The very first Mego Batman action figure was released in 1972 in the World's Greatest Super Heroes line. This line became Mego's most popular line and feature, for this first time, characters from both Marvel and DC Comics together. These figures were 8-inch tall and used the Action Jackson body with head-swaps.
In 1974, Mego offered the first exclusive figures for Montgomery Ward's due to a relationship founder David Abrams had with Wards, which included Bruce Wayne, Dick Grayson, Clark Kent and Peter Parker. These figures are now among the rarest of Superhero action figures. The figures feature the same heads as the corresponding superhero egos that Mego produced but because the run on these figures was separate from that of the hero figures, there is a bit of a color shift on the heads of several known examples that is unique to the SI figures themselves, distinguishing them from the superhero figure. The heads are known to exist with or without copyright information imprinted on the back of the neck.
The original Batman figure released had a removal cowl and cloth mittens, but these were easily lost and not cost effective so by 1974 they were replaced by molded or painted gloves and cowl.
The costume was based on Batman’s 1966 design. Batman was one of the few figures that appeared in every WGSH release and as a result there are many different variations of design, fabric colour, hand molds , boots, gloves and his utility belt.
He was originally released in a solid box, but retailers complained about kids opening the boxes to look at the figure inside, so these were quickly by window boxes. The solid, widow less boxes are therefore extremely difficult to find. Later issues were also released on blister packs.
The original figure had a removal cowl allowing the figure to switch between Batman and Bruce Wayne, but this was replaced by a molded or painted cowl around 1974. These figures were also produced by Harbert in Italy, Pin Pin Toys in France, Palitoy in the UK, Popy in Japan, Lili Ledy in Mexico and Basa in South America. The hardest of these to find is the Peruvian figure.
The head sculpt on Batman featured black eyes with white pinpoint spots and a copyright on the back of the neck. The Bruce Wayne version however didn’t have the copyright on the back of the head or the white spot in the eyes. The same sculpt was also used for Tex Willer, Mystery Man and Jet Jungle.
The solid boxed figure sells for between $800 to $1200 whereas the window boxed goes for about $400 and carded between $200 to $300. (April 2020)
In 1974 Mego released a line of Bend n Flex figures that featured all the characters that were released in the eight-inch WGSH line. These five-inch figures were popular and sold well, maybe a little to well, as Mego cancelled the line shortly after they were released possibly because they were worried, they might cannibalize the sales of the WGSH line.
These figures were cheap, cheerful and very cartoony and had some great accessories that were missing from the larger eight-inch figures. Initially released in display boxes but these were quickly replaced by blister packs and have become very difficult to find. The blister packs came in three different sizes.
The initial backing card was the same size as the regular backing cards, but this was later changed for a smaller one more in proportion to these smaller figures and then there were the Kresge backing cards. By far the hardest figure of these to find is the Riddler figure.
The Bend n Flex figures are currently selling for around $50 loose and $100 to $200 MOC. (April 2020)
Mego also made a Batman figure for the Comic Action Heroes line. This line of 3 ½ inch figures was released from 1976 through to their demise in 1982. There were 12 figures in all that were quite poorly sculpted by todays standard but back then kids weren’t too particular. The figures were also made in a slightly crouching position so that they would also fit into the vehicles that were released, including a Batcopter and a Batmobile. The Batmobile came with three of the Comic Action Heroes, Batman, Superman and Robin, but I feel they should perhaps have included a Riddler or Penguin instead of Superman.
These figures were distributed worldwide by Grand toys in Canada, MC Toys in Germany and Deny’s Fisher in the UK, each using different packaging designs and marketing.
These figures were re-tooled in 1979 as the Pocket Heroes line. The initial release was the same as the Comic Action Heroes line, but a later release featured all-new sculpts of the figures.
The Comic Action Heroes are about $30 loose and $200 to $300 for MIB on the secondary market. (April 2020)
In 1979 the Comic Action Heroes line was re-tooled as the Pocket Heroes line. The initial release was the same as the Comic Action Heroes line. The first release were produced on red backing cards
A second series was released in 1980 on white backing cards with the addition of Captain America, Aquaman, Green Goblin and Wonder Woman ()these were not released in the Comic Action Heroes line). These four are the most common to find on the white cards. The most difficult figures to find on the white cards are Batman and Spider-man. but a later release featured all-new sculpts of the figures.
The so called "Blue Jean" backing cards are assumed to have been released later on. The four top characters were released by Grand Toys in Canada but only Batman and Superman are thought to have been released on the Blue Jean cards in Italy.
These backing cards are by far the most difficult to find. Also if you look at the backing cards above you will notice the Blue Jean backing cards are missing the word "Super".
Around 1990 a number of Spainish Intercar Hulk figures came to light on yellow backing cards.
Also released in 1979 were the Mego Die-Cast and Magnet figures. The Magna (magnetic) figures were only released in Italy by Gig. These figures were also labelled as a “Limited Collectors Edition”. Maybe because of this there are often found still mint on the card. The Diecast Batman had a fabric cape, but the Magnetic Batman had a plastic cape modified from the Micronauts Emperor. The magnetic Batman was only released in Europe and they have become difficult to find packaged. In fact on the Mego Museum website there’s a carded US version but this was only a sample used at the New York Toy Fair and this is thought to be the only one in existence!
The MIB Magnetic figures are the hardest to find and most expensive selling for about $300 to $500 whereas the MIB Die-Cast figures are about $200. (April 2020)
In 1974 Mego released a line of four talking and non-talking Super Softies. The non-talking softies were 18-inches tall whereas the talking ones were 22-inches. These were really just a novelty item and never really caught on.
