“Make mine Mego! ” and not just because I love the toys, but because I’ve grown to truly respect and appreciate the CEO.
“Make mine Mego! ” and not just because I love the toys, but because I’ve grown to truly respect and appreciate the CEO.
Taking a little time to share some thoughts and a little personal stuff with you in lieu of a great thing that has happened in the toy community. That big thing of course is the return of the Mego Corporation. As I’ve mentioned previously, this is an amazing story to me. After over 30 years, the premiere Action figure company of the 1970’s has returned to what they do best and headed by the man who started it all; Marty Abrams. I could wax on and on about how awesome that is to me but right now I want to get to a more important aspect of it all to me personally: This development has been a major inspiration for me personally as well as creating opportunities for my own toy dreams to come true.
You see, dear reader, watching and mindfully observing the return of Mego Corporation has led to a whole lot of learning for your old buddy Jimbo. It got me asking a lot of questions to not only myself, but to people inside the action figure world. Not just collectors but the makers. And those conversations have led to an incredibly exciting opportunity that I look forward to sharing with you all very soon. Ever the tease, I know, but it’s all about timing. Which is another point I’d like to make in this writing.
Over the weekend (July 29, 2018 specifically), Mego fans everywhere in the nation were clambering to finally get their hands on the first new official Mego’s at Target stores across the country and online. To say the least, the roll out by Target has been a bit clunky, but it’s resolving itself even as I type. Initially though, some stores didn’t have them in stock, others said they weren’t going to stock them at all and the online extension, sold out of the most popular figures at almost lightning speed. This led to a whole lot of disappointed fans. And rightfully so. Come on, these folks have been waiting on this very moment since the first Regan Administration.
Social sites such as Facebook, started feeling the rumbles and wrath of the angry and disenchanted collector almost immediately after midnight when the online ordering became available and items were showing up “Out of Stock”. Arguments and whining, coupled with apologists and genuinely positive people flooded the trending threads on the matter. It was an emotional outburst that I don’t think any toy brand could ever or will ever match. Seriously, it was impressive to watch. A resurrected toy company just sparked so much emotion that Hasbro, Mattel and whomever else is out there that is considered a “big boy” should take note. And that’s where the question arose in my head; “Why?”
“Why were so many people getting so heated over toys?” One would almost think this was like a Christmas in the 80’s when Cabbage Patch Kids or Tickle Me Elmo became so scarce that fights were literally breaking out in the aisles. Thankfully that didn’t happen (to the best of my knowledge) but still outside of the anticipation that so many had building up for a couple of months, why exactly such a strong response? At around 6PM (EST) Sunday afternoon, the answer came in a very impressive way. Marty spoke.
Mego insiders had been monitoring the situation closely throughout the day and began making plans to address the concerns of fans. Not through some generic, cookie cutter press release or Tweet, but by Marty himself going LIVE on Facebook, to look eyeball to digital eyeball to his fans, supporters and customers to explain the situation. While the roll out was completely out of Mego’s control, their response to their brand and fans was. And in true Marty Abrams fashion, he owned it and rocked it. Not only did he clear the air on what can only be considered messy as far as product availability at the moment, he did what I’ve never seen anyone do; Slap down the scalpers.
Sweet Lord do I admire and appreciate that!
Now it’s Monday, July 30th, 2018. Target stores are still working on their major resets in toys. Target online is restocking the Mego figures. Fans are getting their itches scratched and their Toy Boxes filled. And I do hope that Marty knows how impressive his effort in addressing concerns head on, has done in a wonderfully positive way for the toy collecting community. I’d love to see any other CEO man-up like that. That’s; Impressive, Inspirational, Motivational and most importantly for this fan; That’s Mego!
“Space. The Final Frontier” – “EMCE Toys. The Official Rebirth.” This chapter of “The Wall” focuses on a figure that will live forever as the perfect example that dreams really do come true. They take a lot of work and diligence sure, but they can become reality. This familiar face made it into my collection for numerous reasons. Not only was this reproduction figure an almost exact reproduction of Captain James T. Kirk from the original Mego Star Trek line, it also signifies to me the fact that Mego Toys have indeed returned. While EMCE Toys had returned the Mego format to the market prior to this release, this is the one that in my opinion, made it an absolute reality and gave true hope that the style of figures that I loved as a child was indeed back. Going where one company went before, another has come along and went even further and earned a place in my heart and on “The Wall”.
Point #1. What it is.
Point #2. Where it came from.
Point #3. The Good.
As I stated in the opening, this toy is more than a simple reproduction. It truly signifies a resurrection of the Mego style of action figure. And it’s got a picture of the father of Mego’s action figure Marty Abrams to prove it. For the record I do want to point out that the end result is the work of EMCE Toys alone. While Mr. Abrams did give the thumbs up to Paul “Dr.Mego” Clark and Joe Sena it was those two alone who made this figure happen. The original molds have long since been destroyed so Dr. Mego had to personally have everything retooled from scratch. Do even the slightest bit of research on toy production and you’ll see this is no easy task. Or inexpensive.
Another great thing about this toy is the re-sealable clamshell. This extra touch shows the thought that went into this figure for both the collector and the kids who still want to play with it. In both cases this packaging allows for easy access to the figure (none of those dreaded twist ties) and a place to put all the little accessories back into.
