Classic TV Toys have finally unveiled their prototypes for their upcoming 1966 Classic TV Batman line. These figures were announced a year or so ago, but up until now we haven’t seen any images of what they would look like. CTVT just recently released their Mego Batman recreations to mostly positive reviews, but these figures aren’t recreations of previous toys, but a new line altogether. The first wave includes Batman, Robin, Joker and the Riddler.
The Joker is clearly the winner of the bunch, but I think they all look pretty good. Mattel’s 1966 Classic TV Batman line had a lot of potential, but Mattel pushed the line through quick and ended it before it ever really started. The potential for Classic TV Toys to take this line to another level is very high. Continue reading
In honor of the new release of Star Trek: Into Darkness, post something about Star Trek!
This week the League is all about boldy going where no man has gone before. So in celebration of the release of the newest Star Trek movie, I spin a little JJ Abrams magic and mix the Avengers and Star Trek… In MEGOs! Perhaps it’s a nod to the old Twisted Toyfare Theater or Robot Chicken… Or it could be that I have a ton of Re-Mego Star Trek figures with nothing much to do with them. Enjoy…
An interesting story is developing in the world of online Ebay auctions. Many Mego collectors have been noticing that their auctions have been pulled. The reason? The use of the word Mego. As of this writing, it’s unclear if particular listings are being sought out by a vengeful seller who is reporting the auctions or if it’s an internal change within Ebay’s own policies. Even if it’s the former, it seems to have resulted in some of the latter.
The problem originates as Mego has become a term to describe a specific style of toy. Often here at Infinite Hollywood and other websites, you’ll hear the term “Mego” bandied about to describe the 8 inch style of retro action figures. Even for modern action figures that certainly weren’t made by the long defunct Mego corporation. For a while now Ebay has cracked down on the use of terms such as Mego-Like, but it’s mostly been a non-issue. However in the past week Ebay has taken to removing dozens of auctions as they deem them to be a “search and browse manipulation” issue.
Traditionally a “search and browse manipulation” would be something like me listing a box of Crayola crayons and putting “Lady Gaga Underwear” in the title. Now my auction is getting lots of attention from people who are looking for Lady Gaga stuff, as opposed to crayons. Another popular violation would be for me to put the term iPad on a different tablet listing. Some unsuspecting bidder might buy my auction because they THINK they’re buying an iPad, when it reality they’re buying another tablet. However in the case of toys, you run into a unique set of circumstances where brand names can acutally be used to help describe different types of toys. Mego in particular falls under this umbrella.
Ebay is completely insensible to the reality of the issue. Brands like Cipsa and Lili Ledy worked in conjunction with Mego, using their molds to create toys. Auctions have been pulled using those terms with the word Mego. Even though Mego shared in the creation of them. Ebay’s stance is that you can apparently only use one brand name in the title of these auctions. Of course this doesn’t apply to lots of auctions throughout Ebay’s site, but for some reason Mego has caught the ire of the world’s biggest auction site. Continue reading
Today is a historic day for fans of retro action figures in the “Mego” style format. Figures Toy Company, the parent of the often disregarded Classic TV Toys have unveiled nine new licenses today, including some of the most popular and sought after figure designs in the format’s history. Earlier this week, rumors were leaked that Figures Toy Company was planning a retro Batman line. Almost immediately the reaction from the Mego community was one of interest, but resistance. CTVT has built up a so-so reputation in the community and isn’t generally considered a favorite.
Personally, I’ve always had great experiences with Classic TV Toys and have ordered hundreds of dollars of merchandise from them through the years. Of course, some of the backlash has been warranted as quality was not always at the forefront of their products. For every Will Scarlet, there was a Sandra Benes. However, in recent years CTVT has released a ton of new and drastically improved product. Their Kiss line which was introduced late last year, has been a roaring success for Mego and Kiss fans alike.
But now even the biggest critics of Figures Toy Company have to stand up and take notice, as Figures Toy Company have unveiled some truly impressive licenses covering a wide array of formats. Perhaps the biggest is that not only will they be producing a Mego-ish Batman line, replicating the classic Batman Megos and adding new characters to the mix… But they will also be doing a Adam West, Batman ’66 line as well.
Yes, they’re doing two retro Batman Mego lines. Rather impressive. Some names announced for the 66 line include Batman, Robin, Joker, The Penguin, Catwoman, Dick Grayson, Bruce Wayne, King Tut, Mr. Freeze, Egghead (YES!), Shame, Bookworm and the Mad Hatter. Variants are planned as well.
