In the 1970s, DC and Marvel concurred that they co-owned a copyright on the trademark "super-heroes" - and so a third party -Mego- convinced them that they should allow all of their top properties to rub shoulders as part of the same line of toys. And so they did. This time of peace was short-lived - but it did seem to be a wonderful thing, at the time... Even though the action figures were particularly odd at times - and seemed to belong in Barbie's dollhouse rather than in the G.I. Joe cavern or tavern - or wherever that very gay Joe was hanging in fact - but that is another story.
Onwards with the joint toyline - for better and for worse.
Trust me; they made better commercials too
- unfortunately only when they trimmed the toyline!
Granted, there was a certain unfortunate extension of the line first, before that - one that made both brands of super-heroes co-habitate with the casts and crews of such alternate universes as "POTA" and Star Trek as well. This odd turn of events didn't make it any worse for the toy collectors who would be enchanted, normally, to be allowed to mix-and-match characters like this, all on the same scale too, figure-wise... Imaginative kids such as me always welcomed the chance to make very different characters meet up for the very first time; all I know is that it was the norm, for me already, way before ay diversification of toyline occurred! I remain convinced that I am the only one who has ever orchestrated, even in this day and age, a gathering that included the Flintstones, the Smurfs and the Pillsbury Doughboy! But I am digressing... Mego's original (at the time) idea paved the way, years later, for the Remco mish-mash (mixing together Warlord, Conan, Hercules, Arak, Machiste, the Mighty Crusaders, NWA Wrestlers and such critters as the "Warrior Beasts" too!) Not only that but it can easily be said that, in doing such a thing, Mego ignited a trend that eventually snowballed into a myriad crossover events in more than one media: as it is, now, every imaginable character property can be seen meeting up with another one - if the slightest show of demand is there! That all began, surely, with Mego allowing kids to have DC heroes and Marvel heroes battle it out with each other's rogues gallery *and* land smack in the middle of the Planet of the Apes as well - maybe after being beamed there via Star Trek's technology! My only complaint is that Star Wars wasn't part of the same collection, too... Well, you can't have it all! As it was, Mego's assemblage was sufficient to inspire many things, some less tasteful than others; it begat certain undeniable funny moments in toyland though, such as this one:
Okay - maybe that was too infantile, even for big boys who play with toys, still...
Mego was the premiere action figure maker of the 70s though; despite all of its goofs, visible flaws and on and on...
Its disappearance from the market, after a scale-down of the figures, both in dimensions as in numbers, attempt failed in the early 80s, was totally predictable.
And then, some ten years after Mego's heyday, the action figure industry finally got it all together and truly got it right: but separately. The joint trademark was no longer reason enough to share a line of action figures - so each went their own way and "may the best line win" they said...!
And then Marvel...
The winner seems to be very obvious there!
They changed everything... I guess. And from simple action figures, these things became mini-statues worthy their weight in gold or something...!
Labels: Favorite Toys