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Mego Planet of the Apes By Euphrates
The Planet of the Apes is probably Mego's most popular line of action
figures. This fact is astounding considering how long it has been
since there have been any new Planet of the Apes related movies or
television programs and how many great action figures Mego made
during its history. The line was based on the first Planet of the
Apes film, starring Charlton Heston, but was not released until 1974
in order to capitalize on the new movie-inspired television series.
The figures, while sought after feverishly, are still quite plentiful. The gloves and weapons are hard to come by but they are out there. Of course the playsets have a tendency to shed smaller pieces over the years so expect to pay a premium for complete sets.
Below you will find a listing of all of the figures and playsets and following that, a great article on variations by Calvin Weaver.
Early Boxed Figures Cornelius - (top & pants, shoes) Zaius - (top & pants, boots) Zira - (top & dress, boots) Soldier Ape - (top & pants, boots, gloves (which SHOULD match his top), bandolier (simple smooth version) and rifle with string) Astronaut (Human) - (jumpsuit, boots, helmet with visor, belt) Galen - (top & pants, shoes) Ursus (Gloves, bandolier, helmet, knife, boots) Urko (Belt, knife, boots, gun, helmet, bandolier, gloves) Astronaut Peter Burke (Human) - (shirt, pants, vest, shoes) Astronaut Alan Verdon (Human) (correct spelling is Virdon) - (shirt, pants, vest, shoes) Early Playsets PL6050 Action Stallion Treehouse playset (Table, bench w/access, jail ,2 bats, 3 machine guns, capture net) Village playset 1975 Carded Figures Cornelius - (top & pants, shoes) Zaius - (top & pants, boots) Zira - (top & dress, boots) Soldier Ape(Gun, gloves, boots) Astronaut (Human) - (jumpsuit, boots, helmet with visor, belt) Galen - (top & pants, shoes) Ursus - ("Helmet head") came with outfit (top, pants), boots, bandolier WITH knife, and rifle with string. I have never seen this figure come with gloves, but I do not rule out the possibility. - CW Urko - ("No Helmet head") came with outfit (top, pants), boots, bandolier WITH knife, and rifle with string. In some packages, he came with gloves like the Soldier Ape. - CW Astronaut Peter Burke (Human) - (shirt, shoes, pants, vest) Astronaut Alan Verdon (Human) - (correct spelling is Virdon) (Shirt, shoes, pants, vest) Playsets Catapult & Wagon Fortress playset Battering Ram Jail Dr. Zaius' Throne Forbidden Zone Trap playset Bend N Flex Figures Cornelius Zaius Zira Soldier Ape (Gloves, gun, boots) Astronaut (Human) Galen
The Soldier Ape, the only "first series" gorilla, contains more outfit variations than any other Planet of the Apes figure. His jacket consists of a vinyl chest (vest shape) with attached form-fitting cloth sleeves. While the sleeves are brown as a rule, the vinyl is found in three different types: Most common is the navy, which usually has a light cowhide-type grain pressed into it. Sometimes, the blue is found with a shiny lizard-skin type grain. This "Lizard skin" variation is the rarest and most desirable (valuable) version. Also uncommon is the chocolate brown version. (Bear in mind that soldier apes all have gloves, and the gloves ALSO came in all three of these styles.) Soldier apes wear brown form-fitting pants with elastic waists.
Dr. Zaius wears tan trousers with short legs, ending just below the knees, where they tuck into his high boots. His jacket is tan with brown, and has brown fur-lined cuffs.
Zira wears a long, dark green skirt, and a long jacket of the same color. Her jacket has a vinyl detail in front, which can be either brown or burgundy in color. Her sleeves typically have a brown inner cuff. An uncommon variation exists which does not have these brown inner sleeves.
The Astronaut (the only "first series" human) is dressed in a blue, one-piece jumpsuit with a zippered front. He wears a white belt at his waist.
Cornelius ("first series") and Galen ("second series") wear identical outfits. They consist of form fitting green pants with elastic waists, and a green jacket, trimmed with vinyl of either brown or burgundy. The jacket, like that of Zaius, has cuffs trimmed in brown fur.
The "second series" humans were also astronauts. Peter Burke has brown hair, the darker of the two, while Alan Virdon has blond yellowish hair. Both wear the same pants. As they were supposed to be "on the run" throughout the run of the TV show, their soft yellowish pants were given ragged-cut cuffs.
Virdon's shirt is of the same material as his pants, and he wears a long brown vest.
Burke wears a long sleeved brown shirt, topped with a long vest made of burlap.
The General Apes (both Gorillas) continue to confuse collectors at all levels. Each General was released under BOTH names, Ursus and Urko. Throughout these pages you will see the First General (with the Helmet Head) referred to as Ursus, and the Second General (without the helmet) referred to as Urko, but unfortunately, in the world of REAL collecting, the names are interchangable.
General Ursus was the most colorful of the POTA figures. In addition to having the only headpiece of the apes, this helmetted figure wears bright purple pants (form fitting with an elastic waist) and a butterscotch colored vinyl top with purple sleeves, finished with more butterscotch vinyl at the cuffs. There is a rounded black "bumpy" pattern descending from his neckline.
General Urko is much more subdued in his colors. Dressed just like the Soldier Apes, Urko has brown form fitting pants (elastic waist) and can come dressed in any of the three styles of Soldier Ape jacket: Blue, brown, or blue/Lizard. He was sometimes packaged with matching gloves as well.