Mego Kiss Action Figures
KISS hit the height of their fame in the late 1970s. In 1977 the band were voted the most popular in the U.S, and a wave of merchandise featuring the band began to sweep the nation.
Between 1977 and 1979 KISS merchandise made an estimated $100 million worldwide, and the band appeared in their own range of Marvel comic books which remained the company’s best-selling title until well into the 1980s.
In 1977, just before the peak of the band’s popularity which would see each member release their own solo album on the same day, Mego released a range of action figures based on the band’s four members.
The Mego KISS action figures
The KISS action figures were released in 1977, at the height of the band’s fame. Mego’s initial plans to use the same head for all four members (covered in different make-up) were vetoed by the band, which had final approval on the look of the figures. This led to the Gene Simmons action figure being the first ever made to have its tongue sticking out.
The figures are dressed in the costumes and make-up of the band’s ‘Love Gun’ era, so-named after the band’s 1977 studio album and tour. These costumes were also worn by the band on their 1996 original line-up reunion tour, increasing the sought-after nature of the figures.
After spending heavily to secure the KISS licensing rights, Mego were eager to save money wherever possible on the figures. The same packaging design was used for all four figures, and instead of musical instrument accessories each figure had a cut-out instrument printed onto their box.
This cost-saving exercise had the unintended effect of making boxed examples all the more rare and valuable for modern collectors, as many boxes were destroyed by children after cutting out the band’s cardboard guitars.
List of figures
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