29th July 2009

Compare-and-Contrast 8″ WGSH: Vintage Mego & Modern Mattel

Green Arrow Comparison A quick animation, comparing two head sculpts: Mego’s Vintage 8″ Green Arrow, and Mattel’s Modern 8″ Green Arrow.

Focus on: 1) Beard (Mattel will shorten the beard, considerably); 2) Sideburns (Mattel will shorten the beard, considerably) and; 3) Pupils (need I say more?!).

Ain’t it funny: Fashion is ever-evolving (yet CLEARLY cyclical). What was hip then is not hip right now. Conversely, what is hip NOW would surely not have been hip THEN.

It’s a big round wheel: What is hip RIGHT NOW will be passe for about 20 years. But don’t fret: Whatever is hip RIGHT NOW will become hip again… in approximately 2029!


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29th July 2009

Mattel World’s Greatest Super-Heroes: High-Quality Prototype Photos!

I took my fiancee, Chelsea, to San Diego Comic-Con this past Saturday. Beyond anxious to see the recently announced MattelWorld’s Greatest Super-Heroes” line of 8″ Mego-style action figures, we made a bee-line to Mattel’s massive trade show booth.

Locating the gorgeous prototypes, I was pleased to hear a voice behind me… belonging to none other than Paul Clarke — A.K.A. “Dr. Mego” — one of the driving forces responsible for the retro line’s genesis.

Above, the proud Doctor (right) poses with me before the wonderful accomplishment he helped create.

The Good Doctor, my future wife and I spent the next hour talking (high-fiving, really) about Mattel’s latest action figure line… how it came to be, where it stands now, and where it *might* go (naturally, Paul cannot divulge any information that Mattel has not formally announced).

The first wave includes the MattyCollector.com-exclusive Green Arrow (reportedly available around Fall ‘09) along with the following Toys “R” Us exclusive characters: Superman, Green Lantern, Sinestro and Lex Luthor.

Along the way, I took some shots with the same trusty camera I used to create Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys! (still available on Amazon; click here to buy it!). I shared the primary photos with MegoMuseum.com’s Brian Heiler; for this blog, I did some zoon-in details and clever crops to illustrate my discussion with Paul. Enjoy the pics, along with pertinent notes and recollections from my conversation with Dr. Mego.

Up first: MattyCollector.com-exclusive GREEN ARROW!

Sadly, the bow had fallen down by the time I arrived, but Paul noted that Mattel will cast GA’s removable Bow accessory (including the infamous “boxing glove” arrow, ready to fire!) in GREEN plastic, as compared to Mego’s original BROWN plastic.

Green Arrow’s head is an updated version of Mego’s original sculpt. The sculptor did some notable work updating the beard and sideburns.

Note the ROUND belt buckle, as compared to Mego’s original SQUARE belt buckle. Nice touch!

I love the rubber-lined felt shoulder pads; just like the original Mego outfit! Paul mentioned merging the shoulder-strap Mego used for their “Robin Hood Merry Men” line, with Mego’s original GA Belt/Quiver accessory. Brilliant! Also, Mattel will produce the gauntlets using a green Pleather (Faux-Leather) material, adding detail of the cut-outs down the forearm… this is a HUGE improvement over Mego’s original felt cuffs. Paul assures me that the factory will attempt to COLOR MATCH the Pleather gauntlets to the Plastic boots… I love that!

Up next: SUPERMAN (available at Toys “R” Us around Easter 2010)!

Remember, these are PROTOTYPES! Stop asking yourself why Superman’s emblem appears to have some inkjet printer residue. It does have some inkjet printer residue. Get over it.

Seriously, though: Paul told me that Superman’s emblem will be produced using the ‘heat-sealed vinyl’ technique that Mego (brilliantly) used for their Fantastic Four and Teen Titans emblems. How sweet is that?!

Mattel is clearly taking this line VERY SERIOUSLY. Case-in-point: the tooling required by “Wave 1″ alone! The Superman hand details above represent the “standard” hand sculpts that most figures will use. However, add Green Lantern’s and Sinestro’s custom hands (those darned rings!) and you’re looking at FOUR different hands, right out of the gate! We all know that Mego — in the early going, at least — would have ignored these details in lieu of the ‘cookie-cutter’ methodology that worked so well for them.

Another interesting tidbit: Paul assured me that the “standard” hands will feature the requisite “U” shape (curve of the thumb and fingers) necessary for figures to hold accessories. Good thinking! Another major improvement over Mego’s original line…!

I love this photo, as it shows the clearly hand-cut belt buckle; this dearly reminds me of the Mego Superman Prototype (the only original WGSH prototype photo known to exist)! Paul stated that this detail will use the same ‘heat-sealed vinyl’ technique as the Superman emblem.

Next we have: (HAL JORDAN) GREEN LANTERN (available at Toys “R” Us around Easter 2010)!

Next we have: SINESTRO (available at Toys “R” Us around Easter 2010)!

Paul tells me Sinestro’s boots will be modified (Star Trek) Andorian boots.

Finally: LEX LUTHOR (available at Toys “R” Us around Easter 2010)!

I am awfully excited for this brave and bold new toy line from Mattel!


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14th July 2009

Kudos, Long Overdue: Roberto Ligotti

I am going through old Emails tonight, and I came across something too good not to share.

Here’s the background: Back in summer ‘06, I hit the proverbial wall trying to publish this book. Things went south with the first publisher that offered me a contract, and I thought the sky was falling. I wrote a couple of cryptic Blogs about my broken heart. The first was “Bad Day” from August 9, 2006. Realizing things were grim, I posted another rant two days later: “I have been offered a publishing contract” from August 11, 2006:

After posting these two “woe is me” Blogs, I got this amazing Email from fellow Mego-head, Roberto:

[August 12, 2006 8:14am]

Hey Benjamin,

Don’t know if you’ve tried this publisher yet:


When you hit “contact us” on the homepage there’s even a phone number to call them and actually get to talk to a human being on the other end.

This was the company that I told you about at the Megomeet.  They published the Captain Action Collectors book:


And have published many other books and all of them have to do with Marvel/DC/Gold Key and other comic book companies.  I’ve met Roy Thomas who is in charge of the Alter Ego Magazine that they publish and have emailed Michael Eury the author of the Captain Action Book.  At the time I emailed Michael Eury he had told me that Twomorrows was either starting or thinking about a Mego book…but that was 3 years ago.

It seems that they would be a better outlet for your book…the only problem I see is that I don’t know if they have ever done any Hardcover books.

Give it a shot and see if you can get it done with them.  I and all the guys/gals on the Museum want to see this book in its entirety…so don’t give up on this book.  It looks too DAMN!!! Nice to let it go now.  Let me know if you need any other help.  I’m gonna be going to the Big Apple Comic Con in September.  I’m already putting Mego Museum Cards on the table before you get into the show…if you want me to put some Postcards on the table just say the word and send me some to put on the table and I’ll do it.

Keep up the great work…and DON’T GIVE UP!!!

Roberto Ligotti
yellsub69 (at) yahoo.com

As you probably know, TwoMorrows did in fact publish the book, and it is available as a HARDCOVER edition only (a negotiating hill upon which I was willing to die). Thanks, Roberto! Mego-heads around the world thank you for your generosity and tenacity!

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