Planet of the Apes

Mego 1974

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Planet of the Apes

As one of the most successful franchises in the movie industry, Planet of the Apes was a major hit and was followed by a number of sequels. It led to the development of ape-mania, a phenomenon that led to the idea of the Mego Planet of the Apes line. It was the first attempt by Mego to create toys based on a movie and they had a lot of work to do in order to get it right. The first set of the Mego Planet of the Apes line was launched in 1974 at Toy Fair and it received a good response from very impressive retailers. This line featured the five figures as based on the original Planet of the Apes film: Zira, Cornelius, Solder Ape, Dr. Zaius and the astronaut together with the village set and a tree house, a remote control as well as the Action Stallion.

The toys were designed to be 8 inches tall and were costumed in detailed outfits. The toys hit the market in the summer of 1974 and many pieces were bought making 1974 the most successful year up to date for Mego. The toys appeared on the top ten best selling toys in 1974 and 1975. With 20th Century bringing a weekly show of the Apes to the TV, Mego created the second set of the toys. It consisted of Galen, Alan Virdon, Peter Burke, general Ursus and General Urko. In 1975 more sets and accessories were also unveiled, including The Fortress, the Forbidden Zone Trap, The Catapult and Wagon and The Jail and the 5-inch bend and flex figures. This second line hit the stores early 1975 alongside the entire 1975 line. Despite the fact that the Ape TV show was cancelled at the end of the year, the association with the Planet of Apes was strong enough to last the whole of 1975.

Mego carried out a number of promotions ranging from TV and print ads, in store character appearance as well as Thanksgiving Day parade courtesy of Macy’s. The wave of Ape Mania spread to other parts of the world. The first series of the Planet of the Apes toys were released in the UK in 1975 and the second series in 1976. In Japan, Mego gave Bullmark the license to release the first line of toys with an exclusive package while Cipsa in Mexico released their own version of the Mego Apes.

In this day and age the Planet of Apes line is a collector’s item by both Planet of Apes collectors and Mego collectors. The fans of these Planet of Apes toys are increasing day by day as the shows are re run in syndication. These toys are available from various sources such as toy stores both online and offline. Collectors can also get them from other websites such as the auction ones or the get to buy the set from owners. Mego was able to provide the children a chance to get to enjoy and relieve the Planet of Apes moments and adventure by providing these toys.

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