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”.
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’.
TV and film
In addition, Mego acquired licenses for famous film and televison productions. Dolls appeared for Planet of the Apes, Star 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!
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!
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!
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!
Wizard of Oz
1,000,000 B.C., The Waltons, Our Gang, Knights, Robin Hood, Starsky and Hutch
Mego Print advertising
Thanks for getting Mega Mego with us 🙂
Information sources: Wikipedia, Megomuseum.com and Megofigures.com