1972 - 2014: DC Comics Dolls

Mego 8" Dolls

Mego began making dolls based on DC Comics superheroes in 1972 as part of their Official World's Greatest Superheroes series. The first four characters they offered were Batman, Robin, Superman and Aquaman. Additional characters were soon added to the series so that by the late 1970s there was a total of 23 DC Comics 8" dolls to collect (not including the variations). I have 12 of the original DC Mego dolls, and still need 11 more to complete the collection. Recently, I added reissued versions of Mego's Bruce Wayne by Dr. Mego, and Dick Grayson by Toy Figures Company to my collection. So I now consider my collection to be missing only 9 of the DC Comics 8 inch Mego dolls.

Batman and Robin 8 inch dolls by Mego.

Penguin, Riddler, Catwoman, and the Joker 8 inch dolls by Mego.
 
The Riddler and Joker dolls shown here are the "Fist Fighting" action dolls, which look the same as the standard version of the Mego dolls that were also made. See the "Mechanical Mego" page of this blog for more info about the Fist Fighter Mego dolls.
 
Reissued version of Mego's Bruce Wayne by Dr. Mego and Dick Grayson by Toy Figures Company. More info about these two 8 inch dolls is provided below, towards the end of this page. Now I only need one more character to have the complete 8" Mego Batman set: Batgirl!

Mr. Mxyzptlk, Superman, and Supergirl (missing her cape and shoes) 8 inch dolls by Mego. I still need the Clark Kent doll to complete the Superman 8" Mego set.

Green Arrow, Aquaman, and Tarzan

The remaining DC Comics heroes I'm missing are Shazam, Isis, Wonder Woman, and the four Teen Titans heroes (which are 7" instead of 8") : Kid Flash, Speedy, Aqualad, and Wondergirl.  Mego also made a Hall of Justice playset for the 8 inch DC comics heroes, along with a car for Green Arrow, and a Great White Shark for Aquaman.

Two examples of DC Comics Tarzan comic book covers that were published around the time that Mego's Tarzan doll was first available in stores. On the left is issue No. 212 from Sept. 1972, and on the right is No. 225 from Nov. 1973.

Mego Tarzan
Technically, Tarzan is not a DC comics hero. He was licensed to DC Comics in the early 1970s by the estate of Tarzan's creator, Edgar Rice Burroughs, after a long run in Whitman/Gold Key Comics. DC's Tarzan titles from this period include "Tarzan", "Korak, Son of Tarzan" which later became "Tarzan Family", and "Tarzan presents Weird Worlds" which featured John Carter Warlord of Mars and other Burroughs characters. Therefore, when Mego began producing their 8 inch superhero doll collection in 1972, as DC still had the license to produce Tarzan comics, Mego included him in the assortment of DC Comics heroes. The Mego Museum website states on their Tarzan page that the Vice-President of the Mego Corporation asked for Tarzan to be included in the early assortment of heroes simply because Tarzan was his favourite character!

Mego 8 inch Tarzan

Unfortunately, Mego stopped making Tarzan after only a couple of years even though the character was still quite popular at the time. I suspect the Mego Tarzan doll was not a hit with kids because it was not a direct representation of the DC Comics version of Tarzan. The costume for the Tarzan Mego doll has a shoulder strap and the "leopard print" pattern on his trunks features unique blobs of light and dark brown. However the comic book Tarzan did not have a shoulder strap on his costume and the trunks had a "leopard print" consisting of black dots. The comics book Tarzan also had a belt around his waist that was shown as either white or light brown, and a sheath for his knife. As the Tarzan Mego was first issued on the Type 1 Mego body, shown above (note the metal joints at the wrists), Mego made a skin tone jumpsuit to cover up the crudely shaped figure. This may have also affected the toy's appeal with kids as it looked like Tarzan was wearing a full bodied costume! (Mego's Type 2 body significantly improved the look of their 8 inch dolls and did away with the metal joints, but it wasn't issued until 1974.) The head sculpt for Mego's Tarzan, however, does seem to be based directly on the Joe Kubert/DC Comics design, with the longer hair style, especially around his ears.

In 1972, this Tarzan of the Apes hard cover graphic novel was published by Watson-Guptill Publications. This book depicts Tarzan very much like the DC Comic books that were also published that same year, in which Tarzan does not have a shoulder strap on his costume and his "leopard print" trunks have black dots and a belt. It's another example of why Mego's version of the character might have looked so bizarre to kids of the early 1970's. Personally, I think Mego did an awesome job on their Tarzan doll, and the head sculpt is perfect for the character. I happen to be a huge Tarzan fan, so the Mego doll of him would easily find a place in my "Favourite Top Ten" Mego list. I've had my Tarzan Mego since I was nine years old!

