One of the earliest pioneers in the world of action figures is prepping a nostalgic resurrection, promoting a new line of toys at this year’s San Diego Comic-Con ahead of their debut in stores this fall.
Mego Corp., the company that innovated some of the earliest cross-merchandising action figure toys for cartoon, comics, and pop culture fans throughout the 1970s and early 1980s, is launching a new line of figures based on characters from DC, Star Trek, Firefly, Charmed, The Wizard of Oz, and more beginning this October.
Under the direction of Marty Abrams, who inherited the family-owned business from his father in the 1970s, Mego was early to the action figure party with toys based on characters both within the world of animation and sci-fi, as well as popular entertainment and sports. The company says its new line of toys will be sold under the “Marty Abrams Presents Mego” brand name, and will be available exclusively at Target stores.
Mego’s line of figures based on “The World's Greatest Super Heroes” from Marvel and DC, as well as Planet of the Apes, Tarzan, and even real celebrities like Joe Namath and Sonny and Cher, were common sights on store shelves in the 1970s, and now command premium prices in the collectors’ market.
Not long after licensing a successful line of Micronauts toys based on Takara’s sci-fi line of Microman Japanese action figures, Mego reportedly made the fateful decision to pass up a licensing deal with an upstart new movie franchise by the name of Star Wars. As Kenner entered the 1980s flush with cash thanks to its groundbreaking Star Wars merchandising agreement, Mego languished, and the company declared bankruptcy in 1982.
Now nearly four decades removed from Mego’s heyday, Abrams and Namath are set to re-introduce Namath's namesake Mego action figure, alongside all the rest of the revived company's forthcoming lineup, at Mego’s SDCC panel on July 20. The toys themselves are slated to appear in Target stores and online beginning July 29.