Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wrestling With Props....Don't Tell Me What I Can't DO!

Here we have Dharma Dave trying out the latest arrival in the supply drop for the Mego Station.

I found a thread at the Mego Museum that mentioned a Jakks Pacific Wrestling figure that for some reason has a wheelchair. Wrestling figures are great because they are pretty much in the same scale as Megos and have a number of interesting props. They are the single greatest source for all Mego scale folding chairs, for instance.

I don't have to tell you how fast I hunted one of these down. I got it loose on eBay for $20. It's a pretty much perfect fit. I can't wait to get the John Locke from BifBangPow! and outfit him in some sensible traveling clothes. He's got a plane to catch.....

Sunday, June 20, 2010

8 Reasons It's Awesome They Are Making Lost Megos

For some people it came as a surprise that Bif Bang Pow! chose to "go retro" with these Seventies style figures. There is a revival happening right now with the "Mego" format. BifBangPow! has made a big commitment to it, EMCE toys has had good success with their Star Trek, Planet of the Apes and Night of the Living Dead collections, and even Mattell has entered the market with a new wave of Superheroes. Certainly, Megos are not to everyone's taste, but they are having their moment in the spotlight.

So let's say you are a huge Lost fan but are disappointed that the new Lost figures are these goofy looking Mego dollies and not some highly detailed plastic sculptures or more expensive 12 inch collector showcases.

Well, I may not be able to help you with that, sorry. I hope at least you enjoyed the Finale...

But let's say you're a huge Lost fan looking for something else to do with your passion now that the show has ended. Maybe you're sort of interested in the new Lost figures, but you're just not sure that Megos are right for you.

Let me make the case that for a Lost fan who likes fun toys, Mego figures are the perfect vehicle for creating a new Lost world.

8. Someone already made Peg Bundy. That's right. Katie Segal, who portrayed John Locke's girlfriend Helen has already been immortalized in Mego form as Peg Bundy for the Classic TV Toys line of Married with Children figures.

Ok, I know it's a bit absurd, but it's actually a pretty good likeness of the actress and with a new outfit, trim the hair, maybe change the lipstick color...I'm telling you. McFarlane Toys was never gonna get around to making a Helen, and you can have one for FIVE BUCKS!

You'll find tons of inexpensive Mego custom fodder at CTVT, especially lots of civilian types. Check out the CTVT gallery at the Megomuseum to learn more.

UPDATE: Lost fan Andalone tried this project with mixed results. Some of the CTVT heads are a little too big , but it was a good attempt.

7. Sawyer and Miles: Dharma Cops
Say what you will about the Flash Sideways, the one thing we can all agree on is that a spin-off cop show starring Josh Holloway and Ken Leung would be fan-freaking-tastic! But let's face it, it ain't gonna happen.

But if BBP! Series 2 gets made, they've promised both Sawyer and Miles which means you get to make the line of toys for the cop show that never gets made. I'm just going to show you this Mego Starsky and Hutch Commercial and let you imagination do the rest.

I'm going to have a contest for who can create the coolest show concept and toy line, it's a can't miss fun project.


6. Apes may once have ruled the Island.

While we never saw evidence that Planet of the Apes culture once visited the Island along with the Romans and Egyptians and Ann Arboreans, there's nothing that says it didn't. And even if Dr. Zaius going toe to toe with Smokie doesn't excite you---you can at least count on Mego's Ape line to deliver the moccasins, rifles, earth tone clothes, and funky wooden weapons (like a rock catapult!) to help outfit your Others army.

EMCE Toys reproduced some of the Mego Apes, so plenty of custom fodder is available.

5. There's like... 108 things Action Jackson can help you with.

Good old reliable Action Jackson. Mego's first man of action, this GI Joe inspired hero has plenty to offer your expedition to the Island. His adventure sets are still plentiful in the marketplace at very affordable prices. You'll need ARMY OUTFITS, jungle khakis, walkie talkies and camping gear and knives and boots and a scuba outfit...Plus with 3 or 4 different heads, including a handsome African-American AJ, this is one versatile Mod Stud. I'll save the biggest AJ surprise for later...

4. It's your best chance to get Shatner on board.

This may not the the most practical point, but Mego made the best Captain Kirk figure ever, which meant you could cross universes and mix Captain Kirk with Superman, Planet of the Apes, Wizard of Oz, whatever adventure you'd like.

If someone hasn't done the fan fic story yet, they should. Kirk showing up on the Island could really work out well. Sitting there in his giant foot temple, luring unsuspecting travelers to his baffling jungle realm, speaking in riddles, if ever at all--Let's face it, Jacob is a lot like a villain in the original series. He just needs some orange skin and a buxom sister and I can guarantee you Captain Kirk will get some answers out of him.

