Who ever thought of calling them action figures instead of dolls? As a marketing professor, I can appreciate the wisdom in that choice since the word doll had become associated with properties like Barbie and Baby Tender Love and boys are sensitive about their masculine images at a young age. (I remember my sixth grade cousin showing us his Musk Oil and telling us it was his “secret.”) Like all true, card-carrying nerds, I was a total action figure junkie when I was growing up, and some of my favorite Christmas toys were action figures. The Mego company was famous back then for the variety of licensed action figures they sold. These are some ads for some of my old favorites.
For a while, most of the action figures were DC heroes (Superman, Batman, Justice League). The only Marvel ones were Spiderman and Captain America. I remember being delighted when they added the Hulk, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, and the rest. Back then, the Falcon was the only black superhero in action figure form. These days, we’ve got Storm, the Black Panther, and Power Man (who were all around in those days, but not yet in action figure form) too.
Mego also had a cool Star Trek line. I had the little playset with the bridge, transporter, etc. I gave it away when I decided I was getting to be told old for such things. Now it’s probably a collector’s item.
I finally grew up and left action figures alone. I haven’t bought any in at least two weeks. You’ve got to admit, though, the ones they make for the collector’s market are a little bit nicer than the ones we bought as kids.