Art Gowns does Schiaparelli on Barbie

Gallery

This gallery contains 16 photos.

Originally posted on Art Gowns:
Did you ever notice how one thing can lead to another? Yes! Well, that’s exactly how my old Barbie got an Art gown.  In Art Gowns spirit, nothing new was purchased for this project. Barbie’s…

Mego – “World’s Greatest Super-Heroes” the dolls that packed a punch!

Mego catalogue 1976 US. World’s Greatest Super-Heroes. Super Heroes Assortment N°1.

The Mego Corporation, sometimes known as Mego Corp or just Mego, was founded in 1954 by D. David Abrams and Madeline Abrams. The company successfully imported dime store toys up to the early 1970s when the Abrams’ son, Martin Abrams, took over as company president and moved production into a line of 8 inch clothed dolls.

By 1972 Mego had gained the licenses to create 8 inch clothed dolls for DC and Marvel comics characters, under the name of “World’s Greatest Super-Heroes”.

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Super Heroes Assortment N°2.

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Super Heroes Assortment N°3.

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Super Heroes Assortment N°4.

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Super Gals Assortment (1972).

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Super Foes assortment.

Sock it to ’em!

The super hero line was a great success, and Mego found itself producing an entire range of comic book dolls, including ‘Super Foes’, ‘Super Gals’, the 1974 ‘Fist-Fighting Super-Heroes’, and 1976’s ‘Comic Action Heroes’.

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Comic Action Assortments.

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Fist Fighting Super Heroes.

TV and film

In addition, Mego acquired licenses for famous film and televison productions. Dolls appeared for Planet of the ApesStar Trek, Wizard of Oz, Starsky and Hutch, and the license from Edgar Rice Burroughs for his creation Tarzan.

Other dolls included The Waltons, The Flintstones, Happy Days, and a series of 12 and a half inch celebrity dolls featuring stars such as Muhammad Ali, Sonny and Cher, Diana Ross, and Kiss. The Cher doll and her fashion wardrobe (designed by the famous Bob Mackie) was such a hit it was named number-1 best-selling doll of 1976!

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Sonny and Cher from the 12.5 inch Celebrity Dolls line.

Some you win, some you refuse…

1976 proved to be an interesting year, as Mego made a deal with Japanese toy company Takara to sell Takara’s popular Microman action figures line in the US, under the new name of Micronauts.

At the same time, Mego famously rejected the offer to produce toys for an upcoming swashbuckling sci-fi movie that would later prove to be a global sensation – that film was Star Wars… and it would be the Kenner toy company which would go on to successfully produce Star Wars action figures and play sets, as well as a line of 12 inch clothed dolls!

Doll World. Aug 1984. Contains a feature on the large size action figure doll range from Kenner.

The rise and fall of Mego, and the rise again…

In the early 1980s Mego suffered heavy trade losses, and in 1982 filed for bankruptcy. By 1983 the company went under, and that seemed to signal the end of Mego’s story… until 2009 that is… when Martin Abrams successfully purchased the trademark rights to the Mego brand. Fast forward a decade to 2018, July, and a resurgent Mego Corporation under the guidance of another Abrams family member – Marty Abrams – announced the production of a limited run of its classic clothed dolls in their traditional 8 inch scale.

Jump to today, and you only have to look at just a handful of the new figures available to see that Mego is well and truly back in town!

New Mego figures. Images from megofigures.com

Office cats and editors

Unfortunately I never had any Mego dolls as a child, but I distinctly remember a friend having all of the Planet of the Apes figures, which I absolutely adored and was allowed to play with. For now, I get to relive what could have been through the scans of my 1976 Mego catalogue, and a handful of print adverts I’ve picked up along the way. Or maybe Wooof will treat me to one or two of the new Mego figures for my upcoming birthday?

Enjoy the rest of the scans!

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Cover.

Star Trek

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Star Trek Assortments.

Wizard of Oz

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Wizard of Oz Assortments.

Muhammad Ali

Mego catalogue 1976 US. Muhammad Ali.

1,000,000 B.C., The Waltons, Our Gang, Knights, Robin Hood, Starsky and Hutch

Mego Print advertising

Mego Super-Heroes and Super-Hero Carry Case. 1977. US.


Thanks for getting Mega Mego with us 🙂

Information sources: Wikipedia, Megomuseum.com and Megofigures.com

Barbie, Ken and Midge Wardrobe Booklet, 1962 (yellow version)


Here is the third of the three 1962 Barbie in-pack booklets I recently added to my collection. These beautifully illustrated catalogues show the fashion range available back when Barbie was just 3 years old!

Alongside dozens of fashion items for Barbie, Midge and Ken, other gems found inside the catalogues are the Barbie board game, the Dream House and Fashion Shop, knitting patterns, Trousseau Set and the Barbie fan club and magazine.

Below are the complete scans from the yellow version wardrobe booklet – Barbie, Ken and Midge.





More Barbie catalogues and adverts can be seen here

As always, thanks for looking 🙂

It’s a doll’s world: clone wars, law suits, and inappropriate names.

Clone after clone after clone. Presenting: The Babs, Randy and Bill wardrobe booklet, 1960s, US.

Babs, Randy and Bill wardrobe booklet, 1960s. Fab-Lu Ltd.

Babs, Randy and Bill dolls were sold by the Fab-Lu Ltd company of New York in the early 1960s. The line was a cheap clone of the popular US Barbie doll brand, and the German Bild Lilli brand that predated both.

Babs’s wardrobe imitated many of Barbie’s costumes, as well as clothing from various Hong Kong cloned Lilli dolls. Babs also mimicked Barbie’s tag of “Teen-Age Fashion Model” by declaring herself as “Queen of Fashion”. Not that Barbie should complain too much, seeing as she herself was a clone of the German Bild Lilli – the original fashion doll.

Randy

Randy was a clone of Barbie’s younger sister, Skipper.

For the British market, Randy underwent a name change to ‘Mary Lou’ due to the English sexualisation of the word randy (meaning ‘to feel sexually aroused’). However, the problems didn’t end there for Randy/Mary Lou. The doll, as seen on her featured pages of the Fab-Lu booklet, was actually a Tammy doll as made by Ideal and ‘borrowed’ for the photoshoot to model Randy’s wardrobe. Fab-Lu tried to get around this by painting a beauty spot on the cheek of the Tammy doll in the hope no one would notice. It failed, and Fab-Lu was later taken to court and sued by Ideal.



Bill

Bill was a clone of Barbie’s boyfriend, Ken.

“Every inch a he-man. Powerful body. Powerful physique.” Check out Bill’s ‘sales pitch’ …

Bill – every inch a he-man?


The Clone War(drobe)s.

Below are the remaining scans of the Babs, Randy and Bill product booklet. It is the only known catalogue to exist for the line to date, and was included in packs of individual dolls and accessories.

Click images to enlarge.


Low, low prices!

Babs dolls and outfits were exceptionally cheap to buy compared to Barbie. Statements such as “fashions made to fit all leading fashion dolls”, and “Other male fashion dolls can and do wear Bill’s extensive wardrobe” were almost a call to arms to buy Babs outfits to put not just on Babs dolls, but on Barbie dolls too.


To find out more about the fascinating history of ‘clone dolls’ – from Lilli to Barbie to Babs and others – check out the excellent article Bild Lilli and the Queens from Outer Space

Until next time, thank you for cloning around with us 🙂