Dinosaur Dracula!

Five Random Action Figures, Part 44!

To keep this edition of Five Random Action Figures on-brand for Cruel Summer, I will only feature figures that have some tangential tie to the season. Enjoy!

Mike, The Sewer Surfer!
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1990)

This screwball Michelangelo was from a set of TMNT figures that gave our heroes intense new costumes, and even new occupations. (Raph became an astronaut, Don became a sneaky detective… you get the picture.)

Since every kid who collected TMNT toys started with the original Turtles, it made sense for Playmates to keep redressing them. To their credit, these “extra” Turtles weren’t cheap cash-grabs with rudimentary facelifts. Each had a mold all its own, and they were littered with so many details that the first wave of figures seemed positively antique by comparison.

Just look at all of the little touches on Mikey. Seaweed! Baby sharks! Gnarly crabs! Hell, I’ve had this guy for 30 years, and I’m only now noticing the octopus on his foot. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 43!

It’s been over four months since the last edition of Five Random Action Figures. Which is disgusting. Let’s fix that.

Silver Surfer
Marvel Super Heroes (1990)

Man, that first wave in Toy Biz’s Marvel Super Heroes line was just phenomenal. I’ve occasionally criticized Toy Biz’s lean on quantity-over-quality, but it’s not like they didn’t have the talent to make really great action figures.

Silver Surfer is my favorite figure from that wave, which is saying a lot. He’d later get re-released with a shiny chrome finish, but I much prefer the “flat” look of this version, which better reflected the Surfer’s old school comic appearances.

For me, this was one of those “transcendent” action figures — meaning I never felt particularly beholden to what the character was supposed to be. If you gave me a Spider-Man figure, he was going to be Spider-Man proper, no matter what. By contrast, the Silver Surfer was a blank canvas: I could make him good, bad, all-knowing, innocent, fiery or restrained.

I loved figures like that. Little five-inch vessels, as malleable as my own emotions. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 42!

Get set for a special Halloween edition of Five Random Action Figures! This time, we’ll be dealing exclusively with MONSTERS… like creatures with pumpkins for heads, and also creatures just named Pumpkinhead.

Retro-Action Real Ghostbusters (2011)

Samhain was one of the “big bads” of the RGB universe, and among the few villains who appeared several times on the cartoon. (Most notably during the first two Halloween specials, where a pumpkin-headed demon was a natural fit!)

The character’s elegant design and sinister gravitas made him a fan favorite. Sadly, there was never an official Real Ghostbusters action figure for Samhain, who had to wait until Extreme Ghostbusters to be immortalized in plastic.

This figure came out much later. Toy freaks should remember that Janine/Samhain Retro-Action set, if only because Mattel made WAY too many of them. It was released in 2011 but remained on clearance racks until roughly fifteen minutes ago. (…which explains why such an extravagant set routinely fetches less than $20 on eBay.)

Samhain is around 8” tall, and he’s more doll than action figure. With flimsy limbs that make him tough to pose, Samhain still shines with that swank cloak and curiously hot bod. (Hot bod is not canonical as far as I know, but I guess it could be?) Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 41!

Welcome to the latest edition of Five Random Action Figures. I hope you appreciate the seasonally-appropriate setting in these photos. You owe me 10 ounces of sweat and 12 ounces of bug spray.

King Sphinx
Mighty Morphin Power Rangers (1993)

King Sphinx is an interesting cat. If you’re like me and you only casually followed Power Rangers, you might’ve assumed that he was a major recurring villain during the first few seasons. In fact, not counting happenstance cameos, King Sphinx only appeared on the “proper” series once!

So, why do we have such strong memories of King Sphinx? As it turns out, he also appeared in the initially-unaired pilot episode, which was later released as The Lost Episode.

Since that pilot served as the inspiration for so many different MMPR-related products, King Sphinx turned up on everything from window clings to storybook covers. For that first year or so, he was on as much stuff as Goldar.

Speaking of Goldar, King Sphinx kinda looks like his final evolution. Or like King Tut mixed with a Terror Dog. I’m cool with either. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 40!

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. Read More…

Five Random Action Figures, Part 39!

Welcome to the 39th edition of Five Random Action Figures.

Just one more to go before I’ll have reviewed 200 different figures in this series, which I’ll of course use as an excuse to buy fancy old toys that aren’t already collecting dust in the unsightly bins stacked exactly four feet behind me.

Casey Jones
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1989)

During the original TMNT boom years, Casey Jones was the man. In the cartoon, he came off like Jason Voorhees mixed with the Toxic Avenger mixed with Wolverine. In the live action movies, he was more like Captain Lone Starr mixed with a friendlier CM Punk. Both medleys worked. Crazy worked.

Naturally, the action figure was based on Casey’s appearance in the cartoon. I don’t know how to describe his outfit, other than to say that it looks like something you can only wear if you live on boiled chicken and Bowflex Max Trainers. I only live near them.

The mask is decidedly more “Jason” than “random goalie,” while the sneakers look like some special edition pair that were only on sale for one day at select boutiques. We all have our vices. Read More…