Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Mego 8" Fonzie

This is Mego's 8" Fonzie from the Happy Days television show. Happy Days was a popular TV program that aired from 1974 to 1984. Mego Fonzie was released in 1977. The show was a nostalgic look back at a family (the Cunninghams) during the 1950s and early 1960s. To kids watching at the time, Happy Days depicted an era that seemed almost as ancient as the Depression of the 1930s or the Wild West of the late 1800s. To parents, the Happy Days era probably seemed fairly recent as it depicted a time that was only 20 years previous to when the show aired. One's age and how it relates to the perception of time passing is a very strange thing.

It's difficult to describe Fonzie (aka The Fonz, Arthur Fonzarelli) to someone that hasn't seen the Fonz "in action" on Happy Days. You see, Fonzie was the coolest of the cool... the leather-jacket-wearing-guy that could never fail and always kept his cool no matter the situation. He was almost like Superman, James Dean, and Evel Knievel all rolled into one. Fonzie could best almost anybody at anything (he even jumped a shark on water skis... which eventually led to the term "jump the shark). Few dared to oppose him and many looked to him to help them out of sticky situations. The character became such a cultural phenomenon that he spawned such things as t-shirts, lunch boxes, toys, and even an official Fonzie kids leather jacket (that I tried on while shopping for school clothes once... My Mom said "No." Can you tell that I've been scarred for life?).

Point of Shame: When I was about 9, I was a such a Fonzie fan that I started a "Fonzie Club" in my neighborhood... individually drawing Fonzie with markers on each "club member's" white t-shirt.

Mego did a nice job on Fonzie. The head sculpt looks very much like a Mego-ized Henry Winkler (the actor that played the Fonz). This figure also includes an action feature that is unique to this figure. His thumbs swivel into a "thumbs up" position on each hand and a lever on his back thrusts his hands up from waist to chest level. You see, on the show, the Fonz would thrust both thumbs up and utter his famous-at-the-time line, "Aaaaaaaay!!" The Fonz would often do this to show his approval of something... or he could change the inflection to reflect something more like disappointment with someone (sans the thumbs). I can't tell you how many kids walked around in the mid-Seventies saying "Aaaaaay!!" or "Sit on it" (another catchphrase popularized by Happy Days).

A complete Mego Fonzie should include his leather jacket, white sleeveless under-shirt, jeans, and black boots.

The original "shark jumper."