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Remembered action figures

Viewed 792 times 2017-6-24 02:10 |System category:Life| action

I was a little kid in the early 80s which is described by action figure aficionados as being the golden age of action figures. The big two action figures during the golden age were Star Wars guys and He-Man guys. I had most of them because my one of my uncles used to steal action figures and give them to my fathers youngest brother - uncle Sean. My father is the eldest of four brothers and I am first born son so Uncle Shawny was more like an older brother than an uncle in a lot of ways because he was less than ten years older than me. So all of the action figures that my uncle Paul stole for Sean were given to me when I was maybe five or so. So I had pretty much all the first run the He-Man line and 90% of the Star Wars/A New Hope and Empire Strikes Back figures to start my collection. My mother seemed to be in supermarkets a lot which always had a toy aisle, and in department stores which had bigger and better toy aisles. She would always buy me something and I would always get a Star Wars guy. I got He-Mans and Star Wars guys for birthdays and Xmas so I ended up with most He-Man and Star Wars guys, and often more than one of the same guy.

Its all good to have more than one Jawa or Ugnaught but having more than one of the Luke Skywalkers or Han Solos types was not of much use because there can only really be one Luke or Han in a snowsuit during a game because I dont think there was any cloning in Star Wars in my day and my games tried to stay somewhat true to the movies and Star Wars universe. Having two Lukes or Hans in a snow suit would just be weird. But it was handy to have multiple Jawas and Ugnaughts. I only had a few of the basic Stormtroopers but it would have been good to have a lot more because I always wanted to recreate the scene in Empire Strikes Back where all the strormtroopers are lined up like Nazi on the Death Star to greet Darth Vader. 


I kind of still want to have a heap of storm troopers so I can line them up like Nazi for Darth Vader so I was thinking that I might buy some.  So I was looking on ebay and found that you can get a loose vintage Hong Kong storm trooper for between $30-$70. You can also buy retro New Hope storm troopers that have been made more recently. So yeah I might buy some storm troopers. 

So while I was considering buying a heap of storm troopers I was remembering all the guys that I used to have. I got sick of my collection of action figures at some point and I guess they ended up in a toy box and what didnt get chewed up or broken by younger siblings would have been lost. I actually found a Bobba Fett at my parents house a few years ago that was missing a foot. My uncle was very anal and he had all of the guys weapons in a little weapons box when he gave me his collection and I wasnt too bad at adding to it without losing too many weapons. But yeah they are all gone.  I dont know what I did with the crippled Bobba Fett but all I have left from Star Wars is a metal T-47 snowspeeder. I guess it survived my siblings because it is metal. When I came across it a few years ago I reclaimed it because it is awesome. 

I had all of the He-Man playsets apart from the Eternia one - Castle Grey Skull - Snake Mountain, and I even got Hordacks Fright Zone towards the end of my action figure playing days. I also had an awesome castle that my dad made for me out of wood that was painted silver and looked like a castle. It was like a doll house a bit I guess but it was better than the He-Man play sets because they were too confined even though they were kind of cool having things like trapdoors and a microphone what not. I didnt have a lot of Star Wars playsets though but I would use a stereo or cupboard or whatever for bases/death star, or play outside with them and pretend that a hole was the Sarlacc pit or whatever. So yeah I had a lot of action figures.

Thinking about all the guys I used to have made me think of some of the cool non-Star Wars and He-Man guys that I used to have. Since He-Man and Star Wars guys were the big two most of the non-Star Wars/He-Man action figures were either 5.5 inches like the He-Mans or 3.75 inches like the Star Wars guys. I remember getting very excited about finding an AT-ST Driver because it was one of the Star Wars guys that stores in Australia didnt seem to stock much. The main reason I didnt have every Star Wars guy was  because some seemed impossible to find. I could never find an Imperial Gunner for example. God I want an Imperial Gunner. Anyway, like I said, I had about 90% of the Star Wars and He-Man guys and more than one of a lot of them so at some point it became difficult to find Star Wars or He-Man guys in stores that I didnt have so I would get different kinds of action figures. 