You want rules? How's the freaking Prime Directive for ya?

The good Captain was recently reproduced by EMCE toys, he's yours for the asking. Vintage examples are also quite common on eBay.

3. Sideburns. You're gonna a wide assortment of scruffy seventies dudes in Dharmaville and even for the Others. If Lost figures were made in almost any other format you'd never get a wide assortment of Dharma Initiative workers or Others. At 12 inch it's a ridiculous expense for a customizer, and at 3-6 inches, no company would ever get around to making redshirts. But
Mego made over 100 different figures, and many are found cheap on eBay or have been widely reproduced. You can kitbash a good number of Extras without taking up a lot of space. We'll talk about the female Megos later, they are trickier, but still around.

BONUS. I'm just gonna go ahead and call this guy Charles Widmore right now. Done.

2. CASTAWAYS! It is ironic and handy that one of the big players in Mego customizing is called Castaway Toys. If you are planning on stranding a bunch of dolls on a dangerous electromagnetic island, you better check with these dudes. They have an especially nice selection of Pirate gear which is bound to come in handy, as is this fabulous white LAB COAT! Paging Dr. Sheppard and Dr. Chang!

1. DHARMA VANS! It's obviously destiny, or possibly the result of time travel back to the Mego offices in 1971--but either way it can be no mere coincidence that Mego actually produced several variations on the 70's era Volkswagon Bus. The Batman Mobile Lab, The Jokermobile, Dinah-Mite's Campmobile, and...perfectly...the Action Jackson Campmobile.

In all honesty, this is a bit of a tease, because the AJ Campmobile is astonishingly rare. I think Ive seen 2 or 3, it just doesn't come up that often.

However, the Batlab and Jokermobile are more common and can be found in rough enough condition that giving them a custom paint job is warranted. I'd never advocate turning a nice example of one of these vans into a Dharma van---it would probably be fairly expensive, a nice loose example can go from $150-300 on Ebay--and as a Mego "historian" I wouldn't want to see good vintage toys altered in that way.

But I have two rough Batlabs ready to be repainted in Dharma blue. I'm looking forward to making a dead Roger Linus figure and a case of Dharma beer to stick in the back of the van. When the Bif Bang Pow! Hurley figures land on my doorstep I want to have a van and a new Hurley Island outfit ready to go!

I have no doubt that to a lot of people this will seem pretty absurd, but I also have faith that there are more than a few Lost fans with enough imagination, humor, and creative talent to have a great time collecting, making and "playing" with Lost Megos. I hope we can find a way to connect and have some fun sharing the hobby.

Contact me here or through the Mego Museum forums where you can share your custom work and get tips and tricks (and toys!) from the friendliest bunch of toy geeks around.


Friday, June 18, 2010

Me Go Back to the Island!


I'm a longtime Mego collector and customizer (I founded the Mego Museum website in 1996 and continue to be involved there to this day) and a huge Lost fan and I'm embarking on a Lost Mego customizing project in anticipation of the Biff Bang Bow! Lost figures coming out summer 2010.

It seems like I may be a bit of a rarity: A Mego fan who is a Lost fan and a Lost fan who loves Mego. There's not a ton of Losties at the Mego Museum (but we did have a good discussion thread going during Season 6) and it seems like some Lost fans are not reacting well to the 70's retro aesthetic, which I can understand. We will see how many of us are out there who are fans of both worlds, I'm hoping there will be enough to keep this new line going.

To me, the new Biff Bang Pow! Lost line brings two of my absolute most favorite things together, a perfect storm of geeky obsession.

I am hoping that there will be enough interest in this line to generate future waves and I'd like to try and create some enthusiasm for Lost Mego customizing. If you are a newcomer to Mego who is attracted to the new Lost figures and would like to make some custom figures to expand your set I'll try and offer a guide to the custom Mego world and point the way toward the heads and boots and clothing you might use to outfit your own Island adventure.

As a first example, here's my first Lost custom, a Dharma Initiative redshirt. This is exactly where Lost and Mego can be such a great marriage. The time travel aspect of Season 5 brought the Losties right back to the heart of the Mego era in 1974-1977. So there are a number of Mego head sculpts that will work quite well for DI custom fodder. Almost every Mego head has long groovey sideburns and shaggy hair, and a great number of them have been reproduced in recent years so they are plentiful and inexpensive. This figure uses the Sir Galahad head which is available in reproduction at Classic TV Toys. The boots and rifle are Planet of the Apes accessories available reproduction from Doctor Mego.

The jumpsuit I made by hand, using an Action Jackson Air Force pilot jumpsuit as a template. I will try to post a pattern when I can, this is the first one I made and it needs some tweaking. But it was very inspiring for me to think of how easily a Lost fan can make some fun action figure toys in the 1/9 scale.