From 1976 to 1979, a few years after Mego had stopped producing the Tarzan doll, Tarzan was seen on television in his own animated cartoon series that was broadcast on Saturday mornings. The series was created by Filmation which simultaneously produced a Batman cartoon series. These two shows were paired up for broadcast as the Batman/Tarzan Adventure Hour, once again linking Tarzan to DC Comics. Around the same time however, in 1977, Marvel Comics would take over publishing Tarzan comic books.

It's interesting to note that the very first Tarzan story was published in 1912, therefore as of 2012 Tarzan was officially 100 years old!

When I was a kid, it seemed a natural fit to have Tarzan battle Lizard (Spidey's foe) since Mego didn't make Tarzan any villains. Thanks to "The Doll House Lady" I found both of these Mego dolls in the mid 1980s, long after they had gone out of production,

Tarzan and "The Doll House Lady"
Tarzan was one of my first Mego dolls when I officially started my Mego collection in the mid 1980s around the age of nine. I had Fonzie, Batman and Robin when I was much younger, but they had been lost or broken and were long gone. I bought Tarzan second hand for $5 at the same place where I got my current Batman Mego, shown above, and the Lizard Mego (shown above with Tarzan, and on the "Marvel Comics Dolls" page of this blog). Back then Lincoln Fields Shopping Centre on Carling Ave, in Ottawa, ON, was called Lincoln Heights. There used to be a human-sized doll house on the second floor of the mall near the escalators where a very kind elderly woman sold second hand girl's dolls. I recall that she would knit costumes for dolls or repair the clothes with hand sewing.

Mego dolls had not been available in stores for a few years at that time, and being completely Mego-less I was desperately on the hunt for second-hand Megos. The internet makes it very easy to locate vintage toys these days, but back in the 1980s collectors had to go out and search any place they could to find second hand toys. When such a place was found, you could only cross your fingers and hope that you would be lucky enough to stumble across what you were looking for.

So, despite the girly, frilly dolls that were everywhere in the bizarre doll house shaped store, I went in and asked the woman if she had any Megos, and described them to her. She asked me to wait a moment and went into the back room and then came back with a brown paper lunch bag. From it she pulled out Tarzan, Lizard, Batman, and Captain Kirk wearing Superman's costume. I had hit the jackpot! She also had an 8 inch Super Joe by Hasbro, which is less common to find than the original 12 inch G.I. Joe dolls. I'm happy to say that all four of those Mego's and Super Joe are still in my collection! After that, every time I happened to be at that mall with my parents I would stop by to check in with "the doll house lady" as I called her, but she never did get any more Megos. Then one day her doll house store was gone. As I never got the woman's name, I've often wondered who she was and if she had moved her store or just closed it down. In any case, she saved me from having a Mego-starved childhood and helped me start my Mego collection!
 
Hawkman, custom Mego doll by Mikey!
Along with Batman and Robin I've always been a huge fan of DC Comics Hawkman. When I was a kid I collected all the Hawkman comic books that I could find, and really, really wanted a Hawkman Mego doll. Unfortunately Mego never made Hawkman, so in 1982 when I was nine years old I made my own, which I still have (shown below). 
 
For a nine year old, my custom Hawkman turned out really well and I find the style matches the rest of the Mego DC gang (with exception of the mask, which I had pretended was sculpted out of plastic along with the boots). I had a naked Captain Kirk Mego that I used to put the costume on, and made a mask out of construction paper. For the above photo I used a Sir Galahad/Will Scarlet head which I find looks more like Hawkman, in fact it's a perfect fit! For the wings I used T-shirt paints and drew the feathers onto the fabric. Then I made two wing shaped "pillows" and cut the same shape out of half-inch foam sheet (which I had laying around for making puppets with) to stuff the wing. I figure Mego would have given Hawkman fabric covered sponge wings as they had given Lizard, the Spider-Man villain, a stuffed tail.
 
During the mid 2000's Hasbro produced a series of 9 inch DC Comics dolls (which I've listed below on this page), however Hawkman was once again excluded. In 2010 Mattel was going to include Hawkman in their Retro-Action DC Heroes series (also noted below) and had even created a prototype of the doll but the series was cancelled before Hawkman was produced. Figures Toy Company began producing DC Comics Megos in 2013 but never seemed to include Hawkman in their sights for upcoming dolls, so I e-mailed them in January 2016 to beg them to make one. I was told that the character would be released later in the year. Alas, here we are in April 2017 and still no Hawkman! Hopefully this gets remedied soon.
 