Also to note, while this is as close to an original Mego as you could ever hope to get, all of it’s parts are clearly marked to show that it is new. So while this may be tough on the secondary online loose market, the discerning as well as the novice collector can easily spot that this is not an original. To the purists I have to say “back off”. While it may appear that the value of the original Mint on Card specimens out there have lost value due to these being released I’m afraid my sympathy is low. Sure vintage toys can be seen as a bankable “commodity” in the end t is just a toy and it’s value will always be determined by the market. Those who absolutely prefer only the vintage will only buy or accept that so your marketplace will not ever really be affected. On the other hand of the collector coin, those who simply want a brand new Star Trek Mego can have one without breaking the bank all the while being able to add factory produced characters that never existed in the first place. It’s a truly give and take situation where everyone does indeed win.
Point #4. The Bad.
While it’s not a huge gripe of mine I do have to point out that the flesh tone of the heads and hands do not match up. Again this is only a minor pet peeve and not reason enough to not pick one up. Another point of concern is that the body is a bit too tight straight out of the package. The only reason this comes a s a negative is that you have to play with it a bit before it becomes more “user friendly” when it comes to posing. So that means that you have to play with it before you can get him as pliable as some collectors may want him to be.
Point #5. Why I like it.
Not only does this guy signify the fact that Mego is indeed back but he’s also better than ever. Mind you I’m not the biggest Star Trek fan but I am a huge Mego fan. There is something magical to me about this scale and style. I’d even found myself at one point tracking down “Walton’s” figures just because they were Mego’s. I hate’d that show back then and now. Plus what kind fo play value is there in a bunch of “regular people”? “Oh no John Boy! Pa done fell in the well again. We must save him!” Blah. But still there Mego’s and I wanna collect ‘em all!
The funny part about when I started my mini stock pile of this figure came about not so much because of Star Trek, but actually because of William Shatner himself. Years back I had purchased one of these figures simply because it was a new Mego and the fact that there was a brand new line of figures to collect was very thrilling for me. So I got Kirk and then Spock, then McCoy and then… well all the rest that have been released so far. When I got the final new release I stood back and looked at my collection and was like “Wow! I’ve collected ‘em all!” But then the reality of space restraints at the time made me realize that while these were great I needed more room for other Mego’s that were starting to accumulate (read Retro Action DC Super Heroes). Long story short, I sold off the collection to start a new one. In deciding to sell these off is when the true nature of my collecting habits really came to light. While I truly enjoyed and appreciated these figures for their quality and style, I admitted that I’m just not that much of a Star Trek fan and considering how massive this line was (that’s a good thing by the way) I decided I better cool my jets or I was going to break the bank and overload my display area. There’s a Tribble joke in there but I’ll leave it be.
Fast forward a couple years later and the itch returned. I had picked up a copy of one of Shatner’s books and it reminded me how much I really enjoy “William Shatner” the actor as much if not more than any one character he has portrayed. So once again the collector in me wanted a William Shatner figure to hang out with the rest of the collection. Captain Kirk happened to fit the bill perfectly. No pun intended, but that kinda worked out. Fit the “Bill” Ha!
So in feeding my need for the William Shatner I saw that goHastings was selling these figures insanely cheap! I’m talking $4.99 a piece. Well needless to say I almost broke my finger clicking the “add to cart” button. At the time I got one for myself and one for my father in law who is a very big Star Trek fan. After that I chilled out until I saw a few weeks later goHastings was offering them again for the crazy low rate. I had to get one more just because. I’m sure this will happen again. And again and again.
Point #6. Why you should or shouldn’t get one.
Why you should:
This is a wonderful figure that as you can see is a favorite of mine for many reasons. But the main reason that you should get one is with this one figure you can begin a collection that has all indications of continuing for many years to come. As a mater of fact you can already collect the complete bridge crew, which is something Mego never did by the way, as well as screen accurate aliens and one shot characters that complete the Star Trek Universe.
Why you shouldn’t:
If you’re not a Star Trek fan I can see where the line itself would be a bore to you. So in the end if you don’t like the series than it makes sense to avoid it and focus on other great 8 inch Mego style figures that captivate you. But overall there are no quality or price point concerns that I can address. The figures really are top shelf and quality is second to none in the genre.
For those who may be reading in between the lines in this chapter you may note that this installment appears to be a love fest of sorts for EMCE toys. Well, it is actually and deservedly so. Bottom line is if it wasn’t for the efforts of Paul “Dr.Mego” Clark and Joe Sena the Mego resurgence simply wouldn’t be. Sure there are a few others out there but if not for what all this pair has done to ensure quality product as well as solid, bankable licenses the resurgence would not be mainstream and in effect, they wouldn’t exist. Coming soon to the “Toy Box” I’ll be looking more in depth at those efforts. But for the moment I’m going to simply enjoy the nostalgic rush that I’m getting thanks to the fun little toys that adorn “The Wall”. Now, Go Play! Jim 04/11/11
Jim Bumgardner is a 20 year veteran of the broadcast industry and currently serves as the news director for television station TKO 8 in Harrison, Arkansas. Jim is the father of two the husband of one and firm believer in the power of toys for both the mind, body and soul. You can contact Jim via email at email@example.com or visit his website at www.jimsmegos.com
All images and products are the sole copyrighted property of it’s respective owners. Specialty photographs and graphic work used for this article were done by Jim at the TKO 8 Studios located at 500 N. Main St in Harrison, Arkansas. “Little Jim” was created by Dawn O’Connell of Little Buddies Action Figures. Learn more about getting your own Little Buddy at www.littlebuddiesactionfigures.com
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