Mego created the Eagle Force toy line during the swell of patriotic fervor in the early 1980s. While they had built their reputation on highly articulated 8” action figures with exchangeable cloth outfits, they decided to try their hand at 2 ¾” scale action figures for Eagle Force. Moreover, most of their prior toy lines were licensed properties like Planet of the Apes and Six Million Dollar Man. So, the Eagle Force was a massive change for the company.
Further differentiating the Eagle Force from most post-Kenner-Star-Wars toys, they used die-cast to create the action figures. This made the Eagle Force more expensive to produce than standard plastic ones, even with their smaller scale. However, this toy line was more durable than most action figures from the era. Mego also saved on their production costs by reusing molds from previous products to create the line’s vehicles.
During the development phase, Mego’s creators had envisioned the “Screaming Eagles” force. However, as the line took shape, they decided to tone down the name and go with Eagle Force instead.
The US government had formed the Eagle Force to tackle the impending threat of R.I.O.T. (Roving International Organization of Tyranny). They were led by Captain Eagle, who stood out with his eye patch. He relied on his team filled with military experts like Harley and Kayo. Meanwhile, R.I.O.T. followed the commands of the ambitious General Mamba and his closest henchmen.
Mego offered 13 individually packed action figures for the Eagle Force. The entire line-up included Captain Eagle, Goldie Hawk, Turk, Stryker, Sgt. Brown, Kayo, Harley, and Big Bro. Meanwhile, the characters representing the R.I.O.T. forces were General Mamba, Shock Trooper, Baron Von Chill, Savitar, and Nemesis. While most action figures were sold separately, it was possible to buy them in unmarked 3-figure packs as Mego attempted to clean out their inventory.
Complimenting the action figure troops were a few different vehicles. Mego released the Eliminator Jeep, Ambush Jeep, Rampage Tank, Talon Tank, and VTOL Fighter Plane for the Eagle Force toy line. Only the Eliminator Jeep came with a companion action figure, which was Captain Eagle.
Otherwise, Mego released a few different Action Packs, which functioned as playsets. The Action Packs had a few different themes: Communications, Tactical, and Bivouac. For players who wanted a massive battleground, there was the Eagle Island playset. This playset featured six action figures: Captain Eagle, The Cat, Big Bro, Harley, Kayo, and Zapper.
Mego’s Eagle Force Toys had a short black-and-white line comic on the back of the cards that introduced the characters. For instance, Skywalker’s action figure featured a comic that displayed him sniping a detonator before the R.I.O.T. troops could use it. Moreover, the card backs featured a weapons profile that gave insights into the accessories for each figure.
Notably, Mego’s new hire, Paul Kirchner, created the artwork for the card backs, including each of the comic strips. After Kirchner penciled the comics, Ralph Reese came in to ink them. Kirchner also created a six-foot-wide diorama to help promote the toy line.
Mego’s Eagle Force began appearing in stores in 1982. Sadly, Mego began to face financial difficulties not long after they launched the Eagle Force toy line. Thus, the company let go of the team behind the Eagle Force in 1982, canceling the planned second wave. Mego kept the toys on shelves until 1983 when they fully shut down.
The legacy of the Eagle Force lived past Mego’s closing. Ideal Toy Company created the “Strike Force” action figure toy line after acquiring the IP. For the most part, the Strike Force was a simple re-release of Mego’s original toy line.
Recently, a brand new wave of Eagle Force action figures appeared on the market. Zica Toys’ Fresh Monkey began a Crowd Funding campaign to revive the Eagle Force in 22016. So, they began releasing Eagle Force Returns toys in 2021, with most being BBTS exclusive. Unlike the original line, Fresh Monkey’s take was created at the 4″ scale.
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