This weekend was the annual Mego Museum’s Mego Meet. I’ve been to a couple of these and this was the last year that it was going to be anywhere close by, so I decided to make the trek out to Skokie, Illinois for another year of Mego adventure. If you’ve never been to Mego Meet, it’s quite a bit different than other “toy conventions” and that could be strange to some people. Let me first say that the folks who run Mego Meet are very nice, they’re clearly not in it to make a buck or rip you off, and are very welcoming, but it’s worth noting that newbies might feel a little out of place at first.

That’s partially because Mego Meet is less a typical toy convention and more of a “meet up” (hence the name) of the Mego Museum forum members. That’s at least how it started and ultimately, the roots are still very much in that concept. That doesn’t mean outsiders aren’t welcome, they’re definitely encouraged. But Mego Meet doesn’t really advertise outside of the Mego niche (personally I think that’s a mistake) and when you get there you may find it a bit strange as most everyone sort of knows each other. As someone who doesn’t really socialize with the “real” people on the forums, it’s different. Almost like stumbling into someone else’s family reunion. I recall my first year having a bit of a run around because people kept directing me to other people as if I knew who those other people were.

3D toy printing process.

Again, that’s not a complaint it’s just a forewarning to someone who might be off-put by that to give Mego Meet a chance. Inside there are a handful of dealers rooms with a variety of toys. Yes, the vast majority is Mego and the modern FTC Mego-like figures, but there are a fair amount of retro toys of all shapes and sizes. From vintage GI Joe to modern Lego, there’s probably something here for everyone. The other great thing about Mego Meet is that you can bring your spouse and kids for free. That may not seem like a big deal, but the folks that run Mego Meet are keenly aware that budgets can be tight and having to pay extra for someone who may just be brought along for the ride, could be a deal breaker.

Art Baltazar was on hand mingling and showing off his custom Mego collection. His Aw Yeah Comics helped sponsor the show.

Mego Meet does have a couple of panels, but they’re not quite like the larger convention panels. Most years “Doc Mego” participates in at least one, but with EMCE toys not producing much these days it’s less exciting than the days when they were behind Mattel’s Retro-Action line. Nonetheless, while I think Mego Meet could try and bring in some more “stars” whether it’s creators of indy comics (DC’s Art Baltazar is almost always in attendance and is a swell guy) or some of the other toy companies, you can’t blame them too much for not trying to fix something that isn’t broke. I just can’t help but think of the growth of JoeLanta and could see Mego Meet growing a bit bigger. I’m always baffled that a representative from FTC isn’t there, although they do send in door prizes. Even without some of the glitz and glamor of other cons, Mego Meet does have a customs auction, door prizes and a little bit of cosplay. Continue reading

As Twiki would say, “Beedeebeedeebeedee Hey Buck”! I’ve commented on these before, but the new promo shots of ZICA Toys Buck Rogers figures look fantastic. These guys have been able to take the Mego format and completely reinvent it. When these bad boys hit, they’re going to knock everybody else down a few pegs.

The fact that each set of figures comes with such a detailed costume, accessories and an extra set of hands for $30 more or less says it all. The other guys are ripping us off. I’m really glad to see ZICA take a step back and do this thing right.

Of course there hasn’t come a final product yet, but with ZICA already snagging new licenses like Adam West, it’s really only a matter of time. Buck Rogers looks better every time I see it and I can’t wait to have a few of these in my hand. Now we need ZICA to get the license for classic Doctor Who!

As much as I love science fiction the one cliche element that I’ve never understood is why the “future” is always so close. By that I mean, even in the 1950’s, predicting that we’d be flying around in space like a bunch of cowboys in the year 2000 seemed hokey to me. By the time Space 1999 rolled around in 1975, I think it was a bit foolish to think we’d be colonizing the moon in 30 years time. Even Back to the Future for all it’s awesomeness predicts that we’ll be cruising around on hoverboards in just a few years.

Regardless of that flaw, today we’re looking at a figure from a show in 1975 and a toy line from 1976ish… Except this is a new release figure from 2005. Think about that for a moment and see if it doesn’t blow your mind. A toy from a 1975 show, about the year 1999, made in 2005. The original Space 1999 figures were made by Mego’s UK counterpart Palitoy and they only produced a handful of figures.

In 2005, Classic TV Toys (Division of Figures, Inc. Known for their wrestling supplies) started making toys in the classic Mego style. Even though Space 1999 had only been a moderate hit for Palitoy and a short lived TV series, it became one of Classic TV Toys bigger properties. Spanning multiple waves with a wide variety of variants. Today I’m looking at one of those toys, a second string character who only appeared in the first season on Space 1999, David Kano.

The package here is pretty nice and immediately reminds you of the 1970’s Mego packages. This isn’t as nice as the Re-Release Planet of the Apes figure packaging, but in a lot of ways it’s more authentic. This is exactly the kind of cheap card stock that you might would have seen on a Mego back in the day. Of course folks in the states never got Space 1999 figures as they were exclusive to the UK, although Mattel did make some for the US but they aren’t Megos.