In addition to Hawkman there were many A-list DC Comics characters that Mego didn't make, such as the Flash, Green Lantern, Two-Face, Lois Lane, Martian Manhunter, and others. These characters have since been realised in the Mego style along with many B-list characters, yet Hawkman is nowhere to be seen! I'm beginning to think that the current Mego demand will pass us by without an official Hawkman Mego being released! (sigh!) I guess my custom Hawkman Mego will have to do!

Mego Vehicles
Mego made several vehicles for the Batman characters, including the Batmobile, Batcycle (in black plastic and in blue plastic), Batcopter, Bat Lab Van, Joker Van, and two playsets including the Batcave and Wayne Manor (also called the Wayne Foundation).

 Here is the Batcycle, blue version, and Batmobile with my entire collection of Batman 8 inch Megos.

Actor Burt Ward portrayed Robin in the 1966 Batman TV series. Robin was always my favourite superhero and I recall sitting in front of the TV watching the re-runs of Batman as a kid during the mid 70s. In May 2013 Burt Ward was one of the guest celebrities at Ottawa Comic Con. Just by chance, I found this Mego Batmobile for sale at one of the Comic Con vendor booths. It's in awesome condition and I picked it up for only $25! I couldn't resist asking my childhood hero to sign it for me! 

Just before Burt Ward signed my Batmobile he signed this photo for me. I was a total geek and brought my Robin Mego doll with me too!

The following year, in 2014, Figures Toy Company released the first wave of their Mego-style dolls based on the 1966 Batman TV series. The Robin doll from that collection is the first 8 inch doll to be based on Burt Ward's version of Robin from the TV series, including the details of the costume. Up until then the only 8 inch Robin doll available to fans of the TV show was the one shown above, which is based on the comic book version of Robin. I'm really happy that a Burt Ward/Robin Mego doll has finally been made!!! I've added a new page to this blog about the FTC Classic Batman TV Series dolls at this link:
http://mikeysdolls.blogspot.ca/p/batman-1966-tv-series.html

Above is Batman with the blue version of the Batcycle. I've shown other views of the Batcycle below.


The sidecar was removable to allow the motorcycle to be used on its own.


Here are all three variations of the Mego 8" Joker doll. On the left is the "Type 1" Joker (missing a shoe). In the center is the "Type 2" doll mint on the card, and on the right is the "Fist Fighting" Joker.

I have the original Robin and Joker 8 inch Mego dolls in their original bubble cards from 1979. The cards aren't in super condition, but it's still awesome to have the original packaging. Robin was removed from the bubble by the previous owner, but Joker is still original to the unopened card. Robin's card is in French and says "Les Extraordinaires Super-Heroes!" while the Joker's card says "World's Greatest Super-Heroes!", with both English and French text for the smaller print at the bottom.

Here is the back view for the Robin and Joker 1979 cards. It's interesting to note that several of the characters shown on this 1979 card had already been discontinued by Mego, so they would not have been available. These include Green Arrow, Aquaman, Mr.Mxyzptlk, and Supergirl. Catwoman, Batgirl and Riddler would soon be discontinued in 1980.

The front bottom left corner of the 1979 Robin card has the Pin Pin logo. According to the Mego Museum website, Pin Pin carded dolls were produced for sale in France however some were distributed in Canada throughout Quebec.

The front bottom left of the 1979 Joker card has the Grand Toys logo with English and French text. To my knowledge, dolls with Grand Toys packaging were distributed only in Canada.
 
Here is a complete list of all 23 of the 8 inch DC Comics dolls that were made by MEGO (not including variations):

 
MEGO also made an impressive selection of vehicles and playsets for the DC Heroes too! The rarest of the bunch is the Great White Shark toy that was sold in a boxed set with Aquaman.

 
Mego 12 " dolls, 1978 - 1981
Mego also made 10 different DC Comics characters as 12 inch dolls. I'm more interested in the 8 inch Megos, so I haven't really tried to collect the 12 inch dolls. However, Batman and Robin would be neat to have in the 12 inch size. Below is the 12 inch Superman that Mego made based on the 1979 movie. Unfortunately the plastic Mego used for some of their doll heads have a tendency to turn grey over time, as is the case with this one. The doll below is based on the Superman movies from the late 1970s and early 1980s. It has the Christopher Reeve head sculpt and the body is more muscular than the usual Mego body, with broader shoulders. The red plastic boots are also unique to this doll. Mego also made a 12 inch comic book version of Superman that has a different head sculpt and the standard sized 12 inch Mego body. The red plastic boots are also shaped differently from those shown below. A very rare 13 inch Superman was also made using the Christopher Reeve head.


