Dino Drac turned four this week. Can’t believe how fast the time went! I started the site thinking it would either be my second chance or my flat-noted swan song, and I’m proud to say that Dino Drac lasting for four years points to the former.
Hope you’ll stick around for another four! Let’s grow crazy stupid old together.
To celebrate the site’s anniversary, I thought I’d dip back into its most dependable feature. Here’s the latest edition of Five Random Action Figures, starring wrestlers, bounty hunters and supernatural garbage bugs. Enjoy.
Masters of the Universe (1985)
Grizzlor was easily among the top ten Masters of the Universe figures, looking like a cross between a Tribble and a Crite. Serving as a sasquatchian foot soldier, Grizzlor was the Beast Man to Hordak’s Skeletor.
While more or less a bit player in the cartoons, Grizzlor’s action figure was too uniquely monstrous for any kid to be passive about. If we’re not counting Moss Man’s astroturf skin, Grizzlor was the only figure in the whole collection that utilized lifelike fur, which made buying him feel like buying a pet rat.
(For most kids, pet rat > action figure, but only by a little. With those powers combined, Grizzlor was hot shit.)
Interestingly, Grizzlor debuted at roughly the same time as Masters of the Universe Slime, and was actually singled out by Mattel as the one of the few figures to never trap in the Slime Pit. So of course, many of us did. You’ve heard of the Red Button theory? Its final form is the Slime Grizzlor theory.
PS: Yeah, I know. Those aren’t Grizzlor’s arms.
Star Wars (1980)
Bossk was one of the bounty hunters briefly seen in The Empire Strikes Back, when Vader became so frustrated with Han’s crafty evasions that he outsourced a seek-and-detain mission to random bugs and dinosaurs.
While Bossk’s one scene was mostly notable for introducing Boba Fett, every one of those bounty hunters became players in the Star Wars universe. In Bossk’s case, we’d later learn that this freak in the ill-fitting spacesuit was part of a species that hated Wookiees and reveled in their suffering. Naturally, Bossk’s focal goal was to pretty much skin Chewbacca alive and wear his fur like a spiteful cape.
Yes, all of that was borne from a two second shot of Bossk making a snoring dog noise at an Imperial officer.
As an action figure, Bossk’s was one of the most striking in Kenner’s vintage Star Wars collection. His bright clothes made it hard for me to accept him as a villain, so back on Young Matt’s bedroom floor, he was a consistent defector:
Me-as-Luke: Guys, please give my new friend a chance. You can trust him.
Me-as-Chewbacca: This fuckdick cucaracha ate my dad.
WCW Collectible Wrestlers (1994)
Many, many years before people like me had ever even heard of the guy, Kevin Sullivan was a hot ticket at Florida wrestling events, working a “satanist” gimmick with such vigor that even some of his colleagues believed that he actually was one.
I won’t pretend that Sullivan was ever one of my favorite wrestlers, but I still enjoyed his run. After all, he was responsible for the Dungeon of Doom, a stable of “monster” wrestlers who met in smoky caves to plot Hulk Hogan’s demise.
(Seriously. His best friends were Kamala and a guy who pretended to be Jaws. it was so great.)
The action figure is blessed with better muscle tone than Kevin Sullivan really had, but then they went and ruined it with the goofy expression. It’s hard to pretend that Sullivan is some evil genius mastermind when he’s winking like a cartoon bear who just told a big lie.
Star Trek: The Next Generation (1994)
Ah, Star Trek: The Next Generation, which was fresh and new back when weekend television was my only respite from boring Saturdays of silence. Those were lonely times, and it was nice to have Data and Worf there for surrogate friendship. (Answer me, Worf.)
Because Star Trek: TNG wasn’t something I actively “watched” as much as used for background noise while I putzed around in my bedroom, my memories of the show are scattered and unfocused. I certainly remember the basics about the Borg species — a bunch of gothic C-3POs who wanted everyone to look and act like them — but I couldn’t tell you more without liberally borrowing from a Star Trek wiki.
I have a vague recollection of Hugh being unusually sympathetic for a Borg character, but had I owned this figure in 1994, he would’ve been so much more than that. The sweet face and icy costume makes Hugh look like a balding Edward Scissorhands, and I’m not sure that I could’ve resisted the temptation to make my 5” April O’Neil fall in love with him. Theirs would be an unlikely yet sexy tale, full of dry humps and awkward handholding. Just keeping it real, guys.
The Real Ghostbusters (1988)
From the Haunted Humans branch of Real Ghostbusters figures, Terror Trash transforms from an unremarkable garbageman into an impossibly awesome insect-o-ghost.
Because Terror Trash’s “ghost mode” is so undeniably cumbersome, I’ve spent decades seriously undervaluing this figure. Now that I’m viewing him through a more objective lens, I can’t believe that there was ever a time when I wasn’t 100% onboard. I mean, the wonky execution of his darker side is the whole draw!
From the eerie alien bug head to the obscene crotch jaw, it’s like Kenner gave all of their rejected ideas a second chance on one single action figure.
Side note: I didn’t have Terror Trash as a kid, but I know exactly how he would’ve fit in with my other toys. I used to maintain a sort of dungeon — actually a cardboard box — filled with all of my figures that were too strange, large or broken to warrant seating in Castle Grayskull.
So like, if Jabba and Mumm-Ra were pissed at someone, they’d sentence him to THE DUNGEON, and gather around to watch all of my most ridiculous action figures take turns biting his face. I could totally see Terror Trash being one of the face-biters.
Thanks for reading… for the last four years!