Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Mego 8" Planet of the Apes Astronaut Alan Virdon

In 1974, those dirty apes from the series of ground-breaking sci-fi films were transported to my family's little black and white television (along with millions of other televisions, I'm sure). The Planet of the Apes television series didn't last long, but while it did, I was always glued to the set to see what would happen next to the astronauts that were stranded in this strange world where apes ruled and humans cowered. The TV show, in premise, was a lot like the first Planet of the Apes film. Although, instead of one astronaut surviving and being on the run, the television series had two...Peter Burke and Alan Virdon.

This is Alan Virdon, one half of the human astronaut duo that survived through all 14 episodes of the television show that were produced. Mego produced Virdon as part of the their second series of Planet of the the Apes (POTA) figures. While the first series of figures featured a generic astronaut that looked nothing like Charlton Heston, this new batch of POTA figures featured astronauts with very good likenesses to their living, breathing counterparts on the TV screen (Alan Virdon was played by actor, Ron Harper).

I remember seeing these two newer astronauts in the Coon Rapids, Minnesota Target store in 1974. Instantly, I wanted to bring them both home for my apes to chase and torment. It wasn't to be... and, as a kid, I never did get these two astronauts. However, my mom did make a very convincing version of one their tattered costumes for my Mego Tarzan and he did a fine job of standing in for these official Mego astronauts (and Evel Knievel's Canyon Sky Cycle stood in as the astronaut's ill-fated rocket ship).

Alan is a pretty basic Mego figure. He didn't come with any accessories or extras... just the figure and his "ripped-up" clothing. To be complete, he should have his tan shirt and pants, brown vest, and brown moccasins (the same ones that Cornelius and Galen came with).

It was great to finally get Alan and his astronaut buddy, Peter, a couple of years ago. It made that 7 year-old that had to leave them behind at Target very happy.


  1. I think I had pajamas that looked like his clothes.

    Maybe I should have changed them once in a while.
    Or maybe I was stranded here away from my home planet.

  2. He looks like one of the Others.

    My first lunch box was POTA.

  3. Brian B - Did you ever discover any apes under your bed?

    Aaron - I never had that lunchbox but always wanted one.

  4. Aaron - He does look like one of the Others.

    Brian A. - If you would watch Lost you would know who the Others are.
    I never discovered any apes under my bed but did pull out some giant dust bunnies from time to time.

  5. Ah... Lost. I thought it might be from Twilight Zone. I'll have to start watching Lost. Is that on my TV?

    So, you were more like an astronaut that landed on the Planet of the Dust Bunnys. Heh, heh.