As the Batman, Robin, Superman and Wonder Woman dolls were so popular Mego released several variations of each. In addition to Superman, the dynamic duo Batman and Robin were also given different head sculpts and body types which made each version unique. With all of the changes taken into consideration there are 17 dolls to collect in the Mego DC Comics 12 inch series. This does not include the packaging variations.
 

It's too bad Mego didn't make the supporting characters (Jor-El, Lex Luthor, General Zod, Steve Trevor, Queen Hippolyte, and Nubia) as 8 inch dolls to expand on that series. I think that would have been more interesting. In 2010 Mattel offered Lex Luthor in the 8 inch size as part of their Retro Action series, so at least collectors finally have that one to display with their 8 inch Megos. Also in 2010 Mattel released 12 inch dolls of Superman and Lex Luthor based on the 1979 movie, which are very different from the original Mego 12 inch dolls.

In Nov 2014 I freaked out when I found a 9.5 inch Robin Mego doll at a comic convention, complete with both shoes and his belt! The 9.5 inch Robin is a "holy grail" item for me that I never thought I would own! I've shown him here next to my 8 inch Robin for size comparison.

Here is a closer view of their heads. Mego also made a 12 inch Robin doll as well. All three Robin dolls have completely different head sculpts.

Here is the different sizes of shoes and belts. Below you can see that the 9.5 inch Robin belt is just a tad longer than the 8 inch Robin belt.


Mego didn't make very many dolls with the 9.5 inch body. Not to worry, the 9.5 inch Robin Mego doll does have some 9.5 inch friends to hang out with: Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless. The Mego Museum website states that the Flash Gordon series was the only 9.5 inch series available in North America. (Actually, the Mego Museum calls these 10 inch figures, but they are 9.5 inches) The 9.5 inch Robin was sold in Canada and Europe, but not in the United States. Mego also produced Dr.Who dolls in the 9.5 inch format, but these were sold only in Europe.

Mego made the 9.5 inch Robin doll to go with the 12 inch Batman. I don't have the 12 inch Batman yet, so I used the 12 inch Spidey as a stand in to show the different sizes. I find that the 9.5 inch Robin is actually too small to be matched with the 12 inch figures. Rather than teenage sized he looks child sized.

It's interesting to note that Mego made four Teen Titans dolls to go with their 8 inch DC hero series, but to show that the characters were teens Mego produced them in a 7 inch size rather than 8 inch. This didn't take into consideration that Robin, who is the leader of the Teen Titans, had already been made in the 8 inch scale. So if Mego had also introduced a 7 inch "teen" sized Robin to correct the scale issue, there would have been four different sizes of Robin to collect! This will soon become a reality however, as Figures Toy Company, which has reissued many of the DC Comics 8 inch Mego dolls, has already announced that they will be releasing a 7 inch Robin doll as part of their expanded Teen Titans series!
 
Batman Movie, 8" doll by Applause, 1989


Here is an 8" Batman plush doll made by Applause as part of the merchandizing for the 1989 Batman movie. This doll was available with two different styles of heads. The other one, which I don't have (or want) is modeled with a comical cartoon style. I like the doll above much better, and I have found it is not as common as the other doll. This doll is so close to being a Mego I wish they had just made it an articulated doll instead of a plush toy. The head is the perfect size for a Mego body! I've searched for this doll on e-bay and discovered that it was available in a larger size as well.
 
Batman & Robin Movie, 12" dolls by Hasbro, 1997

Here are some of the 12 inch dolls based on the "Batman and Robin" movie, made by Hasbro in 1997. Thankfully Hasbro was smart enough to depart from the film and opted not to include "bat-nipples" on the costumes for these dolls. Shown here are Batman (in dark blue outfit), Robin, Batgirl and Mr. Freeze. Each were sold separately in their own boxes. A two pack set with Batman (in black outfit) and Poison Ivy was also made. A third version of Batman was also made for this set as "Ice Battle Batman", which has the sculpted costume pieces in light grey plastic over a black fabric suit. It was sold in a single box that is completely different from these four. Essentially, all three Batman variations are the same doll only in different colours.

The artwork on the boxes is awesome. I especially like the artwork for Robin's box, and he's also my favourite doll in this set. Hasbro was producing their 12 inch Star Wars dolls at the same time and used similar boxes for this Batman series. Each box has a cover flap that opens and a foil logo on the front. Batgirl's costume on the box looks nothing like the doll, which has a cowl with bat ears. I find the doll's costume is more interesting.

