For anyone with even a passing interest in toy collecting, the name Mego should ring a pretty loud bell. Founded in the '50s, the Mego corporation rose to mega popularity in the 1970's, becoming one of the leading action figure manufacturers in the world. Much like with costume company Ben Cooper, that rise can be contributed to the fact that Mego picked up the rights to many popular licenses at the time, churning out action figures ranging from superheros like Batman and Spiderman, to ones based on TV shows such as Chips and Star Trek. Though the company went out of business decades ago, the action figures they released are still some of the most iconic of all time, and there are many companies that have popped up in recent years that try to replicate that Mego style, and capitalize on the success of their toys.
In 1976, the same year the company started to decline after turning down a profitable deal to make Star Wars action figures, Mego got a hold of the license for the King Kong remake, which starred Jeff Bridges and Jessica Lange. Whereas Kong in the original 1933 film climbs to the top of the Empire State Building at the climax of the film, the remake saw him climb to the top of the World Trade Center buildings, wherein he meets the same tragic fate.
Mego released a few different toys based on the movie, most of them depicting the iconic imagery of Kong on top of the Twin Towers. The most interesting piece of merchandise they put out was a drinking straw, which recreated the scene of Kong climbing the towers whenever you sucked your drink of choice up through it.
It's a bit hard to explain, so I'm going to now encourage you to watch this week's Vintage Video, which shows this bad boy in action. Behold, one of the greatest commercials of all time!!
Sadly, I was born 10 years too late to ever experience the joys of sucking King Kong through a straw, and I will forever be jealous of anyone whose childhood had one of these in it. Nowadays, these are pretty damn hard to find, and typically sell for well over $100 on eBay, in the packaging.