When Were the Original Planet of the Apes Action Figures Made?

Since its inception, the Planet of the Apes franchise has captivated audiences with its thought-provoking themes and captivating storytelling. But did you know that it also significantly impacted the world of toys? This article explores the fascinating history of the original Planet of the Apes action figures and their introduction to the market.

Action Stallion Complete Planet of the Apes Mego 1967

The Original Planet of the Apes Action Figures

In 1967, American toy manufacturer Mego took the initiative to bring the Planet of the Apes movies to life through action figures. The original 5-inch Bend N’ Flex figures were the first of their kind. They allowed children to bend and pose the characters from this iconic science fiction series. The initial lineup included essential characters like the Astronaut, Cornelius, Dr. Zaius, Galen, and Soldier Ape, each designed to resemble their on-screen counterparts.

The Toy Line Expands

As the franchise continued to gain popularity, Mego expanded its offerings beyond the Bend N’ Flex figures. The company introduced playsets and accessories that added excitement to the Planet of the Apes action figure experience. Fans could recreate their favorite movie scenes with playsets such as the village, treehouse, and jail playsets, while accessories like the battering ram, catapult, and wagon added dynamic elements to their playtime adventures.

In 1974, Mego unveiled their 8-inch poseable action figures. They provided fans with a larger and more detailed version of their favorite characters. This line included Alan Verdon, Galen, Peter Burke, General Urko, and General Ursus. Additionally, Mego paid homage to the early Planet of the Apes films by releasing the 1962 Dr. Zaius, 1961 Cornelius, 1965 Astronaut, 1964 Soldier Ape, and 1963 Zira figures in this larger format.

Mego’s Planet of the Apes Alan Verdon (1974)

Planet of the Apes Franchise

The Planet of the Apes action figures by Mego marked a significant expansion of the franchise’s presence in popular culture. The arrival of these toys was in tandem with the wide range of Planet of the Apes merchandise, including comic books, video games, television series, animated series, and books. The action figures became a tangible way for fans to immerse themselves in the Planet of the Apes universe and bring their own imaginative stories to life.

Planet of the Apes 1 Comic Curtis Marvel Near Mint

Conclusion

While the initial Mego action figures are cherished collectibles today, they remain a testament to the franchise. The toys continue to captivate seasoned collectors and new enthusiasts. People appreciate these iconic action figures’ rich history and intricate designs.

Whether you’re a fan of the original movies, the modern remakes, or the expanded universe, the first Planet of the Apes action figures are a cherished piece of toy history. They offer a glimpse into the past and remind us of the franchise and its impact on popular culture. So, let’s celebrate these fantastic action figures and the countless hours of joy they have brought to fans worldwide.

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About the Author

Author: Chris Ingledue 

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Bio: I am the founder and owner of Wheeljack’s Lab pop Culture and Toy Shop. My vision has always been to reunite customers with their favorite childhood toys and pop culture, triggering fond memories, and reigniting their imaginations. Every day, I work in the “lab” where it’s Christmas 365 days a year. I scour the internet, like when we had the Sears Catalog of yesteryear, for the next great treasure. Then, I await the arrival of the postman as if he were Santa Claus himself and helping collectors worldwide with their versions of Christmas. Every day as a vintage toy buyer is an absolute joy!

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