These dolls were very well made, and although I really like them I still have a few issues with them too. Firstly, the hands and feet are attached as part of the doll so the costumes do not come off, which I can't stand. What's the point of making a doll with fabric clothes and separate costume pieces if the costume doesn't come off? Mego did this too with their Tin Man from the Wizard of Oz series, and their series of medieval knights. I suppose there's just some types of costumes that are difficult to make in a doll format. My other complaint is that the hands for each of the male characters are sculpted very oddly. Some of the fingers are longer than they should be which I find looks really weird.

The inside of the box flap has a short biography about the character in English and French text.

The back of all four boxes are the same and show only the four characters that were sold in this initial set, with no mention of the two-pack Batman/Poison Ivy set, or the Ice Battle Batman.
 
Other 12 inch DC Comics dolls by Hasbro/Kenner
In the late 1990s Hasbro produced a series of Justice League America 12 inch dolls that included: Aquaman (with a beard and long hair that was molded and looked very silly), Green Lantern (in Kyle Rayner's costume), and Flash. In 1996 a stand alone 12 inch "Superman: Man of Steel" doll was made, and it looks awesome! Also in 1996, Catwoman (in purple suit) and Batman were packaged together for the "Legends of Batman" two doll set. Another set, "The History of Batman" includes three Batman 12 inch dolls packaged together in the same box, each with a different costume. "The History of Superman", is a similar set of three dolls based on Superman. There is yet another 12 inch Batman that was sold in a set with a book. Also around this time, a series of 6 dolls based on the "Batman Animated Series" was produced. These were sold individually. This set included Batman, Joker, Nightwing, Robin, Batgirl and Harley Quinn. In 1998 similar Animated style dolls of Superman and Supergirl were made and packaged individually.
 
Batman Beyond, 9 inch doll by Hasbro, 1999

Here is a very Mego-like doll based on the Batman Beyond animated TV series. Batman is 9 inches tall not including his bat ears. I bought this doll at "The Bay" when I worked there in the toy department, and recall we only received one small shipment of these dolls, which I got to unpack and put out on the shelf. The doll's fabric costume can't be removed as it's attached and sewn onto the doll around the joints for the wings. There is also a "retractable Bat-rope" built into the doll's back.

 The back of the box shows a large picture of what the animated character looks like.

Here is what Batman looks like out of the box. To my knowledge this doll was a stand alone item that did not have any matching villain dolls or vehicles. Below is the back view to show how the wings and Bat-rope are attached.


Batman was also packaged with a "firing turbo launcher and 3 firing Batarangs".

Other 9 inch DC Comics dolls by Hasbro

In 1999, Hasbro also produced a series of 9 inch DC Comics dolls under the banner "DC Super Heroes: Silver Age Collection". The series included:

Batman (light blue and light grey costume)
Superman
Green Arrow
Green Lantern (Hal Jordon version)
Aquaman

Two additional dolls were released in a Justice League America box, rather than the Silver Age Collection box:
Martian Manhunter
Superman Blue (a version of Superman in a white and light blue patterned costume)

Later Hasbro released Batman: Guardian of Gotham City. This was a 9 inch Batman doll (black and dark grey outfit) with a Bruce Wayne outfit and head (black business suit and white shirt). A  Penguin doll was also made for this series (wearing a back suit coat), as well as a "Golden Age" Batman and Robin two pack set.

In 2001 Hasbro made a 9 inch Joker doll as an exclusive toy for Target stores. Around the same time, a 9 inch Superman/Clark Kent doll set was also made as a Target exclusive. All of these 9 inch dolls look awesome and are on my very long list of dolls to collect someday!

Gen 13, 11.5 inch doll by WildStorm, 1999 
 
This is Burnout from the Gen 13 doll series based on the Gen 13 comic books. If I'm not mistaken the comics were published by a subdivision of DC Comics. I moved all of the info about Burnout to the "Other Awesome Dolls" page of this blog because this DC Comics page was getting a tad too long. Here is a link to that page:
http://mikeysdolls.blogspot.ca/p/i-that-dont-fit-into-any-of-page_10.html
  
Dr. Mego / EMCE dolls, late 1990s or early 2000s to present

The Dr. Mego reissued Bruce Wayne and Zorro Mego parts (heads, costumes and sword) on original Mego doll bodies.

In the late 1990s or early 2000s, when the internet made it possible for Mego collectors to locate other like minded Mego fans, Dr. Mego (Paul Clarke) began to have Mego parts re-made in China. This allowed Mego collectors to complete individual Mego dolls by ordering the pieces they were missing such as shoes, capes, clothing, or weapons. The Mego doll bodies and an assortment of doll heads were also made available. Later Dr. Mego and the EMCE toy company offered several officially licensed re-issues of Mego dolls such as the Star Trek and Planet of the Apes collections.
 
More information about Dr. Mego is included on the "1971 - 1982: Mego Dolls" page of this blog:
 
Teen Titans 11 inch plush dolls by Toy Network, c 2005

These 11 inch Teen Titan plush toys are based on the animated TV series and were made sometime between 2003 and 2008. Unfortunately there is no copyright date on the hang tag. Shown here are Robin and Beast Boy. They are very well made with nice detail. I especially like the shape of Robin's hair! Each are filled with plastic beads from the waist down, with a bit of soft stuffing at the bottom of their feet. From the waist up they are stuffed with soft stuffing. These two were found in a plush toy vending machine game. Raven, Starfire, and Cyborg were also made as part of this set.

Batman 8 inch plush key ring doll by Monogram, c 2005

There is no date on this Batman plush toy, but is was made sometime between 2000 and 2010. It seems to be less common than other Batman plush dolls as I have yet to find another one online. The bat logo is well done with a thick vinyl-like material that is quite durable. Most decals of this type that are glued onto fabric have a tendency to crack or peel off, but this one is on there for good. I've never seen any other DC Comics characters that match with this key ring doll so it might be a stand alone item. It would be awesome if there was a Robin in this style to complete the dynamic duo.

Superman Returns, by Mattel, 2006

In my opinion, Brandon Routh is the best Superman ever!!!

The hype for Superman Returns was huge! In response, Mattel produced Superman figures in several different sizes including a series of smaller 4 inch action figures, a 10 inch action figure, a 12 inch Ken Superman doll, an 11 inch "Epic Powers Superman" doll, a 12 inch action figure with sound, a 14 inch action figure, and even a jumbo sized figure that was two and a half feet tall.

Shown here is the 10 inch action figure, the 11 inch "Epic Powers Superman" doll, and the 14 inch "Hyperposeable Superman" action figure. All three of these have cloth capes, while the "Epic Powers" doll has a fabric outfit that can not be removed. In order to save some space on this very long blog page, I've included more detail about these and other Mattel Superman Returns toys on the Superman Returns page of my other blog "Mikey's Blog of Awesomeness" at this link:
http://mikeysblogofawesomeness.blogspot.ca/p/superman-returns.html

DC Direct Deluxe 13 inch dolls

Sometime in the mid 2000's DC Comics produced an impressive series of 13 inch dolls for adult doll collectors. These dolls were priced around $80.00 and up, and today tend to sell for over $100. As such I still don't have any of them in my collection. My favourite from this series is Robin, which I think is a perfect doll of the Boy Wonder! Below is a list of all the dolls in this series that I know of. There are 42 of them!

Aquaman
Batgirl, black, yellow and blue outfit
Batgirl, grey, yellow and blue outfit
Batman, blue and grey outfit
Batman, black and grey outfit
Batman Beyond
Batman, Dark Knight movie version
Bizarro
Black Canary
Catwoman, black "leather" outfit
Catwoman, purple outfit, black knee high boots
Flash, Golden Age version (Jay Garrick)
Flash
Joker, comic book version
Joker, Dark Knight movie version
Green Arrow
Green Lantern, Golden Age version (Alan Scott)
Green Lantern, (Hal Jordon) "Green Lantern Corps" version with interchangeable heads
Green Lantern, Hal Jordon (without interchangeable heads)
Harley Quinn
Lex Luthor
Martian Manhunter
Nightwing
Poison Ivy
Power Girl
Robin
Sandman
Sergeant Rock
Shazam
Sinestro
Spirit, The
Supergirl
Superman, Superman Returns movie version
Superman, comic book version
Superman: Kingdom Come
Two Face
V for Vendetta
Watchmen: Comedian
Watchmen: Dr. Manhattan
Watchmen: Rorschach
Wonder Woman
Zatanna
 
Mattel Retro Action DC Heroes, 8 inch dolls, 2010 - 2011
 
 
In 2010 and 2011, Mattel toyed with Mego collector's hopes and dreams when they produced a series of 8 inch dolls in the Mego style that were based on DC Comics characters. Rather than make characters that fans were asking for, Mattel instead pushed secondary characters and several Green Lantern characters into the series (six of the 21 dolls are Green Lantern characters). Only two Batman characters made it into the collection, Batman and Two-Face. As awesome as these dolls are, it's absolutely ridiculous that Mattel didn't bother to make Robin or the Joker for this series, not to mention other A-list characters such as Hawkman. This collection also did not include any vehicles or playsets. On the plus side, the collection did give Mego collectors the long awaited for Flash 8 inch Mego-style doll.
 