It seems that to an action figure aficionado any 5.5 inch action figure that is not a He-Man is a He-Man knock off and any 3.75 inch action figure is either a Star Wars or GI Joe knock off. I had a few GI Joes and I liked them because they were better quality than the Star Wars guy and could bend at the knees and elbows but being from Australia GI-Joe was not as popular in Australia as it is in USA ( my uncle Sean had an Action Man doll ) and I really wasnt into GI-Joe like I was into Star Wars so my GI-Joe guys that I had became extra characters in Star Wars scenarios. Mask guys were cool extra characters too. Most of these guys made fantastic Bounty Hunters. But anyway, I got a lot of other 5.5 and 3.75 inch action figures and I guess that there is some truth in saying that these were knock offs but a lot of them were really cool and some of them were my favourite action figures.

So thinking these cool non-Star Wars/He-Man action figures made me think of some of my favourites and I got curious to know exactly what action figure lines the cool extra guys that I had were from. To find out I was forced to go to the action figure aficionados to see if any of them mention my guys in their youtube videos or blog posts. It took a while but eventually I found the the guys that I was looking for. 

So, the first guy that I wanted to find was a 3.75 inch action figure that looked a lot like Lord Humongus from Mad Max/The Road Warrior. I used to use him as an extra Bounty Hunter. I also used to sometimes use a black semi-trailor that was a good size for playing with 3.75 inch action figures and recreate the end pf the Road Warrior movie where Mad Max is driving the truck and trying to escape the gang of marauders. I would pretend that Mad Max was driving the truck and this cool guy would be Lord Humungus leading various 3.75 inch marauders. The truck would have to make it across the backyard or through the house or whatever. So this cool non-Star Wars guy got a lot of play time and like I said, he was one of my favourite action figures - a star.  So it turns out that this guy is from a line of action figures that Tonka released in 1986 that were called Steel Monsters. The guys name was Metal face.  Even the Steel Monsters brief wikipedia page makes the Mad Max connection so I wasnt the only one. 


The second non-Star-Wars/He-Man action figure that I wanted to find was a 5.5 inch monster looking guy that used to fit really well with the evil forced of Skeletor. He was a green guy that had horns and a metal hand and I liked him every bit as much as I liked Trap Jaw or Moss Man. So it turned out that this guys was made by a company called Sparkle in a 1985 action figure like called Defenders of the Planets. His name is Quasar ( purple pants ). 


And while I was looking for these two guys I came across another one of my non-He-Man/Star Wars guys that was one of my favourites. He was from a 1986 line of action figures made by Kenner that were called Chuck Norris: Karate Kommandos. This guy I liked was a big sumo guy and he was about the size of a He-Man at 6 inches so he became a member of the evil forces of Skeletor as well. His name is Tabe. 


So in my opinion the majority of these toy hunters and action figure aficionados dont know what they are talking about and their hate for so-called action figure knock offs is wrong. A lot of the so-called knock offs were the coolest action figures. We were blessed to have companies like Sungold that produced extra characters for our He-Man and Star Wars guy collections. Enough with the Baltard jokes is what I say. ( That was Baltard humour you guys. )


So what action figures did you like? I also liked Transformers and I had some but I was never really a huge Transformer guy. Another type of action figure that I really liked were the 3.75 inch Robotech guys that were made by Matchbox. The Roy Fokker Robotech action figure was one of my favourites. He had an awesome helmet that you could put on and take off. I also had one of the Robotech jets that you could put the action figures in which was awesome and my Robotech guys often joined the Rebel Alliance and helped Luke battle The Emperor, Darth Vader and their Imperial Forces. 

Did you have a favourite action figure when you were a kid? 

(Opinions of the writer in this blog don't represent those of China Daily.)


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