In 1978 Mego released a line of four 12-inch Super Size Heroes these were based on the Italian released magnetic figures but without the magnetic hands and feet. There was also a non-magnetic version issued in the US of Batman and a foreign issue. New MIB these sell for $200 to $300.
Around the same time, and tryin to cash in on the success of Kenner's Stretch Armstrong Mego released Elastic Super Heroes. These were 13-inches in height and made of latex rubber. Despite these being popular they cayused Mego no end of problems as they had a tendency to rupture. As a result there aren't many of these about but they also don't seem to be that popular with collectors. These generally sell for around $50 but if in a mint condition and still boxed they can go for as much as $150.
Probably one of the biggest factors in the success of the Mego World's Greates Super Heroes line was their play sets that Mego released. Many of these were made from a washable vinyl coated cardboard which were very colorful and gimmicky but allowed children to instantly transport themselves into a world of criminals, super heroes and adventure. Being one of their most popular characters it was therefore only fitting that they released several Batman themed play sets and vehicles.
The Batcave by 1970's standards was huge, measuring an awesome 15" x 15" x 11 1/4", and when fully assembled it was even bigger!
It came complete with a secret door for the Ba-mobile, a landing pad for the Batcopter and a garage for the Batcycle, and of course a Batsignal. There was also a carboard Bat console, however many of these have been damaged or lost over the years and as a result finding a complete set can be difficult. Also the "latch" for the plastic sheeting to cover the 'secret door' was easily broken.
These are currently selling for between $200 to $500 depending on their condition, these price are generally with the box and all the components also.
The jewel in the crown of any fans collection would have to be one of these extremely rare playsets in mint condition. This was on of Mego's best and most ambitious playsets with 4 storeys of collectible fun, and a working elevator. The interior was very detailed and excellenty designed probaby due to the fact that it was actually designed by DC. The payset came with a bookcase with a hidden compartment, a computer console, a trophy case, a conference table with four chairs and a landing platform for the Batcopter.
Unsurprisingly these play sets, MIB sell for about $800 to $1200 complete with the box and I would guess that they will continue to rise. As a side note I managed to pick one up MIB and still sealed for a cool $150 at an auction (not online).
This play set was really popular with the kids and included the Batmobile and a Comic Action Batman and a comic action activator. These are extremely rare and at the current price it is selling for approx. $700 on eBay, but this was a Near Mint example and was the only recently sold one I could find any record of.
The Pocket Heroes was made using cheap vacuform with Lex Luther in the cell rather than the Joker. It came with a work station cell and Batpole.
I tried to find any of these that had been sold recently for an up to date price but I couldn't find any in the last 3-months. At a guess, and taking in to account the prices others have sold for, I would put them at between $150 to $200 MIB.
In 1974 Mego released a Batmobile based on the 1966 vehicle. The Batmobile came in red box packaging originally and later was released in a white box with different imaging. The vehicles was about 13-inches in length with two large tailfins at the back. The whole thing was pretty much out of scale but it was great fun to play with.
The Mego Batcycle was released in 1974 and unlike the Batmobile was well proportioned and scaled and was available in blue or black, the black being the more popular. It came with a detachable sidecar also, but the attachment mechanism was very fragile and broke easily. The bike came with an extended non-movable kick stand so it could stand on it's own without the sidecar. The sidecar had a Winged Batman insignia decal and the Batcycle had a Batman head insgnia decal.
The World's Greatest Super Heroes line Batcopter was a pretty horrendous looking vehicle, resembling a dodgem car with "wings" or "blades". The copter came either with or without the yellow "cockpit" canopy.
The Mobile Batlab was released in 1975 and looked more like it belonged in a Scooby Doo line than Batman! However, that said it was pretty cool. The packaging included some really awesome artwork wich is no surprise because DC insisted on doing the artwork for this themselves. The Batlab came with a secret front end "foe-catcher", which was a basket on the end of a movable arm. There was also a rear-end bat winch and hook and a revolving observation platform on the roof.
The going price for these, and I could only find a couple of examples, is from $100 to $150.
This was an excellent addition to the Comic Action Heroes line which was in fact a retooled Takara Micronauts Spy-Heli (which was never released). Even better was that you could place your figure in the cockpit and with the ripcord action it would actually fly!
I imagine that this was the reason why so many of these figures went missing as they were prone to fall out. Maybe they should've given him a parachute!
These a rare to find MIB as they were only available for a year.
In 178 MEGO release a CAH version of the Bat mobile which closely resemble the bigger WGSH Bat mobile. This came with three figures, Batman, Robin and either Superman, Wonder Woman or Shazam. It was released with the Pocket Super Heroes line in 1979 but with only the Batman and Robin figures. MIB versions of the CAH Bat-mobile and the 3 figures are extremely hard to find and only 3 are known to exist.
Mego CAH Bat Machine was released in 1980 and ressembled the Milton Bradlet Electronics Big Trax vehicle. These were "programmable" by punching directions into the console at the back which it memorized and when you pressed the go or start button it would follow the directions you gave it. It could even follow them in reverse! The movement was limited to forward, backwards, left and right. I remember my brother having one of these, but the novelty quickly wore of and I would go back to my Batmobile.
These were another retooled line of Takara micronaut vehicles repackaged as CAH vehicles, although some still came with the micronaut decal sticler sheets. Notice also that these had the Lionrock logo rather than the Mego logo. Initially they were only released in the UK but were later available in the US also.
Batman Action Figures Sources: