I always thought Tarzan and Conan were odd men out in the original Mego WGSH line: pulp novel protagonists who were adapted to comics, but didn’t fit in any of the mainstream super hero leagues. I rectified this by creating a sub-category of WGSH Megos: the pulps!
This category includes heroes adapted from pulp novels or comics from the old days, an assortment of heroes, antiheroes, and villains.
Conan the Barbarian needs no introduction. An antihero if ever there was one, he was nicely portrayed in Mego form with a bitchin’ scowl and a huge assortment of weapons and accessories–probably more than any other single doll Mego produced. This one has gone through two heads and two sets of boots, but as far as I can tell, all his gear is original!
Tarzan, Lord of the Jungle, has been modified with a Type 2 body and Bible Greats arms to make him look more buff. He looks much better this way, and without the beige pajamas. I intend to do the same for Conan soon. Initially I didn’t care to own Tarzan, but now he’s an impressive addition.
The Phantom isn’t actually a Mego, but a doll produced by Cast-A-Way toys years ago. He’s a rare collectible even without his belt, guns, and tiny rings, all of which mine sadly lacks. He did come with a cool bonus though: a skull ring of my very own!
The Cast-A-Way body leaves something to be desired. The hands and limbs are a bit flimsy and the neck hole too big for Phantom’s head, so he bobbles slightly. I’m hesitant to give him a Mego replacement body though, since he’s so hard to come by.
Diabolik, the smash hit Italian villain protagonist, originated in pocket sized comic digests written and drawn by a pair of sisters who loved seedy adventure pulps. He makes an awesome Mego, especially with his slick faux leather catsuit. The head was expertly painted into Diabolik’s likeness by Lyn Stahl of Metalhead Minis.
Turok, Son of Stone, was a Dell comics character from the 50s who eventually spawned the popular N64 game Turok Dinosaur Hunter. I recently got into the comics and figured out a way to make Turok with the help of an Indian Brave doll by Paco. All he needs are some honkers (dinosaurs) to fight!
However, the piece de resistance in this collection is the Shadow!
He can transform into Lamont Cranston, wealthy young man about town, with a flick of the cape and scarf. I eventually found a decent slouch had that’s a bit too small for his head, but still looks better than the fedora I originally used.
His box is an impressive piece of work as well, made by Greg Jensen, my usual source for boxes. The sides add to the project by showcasing the other characters in the new category.
Recently I added his most famous adversary, Dr Mocquino the Voodoo Master, to the roster. I haven’t decided if I will change his hair or not, but it seems the Shadow may soon become his own sub-category in the collection. Maybe Margo Lane is next?