I took my fiancee, Chelsea, to San Diego Comic-Con this past Saturday. Beyond anxious to see the recently announced Mattel “World’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 â€” A.K.A. “Dr. Mego” â€” 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 â€” in the early going, at least â€” 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!