By the end of this article, I’ll have reviewed 200 action figures on Dino Drac. That’s a big deal, guys. It’s why I’m typing this with one hand and eating a whole Carvel cake with the other.
Five Random Action Figures has been the site’s most dependable series, and for as long as there remains a Dinosaur Dracula, it’ll continue. This I swear to you. Amen.
To celebrate Part 40, I wanted to buy some of my holy grails. Then I remembered that my account balance reads like a pizza bill. I instead settled on five action figures that were great in a more affordable sort of way:
Blast Cape Batman
Batman Forever (1995)
I love how Kenner so brilliantly got us to buy Batman figure after Batman figure by continually tweaking his outfit. Every time we thought we were done, Batman changed his boots and we had to go back to Kay-Bee.
Some of his specialized suits made sense. I could understand why Batman would want an alternative suit that was flame retardant, and I at least partially accepted that Batman might desire a specific outfit for scaling walls.
Blast Cape Batman, on the other hand, defies defense. The figure’s main attribute is a button-operated firing cape (yes, a firing cape), which I guess was Batman’s version of the ”throwing S” from Superman II.
He also comes with a pair of intense assault blades. Between those and his eerie costume, this particular Batman feels like a blend of Venom and Freddy Krueger.
Sticks ‘N Stones
Rock Lords (1986)
Every Rock Lords figure was cool, but Sticks ‘N Stones was double cool. The villain was said to be a mix of anthracite and magnetite, and in accordance with the laws governing 1980s toy lines, his two heads argued like shitty brothers.
His tormented faces are beautiful in their simplicity, and I really enjoy the idea of each half having personalized toenails. Like all Rock Lords figures, Stick ‘N Stones can transform into a boulder, which as I recall worked great for impromptu games of indoor baseball.
(Well, maybe not great, but at least interestingly.)
Princess of Power (1985)
The boundary between boys’ toys and girls’ toys was depressingly thick when I was a kid. Some weren’t afraid to cross it, but I sure was.
I mean, I remember everyone at school ganging up on this one boy just because he brought baby carrots to lunch every day. Baby carrots! I could only imagine what might’ve happened had I been outed as a She-Ra collector.
Instead, I suffered in silence and never asked for any Princess of Power toys. Sucks, because my toy box was such a sausage fest. For a while, I had one Leia and one Evil-Lyn, and that was it.
Of all the Princess of Power figures, Frosta was my One To Get. She combined the two things I still love more than all other things: Ice-related superpowers… and blue hair.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989)
While seemingly “just another villain” on the cartoon, a combination of Jim Cummings’s voice work and Leatherhead’s ship-worthy partnership with Rat King made his scattered appearances pop like hell.
His action figure was way cool, too. As I remember it, Leatherhead was pretty hard to find for a while. Maybe he was short-packed, or maybe kids were just uniformly charmed by the idea of an evil alligator who sounded like a drunk Justin Wilson.
Funny-to-me story: I received Leatherhead from a classmate at my fifth grade birthday party, which was staged from an enormous New Jersey arcade. I distinctly recall trying to rush the party along just so I could go home and play with Leatherhead. (Still today, I’m more prone to live for the memento than the moment.)
Toxic Crusaders (1991)
And here it is, folks. The 200th action figure reviewed in this series. I wanted it to be someone special, and I will never believe that Headbanger isn’t special.
This was the best figure to come out of the Toxic Crusaders collection, and one of the best figures of the ‘90s, period. A mutant merging of Dr. Bender and definitely not Dr. Fender, Headbanger looked like Halloween in Hawaii.
Released long before production costs shrunk profit margins to the point where toymakers had to have roundtable discussions about every potential paint app, Headbanger was blessed with a thousand details.
I wish my sunglasses came with a lime green lanyard.
Thanks for reading about 200 action figures. Here’s to a hundred more!