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Revisting Mego’s Christmas Hits

With iconic toy manufacturer Mego returning to toy shelves, we’re faced with the wonderful notion that for the first time in 35 years, children (and many adults) will unwrap Mego toys this Christmas. We thought it would be fun to look at just a few of Mego’s most popular Christmas items from their glory days.

The Batmobile
The World’s Greatest Superheroes line put Mego on the map as the new name in action figures; the addition of Batman’s famous rolling arsenal was an instant hit with kids. The Batmobile, which smartly resembled the version on the perpetually syndicated live-action 1960s television series, made for millions of happy Christmas mornings across the globe.

Planet of the Apes Treehouse
Kids had “Ape Mania” in the early 1970s and Mego capitalized on the trend by recycling a playset from the previous year’s Action Jackson toyline. Kids didn’t seem to care or notice that the Apes house had a radio because Mego added a cage for human captives and an operating table for surgery. According to toy industry trades. this set was in the top five best selling toys of the 1974 holiday season.

Star Trek Enterprise Bridge Playset
Mego’s gamble about licensing a television show that had been cancelled in the 1960s paid off in spades when it came to sales. Kids couldn’t get enough Kirk and Spock. The Enterprise playset, constructed mainly of corrugated cardboard and vinyl, wasn’t show accurate but the highly innovative transporter device included in the set inspired hours of imaginative play without batteries. Like the Apes Treehouse before it, Mego’s Enterprise was one of the most requested toys on letters to Santa in 1975.

The Cher Doll
Anxious to get into the thriving fashion doll market, Mego did what they did best and harnessed the power of celebrity. The 12.5” Cher doll was elegantly designed and the only doll on the market decked out with a wardrobe designed by Bob Mackie. Christmas 1976 saw Barbie get some serious competition from the Goddess of Pop.

Despite having a price tag of more than $50 in the 1970s, 2-XL (the wisecracking and mildly educational robot) proved to be a smash hit for Mego. In 1980, Mego reported that this one item accounted for 10 percent of all their sales for the year. 2-XL would also prove to be a pioneer in the form of pricey electronics for children, a relationship that’s still ongoing.

Here’s hoping the next few years see some new additions to Mego’s Christmas hits!

Brian Heiler is a life-long Mego fan, curator at The Mego Museum, webmaster at Plaidstallions, and author of Rack Toys: Cheap, Crazed Playthings.

Explore classic toys and games that captured our attention and never let go.