Friday, April 6, 2018

Reissued Mego Spider-Man by EMCE Toys and Dimond Select

Well, I'm a bit late to the party but at last I've acquired the EMCE / Diamond Select Toys reissue of Mego's Spider-Man from Marvel comics. Originally announced in April 2014, and released later that year, this is a remarkably well made Mego style item. I admit to being very picky when it comes to Mego reissues, but this one passes my inspection with flying colours! Let's take a look....

The box that holds all the goodies has a clear plastic lid which I've removed for this photo along with the cardboard banner. The set includes a reissued Mego Spidey doll along with outfits, heads and hands for making two additional, different versions of the character. The idea is that you can take the head and hands off of the doll body and replace them with the extra pieces that are included. I'll get back to the two extra outfits later, first let's take a look at Spidey!

The re-issued Mego version of Spider-Man comes in a Mego style box which I think is a really cool feature. My only complaint is that they GLUED the left side of the box into position so that it wouldn't move around inside the larger box. Although I tried my best to get the smaller Mego-style box freed from the adhesive as slowly as possible, I ended up ripping the side of the smaller box which really, really sucks! :( Thankfully though it's just a small tear and it's not overtop of any of the artwork. (You can see the tear underneath small image of Wolverine on the side of the box, above.)

Spidey himself is resting comfortably in his customized cellophane insert, which is likely making all of the original boxed Mego dolls jealous! He's wearing a reproduction of one of the classic, rare "circle suits" which were mistakenly drawn incorrectly for the first run of the Mego Type 1 Spidey doll back in the early 1970's. At the time, Marvel insisted that Mego correct this design issue, so the circle suits were quickly replaced with the standard version... of which there are also several variations! As there was no way I would have ever been able to find or afford a circle suited Spidey, this reissued version is quite fun to have in the collection. It's awesome that Marvel allowed EMCE / Diamond Select to reissue this variation!!!

The back of the Mego style box has an awesome retro like illustration of Spidey, and the banner at the top is similar to Mego's packaging design for the original World's Greatest Superheroes line. The sides of the box show Spider-Man, Captain America, Wolverine and Thor, all of which have since been released in this collection. The Spidey doll itself is very high quality. The doll stands up nicely without any weird twisting, and is held tightly together rather than being loose and wobbly (unlike way too many other reissued Mego dolls that have been so poorly made!). The suit is also very good quality with solid fabric, and is well sewn. The fabric has a slight shine to it which I think looks quite spiffy. To be honest, I find the original Mego Spidey suit now looks quite dull next to the new shiny Spidey suit!

Here is a comparison of the original Mego Spidey (left) next to the EMCE / Diamond Select reissued version (right). As you can see the reissued doll is slightly smaller. In fact it's exactly 7.5 inches while the Mego is 7 3/4 inches, so the new doll is 1/4 of an inch smaller. I've shown a side view comparison below. The photo below also shows how the detail in the reissued Spidey's head is more defined than the original Mego (the lines are deeper). It also still has the 1972 copyright date on the back of the neck.

The reissued Spidey has a red body as compared with the Caucasian body that Mego used. Mego also issued their Spidey with a red torso section in the late 1970s, a version that is less common. I must point out though, that for some bizarre reason this reissued Mego and those made by Figures Toy Company all have lopsided plastic briefs in which the doll's left leg opening is lower than the right side. This forces the left leg to stick out slightly, making the hip appear deformed. Fortunately in this case it doesn't distract from the doll too much when it has the suit on, and it can still stand up straight without any difficultly. Very strange though that the reissued Mego briefs are being made that way!

The back of the reissued Mego Spidey doll has five screw holes and four additional smaller holes which I'm assuming must have to do with the manufacturing process. Marvel copyright information is printed on the doll's back in black ink.

Now lets take a look at the "stuff" that Spidey comes with... first up is an outfit, head and hands to create Spidey's alter ego Peter Parker which is an all new version of the character. Mego had produced a Peter Parker doll in the 1970's that is quite hard to find these days, however at least two companies have previously reissued the parts for that doll. Therefore I think it was a wise choice to make this Peter Parker a completely new doll on it's own, with a unique head sculpt and outfit. He comes with a shirt, vest, pants, shoes, and a camera. He even has removable glasses and a Daily Bugle newspaper! The last outfit is a modern version of Spidey complete with a unique head sculpt and the web wings under his arms. Three different sets of Spidey hands are included, along with some Spidey boots. I find the boots are a bit weird since Spidey doesn't wear boots, but it's still fun to have them none the less! This Spidey also has his web-shooter wrist bands and a matching belt.

As for using the supplied doll body to put the different pieces onto, I'm not sure how well that would work out. This reissued Spidey head is made out of hard plastic rather than the soft squishy heads Mego used, so I don't know how to get the head off without damaging the doll (unless you undid the screws on the back of the doll, but then the whole doll might fall apart!). I did get the hands to pop off easily enough, but it's not something that I would want to do very often as it did put strain on the wrist joint. In any case, including these extra pieces makes sense as the set is aimed toward Mego collectors who are likely to have extra Mego doll bodies in their collections that can be used to complete the other two dolls if they wanted to have all three complete at the same time.

The set comes with an ultra cool mini magazine which presents the history of this ultra cool Mego doll! The magazine also outlines the production process that took place when creating this reissued Mego doll set, in addition to some other captivating Mego and Spider-Man articles.

The back of the large box has a giant picture of Spidey, reusing the same art from the Mego style box and magazine cover. As an obsessed die hard Mego freak, I am very happy with this set and find that this is the best quality reissued Mego item that I've seen to date! Awesome job EMCE / Diamond Select Toys!!!!!!!!!

I can't wait to get my hands on more from this collection. Here are the Marvel Mego style doll sets that have been released so far:

Series 1
Captain America (with brown army uniform)
Captain America variant (with police uniform)

Series 2
Deadpool variant (pirate costume)

Iron Man was announced for Series 1 but has yet to be released.

Text and images © Mikey Artelle, 2018

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