EXCLUSIVE PREVIEW: Benjamin J. Holcomb’s superb magazine also features a new series on Mego in Kong Kong…
World’s Greatest Toys Digest, Benjamin J. Holcomb’s magazine that explores the world of Mego and expands upon his essential TwoMorrows book, Mego 8″ Super-Heroes: World’s Greatest Toys!, is back this month with a cover spotlight on Tarzan, as well as a bevy of features, including a new series on Lion Rock.
“Issue #6 features some unusually candid, behind-the-scenes looks at how some of our favorite 1970s toys were produced,” Benjamin said. “Mego’s Tarzan is featured on the cover, and this issue introduces an incredible, multi-part series about the history of Mego in Hong Kong. Issue #6 is jam-packed with thrilling articles and features.” These include, according to Benjamin:
— MADE IN HONG KONG: The untold story of Lion Rock (Part 1).— IDEAL’S COSTLY DEBACLE: A fascinating, behind-the-scenes examination of one of history’s most expensive toy failures. — THE HUMAN FLY: Toy designers are strange and interesting people, but this cat took it to a whole ‘nother level. — PACKAGING SHOWCASE: A showcase of Mego- and Kresge-branded 1st Issue Super-Gals. — INSIDE MEGO: A peek into 1st Quarter 2023 happenings at modern day Mego. — 8″ TARZAN PRICE GUIDE: The World’s Greatest Price Guide, a serialized guide to Mego 8″ Super-Heroes.
That’s a bounty right there — and there’s much more, such as Benjamin’s groovy column about Mego’s Lord of the Apes, below.
Issue #6 ships RIGHT NOW. (To order, please email: email@example.com.)
If you’re reading this on your phone, here’s a more readable version of the text:
FROM THE PUBLISHER
I have a strange childhood memory of Mego Tarzan: I was 5 or 6 years old and standing next to my old man, who was browsing magazines at the grocery store.
Our Meijer Thrifty Acres situated their impressive magazine section near the checkout stands, and my parents would take turns standing on line while the other thumbed magazines and watched my brothers and me. I stood there carefully studying a carded Mego Tarzan. It was the only Mego Super-Hero left in the entire store — trust me, I looked — and I was trying to decide whether or not I wanted it.
I had almost zero interest in this shaggy haired dude wearing brown pajamas and a leopard print diaper. But sliding around behind him in the plastic blister, I could just make out (what I now know to be) a Mego mini-catalog. I could see it showed other Mego Super-Heroes! Other Super-Heroes I might actually want! It was torture. But guess what? I left it. Yep. Right there on the magazine rack. It’s not like I chose a different toy instead. I literally chose no toy over Mego Tarzan! Sorry, Tarzan, but you were a hard pass for this discerning youngster. I suppose I was just like many other kids; Burroughs earned a paltry $7,234.36 from Mego (including royalties from the Bend ‘n Flex Tarzan). Plenty of kids passed on Tarzan!
For years, I questioned the specificity of my memory because of my certainty it was Meijer (not Kresge or Kmart) and a carded (not boxed) Tarzan with a mini-catalog. Even as a young adult collector, I did not believe such a combination exists. But it does!
I finally confirmed the accuracy of my memory while doing a deep dive on 1st Issue Cards for the Mego book. The Tarzan I abandoned in Meijer’s magazine section was a 5th Version 1st Issue DC Card (not a “Kresge” card). Tarzan is incredibly rare on this card, but it does exist. I know of four specimens today, including this one from collector Bob VanPelt, and it is the most valuable Mego Tarzan.
Tarzan is a funny character in the Mego world. Like Catwoman and Mr. Mxyzptlk, he was an absolute disaster at retail. A peg-warmer. (Or magazine rack-warmer, in my case.) Collectors today don’t give the Ape Man much respect either. But like most things in life, I have come to appreciate him with age. Perhaps you have, too.
Speaking of Tarzan, just wait until you see the magnificent Lion Rock ad, published New Year’s Eve 1976, on page 7. The ad pays homage to the origins of the “Mego” name while poking fun at Tarzan’s inarticulate “Me Tarzan” grammar. Perhaps Lion Rock didn’t get the memo that a furious Edgar Rice Burroughs Inc. had terminated Mego’s Tarzan license (on a contractual technicality) 9 months earlier. Or perhaps they did, and were just taking the piss. Regardless, the ad is a gorgeous thing to behold and a perfect bridge between Parts 1 and 2 of The Untold Story of Lion Rock. You’re gonna love this issue, and Issue #7 will knock your socks off. — Benjamin Holcomb
World’s Greatest Toys Digest #6 is now shipping. To order, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
— SNEAK PEEK: Behold the Upcoming WORLD’S GREATEST TOYS DIGEST #5. Click here.
— 13 GROOVY MEGO FACTS — Featuring the Number 13, by BENJAMIN J. HOLCOMB. Click here.