Sunday, October 11, 2009

Of Megos and Monkeys

Here at BNFOS HQ, it's obvious that we love all things Apes, as in Planet of the Apes.

Our friend JS sent this link that collects many of the Mego company Planet of the Apes action figure commercials. Below we have a few reactions to this trip down memory lane.

In the second commercial for the live action TV show:

Burke (black hair) and Virdon (blonde) look suspiciously like Starsky and Hutch (also from Mego!). I guess I missed the Apes episode where Galen the Chimp comes to the rescue of Virdon and Burke after he learns to drive Starsky's car, the Gran Torino called Zebra 3.

To further confuse things, this Mego Hutch action figure looks like he's still wearing his Virdon costume here,

In the third commercial, where "Astronaut" washes ashore he frantically exclaims, "They're going to operate on me and make me a slave. I've gotta help!" Umm, what? He's "gotta help" with his OWN vivisection? We knew those Apes were cruel, but by the Lawgiver, we didn't know they were THAT cruel!

In the commercial for the "Forbidden Zone Trap" playset (or as we call it, "Escape from Judson's Garage"): An Ape says, "I smell an Astronaut" while looking out a hole with "Norman" clearly written just under it. One question: WHO'S NORMAN? Or is it pronounced Nor-MAN (ya know, like Ro-MAN)? Was he a fabled Ape Mechanic? (Dare we say it, a GREASE MONKEY?) Well maybe not, judging by a. the condition of the garage and b. the Ape's propensity for traveling by horse. This, to us, is the greatest mystery in all of the Planet of the Apes lore. Who is Norman?

Our friend JS also had this keen observation: "Notice how almost every one of these commercials ends with the astronauts getting captured and thrown into the jail? What a depressing play set! Maybe the designer was into bondage, and the capture was intended to be a positive outcome?" After extensive research (not really, we just consulted W.H.I.Z.), our response to that is whatever ad agency that did these likely never watched the movies or TV show. Therefore, they didn't know that THE APES ARE THE BAD GUYS, and we should root for the humans. The senior ad guy likely stated, "Well the name on the box clearly says "Planet of the Apes," so at the end of every spot we should show the Apes winning by locking up the human pests. Anyone got a problem with that? Mark? Elvira? Okay, let's make some Ape magic!"

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