Mego Returns, Bringing Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster with It

For as much as I have written about Mego and Mego-inspired products on this blog, I've been very lax on responding to this tidbit of news: During the last San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC), original Mego Corporation Chairman Marty Abrams announced that he was relaunching the Mego brand through a selection of limited-run 8-inch and 14-inch figures that will be sold exclusively at Target. Wave 1 of the figures was released back in August, and wave 2 was released in September.

While I know that Mego still has a passionate fan base, I'm baffled about why anyone would want to do a Mego revival at this point. So many other toy companies have capitalized on Mego nostalgia (e.g., Distinctive Dummies, Figures Toy Co., NECA, etc.) that officially reviving Mego now feels anticlimactic. Furthermore, the Mego figures I most fondly remember were the ones based on popular superheroes (DC and Marvel) and sci-fi franchises (Planet of the Apes and Star Trek). While the new Mego figures have some DC superheroes and Star Trek characters, most of the new figures are based on characters from various TV shows between the '60s and '90s. Nevertheless, two of the new figures caught my attention: the Bela Lugosi version of Dracula (wave 1) and Frankenstein's Monster (wave 2).

To clarify, Mego is releasing these monster figures without the official Universal monsters license. This hasn't stopped Mego before: It previously produced a four-character line of monster figures (Dracula, Frankenstein's Monster, the Wolf Man and the Mummy) way back during the '70s and it didn't have the official Universal monsters license then, either. What makes these new Mego monster figures different is that the Dracula figure actually resembles Bela Lugosi.

Left to right: Mego's latest versions of Dracula and Frankenstein's Monster.

In one of the odder twists in Universal movie monster history, Universal did not secure the rights to Lugosi's likeness when licensing out its version of Dracula. As such, most the "official" Universal monsters figures lack Lugosi's likeness; even Diamond Select's recent line of Mego-like Universal monster figures includes a very indistinct representation of Dracula. Thus, for Mego to produce a Dracula figure that actually looks like title character from the 1931 classic horror film is a significant achievement for the resurrected brand.

Oddly, even though the new Mego Dracula received the legal permission to look like Bela Lugosi, the new Frankenstein's Monster figure does not look like Boris Karloff or anyone else who played that character in the classic Universal monster movies. I don't know the exact details as to why Universal can license out its version of Dracula but not the likeness of Bela Lugosi; however, if I worked at Mego, I would've insisted that the Frankenstein Monster figure look like the time when Lugosi played him, which was in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man (1943). If you've got a good thing, you might as well keep it going for as long as possible.

Bela Lugosi as he appeared in Frankenstein Meets the Wolf Man.

Related Products:

Dracula Bela Lugosi Deluxe Model Kit Universal Monsters Frankenstein Vintage Travel Lithograph Mad Monsters Series 1 Human Wolfman Action Figure


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