Megos! Collectors these days seem to either love them or hate them, but as someone who grew up playing with these dolly-like figures back in the 70’s, I can’t help but have a soft spot for them. From World’s Greatest Super Heroes to Star Trek and Planet of the Apes, Mego was where it was at before Kenner turned the action figure industry (such as it was) on its collective ear with the 3 3/4″ scale. As a result, it makes me happy to see that some toy companies have been keeping this style alive with Faux-Megos, because like it or not, they are an extremely important piece of action figure history. I don’t buy a lot of these, but rather only seek out the ones that really fit the flavor of the 70’s and scratch my nostalgia itch. It’s hard to think of any that fit that bill better than Classic Battelstar Galactica. I’ve got a bunch of these, but today I thought I’d start with the two Colonial Viper Pilots, Lt. Starbuck and Captain Apollo.
In typical Mego fashion, the figures come on simple cards and bubbles with the bubbles orientated to the right. The cards are made from quality, heavy stock and feature a starfield with an illustrated Cylon head, no matter which character is in the package. There’s a little personalization with the character name on the card, but even that is placed with a sticker.
The coffin-style bubbles are pretty big, and they need to be to hold an 8-inch scale figure plus accessories. The figures themselves come secured to some inner plastic tray pieces with twisty-ties. These do a fairly good job of keeping the figure in place, although my Apollo came with his blaster rattling around in the bubble, so results may vary. I dig the presentation on these so much, I’ve kept them carded for the year or so that I’ve had them, but having just got a box of Mego-Style figure stands, I was anxious to get them out and display them.
The back of the card is fantastic. You get head shots of the six figures available (several more would be added later), a nice piece of vintage art with a Colonial Viper blasting away and those great lines spoken at the end of each episode, which are impossible for me to read without hearing them in Lorne Greene’s voice. I don’t think I could properly express how much I still love this show. It felt like a proper mix of Star Wars and Star Trek and it’s still one of my go-to series whenever I’m looking for something quick to watch while I’m eating dinner or just killing time. If you haven’t seen it, go watch the two-parter “The Living Legend” with Lloyd Bridges as Commander of the Pegasus, or another excellent two-parter, “Guns of Ice Planet Zero” which plays out like The Dirty Dozen in space. Brilliant stuff!
And here they are, out of the package, Starbuck and Apollo. The figures I’m looking at today are virtually identical from the neck down, because they’re each wearing their Colonial uniforms. The only difference there is that Apollo’s holster is correctly positioned on his left hip, whereas Starbucks is on his right. In keeping with the Mego Style, the uniforms are proper soft goods, which is where these figures get a lot of their charm.
The uniforms consist of khaki pants and matching sleeveless t-shirts, the flight jacket, a belt with holster and leg strap, and boots. I think BBP did a great job with the tailoring on these. Other than clipping some stray threads and adjusting the belts, I didn’t have to futz with them too much with the clothes out of the package. The pants and belt do bunch up a bit at the waist, but they still look good, especially for this scale.
The flight jackets are made out of a textured material that mimics the jackets on the show pretty well. They feature shoulder patches and plastic buttons running down the fronts. They ride a little higher than I would like, but even with that being said, I think they turned out great.There isn’t a lot of detail on the boots, but what they lack in show accuracy they make up for copying the style of those classic plastic Mego boots that almost every figure had.
The head sculpts are pretty darn good considering the style BBF was going for here. I’ve got no problems at all seeing the great Dirk Benedict and
Robert Richard Hatch (Sorry, Apollo!) in those likenesses, but keep in mind realism wasn’t what they were after here rather than copying a toy style from 40 years ago. I’m also happy to see that the heads aren’t soft and squishy and yes, these noggins have that slightly over-sized charm not uncommon for the time.
Each figure comes with a Colonial Blaster, which can be held in either hand as well as tucked into the holsters. The sculpt and paint apps for these are definitely above par for what we used to get with these types of figures in the old days.
Probably the most impressive piece here are the flight helmets. These are sculpted plastic and feature some great paintwork and fit onto the figures very well. Just the fact that these were included makes me believe that BBF went all out on these guys, as they could have easily left them out and the figures would have still felt complete. The only other thing that could possibly be missing from these are the poncho’s they sometimes wore.
I’m totally in love with these figures! BBF did a wonderful job striding that fine line between retro homage and quality. These are definitely better than what we would have had back in the day and yet they’re close enough to ooze retro charm. It’s worth noting that Battlestar did indeed have action figures back in the day, they were made by Mattel and clocked in at around 4-inches. I had a bunch of those and they were cool, but I would have killed to have figures like these to go with my Star Trek Megos. I would have been in crossover heaven!