The complete Retro Action series is shown on their own page of this blog:
 
Figures Toy Company, 8 inch dolls, 2013
 
In 2013 Figures Toy Company (a division of Classic TV Toys) began re-releasing the Mego DC Comics 8 inch dolls. The first series they made available included four Batman characters: Batman, Robin, Joker and Riddler.

As Robin is my favourite from this set I bought one as an example. It's shown above in the packaging next to the original Mego doll. I haven't yet seen the FTC version out of the packaging, but they seem to be quite well made. In fact they are almost identical to the original Mego dolls with only a few slight differences. The head on the reissued Robin doll is a tad thinner than the Mego version, and the tip of his nose does not point up as much. The black paint for the hair is also applied cleaner around the edges than the Mego version, especially around the ears. The "R" logo on Robin's shirt is painted on rather than a sticker. The skin tone of the doll is also slightly different from the Mego version. Mego stopped producing these dolls 32 years ago, so this reproduction is quite remarkable!

Here is the back of the card for Robin showing illustrations of the characters. Series two will include Penguin and Catwoman which are also shown.

Here is a closer view of the awesome illustration of Robin from the back of the card. 
 
Since this first series was released FTC has produced a long list of DC comics Mego style dolls, which I've documented on the Toy Figures Company page of this blog. Here is a link to that page:
 
Batman Classic TV Series, Figures Toy Company, 2014
 
In 2014 Figures Toy Company released 8 inch dolls based on the 1966 live action Batman TV show. As this is a popular collection that is becoming quite extensive I've given the collection their own page on this blog. Here is the link:
 
 
Variations of Mego 8 inch DC Comics dolls
 
In general, Mego 8 inch dolls were mass produced non stop for about eleven years from 1971 to 1982. Some characters were only made for a few years before being dropped from production, while others were made throughout the entire decade. As the story goes, Mego had stumbled upon the 8 inch superhero dolls by accident after their Action Jackson line failed to sell. In an attempt to make use of the Action Jackson doll bodies, Mego switched heads and costumes to come up with the first four Superheroes: Batman, Robin, Aquaman and Superman.
 
As Mego was basically experimenting with a new product, making things up as they went along, many changes were made during the production run of each doll. In the end, Mego produced so many different variations for each of their superhero dolls that it's next to impossible to document every known variation. I've been avoiding the task of adding this section, but this page wouldn't be complete without it.
 
However, to be very clear, as I don't actually have all of these variations I can't confirm with 100% accuracy that each of these is a legitimate Mego variation, I'm just reporting what is generally believed in the collectors community to be out there as an original Mego..... so if you decide to spend big bucks on a rare Mego, please do so with caution and tones of research, and not just because of this one list!!!
 
With that being said here is my crazy attempt to list all of the variations for Mego's DC Comics 8 inch dolls. I created this list using the information on the Mego Museum website as well as toy collecting books and other sources. I'm not even going to try to include the packaging variations as that would be an unending task! This list is about the variations of the dolls themselves.
 
So now it's time to freak out about all of the awesome 8 inch Mego variations!
 
Batman/Bruce Wayne
 
1) Batman with removable cowl, uses Bruce Wayne head, type 1 body with plastic joints, suit has elastic at pant leg and trunks are made out of black un-stretchable nylon (same type of material as cape fabric). Rare slim boots. Rare version to find. Many reproduction parts exist including Figures Toy Company and Dr. Mego. The type 1 body, slim fitting boots, and this version of the fabric suit have yet to be reproduced. All other parts have been reproduced.

2) Batman with cowl sculpted as part of head, type 1 body with metal joints, suit has elastic at pant leg and trunks are made out of black un-stretchable nylon (same type of material as cape fabric). Rare version to find. Type 1 body and this version of the suit have yet to be reproduced. I'm unclear about what type of boot this version has, slim or standard size.
 
3) Batman with cowl sculpted as part of head, type 1 body, jumpsuit style pant leg, trunks are now made out of stretchable nylon (same fabric as grey part of suit). Has wide, standard boots. This is a standard version to find. Other than the type 1 body all parts have been reproduced.
 
