Dig These 13 Groovy Custom MEGO Boxes That Will Make Your Day

TOYHEM! Turning fantasy into reality…

Welcome to TOYHEM! For the holiday season, we’re bringing you a series of features and columns celebrating the toys of our youth, which often made for the best memories this time of year. You’ll be hearing from comics creators, regular 13th Dimension contributors and more. Click here to check out the complete index of stories — and have a Merry Christmas, a Happy Chanukah and Happy Holidays! — Dan

Custom repro boxes by Anthony Durso

I love Mego’s classic packaging for its 8-inch figure line — that groovy combination of color and kitsch that was indelibly ’70s.

Nevertheless, there was a lot more room for creativity and customizer extraordinaire Anthony Durso, owner of The Toyroom, has been for years producing inventive boxes for characters that have and have never been released.

Every year I like to call out some of my faves and we’ve got Anthony — a 13th Dimension contributor — along for the ride with comments on each of these totems of comics and commercial art. (And you can buy them — and more! Details below.)

Oh, and check out Anthony’s companion piece too — 13 GROOVY TOY BOXES FROM THE 1970s, a look at everything from G.I. Joe to Six Million Dollar Man and more. (Click here.)

Right on.



Ra’s Al Ghul. This one uses the Neal Adams cover to Batman #232 (the first appearance of the Demon’s Head) as a wraparound image. I often utilize an image as a wraparound to go outside of the traditional Mego template with three character boxes down each side. It breaks things up and pays homage to some classic comic book covers from over the years.

Bruce Lee/Game of Death. Originally, this was a 12-inch design many moons ago for a customizer who was doing a series of figures from different Bruce Lee movies. It eventually saw life as an 8-inch Mego version for customizers and then I modified it recently (and added an Enter the Dragon box) when the new Mego figure was released.

Batman and Robin 2-Pack. I believe this was originally designed for the same customizer as the Bruce Lee box. Based on the 1943 movie serial starring Lewis Wilson and Douglas Croft as the Caped Crusaders, this box frequently pops up in online photos on the web with the actual figures in it. It’s supposed to have the feel of a movie tie-in promo item, if such a thing existed back then.

Master of Kung-Fu. Another wraparound image that uses the Gil Kane art (with an assist by John Romita) from the cover of Marvel Special Collector’s Edition: Savage Fists of Kung-Fu #1 treasury edition. The wraparound often gives the illusion of the character breaking out of the 2-D world and what better hero to do that than fists ’n’ feet-flying Shang-Chi.

Green Lantern/Green Arrow 2-Pack. One of my earliest 2-pack concepts, inspired by the Denny O’Neil/Neal Adams/Dick Giordano run on GL/GA, which begin with Green Lantern #76. In fact, some of the verbiage comes from that cover, as well as the ’80s reprint version (Green Lantern/Green Arrow #1). The main artwork is from the 1976 Super DC Calendar. Figures shown are from the Mattel Retro Action line.

Captain America (TV). This was my solution to a Reb Brown Captain America box when decent photos of the 1979 telefilm proved elusive. I can’t recall where that artwork came from… maybe a VHS or DVD release.

Wonder Woman. Not only a wraparound image but a wrap-in image that continues the artwork on the insert. The image is by Michael Nasser from 1977’s Amazing World of DC Comics #15. While not so much on the main image, but there’s a little bit of Lynda Carter on the background image.

Ben Cooper Spider-Man. This was a sequel of sorts to the Ben Cooper Batman box AND figure I designed back in 2008. I never got around to doing a Spidey figure myself, but this box has been requested by quite a few customizers over the years who have tried their hand at it. The box itself is inspired by the Ben Cooper costume box for Spider-Man in the ’70s. It’s even a “coffin box” with a top and bottom lid, as opposed to the more traditional Mego box.

Black Panther. On a personal note, I HATED Jack Kirby’s Black Panther ’70s comic. Just didn’t get Kirby. Nevertheless, this is one of my favorite images of T’Challa. I tried to make it a little jungle-y with the leopard print, while still allowing the character to “pop” out.

Superman. This was commissioned for a 9” custom figure and was a companion piece to a similar Batman one. The art by H.J. Ward came from Limited Collectors’ Edition #C-31 (1974 treasury edition) and the text treatment was inspired by that cover as well.

Dazzler. I was a big fan of the Marvel Fireside Books and The Superhero Women was no exception. I like to think that if they did a second volume, later characters like Dazzler, Spider-Woman and She-Hulk would have been represented and that’s what this box (including the side panel characters) is supposed to evoke.

Joker’s Daughter. This was a recent commission and was for the new Joker’s Daughter figure from Figures Toy Company. They’ve since come out with other versions of Duela Dent [Catwoman’s, Riddler’s, Penguin’s and Scarecrow’s Daughter(s)]. The side panel characters are some of the lesser-rans of the Teen Titans/Titans West era from the Bronze Age. Which deserves an omnibus collection, doncha think?

Marvel Mystery Comics. The inspiration behind this was a customer who sent me the Alex Ross artwork of Namor vs. the Human Torch and said “Can you make me a double box for this?” The text on the front was inspired by Marvel Mystery Comics #9 (1940), the SECOND meeting of Fire and Water.

If you’re interested in any of these — or if there’s a box you like that’s not here — contact either thetoyroom@yahoo.com or you can message Anthony through Facebook, Twitter or Instagram.


— The Complete TOYHEM! Index of Features and Columns. Click here.

– Dig These 13 Groovy TOY BOXES From the 1970s. Click here.

Author: Dan Greenfield

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  1. I can remember being soooooo disappointed when the Cap TV show aired. That stupid helmet and clear see-through shield were horrible.

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