A Journey That Begins Where Everything Ends. That was the tag line for Disney's 1979 production of The Black Hole. The movie itself wasn't bad but it was nowhere near the success that Star Wars was. That didn't stop Mego from jumping at the chance to license the action figures for the movie though. They'd been beaten by Kenner for the Star Wars figures and they weren't going to let that happen again. Their first foray into the Black Hole action figure market was in 1979 with the 3 3/4" actions figures that were released in two series. Series 1, sometimes referred to as Wave 1, included Dr. Hans Reinhardt, Captain Dan Holland, Charlie Pizer, Dr. Alex Durant, Dr. Kate McCrae, Harry Booth, V.I.N.Cent, and Maximillian. Series 2, or Wave 2, figures were released in 1980 and included Sentry Robot, Old B.O.B, Humanoid, and S.T.A.R. Of the Series 2 figures only Sentry Bot was released in the U.S. the other 3 figures were only released in Canada and Italy.
The line didn't sell that well and eventually the figures were discounted to clear the shelves. This resulted in some of the Series 2 figures becoming very scarce as they were not sold in the U.S. and their shelf life was limited. Of the Series 2 figures the Humanoid is probably the most rare.
The U.S issued cards had blue lettering. The Canadian versions also had blue lettering with the text in French. The Italian versions had yellow lettering. All but three of the Black Hole figures have the usual rubber-band construction. The six human figures and the Humanoid all have 10 points of articulation including the neck, shoulders, elbows, waist, hips, and knees. S.T.A.R. and Sentry have 14 points of articulation including the neck, shoulders, elbows, forearms, wrists, waist, hips, and knees.
The card backs featured pictures of the movie actors rather than the figures themselves.
Maximillian is part of the first series and utilizes solid construction with no rubber bands. It has 5 points of articulation at the neck, shoulders, and legs. It also came with a clear plastic stand.
V.I.N. Cent has solid construction with no rubber bands and 5 points of articulation in his retractable arms, legs and head. Like Old B.O.B. he came with a clear plastic stand. V.I.N. Cent
stands for Vital Information Necessary, CENTralized. He sells for around $400 in near mint condition carded.
The 3 3/4" line of figures was very well made and crafted after the Mego Micronauts line from Takara.
The Harry Booth and Hans Reinhardt figures had extra detail in the hair that gave then a graying look.
The Charlie Pizer and Captain Dan Holland figures used the same bodies but with different colored paint stripes with Holland's yellow and Pizer's black.
Sentry was released in the U.S. as well as Canada and Italy so it is easier to find than the other three series 2 figures. It has rubber band construction and 14 points of articulation. The figure has two holsters and one silver gun. There are two versions of the figure. One has painted ears and one does not.
Sentry Bot and S.T.A.R. are essentially the same figure with different colored paint.
Old B.O.B. stands for BiO-sanitation Battalion. Old B.O.B. may have been the most popular character on The Black hole which is why it is strange that Mego would wait to release him until the series 2 figures came out. Some speculate that the emphasis on human characters in the first series is what doomed the line to eventual failure.
Mego released the Humanoid figure in 1980 as part of series 2 of the Black Hole figures. But it was only released in Canada and possibly Italy. It has a removable cloth cape and cloth booties. It is extremely hard to find complete and sells for around $1300 loose.
|BLACK HOLE OLD BOB BOB ACTION FIGURE GIG mego no humanoid|
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Mego also produced a series of 12" human figures including Holland, Durant, Reinhardt, Booth, McCrae and Pizer. The dolls weren't produced with the same quality as the 3 3/4" figures. The faces tend to fade to a grayish color and the joint rivets have a tendency to corrode over time.
Magnetic figures were made of V.I.N.Cent, S.T.A.R. and Maximillian by Gig in Italy and vary from 4 to 6 inches in height.
As you can see the detailing on the magnetic figures is very nice. They are constructed in a manner similar to Mego's Magnemo line.
As for accessories, Mego produced the Laserscope Fighter but it was only available in Italy and was released for use with the Black Hole line of 3 3/4 inch figures. It's identical to the Buck Rogers Laserscope Fighter that was released in the US except that it had different stickers. Mego published ads for a Cygnus Bridge Playset and a Palomino ship in thier dealer catalogs but neither was ever actually produced.
Overall the Black Hole line is very collectible with the series 2 figures being the most rare and the Humanoid the hardest to find.
|Vintage BLACK HOLE Old Bob Mego Very Rare Italian Card|
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|1979 MEGO CORP TOY SALES DEALER CATALOG FLYER FOLDER WITH BLACK HOLE PRELIMINARY|
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|Mego The Black Hole STAR VERY RARE 3 3 4 Action Figure Loose USSeller|
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