Back in his playing days, there weren't any cats cooler than Joe Namath. Besides being one of football's greatest quarterbacks, he embraced his fame off the field as well. His every move was followed. Many of them were documented. And like today's Kardashians and other celebrity trendsetters, Joe Namath knew his fashion. The Mego Joe Namath doll (along with its dozen fashion accessories) captures a lot of that swagger -- at least as much as a doll can.
Today, companies like McFarlane put older sports figures to shame with their level of detail and realism. But that doesn't mean vintage figures, or dolls, can't be lots of fun. Released in 1970, the Mego Joe Namath might not be the best representation of the Hall of Famer as far as sculpts go, but the accessories are pure gold.
Measuring 12-inches tall, the main figure has "Broadway Joe" dressed in a generic green and white football uniform. Although it closely resembles his New York Jets gear, it's not licensed by the team or the league. It did have Namath's blessing, though. The removable helmet says "Joe" rather than "Jets."
The doll has lots of articulation so you can pose him. His left arm can also be pulled back to throw a pass.
In true dress-up doll fashion, Namath's clothes can be taken off. This includes not just his jersey and helmet, but his shorts, socks, shoulder pads, underwear and cleats as well. And you don't have to replace them with Ken's hand-me-downs either. That's because Mego also made a full line of "Broadway Joe Namath Mod-About Town" accessories so you could deck him out for a night on the town.
Back in the day, fans had a chance to dress their Joe Namath dolls in things like the Tuff Tuxedo, the Eligible Receiver and the Furward Pass. In all Mego released 12 different outfits, all of which are absolute early-1970s gems.
Each outfit was sold separately, complete with shirts, jackets, pants, shoes and socks. And while they're amazing in their own right, the packaging window is shaped like Namath's silhouette.
Mego Joe Namath Doll Outfits Checklist
1203 Maximum Effort
1204 Backfield In Motion
1205 In Vest
1206 Red Dog
1208 Eligible Receiver
1209 Tuff Tux
1210 Double Coverage
1211 Furward Pass
1212 Jet Set
In addition to the basic 12-inch Mego Joe Namath doll, there's also an 22-inch Joe Namath Star Passer figure that, when activated, throws footballs all automatically -- and not just in one direction. It turns at the waist and tosses every which way.
The catalog ad below from the Mego Museum shows that when it first came out, the Mego Joe Namath cost under $5 and outfits were less than $3. Today, complete figures without the box are $50 and up. Expect to pay significantly more for dolls and outfits that are still in the box.