I normally only cover vintage toys on Five Random Action Figures, but this time, let’s try something different. Below are five figures that are still in stores, proving that new stuff can be just as awesome as old stuff, and less grimy to boot.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Superstars (2016)
Yes, this is a real thing. Michelangelo dressed as Randy “Macho Man” Savage. WHERE WERE YOU WHEN I WAS TEN, MACHO MIKEY?
Mikey is part of a growing series of TMNT/WWE mashups, and for my money, he’s the best of them. Oh, and speaking of money, be prepared to drop $30 or more if you want one of these. I’d say that they cost too much, but you can’t expect Ninja Turtles dressed like WWE superstars if you’re not willing to foot a portion of the licensing fees.
Some fans think that Raphael would’ve been a better fit for Savage, but since Macho Man’s most prolific bandana was pretty orange, I think Mikey was the natural choice.
Macho Mikey is heavy, well-detailed and has enough points of articulation to pull off each and every of Dean Malenko’s 1000 moves. A splurge for sure, but how could anyone resist such an action figure miracle?
Madballs are back, and they’re… maybe not better than ever, but arguably as good as they’ve ever been? I don’t know. They’re squishy balls that look like monster heads. All is calm, all is bright.
American Greetings and Just Play did an incredible job with these. While the characters have been given complex and colorful makeovers, they still feel like close cousins of the originals, with the same heft and in the same sizes.
Oculus Orbus was always my favorite, so I grabbed him first. I probably prefer how the original version was just a giant literal eyeball, but I ain’t gonna complain about a giant eyeball with a werewolf mouth, either.
Word of warning: The new Madballs are still hard to find in certain locations, which has paved way for some seriously bloated third party prices online. They retail for 10 bucks, so don’t pay 30 unless you’re Veruca Salt.
Star Wars: Rogue One (2016)
Ben Mendelsohn’s turn as Director Orson Krennic was one of my favorite things about Rogue One. I’d say it’s because I dug the idea of someone working the Empire like a corporate ladder, but it’s really the cape. I LOVE the cape.
I’m surprised that more people haven’t hopped on the Krennic train, though I guess I shouldn’t be: Despite its box office success, even many diehard fans weren’t 100% cool with Rogue One. Meanwhile, there was me, baking cakes in the movie’s honor before the end credits rolled. I know the story had holes, but every Star Wars story has holes. It’s as much a hallmark of the series as “bad feelings” and neon laser fire. Whatever, I loved Rogue One.
I had a hell of a hard time chasing this figure down. I gave up on Toys “R” Us after five separate attempts, and then found him on Amazon… for substantially less than TRU would’ve charged. Hey, brick-and-mortar stores? You ain’t gonna survive if we can find our shit easier, cheaper and quicker on our goddamned phones. I don’t want you to die. Shape up.
One neat thing about the Pokemon universe is that even as it evolves and adds new things, it doesn’t ignore what came before. First-gen Pokemon merchandise was never really put to bed, but after the success of Pokemon Go, it’s 1998 all over again.
For those who’ve never followed this franchise, Mewtwo is a one-of-a-kind and super powerful Pokemon. He served as the antagonist in the first Pokemon movie, which despite being made for nine-year-olds was much easier to watch while stoned. (It ends with Pikachu using its tears to bring a statue back to life, if that’s any indication.)
Mewtwo is just one of several first-gen Pokemon that have just recently inspired all-new action figures. If you’ve never seen Mewtwo in action, picture Jean Grey mixed with Emperor Palpatine mixed with the Transmutate from Beast Wars. And also maybe a purple kangaroo. He can blow up the world whenever he wants.
WWE Zombies (2016)
There have been some wonderfully twisted WWE figures over the past few years, and I love that none of the higher-ups kiboshed them for being too “off-brand.” A set of wrestling ZOMBIES? I think that was worth the dice roll.
Shown above is Paige, the only female in the WWE Zombies collection, and also the one given the least amount of “zombie features.” Makes sense, too, since the real Paige is naturally pale, and I didn’t want to see her guts anyway.
Thanks for reading. Now go shopping for toys. It’s casually cathartic.