Every year in June, Mego collectors gather for the Mego Meet, a small toy show/informal meet and greet held at the charming Kruger Street Toy & Train Museum in Wheeling, West Virginia. It’s more than just a toy show with as many Mego action figures and related accessories as you’ll ever see under one roof. Though Mego Meet hosts a toy show, the true draw of the Meet is the fun of meeting like-minded/crazed fellow Mego collectors you’ve been corresponding with over the internet.
I think most people reading this site know about Mego, but for those who don’t: Mego was a small toy company that started making cheap toys for the five and dime business, but, in the 1970s, grew into one of the largest toy companies in the United States by making a number of different characters from diverse licensed popular pop culture properties, including Planet of the Apes, Star Trek, Dukes of Hazzard, Starsky and Hutch, Wizard of Oz, and, most popular among today’s collectors, Marvel and DC superheroes. Unfortunately, Mego went out of business in the early 1980s. Though Mego World’s Greatest Super-heroes line was around for more than a decade, Mego produced less than 40 different superhero characters with some very obvious omissions including Flash, Green Lantern, and Doctor Doom.
Because Mego only created a few dozen different superhero characters, some Mego collectors began to pick up the slack to hand make or kitbash just about any character you can think of. One of the other great aspects of Mego Meet is being able to purchase parts to make your own custom characters. Some parts like custom head sculpts are hand crafted, molded, then cast in resin in small quantities, while others are even manufactured in factories in China.
Some customizers even go as far as to create special limited edition exclusives to offer at the Mego Meet; usually, once they are gone, they’re gone. One of these limited edition customs is this amazing Alex Ross style Superman made by Brian Bossart under the boss/art label for sale at the show in 2009.
The box, made by Anthony of The Toyroom, a popular original and reproduction toy box-maker, features Alex Ross art, but retains the same layout as original Mego boxes. It’s perfect.
The figure itself is about 8″ tall like a Mego with a cloth outfit and vinyl boots.
The body entirely custom made in resin, then painted. A typical Mego body is kind of thin, so Bryan made this one himself to be more muscular in order to better capture the style of Alex Ross. The custom molded and painted resin head is mounted to the body on a ball joint instead of a plug, meaning it can look up and down instead of only swiveling like typical Megos.
The costume was hand-made by Bryan in the style of Alex Ross, with a big chest emblem and long cape with the yellow Superman symbol. The belt has a shiny gold buckle, and the boots are incredible; they’re constructed with soft vinyl to be more realistic-looking than Megos hard molded plastic slip ons. Notice the detail at the tops of the boots, too.
Custom action figures like this one show a remarkable level of detail and artistry that you can’t get from mass produced toys from a factory. Talented craftsmen like Bryan Bossart are pushing the Mego style into new and exciting directions, and I’m very fortunate to have been able to obtain this figure. I don’t really buy a whole lot of custom action figures from customizers, but when I saw this, I knew I had to have it in my collection. Thanks, Bryan!
Mego Museum Custom Forum
Mego Museum Mego Meet Forum
Bryan Bossart makes custom figures for fun on a very small scale, so he doesn’t have a web site featuring them. However, his personal blog is at swissfamilybossart.blogspot.com.