4) Bruce Wayne, type 1 body with metal joints, same head as removable cowl Batman. Rare version. Other than the type 1 body all parts have been reproduced.

5) Batman with cowl sculpted as part of head, type 2 body, jumpsuit style pant leg. This is the standard version to find and was manufactured the longest, very common. All parts for this doll have been reproduced.

6) Fist Fighting Batman Same doll as number 5 but uses a fist fighting doll body. Hard to find version but not rare. All parts for this doll have been reproduced.
 
Robin/Dick Grayson
 
1) Robin with removable mask, uses Dick Grayson head, type 1 body with plastic joints, suit has green sleeves and trunks that may turn yellow, belt is made out of yellow elastic with metal buckle. Rare version to find. Many reproduction parts exist including Figures Toy Company and Dr. Mego. The type 1 body and elastic belt have yet to be reproduced. All other parts for this doll have been reproduced.

2) Robin with painted mask, type 1 body with metal joints, suit has green sleeves and trunks that may turn yellow, belt is made out of yellow elastic with metal buckle. Rare version to find. The type 1 body and elastic belt have yet to be reproduced. All other parts for this doll have been reproduced.
 
3) Robin with painted mask, type 1 body with metal joints, suit has green sleeves and trunks (that do not turn yellow), yellow plastic belt. Standard version to find. The type 1 body has yet to be reproduced. All other parts for this doll have been reproduced.
 
4) Dick Grayson, type 1 body with metal joints, same head as removable mask Robin. Rare version. Other than the type 1 body all parts have been reproduced.

5) Robin with painted mask, type 2 body, suit has green sleeves and trunks (that do not turn yellow), yellow plastic belt. This is a standard version to find, very common. All parts for this doll have been reproduced.

6) Fist Fighting Robin Same doll as number 5 but uses a fist fighting doll body. Back of costume has been adjusted to allow for the Fist Fighting lever. Hard to find version but not rare. All parts for this doll have been reproduced.
 
Superman
1) Superman, type 1 body,  suit has elastic at pant leg and trunks are made out of black un-stretchable nylon (same type of material as cape fabric).
 
2)Superman, type 2 body

3)Fist Fighting Superman (UK only)

4)Clark Kent
 
Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman - small stars suit variation, plastic boots
Wonder Woman - large stars suit variation, no boots

Catwoman
Catwoman - blue legs, printed suit variation, no boots
Catwoman - skin tone legs, printed suit variation, heal boots
Catwoman - skin tone legs, sewn suit variation, flat boots

Supergirl
Supergirl - printed shorts/logo suit variation, no shoes
Supergirl - Sewn shorts/logo sticker suit variation, plastic shoes

Joker
Joker, type 1 body
Joker, type 2 body
Fist Fighting Joker

Riddler
Riddler, type 1 body
Riddler, type 2 body
Fist Fighting Riddler

Green Arrow
Green Arrow, type 1 body
Green Arrow, type 2 body
Fist Fighting Green Arrow (Mexico)

Aquaman
Aquaman, type 1 body
Aquaman, type 2 body
Aquaman, webbed fingers variant, type 2 body, apparently only sold in the box with the Great White Shark toy

Tarzan
Tarzan
Tarzan, type 1 body
Tarzan, type 2 body
Fist Fighting Tarzan (Mexico)
 
 
 
Text and Doll Photos © Mike Artelle 2011, 2015

2 comments:

  1. Hey Mikey. Today I purchased a Batman plush that matches your key ring Batman. He's about 15" tall, navy blue cape, sown on eyes, mouth, and the Bat man logo is either a patch, or hand sown on also. I can't seem to find out anything about him on the internet and was wondering what his value is. Thank you.

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    1. Hi Julie! It's hard to say what the value is without seeing a picture of it, but even then I might not be much help. There's so much Batman stuff out there these days that I find the value of a collectable really depends on the buyer. If you've done an in depth search online to find a similar Batman doll (including contacting collectors like myself) and it does turn out that your doll is a "hard to find" item, then I would think asking a higher amount for it is reasonable. Though, how high is hard to say, again because there is so much Batman merchandise available. If you're not in a rush to sell it, you could set the price very high and then see how it goes, and if it doesn't sell, then you could lower it later on. For example, if I ever tried to sell my 8 inch Batman keychain doll I'd ask at least $35, as realistically I doubt it's worth more than that. But for a larger "hard to find" doll you could ask more, maybe twice as much or higher. It also depends on how well the doll is made, the condition, if it's complete with store tags or packaging, and what it looks like on display. Hope this helps. Best of luck! :)

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