Here's my contribution to our 1978 Mego Catalog project.
It's the World's Greatest Super-Pals™… from Mego!
Batman and Robin! Superman and Supergirl! Captain America and Falcon! Mego takes the world's most popular pairings out of the pages of comics… and puts them into children's hands!
And New for 1978, Mego introduces the Teen Titans, sidekick pals of the World's Greatest Super-Heroes! Aquaman and Aqualad! Wonder Woman and Wondergirl! Flash and Kid Flash! Green Arrow and Speedy!
These affordable 2-packs are sure to be a hit all year 'round!
OK, so that's the fake marketing pitch for the catalog. Here's the background.
Actual Mego History:
Approaching Toy Fair in 1978, Mego makes a crucial mis-step in their 8" line of WGSH. For reasons unknown, the company presents an offering that is identical to the previous year, with the exception of the recently discontinued Teen Titans. Retail buyers punish the company with weak purchase orders, causing the company to immediately thin the line from 27 characters to a paltry 12.
Re-Imagined Mego History:
Toward the end of 1976, Mego is working to appease a frustrated licensor (DC Comics), who is angry that just one of the previous twelve Mego Super-Heroes is based upon a DC character; the other eleven characters are based on DC's competitor, Marvel Comics. Rather than scramble to haphazardly introduce new DC characters such as the Teen Titans (which is exactly what Mego did, unfortunately), Mego proposes an aggressive idea they hope will meet the licensor's needs while simultaneously revitalizing the line.
Acknowledging DC's disappointment, Mego pitches a concept called World's Greatest Super-Pals™ which will pair characters with interconnected comic book meaning. Hearkening back to Stan Weston's original pitch, Mego explains that "kids love genuine heroes [with their own identity], and they draw stories and inspiration from the comics."
While pitching DC, Mego notes their findings that many families cannot afford multiple 8" figures, adding that the affordable pairings will be extremely pleasing to kids who wish to "Collect 'Em All." Mego further explains that the Teen Titans are the PERFECT characters to launch the line, as each Titan is inextricably tied to a better known DC character!
DC nods in approval, granting Mego a little extra time to put their concept into production. With the World's Greatest Super-Pals™, Mego hopes to give new life to poor-selling figures, while bolstering sales of their more popular characters (especially the female figures, whose sales lag desperately behind their male counterparts). Furthermore, Mego reasons that, despite rising production costs — specifically the oil embargo — they will be able to utilize existing molds and materials, keeping costs down. The proposed Super-Pals™ 2-packs will cost nominally more than single figures, as Mego already has most of the requisite parts, not to mention the fact they have already made the transition to cost-effective blister cards.
For Toy Fair 1978, Mego introduces the exciting "Super-Pals" line of 2-packs, apprising buyers that subsequent offerings could include:
» Aquaman and Aqualad
» Wonder Woman and Wondergirl
» Green Arrow and Speedy
» Flash and Kid Flash*
» Superman and Supergirl
» Captain America and Falcon
» Shazam! and Isis
and, of course:
» Batman and Robin
Obviously, there are other pairings, but you get the idea. With all of that said, here's my rough concept sketch of the World's Greatest Super-Pals™: Wonder Woman and Wondergirl (see JPEG below).
*Flash and Kid Flash would be perfect for our 1978 catalog, as Flash is one of the biggest "What If" figures out there!
Footnote: Anthony (The Toyroom) just sent me an incredible example of a Captain America and Falcon 2-pack he created some time ago. We are going to team up on this project. Looking forward to it!