This post is about a rare painted hardcopy action figure that I acquired. The figure is the character ‘Ming the Merciless’ from the proposed 2nd series of action figures from the ‘Defenders of the Earth’ line.
Defenders of the Earth was an animated television series produced in 1986, featuring characters from three comic strips distributed by King Features Syndicate—Flash Gordon, the Phantom, and Mandrake the Magician—battling the Flash Gordon villain Ming the Merciless in the year 2015. Supporting characters include their children Rick Gordon, Jedda Walker (daughter of the Phantom), Kshin (adopted son of Mandrake), Mandrake’s assistant Lothar, and Lothar’s son L.J. For more information, check out this link to the Wikipedia page http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Defenders_of_the_Earth
Overall Height – 5 5/8 inches
Height to top of Head – 5 1/8 inches
Height of staff – 5 1/2 inches
Width – 2 3/4 inches
Markings: labeled 4/13
As this is a prototype, the hands are not made of metal as in the final product, nor does it have the knob on the back or any internal mechanisms for its fighting action. The figure is made of a hard resin, not injected plastic as a final version would be, and you can see evidence of air bubbles on the feet.
I have also found some interesting images from a 1985 Galoob Catalog that depict a loose version of the figure that appears to use the main body of the prototype mixed with the head and hands from the Series 1. Also, if you look at the smaller image of the carded figure it appears to have the light blue skin and possibly the head piece.