You know how sometimes something can be so bad it’s good? Well, that’s kinda how I feel about the Mego Celebrity dolls of the 1970’s. They made quite a few dolls and not always the celebrities you’d expect to be immortalised in dolly form. Wonder Woman and even Sonny and Cher make sense, they had TV shows watched by kids, but The Captain and Tenille, Diana Ross and Suzanne Somers? I wouldn’t have thought they’d be high on any kid’s dolly wish list. These Mego dolls are a little taller than Barbie dolls and they have the longest legs. I suppose the best that can be said about their face sculpts is that they are not particularly flattering, though some are better than others. Read about the Farrah Fawcett doll here.
Wonder Woman is missing her yellow headband and silver wrist cuffs.
I’m not a huge Wonder Woman fan, although I did watch the TV show when I was a kid, and I love the concept of a kick-a**, female superhero. My Mego Wonder Woman doll came to me through the friend of a friend (well, second cousin actually) who had some old dolls they wanted to get rid of and so they came to me. I sold the ones I didn’t want on behalf of the friend, but bought Wonder Woman for myself. There were several versions of this doll, but mine appears to be the first issue which came with two outfits, the Wonder Woman costume – the bodice of which is painted on to the doll’s torso – blue pants with star motif, head band, wrist cuffs and golden lasso, and the military uniform her alter ego, Diana Prince, wore. My doll had her Diana Prince dress and her lasso, but was missing the rest of her outfit. I’ve managed to track down the uniform jacket and shoes, and a friend gave me her red boots one birthday, but she’s still missing her glasses, headband and wristbands. I’m hoping I’ll come across them at an affordable price – they are the hardest bits to find – but am also toying with the idea of making the headband and wristbands until I find the real thing.
Wonder Woman’s alter ego Diana Prince wore a military uniform, although my doll is missing her blue glasses. Unfortunately her face is not very expressive.
Wonder Woman needed a good clean up and her hair was quite a mess. Even once I got it combed and washed, it was very frizzy. I’ve given it a quick treatment with hair straighteners and it’s greatly improved. I only ever use the straighteners on damp hair and only turn them on for a few seconds and then off again, so they’re not too hot. I do a small test strand as well. The hair is still a little frizzy on the ends, so I might give it another going over at some point and another warm water set. The doll also has quite a few blue marks in the vinyl. Some seem to be blue spot, the result of the wire armature that allows limbs to bend reacting with the vinyl, and some may be stains from her dress, it’s hard to tell. A couple look a little like mould spots, but I’m not sure they are. They’ll need to be monitored. Some may come out with a treatment of benzoyl peroxide or butter, but I haven’t tried. The doll does kind of look a little teeny bit like Linda Carter, who played the character on the television show, although I would have loved it if they’d given the doll her signature smile – or any expression at all really, she just looks a bit blank. I’m pretty sure these dolls were sold in Australia, although I’m not sure how widely available they were. There are other dolls in the range, Steve Trevor and Hippolyte – who look nothing like their TV counterparts – and Nubia, who seems to be a character from the comics rather than the television show, but I don’t know if they were available here.
My doll suffers from quite bad joint melt. I move the limbs every so often to stop them seizing up, but her blue pants are stuck tight, you can see the goo around the edges. There’s also a stain on her leg which may be from her navy dress.
My doll also suffers blue spot, a reaction between the vinyl and inner armature. Some of the smaller spots look almost mould like, so they’ll need to be watched.
In general these Mego dolls have bendable legs, arms and wrists which is perfect for an action character like Wonder Woman. However, they’re also extremely susceptible to developing joint melt, a reaction between the soft vinyl limbs and hard plastic body causing a build-up of goo that can seize the joint and stick to clothing. My doll has quite a build-up of goo around each arm/shoulder joint and leg joint. I carefully move the joints (where I can) every so often but I can’t get her blue pants off, they’re stuck tight. The goo can be cut away with a sharp blade and I’ve been told a rinse in a weak vinegar solution can slow the process too, but I haven’t tried either yet. I generally display Wonder Woman without her military uniform, but if I do put it on her for any extended period of time, I place a small strip of baking paper between fabric and goo to stop it sticking. I love this doll despite her flaws, or maybe because of them. She was obviously loved and played with by her previous owner and I’m glad I was able to rescue her and give her a place in my collection.
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