Monday, December 16, 2013

Planet Of The Apes (Mego)

Planet Of The Apes

As we prepared this post, it dawned on us that the past two posts have both started with the letter "P".  We assure you that this is all coincidence.

When we think of Planet of the Apes, we certainly don't think of how it was a fun film for the entire family.  Rather, we see it more as a mature film series geared towards mature teenagers, and adults.  That's why we were surprised to see such a highly popular, and widely supported toy line from Mego.  Not only was it geared towards kids, but said kids loved them.

The series was so popular that it spawned ten figures, and three years worth of playsets and accessories - Both large and small.  Mego was clearly invested in the line, and capitalized greatly on its success.

We're not sure why, though we speculate it was based on licensing agreements and royalties, but with the first series of figures there was only a generic human known simply as "Astronaut".  Each figure in the series stood at eight inches tall, and featured cloth clothing.

Astronaut*Cornellius*Dr. Zaius

Soldier Ape*Zira

Big playsets were definitely a major selling point of the series.  The Village playset boasted on the front of the package that it was three feet long, and the Treehouse cut right to the chase and simply stated it was a "Giant Size Headquarters."  The Action Stallion is an interesting piece by means that it was actually a remote controlled toy.

Village Playset*Action Stallion

When series two was released in 1974, figures based on the human characters were finally released.  We mistook these initially for those as seen in the film.  However, reader Matt K. informs us that Alan Verdon and Peter Burke are actually characters as seen in the short lived television series.  In addition, the apes Galen and Urko were also from said television adaptation.  Thanks, Matt!

Alan Verdon*Galen*General Urko

General Ursus*Peter Burke

Mego introduced a "mid range" playset in 1974, but also kept the large ones coming with the massive Fortress.

Forbidden Zone Trap*Fortress

There were no further figures produced for the line, but Mego still supported it in 1975 with a few more accessories and small playsets.

Catapult and Wagon*Throne
Jail*Battering Ram

Worth noting is that several of the figures were released in plain cardboard mailers as JC Penny exclusive items in 1975.  They're the same figures from the carded versions but come sealed in a clear plastic bag inside of the mailer box.

A second wave of a few of the series two figures were also produced in window boxes which were released across retail chains.  These boxed versions are a little more difficult to track down than the original carded ones.

Join us next time when we take a look at Mighty Muggs Transformers Universe!

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  1. Actually, those two humans (as well as Galen and Urko), were based on the short-lived TV series, not the film. Also worth noting that Cornelius and Galen were identical, since both were portrayed by the same actor. Cool post :)

    1. Ah, thank you for shedding some light on the subject. We'll update our post with that information shortly.


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