An assortment of Mego style dolls made by Classic TV Toys in 2004.
Top row: Fonzie from Happy Days, Frankenstein and Dracula from Mad Monsters
Bottom Row: Captain Zantor from Space 1999, Herman and Eddie from The Munsters
Figures Toy Company (FTC) is one of several toy companies that have emerged in the last ten years as a producer of new Mego-like dolls. What I like best about dolls offered from FTC is that they are made with the goal to have the look of original Mego dolls, as though the Mego company itself were still producing them. To accomplish this, FTC uses very similar doll bodies, costumes and pieces such as shoes, belts or other accessories.
The first major wave of Mego-like dolls to be produced by FTC was in 2004 when the company operated under the name Classic TV Toys (CTVT). This first wave included reissues of six classic Mego doll collections: American West, Super Pirates, Super Knights, Mad Monsters, Happy Days, and Space 1999. The latter three of these collections were also expanded to include new characters and outfits that were not previously available. Along with these original Mego lines CTVT produced all-new collections based on the TV shows I Love Lucy, Brady Bunch, Married with Children, and The Munsters. An original unlicensed series titled Mad Clowns followed along with a stand alone Mego-like Skeleton figure and a wide assortment of individual clothing and accessory pieces that were sold through the company's website.
Although it was amazing that all of this Mego-like product had become available, most of this initial CTVT product from 2004 was unfortunately very poorly made. In fact the dolls were even poorer quality than the original Mego dolls from the 1970s! Only the dolls that were made in late 2004 seemed to be of a better quality, such as The Munsters series.
Here is a CTVT Frankenstein reissued Mego doll from 2004. Many of the earlier produced CTVT dolls had issues with the bubble coming loose from the card while still on store shelves, as shown above.
It wasn't until 2011 that CTVT would produce new product, this time under their new identity, Figures Toy Company (FTC). The move away from the CTVT banner was likely due to the negative impression that Mego collectors had of the company as a result of the poorly made dolls from 2004.
One of the original series of 12 inch dolls that Mego produced was based on the rock band KISS. First offered in 1978, the dolls were based on the bands Love Gun album and are still highly sought after by collectors today.
In 2011, FTC re-issued all four of the 12 inch KISS: Love Gun Mego dolls, while also offering them in the 8 inch format for the first time (shown below). As the quality of these dolls was much better than the company's product from 2004, the new KISS dolls sold very well and prompted a second series of 12 inch and 8 inch dolls in 2012. This series was called KISS: Self Titled and are original to FTC. Special "variant" dolls were also produced that have additional details such as "blood" painted on the doll's face, doll sized guitars, or a unique costume. Series 3, KISS: Sonic Boom was also released in 2012 in both 12 inch and 8 inch sizes.
Figures Toy Company KISS dolls made in 2011. These are 8 inch versions of the original 12 inch Mego dolls. Above are The Starchild and The Spaceman from series 1. (The Spaceman doll was used in a window display at the store where I bought it so the card is slightly faded and no longer has the yellow border.)
The Demon from series 3, "Kiss: Sonic Boom", 2012.
The Return of Mego DC Comics Super Heroes!
Mego collectors received remarkable news in 2013, when Figures Toy Company announced that they would be re-issuing a variety of 8" Mego DC Comics superhero dolls from the World's Greatest Superheroes collection. They would be made as close to the originals as possible with new characters also added to the collection. In addition, the hard to find Teen Titans Mego dolls were also re-issued along with Mego's Tarzan and Conan dolls. Saving the best for last, FTC also produced an all new collection of Mego-like dolls based on the 1966 Batman TV series.
This "historical event" in the world of Mego doll collecting was long overdue, and I can hardly believe that it's finally happened! I had high hopes for Mattel's Retro Action series from 2010. Unfortunately Mattel only made a half-hearted attempt to market their DC Mego heroes, and I was quite disappointed when that series was quickly cancelled in June 2011. Now with Figures Toy Company re-issuing the original Mego dolls, Mego fans are at long last getting what they truly wished for. What I find even more exciting is the potential for this series with the addition of new characters. For example, Batman's loyal butler Alfred Pennyworth, and Commissioner Gordon are two original FTC dolls that were added to the series in 2014.
To date several sets of dolls based CD Comics characters have been offered. The collection is now at the point where it's difficult to keep track all of the dolls and variations that have been produced. The 1966 Batman TV series dolls are on a separate page of this blog:
I've attempted to compile a complete list for the rest of the DC Comics dolls from FTC below:
FTC Batman Series
Batman Series 1 (All of these are re-issued Mego dolls)
Batman (attached cowl)
Robin (painted mask)
Batman Series 3 (The first three are re-issued Mego dolls. Alfred is an original FTC doll.)
Batman - Removable cowl
Robin - Removable mask
Alfred Pennyworth First new character!
Commissioner Gordon Second new character, released without card packaging
Here is the back of the card for Alfred.
Commissioner Gordon is another new character that FTC will produce. Loose, unpackaged dolls of the Commissioner were available on the FTC website in 2014. It looks like FTC did an awesome job on this character. As of March 2015 the doll was no longer available, but I suspect it will make a return in official packaging sometime down the road to allow for a broader distribution. I think it would be quite odd if that isn't the case. Another new character, Poison Ivy, is shown on the back of the card but has yet to be released (as of Oct 2015).
Limited Edition sets
Batman and Robin Limited Edition 2-pack set, 100 made, FTC Exclusive
Batman and Joker Limited Edition 2-pack set, 100 made, FTC Exclusive
Batman and Catwoman Limited Edition 2-pack set, 100 made, FTC Exclusive
Bruce Wayne and Batman Limited Edition 2-pack set, 100 made, FTC Exclusive
Robin and Batman with removable mask and cowl Limited Edition 2-pack set, 100 made, FTC Exclusive
Robin and Batgirl Limited Edition 2-pack set, 100 made, FTC Exclusive
Joker and Penguin Limited Edition 2-pack set, 100 made, FTC Exclusive
FTC Teen Titans Series
Teen Titans Series 1 (All of these are re-issued Mego dolls)
Assorted DC Characters
Ra's Al Ghul
Shazam Jr. (Captain Marvel Jr.)
Mary Shazam (Mary Marvel)
It's interesting that Poison Ivy is not included with this assortment as she was shown on the back of series 2 packaging for the Batman collection. Robin is also shown twice.
As well as a female hero I don't recognize, shown behind Green Arrow
Therefore, there are 20 DC Comics characters shown on the back of FTC cards that have yet to be released, plus the three Wonder Twins.
If FTC actually releases all 23 of these DC characters as Mego style dolls I will pee my pants!
So far the collection does not include any vehicles, but hopefully this will change soon. FTC has already released their version of Mego's Great White Shark and Aquaman set, as well as the Batcave playset, so perhaps some vehicles are not far behind? With so many characters available it would only make sense to have some vehicles available. Only time will tell what FTC has planned!!!!!
Original DC Comics Mego dolls that FTC has yet to re-issue
The first three dolls on this list were made only in the 12 inch size by Mego. Many Mego collectors agree that these would be awesome as 8 inch dolls. The Mattel Retro Action series offered a similar Lex Luthor doll in the 8 inch format, but it would be nice to see it released on a Mego style doll body as part of the FTC series. The Clark Kent doll was offered in the 8 inch size by Mego, but only in limited quantity and is therefore hard to find.
Clark Kent (It's been announced that this one is on the way!)
Here is the Figures Toy Company website: http://figurestoycompany.com/