Clenching MEGO Comic Action Hero Spiderman in a small fist is not my earliest action figure recollection but it is the most vivid. Part of the reason this figure stands out amongst my other fond childhood toy memories is that it was only by the grace of my older brother that I was allowed to play with it in the first place. My brother is three years older than me and was well positioned to mandate things like what toys I was allowed to play with. That’s probably not too unusual. But it went beyond that. He dictated what characters I was allowed to “like”. For instance, he “liked” the Hulk and I “liked” Spidey. God forbid, I be caught “liking” Hulk. Same went with Star Wars. My brother got to “like” the bad guys and I got the good guys. These arrangements were called “deals”.
The MEGO Comic Action Heroes were on the pegs roughly from 1976 to 1979. So I was around 5 and my brother around 8. At that age you don’t question things like “deals”. That’s just the way the world operated. We acquired Spiderman and Hulk shortly before our lives became inundated with Star Wars mania. Granted, we had plenty of MEGO 8″ figures before these 3 3/4″ scale Comic Action Heroes were made. And the 8″ were plenty fun and got lots of play time. But once this more diminutive scale started to become popular I latched onto it and have ever since preferred smaller scale action figures.
Somehow I’ve been able to hang onto my original Comic Action Hero Spiderman. That makes it the action figure I’ve had in my possession the longest. Years ago I stumbled on what I thought was the Hulk figure my brother had. I bought it without hesitation thinking: “Ha! What’s my brother gonna do about it now!!?” Not being very MEGO savvy it escaped my notice that Hulk’s legs were straight, not bent like Spidey’s. I came to learn that the first incarnations of these superhero figures all came with bent knees. These were the MEGO Comic Action Heroes. After a few years MEGO evolved the line and let the heroes stand up straight. They rereleased 9 of the original 12 line up but now with straight legs and added three new characters. This line was called Pocket Super Heroes.
Of course, I had to rectify this inconsistency and track down a bent legs Hulk. Surprisingly, he does not show up on eBay often. I’ve been patiently waiting for about a year. I know for sure I missed one in that time period, but I don’t think many more snuck by. Finally a few weeks ago a Comic Action Hero Hulk popped up and I resolved to be the high bidder. I was, and fortunately it did not break the bank. So Spidey and Hulk are together again. Well, more like together for the first time in my possession. But don’t worry bro, I’m doing my best not to actually “like” him!
The Hulk! Love you, bro!