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Vintage Action Figure of the Week: Mork from Ork!

By December 3, 2010

Mego Mork from Ork

Back in 1978, a then-unknown Robin Williams exploded into stardom after the premiere of his smash hit TV sitcom, Mork & Mindy, which was basically about an alien (from the planet Ork) who crash lands on Earth in a giant egg, and ends up living with a cute single girl (played by Pam Dawber) who works in her dad's music shop. How they came up with this stuff is anybody's guess, but it gets even weirder when we realize that the character of Mork actually made his television debut on Happy Days, a sitcom set in the early 1960s. Go figure.

Well, somehow it all worked and worked like gangbusters, because Robin Williams became an overnight sensation and even kids wanted in on the act enough to warrant Mego toys (desperate for any sci-fi licenses after making the mistake of turning down an offer to produce toys for a little movie called Star Wars) to produce an action figure of the hilarious Orkian.

To call this a toy line would be wrong, since it would take more than one figure to make a line. But in the end, the Mork figure was the only one ever made.

Of course, to be fair, action figures of Mindy and her dad would make for less than exciting play adventures, and perhaps Mego learned their lesson with bland TV show figures after their Love Boat line.

Still, I distinctly recall seeing this figure in stores as a kid, but sadly passed it up. Poor Mork just couldn't compete with peg after peg of exciting Star Wars figures from Kenner, and his action figure soon went back to Ork, or at least to several discount stores where I remember seeing one as late as 1984. Which once again, I passed up.

Fast forward 32 years and in a fit of nostalgia, I found myself just having to have a Mork action figure, and thanks to eBay one resides on my shelf as we speak. And considering that it took me three tries to get one and even then I had to get his egg ship separately, I must not be the only one who fondly remembers that classic TV show, nor regrets not picking up this little piece of action figure history when they had the chance. And to those fellow Mork fans and figure collectors, I say...

... Nanoo nanoo.

Comments

December 5, 2010 at 1:02 am
(1) Ernest Madison says:

Um, cool article. But totally wrong. While Mego manufactured many toys in the 70′s including “World’s Greatest Super Heroes”, “The Black Hole” and “Star Trek-The Motion Picture”.They DID NOT make the “Mork” action figure. It was “Mattel” who also produced a “Battlestar:Galactica”line.

Oh, and there’s this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2afcF0VoUg

December 5, 2010 at 3:25 am
(2) Reis says:

Ah! You’re quite right! My mistake!

I think I was associating the Mork figure with the Black Hole figures from Mego. When really I was thinking of the Mork figure being based on the same mold as the vintage General Adama figure. My bad.

Thanks for setting things straight!

December 5, 2010 at 10:30 am
(3) jboypacman says:

I used to have one of these very figures and outside of this and Rainbow Suspenders they were selling at the time was there any other “Mork” related products out there?

December 6, 2010 at 8:52 am
(4) Reis says:

Well, there was the much larger Mork doll, such as the one that is in the youtube video that Ernest linked to above, and I remember that they made a model kit of Mindy’s Jeep. And there was a series of trading cards, of course.

And I believe that there was these little Mork eggs filled with bubble gum!

Other than that, I don’t think that they made too many other Mork collectibles.

December 10, 2010 at 12:53 am
(5) Ernest Madison says:

Well for a time you could get the “Rainbow Suspenders” and there was a photonovel and a book.(I’ll have to do some digging to find them.)

Na-Nu Na-Nu!

Reis: I won’t tell Commander Adama you promoted him!

December 10, 2010 at 9:52 am
(6) Reis says:

D’oh! I can’t get anything right! :P

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