Although the package looks pretty authentic, it’s not an exact replica of the Vintage Package but that makes sense. The original line only had a few members, but this version has a ton of the crew so the package has been altered. Instead of artwork you get a picture of the doll’s head. It’s a decent trade off.

I really love the back of the package. It’s so simplistic and yet so cool. It shows off all the figures in the line and whether you love or hate what Classic TV Toys did with their new versions of Megos, you have to admit this is an impressive toy line. They managed to make a toy of nearly every main character, except for Martin Landau’s Commander Koenig. That’s of course a massive oversight since Koenig was the star of the show, but Landau wanted too much money. Them’s the breaks.

I really like that they included a picture of the Moonbase up in the top corner. Again, it’s a total minor thing but it really makes this card feel legit. CTVT (Classic TV Toys) did a great job on this card and they should be applauded for it.

I’m not going to go over the articulation in too much detail because I just covered this in my Planet of the Apes review, but suffice to say this figure has basically the same articulation as that figure. Megos typically all have the same articulation. There is one major difference on this figure though…

No that isn’t a bionic leg, this figure has the boots sculpted onto his feet. Why? I have no idea. You might think that CTVT was cheapening out and giving us one less point of articulation to save costs, but the original Space 1999 figures actually had this same style of leg. So this is authentic.

Wow, what a great likeness on this figure. In the original line we never got to David Kano but if we had I doubt he’d looked this good. CTVT has really done a fine job in making this guy. The head sculpt is really where it’s all at and he’s got a great look about him. Wrinkles in the forehead, an authentic afro, you name it, he’s got it. Even the shape of his nose and lips look like that of Clifton Jones, the actor who played the character. There’s just enough “Mego” about him too. That’s sort of an intangible element that makes him fit in with the line.

The head sculpt is a tad big, but this happened on occasion to the original Mego corporation themselves. Sometimes a figure’s head would be bigger than the rest of the guys. I don’t love that fact, but I’m willing to overlook it to a certain extent too.

His costume is a pretty awesome replica of the vintage Mego figure. It’s not 100% accurate as the original Mego clothes were a little tighter and better done, but since David here was never produced we can’t say for sure. Even if it’s not exactly as good as the original Mego one, it’s hardly bad. I really like the clothes here. His logo on his shirt is only a sticker though and it comes off pretty easy. I know that pissed a lot of collectors off when these first hit.

Apparently in the 1970’s they thought we would all wear crazy flashy disco jumpsuits in the future. Sorry 1970’s people, only you will wear those. Regardless of that fact, this outfit is pretty accurate to the original Mego designs and the Space 1999 designs as well.

Partially because of the belts and partially because of the design the back of the shirt is nicely sealed up. As I mentioned in my other reviews, Mego clothing wasn’t quite as good as Barbie or GI Joe clothing and often figures had big gaping nightgown backs. Not so here.

Mego figures never came with much so neither do these modern replicas. However the Space 1999 crew did get a few things and they are accurately recreated here. For starters all the clothes are removeable. So you can make David get down and dirty if need be. Of course he’s going to look weird because of those legs.

Other than that he has a show accurate yellow belt and a red communicator deal. The communicator isn’t supposed to be red, but that’s what the Mego gods decided it would be. I suppose it’s better than a powder blue phaser, no?

Additional Notes:
I’ll confess to not being a big fan of Space 1999. I’ve seen a little bit of it, but I haven’t gotten around to sitting down and watching a ton of it. It’s clearly a show where you can’t “think” too much about it, since it involves the Moon being hurled out of the Earth’s orbit. Regardless of that fact, it was made by the infamous Gerry Anderson, who did a bunch of shows like Thunderbirds.

Since Space 1999 used real people instead of puppets, they were able to spend a little more of their money on special effects. The miniatures and makeup used on the show were pretty impressive for the time. It may all be hokey 70’s sci-fi cheese, but it’s at least good versions of it.

I can’t say for sure what these originally retailed for, but I’m guessing in the $15-$20 range. At that price I can imagine being pretty let down by this guy. As is, they’re available for dirt cheap now. You may be wondering why? Well these CTVT versions of Megos are supposedly very inferior, prone to breakage and stuff like that. So far with David Kano I’ve noticed that his wrists are much looser than my EMCE toys but other than that he seems to be of a decent quality. If you’re not a hardcore Mego collector and are just dabbling in the genre, $5 isn’t a bad investment.

Score Recap:
Packaging – 7
Sculpting – 8
Articulation – 7
Accessories – Communicator, Belt
Value – 9
Overall – 8 out of 10

I’m sure my opinion of this guy will go down greatly once he breaks into a million pieces. He certainly doesn’t seem like he could take as much of a beating as a real Mego could. At the moment though, I can’t find too much wrong with him. He’s a great 70’s style replica figure of a character we never got back then. His likeness is good, his accessories are as they should be and he’s a fun toy. I can’t find too much flaw with that.

The future is not quite as exciting as we thought…