1975 - 1976: "Mechanical" Mego Dolls

Here are some of my favourite Mego dolls.... the "mechanical" Megos! These include the cavemen from the "One Million B.C" series, Fonzie from the "Happy Days" line, and the "Fist Fighting" super heroes! Mego also produced a Muhammad Ali doll with boxing action, which regrettably I don't yet have in my collection.

I find it interesting that all of the Mego dolls with mechanical "actions" operated by levers were developed during the same period in 1975 and 1976. It shows that Mego was specifically interested in mechanical dolls during this time. Designing these dolls involved some ingenuity and effort that shows in each of these cases. Clearly Mego was willing to develop their products further and improve on the play-ability of their dolls, despite that their standard non-mechanical dolls were already a huge success.

I'll start with the cavemen from...

One Million B.C.

Here is, from left to right, Grok, Zon, Trag, and Orm. I'm missing the cavewoman, Mada, from this set. Mego also made three large hard plastic dinosaur figures which are quite rare. Mego's "One Million B.C." series of dolls has nothing to do with the popular 1966 Ray Harryhausen stop motion film "One Million Years B.C" that starred Raquel Welch, or the original 1940 film "One Million B.C." that the 1966 film was based on.

Here's another view of the gang. I managed to find all four of these together as a set. The carded Trag, shown above, was found separately from this bunch.
I like these caveman dolls because they are very different from the average Mego. They have a "spear throwing action" which is operated by a lever on the doll's back (only Mada didn't have this feature). The lever moves the doll's right arm up and down in a chopping action. A very cheap grey sponge "spear" comes with each doll, and attaches to a piece of metal set into the doll's spear throwing hand.

Adult caveman hand shown at top, child hand (Zon) shown at bottom.

I'm not sure how well the spear throwing actually worked, but the arm action is neat. Due to the spear throwing feature, these doll's have unique doll bodies with a torso that does not have a joint at the waist the way all other Mego's do (with the exception of Mego's "fat bodies" used for characters such as the Penguin, shown below near the end of this page).

Here is the front and back view of the Mego caveman doll bodies. The three adult male cavemen share the same doll bodies, but Zon, the younger caveman, has a unique Mego body that was only used for this character.

I also like the shoulder joints for these caveman dolls, as standard Mego dolls had elastic joints held in place with a metal hook that is not as pose-able. Each caveman is marked 1974 on the body and "1975 Mego Corp" on the back of the neck. This caveman series was officially introduced in the 1975 Mego product catalogues, the same year that Mego also added Conan the Barbarian to their Official World's Greatest Super Heroes collection. Conan however was issued on a standard Mego doll body which seems odd as the caveman doll body would have been better suited the character. The spear throwing arm could have worked well as an axe or sword chopping action. In any event, the Conan Mego is far more sought after by collectors today than any of the caveman Mego dolls, and is much more valuable.

Here is Trag next to my Conan Mego, which I admit is a poor example. I'm missing Conan's weapons, belts, gauntlets and his boots. The "fuzzy underwear" have also lost most of their fuzz. These cavemen Mego dolls tend to shed fur whenever they are moved! I suspect Conan had the same problem. In any case, you can see that the heads for each are similar with the use of rooted hair, and how the standard Mego body is much smaller than the more barbarian-like caveman body. Despite the lack of interest from Mego collectors toward the cavemen dolls, the "One Million B.C." series is certainly among my favourite offerings from Mego.


The following year, in 1976, Mego made a Fonzie doll based on the character from the TV sitcom Happy Days.
Fonzie Mego in Mint condition. Ayyyy!

A variation of Mego's "One Million B.C." caveman's spear throwing arm was used for the Fonzie doll to allow for a "thumbs up" action, once again controlled with a lever on the doll's back. This time however, both of the doll's arms were made to move up and down simultaneously, instead of just one arm. The Fonzie doll's torso is also very different from the caveman Mego, but uses the same shoulder joints. The Fonzie doll is also jointed at the waist, unlike the caveman dolls.

Here is a comparison of the Mego Fonzie doll body and the caveman doll body.

 Back view. Fonzie is marked 1976 on the back of the doll's upper torso and the back of the neck

Another back view of the Mego Fonzie and caveman dolls. It's likely that Fonzie would not have had his awesome "thumbs up action" if Mego had not previously developed the "Spear throwing" mechanism for the One Million B.C. series.

Fonzie's hands are shaped in a thumbs up position, and have pose-able thumbs.

Fist Fighting Superheroes

My other favourite mechanical Mego dolls include the collection of Fist Fighting Superheroes. In 1975, the same year that Mego produced the "One Million B.C." caveman dolls with "spear throwing action", Mego made the four main Batman characters with a "Fist Fighting" feature. This included Batman, Robin, Joker and Riddler. (Penguin's "fat" tummy likely prevented the character from joining the Fist Fighter line up). These dolls have a lever on the back of the doll's waist. When the lever is moved side to side the doll's arms move up and down in opposite directions as though boxing with an opponent.

The Joker and Riddler dolls shown here are the "Fist Fighter" versions, next to the standard "fat body" Penguin. I still don't have the Batman and Robin Fist Fighter dolls in my collection.

Back view of the Riddler and Joker Fist Fighting Mego dolls.

Here is a comparison of the standard Type 2 Mego doll body (Robin) with the Fist Fighter doll body (Riddler).

Back view showing the lever on the Fist Fighter doll

Here is a side view of the Fist Fighter doll. For the Joker Fist Fighter doll the knob piece at the end of the lever was made in black plastic.

According to the Mego Museum website there were four additional Fist Fighter dolls available in the UK only. These are Superman, Spider-Man, Lizard, and Captain America. Exclusively in Mexico, Fist Fighting heroes included Tarzan, Green Arrow, Iron Man, and Falcon. See pictures here: http://megomuseum.com/wgsh/fistfighters/index.html
More recently, in 2014, Figures Toy Company re-issued several Fist Fighting Mego DC heroes including Batman, Robin, Joker, Riddler, Superman, and Green Arrow, while adding Aquaman and Shazam to the collection. See pictures here:
Text and photos copyright Mike Artelle, 2010, 2014


  1. Looks like someone has used a UK Mego FF body to make your Joker figure. The Joker was exclusive to the US, and like all US FF's should have a flesh coloured lever on the back, not a black one. All UK FF's have black levers. I have all the Fist Fighters, with the exception of the Riddler.

    1. Hey that's sweet! Thanks for letting me know. I always wondered about that. Do the leavers come off somehow? Or is there a way to get the Joker's white hands on a UK/black leaver body? I know the heads are easy to switch but I'm just wondering how the arms/hands could be switched as well. In any case, I'm just happy to have one! :) I got the Riddler on e-bay. The seller didn't mention that it was a Fist Fighter in the listing so I was quite happy to discover it was one when it arrived! That was awesome! Thanks again for the info JetJungle!