Wait. Before we talk about the 3rd Wave, let’s take a minute to admire the 3rd Wave.
(Above: Mego Green Arrow MIB and MOC)
(Above: Mego Green Goblin MIB and MOC)
(Above: Mego Lizard MIB and MOC)
(Above: Mego Falcon MIB and MOC)
(Above: Mego Iron Man MIB and MOC)
(Above: Mego Hulk MIB and MOC)
OK, enough drooling over the goodies. Let’s talk Mego.
Among questions I’ve gotten about the book, one of the more prevalent issues has to do with the 3rd Wave of Mego World’s Greatest Super-Heroes, which included Green Arrow, Green Goblin, Lizard, Falcon, Iron Man and Hulk. What seems to surprise people most is the fact that this wave of gorgeous action figures did not sell well, compared to other figures and waves within the WGSH line.
I touch on this in World’s Greatest Toys (Amazon pays me for purchases made through my Blog, so I thank you in advance for purchasing my book through links on this site). Here’s a snippet from the book (page 146, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited spread:
The 3rd Wave is comprised of one DC character, Green Arrow, and five Marvel characters: Green Goblin, Lizard, Falcon, Iron Man and Hulk. Mego did not heavily promote the wave to the industry, and it had a clear impact on sales. Granted a promotional feature in the February 1975 Toy Fair issue of Playthings, Mego announced additions to Planet of the Apes, upcoming Star Trek figures, and other lines such as The Waltons and Wizard of Oz. The solitary mention of Heroes makes no reference to the 3rd Wave. “Mego continues to build its Super-Hero line of basic action figures by adding new Fist Fighting Action to Batman and Robin, and the Joker and Riddler, the all-time favorites in this category.”
It is important to understand that the entire 3rd Wave of Super-Heroes performed terribly in the marketplace. Even Hulk, the only successful character in the wave, did not gain popularity until the CBS TV show gained momentum three years after the figure debuted. The wave’s failure impacts collectors today. Aside from Hulk, the other five 3rd Wave characters comprise many of the scarcest packaging variations today. The supply and demand is directly proportional to the relatively few specimens sold during the 1970s.
Perhaps contributing to the diminished support of 3rd Wave of heroes, Mego was aggressively adding new products in an attempt to find the next ‘big thing.’ While the line was ultimately abandoned in the planning stages, Mego even developed a “Doc Savage” line coinciding with the doomed film project. Drawings, models and prototypes still exist in the collections of a select few. It is unknown if these characters would have been promoted as World’s Greatest Super-Heroes.
Eagle-eyed Mego-heads will notice that the pictures atop the Blog depict the 1st Version (Old Logo) box and the 1st Version (Â©1975a) 2nd Issue card for each characterâ€¦
â€¦except for Hulk! (shown instead is the Â©1975b card)
I wish I could show the same iteration of each packaging style, but I am unable to do so. There are two reasons for this: 1) There is only one 2nd Issue card design for Green Goblin, Lizard, Falcon and Iron Man (proof these characters sold poorly, resulting in discontinuation) and; 2) I have not yet tracked down a specimen of the extremely rare Â©1975a Hulk packaging variation!
“Wha…?!” you sputter. “But I thought Hulk was the most common Mego figure out there?!” you insist.
Well, yes and no. I discuss this in the book, too.
Here’s a snippet from World’s Greatest Toys (page 182, for those reading along), followed by a scan of the cited spread:
Hulk holds the distinction of being issued on every 2nd Issue U.S. Marvel card, along with a Canadian Parkdale Novelties card in 1978 that was created specifically for Hulk and Spider-Man. Likely due to the abundance of Â©1978 and Â©1979 Hulk cards, many collectors are unaware of the scarcity of the Â©1975a and Â©1975b cards. The Â©1975a, in particular, is a rare find.
The 3rd Wave of Mego super-hereos brought us some amazing figures. Sadly, the wave underperformed, which helps explain the scarcity of several of these characters’ packaging variations.
Feel free to post your thoughts and comments on the Mego Museum message board (NB: links to a specific thread about this subject). If youâ€™re not already a member of the Mego Museum, now is the perfect time to join!
I have more great blogs lined up for the near future. Until then, Iâ€™ll see you on the boards!
Blog Credits and legal stuff: Mego boxes courtesy of Benjamin Holcomb and Charlie Balicki. 2nd Issue Mego cards courtesy of Dan Crandall and Scott Adams. Images published by Benjamin Holcomb and TwoMorrows Publications. All rights reserved. Images may not be reprinted or published without prior written consent from the publishers.