Muhammad Ali

Muhammad Ali

In the world of toy action figures, every superhero eventually gets their day in the sun. But once in a while, a real person has such a larger than life persona that they achieve the same honor as their comic book counterparts. And, if ever there was a larger-than-life character whose gregarious nature simply screamed action-figure status, it was “The Greatest,” Mr. Muhammad Ali.

One of the most formidable pugilists to ever step foot in the boxing ring, Ali was just as entertaining when he wasn’t fighting. With his imposing figure and a tongue filled with the talent of rhyme, he was simply one of the biggest stars of the 70s. An action figure was simply a no-brainer and toy maker Mego delivered.

The action figure was no less imposing than its human counterpart, standing a full 9” tall in sculpted, muscular glory. Made of rubber and equipped with movable joints, Muhammad Ali also came with all of the necessary apparel – from his flowing white robe and matching boots to the pair of Everlast boxing trunks, red gloves and training helmet – everything the champ needed to go the distance.

When it became time to throw blows, there was a yellow detachable triggering device that, when attached to his back, allowed Ali to punch with reckless (if not awkward) abandon. Still, it was a unique idea, and what the boxer lacked in grace, he made up for in brute force. Your opposing Aquaman action figure would never see it coming.

Produced by Mego, Muhammad Ali hit toy store shelves in 1976. Quick to follow was a boxing ring playset, complete with such realistic touches as stools, water bottles, buckets and, of course, a bell. While a number of opponents were considered, only one was ever officially released, a boxer with a striking resemblance to one of Ali’s real-life foes, Ken Norton.

The Muhammad Ali action figure was a big-seller when originally released and continues to be a favorite among the herds of action figure collectors. The boxing ring playsets never sold quite as well during the original release which has led to their modern day scarcity and made them an even more coveted collectable.

With his ferocious attitude and ability to unleash a flurry of punches, the Muhammad Ali action figure may not have exactly floated like a butterfly, but it sure could sting like a bee. Even with his coveted Kung-Fu grip, G.I. Joe never stood a chance against the greatest.

Do you have fond memories of having your Muhammad Ali action figure go a few rounds with the local competition? We’d love to hear all of your memories of this popular Mego toy in our comments section below.

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