Thursday, May 5, 2011
Mego Spotlight- Mr. Spock
(12.5" 'The Motion Picture' Figure)
Figure Name: Mr. Spock
Manufacturer: Mego Toys Corp.
Mr. Spock was produced as part of Mego's 12.5" Star Trek: The Motion Picture line... way back around 1979!
The Rundown: You know, for uniforms that get routinely blasted by the fan community, there sure are a lot of figures based on the crew's look from "Star Trek: The Motion Picture". They were released in 2 different scales by Mego, Playmates chose them for their "Classic Movie Series" over the more popular TWOK-style costumes, and even Diamond Select managed to put out a couple of releases featuring these uniforms. Not that I'm complaining; I personally LOVE the TMP uniforms. Today, we're taking a look at the one of the largest representations of that style- Mego's 12.5" Mr. Spock!
In case you're new to the blog, or if you just don't remember my previous spotlights on this line, I should probably tell you that I've always been a fan of this line. For Mego to produce figures of this quality over 30 years ago with a low retail price is pretty amazing.
Consider today's 1/6th scale market. Companies like Hot Toys and Sideshow produce fine replicas- but the cost usually reflects that. Most 12" figures from those companies will run you anywhere from $100-$200 routinely. Then there's the other side of the spectrum- where companies like Hasbro will put out very modestly priced 12" figures based on their properties, but with a quality to match the economic price. Mego managed to put out something that balanced the 2 quite well, producing a low-priced high quality figure, with a uniform that is STILL good even by today's high standards.
Just take a look at that uniform! All of the lines are actually stitched in, and each of the little accouterments (like the insignia and belt piece) are actually separately manufactured pieces that have been attached to the suit. Today's mass-market 1/6th scale figures would have treated these as decals in all likelihood. Not so with good ol' Mego! For a company that usually did things on the cheap, these uniforms are quite a treat.
Mego never seemed to have a major problem with capturing likenesses, even though they worked in the sometimes tricky medium of roto-cast plastic. The 12.5" Spock is no exception, with a head that nicely represents a slightly aging Leonard Nimoy. Sure, the eyes are maybe just a smidge off, but keep in mind that this sculpt is over 30 years old now!
Now as much as I like these guys, I'd be lying if I said they were completely free of issues. First, there's the hands. Mego used their standard 12.5" body for these, so Spock's hands weren't specifically made for gripping his phaser. The end result makes it seem as if he's pinching it. It's not a huge deal though, since the crew didn't go around blasting stuff in TMP anyways...
Then there's the boots. Yeah, I know. Spock looks like he's wearing little booties. Given the style of the TMP uniforms, there wasn't a lot Mego could do about this. If you're going to collect this line, the boots are just one of those things that you'll have to chalk up to being a product if it's time.
The next couple of issues have nothing to do with how Mego manufactured these back in 1979, but instead deal with how the figures hold up over time. If you do hunt these down, watch out for gray heads! The material Mego used to produce the heads for these guys has a habit of turning gray over the years. If you're feeling industrious, you can try this process detailed over at the Mego Museum to get the heads back to their original color. The other thing to watch out for is the knees, which can crack over time. Since the uniforms cover the knees, it's a good idea to inspect these in person before making a purchase if possible.
Accessories: I'm not counting the uniform as an accessory since he'd be nekkid without it, so Spock includes only 1 accessory- his hand phaser. It's nicely sculpted, with a decal on top representing the control panel.
Here's his little box blurb if you'd like to see it... which you do-
See, aren't you glad I included that? How else would you know that Spock was half vulcan.
So there ya go! Did I do a good job of convincing you that the Mego 12.5" line ROCKS, or did I scare you off with a couple of minor quibbles? I hope it's the former, as these figures really do make awesome display pieces. Prices can range pretty drastically on these, but if you're a smart shopper you should be able to get nice individual examples for around $30-$50. If that price seems acceptable, I'd suggest starting with maybe a Kirk and Spock here. That way, if you completely disagree with me and hate the line, you'll at least have a serviceable display of the 2 main dudes! But just a word of advice- I'm never wrong, so you will like them.