’t. Suits at this scale look bulky and constricting. Having his outfit screened on might not be lifelike but it’s traditional Mego. And because the Joker’s a skinny marink, the effect is suitable. The illusion is additional enhanced by the purple tails with inexperienced shirt cuffs. The lapels never sat proper but no matter. The brown shoes labored, meanwhile, and the slight tackiness of the rubber made it pretty straightforward to get the Joker to face on his personal. If I’ve a quibble, it’s that the Joker was often drawn with purple gloves, however so be it. That wasn’t even a hundred p.c of the time.