Mattel’s Retro Action figures have been pushed back to December 23rd. These new figures from Mattel are supposed to be like Mego’s old World’s Greatest Super Heroes. From this point on I deem them Mattelgos. Earlier this week AFI had a preview of the figure and most of the internet rejoiced once the new body was unveiled. I did not.
I’m relatively new to Megos but I have grown quite fond of them in a short amount of time. As with anything I’ve researched and studied them enough to say that I have a pretty good idea of what a new Mego should look like. Looking at the Green Arrow figure, I wasn’t impressed. Sure he looked great with the costume on, but once you took it off his body looked under articulated and strangely contorted.
I wasn’t alone. Mego enthusiasts began to notice that his legs were bowlegged. Personally I think the legs are way too buff. The thighs look like that of a body builder. Immediately everyone began to think of ways to change or fix the legs.
Then the guys over at Cast-a-way Toys pointed out something else… The “new” Mattel Mego body looks awfully familar. It’s the old Mattel Big Jim body retooled. Some might argue that this is just helping to replicate the “retro” feel of the line, but if that’s the case why didn’t Mattel go with Doc Mego’s Replica Mego bodies, since that’s pretty much the new standard?
Another issue I had was that Mattel had spoke about bringing the figure up to “modern standards” in terms of articulation. I don’t think anyone wanted them to over articulate the figure, but they managed in my view to do nothing to modernize the Mego formula. In fact the only difference appears to be a slight changing of the shoulder joint but it will retain the same movement and the addition of a swivel hinge joint on the ankle. Once again, something straight off the Jim figure.
If you look closer you will see nearly the entire body is a retool of Big Jim. His hands look identical. His feet are the same. Even his arms, which weren’t hinged at the elbows on Jim appear to use the same sculpt. There has been some changes to the torso, but clearly it was modeled off of Big Jim.
I don’t have the figure yet, so I can’t comment for certain and have no proof other than the pictures but if this is even the slightest bit true I’m pretty baffled that Mattel would choose to launch a new line with “modern articulation” and use old Big Jim parts. There’s nothing modern about Big Jim. Word is they also changed the neck plug on these new Mattelgos so they aren’t even compatible with the vintage Megos. Again, if Mattel was going to consult Doc Mego why not have him design the bodies as well?
A lot of the Megoheads don’t want to complain because they’ve been waiting for new Megos for years. Mattel promised that these will end up in major toy stores. This should be a great thing, but I can’t help but feel a little slighted. When you promise a brand new body ready for the 21st century, you can’t trot out old leftover Big Jim body parts. It would be the same as if the new MOTUC line were to use old New Adventures of He-Man parts.
Update: I contacted Mattel and Mattel has confirmed that the new Retro-Action line is based off the old Big Jim body. They own the rights to that body design and wanted to use something that was proprietary to them. This is why they opted to create this body, as opposed to a Mego clone.