But the news doesn’t stop there. They’re going to finally officially create Evel Knievel in Mego scale with his own line. They’ve got Conan coming out, including not just a recreation of the hard to find classic Mego Conan figure but also Solomon Kane/Kull The Conqueror and potentially other characters from the books.
They’re also adding Tarzan to the mix! You may recall my loveletter to the classic Mego Tarzan, so this news has me greatly excited. The Dukes ride again, as Figures Toy Company have added the Dukes of Hazard, an often overlooked but very popular Mego line into their portfolio as well. They’re also producing 12 inch exclusive lines, such as Dallas and Gilligan’s Island. It’s truly an amazing rollout of product, unlike any seen before in the format. To say that Figures Toy Company just immediately jumped out to the head of the pack in retro Mego-like licenses, would be an understatement.
I was torn on the title of this article, but I figured this one would be the most eye catching. Other potential titles included, “Toys that would be on clearance in 2 months, now worth $1,000s of dollars”, “The most valuable ReMego toys to date” and my favorite, “Django UnBayed”. The story, if you haven’t been keeping up, is that NECA’s Django Unchained Mego-like figures have stirred up quite a controversy. It’s certainly not the first time a toy has been controversial and it’s hardly the first time in the last few years that protesters have convinced someone that an “adult collectible” is being sold to children in a toy store.
Of course, times change. Matchbox got into quite the controversy in the 80’s when they made Freddy Krueger figures that WERE marketed to kids. But nobody bats an eye at Krueger figures lining the shelves of Toys R Us anymore. We have action figures of everything from fictional murderers to real life serial killers. You’d think we’d be past the days of a plastic toy getting people up in arms, but we’re not.
So what makes this controversy different? Slavery, I suppose. You see, at the heart of the issue is the concept that kids will buy these toys and play “slavery” with the dolls. As someone who played with toys far longer than he had any right to, I’m sure certain aspects of slavery already creeped into my toy playing. Weren’t Rocksteady and Bebop basically slaves to Shredder? But I digress… Even though these toys are aimed at adult collectors, it was first that we had to “think of the kids” and how they might be exposed to such horrors.
Even though none of these figures had made their way to Toys R Us yet (one assumes they would have eventually), they were pulled from the virtual shelves. Now we couldn’t just protect the children, we all needed to be protected. You see, we live in a strange world. You can own an AK-46 assault rifle, but you can’t own a toy from a movie where someone was a slave in it. In America, as long as it’s not hurting anyone, you can complain and get rid of it. Just try and find a t-shirt with the Kentucky Wildcat penis tongue on it anymore. But guns, those are okay. You can buy a rebel flag, dynamite, beer and a katana at the local flea market on Sunday, but not toys about a slave hero from a movie.
Perhaps what makes this so interesting is that the brouhaha went national. It garnered the attention of the Weinstein Company, producers of the film, who then forced NECA to stop making the figures. They even made NECA go so far as to call for the toys sold to retailers to be returned. Since the toys had just barely hit and not yet made it to larger retail chains, it’s pretty easy to stop these toys cold.
The figures are so rare that protesters can only carry pictures of the figures to complain about.
That more or less negates the need for a protest, no?
Apparently, the National Action Network and Project Islamic Hope, two civil rights groups at the center of the storm, felt the figures were commercializing the slave experience. Of course, one could easily argue that the movie itself does the same thing. And we know there will be other Django merchandise, t-shirts, hats, Slurpee cups. It’ll happen and that’s just as much commercialization as anything else. So why are toys persecuted? Because nobody stands up for toys. Toys are still considered “children’s playthings” in the minds of the masses.
Yet, despite all that, the figures have been selling for hundreds and thousands of dollars on Ebay. The highest auction I could find was over $5,000 for a set of figures. At least until today, as Ebay wants nothing more to do with Django. Ebay has removed all of the auctions, at the behest of complaints, because it violates their “racially or ethnically offensive” policy. Even though Ebay pulled the items down, several have popped back up, all at inflated prices. Ebay’s jump into this mix will likely briefly increase the figure’s worth but I suspect over time, if Ebay continues to pull auctions, the price will plummet. Nobody really wants these figures, they only want them because they’re rare and controversial.