What Is An
modern day Action Figure is very different to the traditional figure of
my boyhood memories.
then we had two basic types, the GI Joe and Action Man.
if you look around today day there are thousands of different “action
figures” available. There are movie figures, wrestling figures, anime,
cartoons, TV, pop stars and even Playboy have a line of “Adult
Collectible” Centerfold action figures ( please note that these are NOT
dolls ;-) ).
over the last 20-30 years the "hobby" has grown up along with us, the
first generation of children who played with the original “action
remember as a child spending many happy` hours locked away in your room
with your GI Joe or Action Man?
your bedroom was transformed into another world, a world of vast
mountainous terrain, deserts, rivers and seas.
was suddenly a huge, insurmountable range of mountains ideal for your
snipers to lie in wait for an advancing platoon of Germans.
and cupboards became fortresses, lookout towers, or high mountains.
carpets became seas, lakes, rivers or deserts.
of danger, intrigue and mystery.
you were lost behind enemy lines, desperately trying to find your way
were on a secret mission to steal the plans of a new secret your enemy
had to rescue captured pilots who had to ditch from their fallen plane
behind enemy lines.
the situation it was you against them.
course by you I mean your GI JOE.
you’d stay would quite happily, lost in your own world.
until suddenly that shrill cry would ring in your ears.
Summoning you back to reality.
begrudgingly you’d leave your world it to trudge down the stairs, torn
away from your heroics for….
First GI Joe
very first action figure, GI Joe, was introduced in 1964 by Hasbro.
phrase "action figure" was a clever piece of marketing coined in order
to make this new "doll" for boys marketable.
all, would you play with a doll?
Dolls are for girls.
kick ass action figure?
Joe became an instant hit and was hugely successful in the US and Hasbro
soon realized that there was a huge International market waiting to be
exploited for this new doll and so it was licensed to other companies
thus opening up new markets and ensuring its global popularity and place
in the history books.
early GI Joes were pretty basic but they were poseable. The arms and
legs were held together with elastic inside and you could move the arms,
legs and head, you could change their uniforms and clothes quite easily.
local toy shop had shelves of accessories for your GI Joe, everything
from food rations to an armoured tank and all kinds of uniforms and
armoury. You’d hoard your money for months to buy the newest and latest
accessory for your figure.
I saved for months
for my first tank.
Do you remember
when the introduction of "real hair"?
And then there
were the "eagle eyes" that moved!
But best of all
was when they introduced the talking Action Man.
Wow, now that was
Hasbro made many
attempts to introduce non-military figures but these never really caught
There were soccer,
cricket and rugby figures as well as World Cup figures released in
The GI Joe and
Action Man remained the standard "boy’s doll" or action figure for many
years and remained popular with boys through to the mid seventies, and
are still popular now, although (unfortunately) they’ve undergone some
Some of these
earlier figures have become much sought after by collectors,
particularly the non-military figures that, due to their lack of
popularity were only produced in small quantities, can be worth a lot of
money particularly if in mint condition.
Over the decades
sadly their image has been toned down to conform to modern standards and
regulations and as a result their military background has now become
part of a bygone era. Today's figure is a married new man who has had to
become more "politically correct" in order to appeal to a wider
of the Hobby
The advent of Star
Wars a decade later really took the market by storm though.
Until then action
figures had been fairly much confined to the pre-teen boys market, but
all that was to change.
With the huge
success of Star Wars the Kenner action figures based on the movie flew
off shop shelves as quickly as stores could fill them.
As a result Kenner
just couldn't keep up with the massive demand which came as a complete
surprise as no-one had expected the film to be the huge success it was
and nothing akin to this had ever been witnessed before.
This resulted in a
shortage of the figures and they began to become scarce, particularly
the Darth Vader and Han Solo figures. As the demand grew and showed no
signs slowing their value began to sky rocket as the secondary market
for them exploded.
especially true for the low production figures that were made for
promotional purposes or the specialty markets.
And so the collectible action figure market was born.
Later, in the
1980'S, fuelled by the burgeoning popularity of Japanese Manga and Anime
characters particularly the Transformers the hobby became more
mainstream and new companies catering for this increasingly popular
hobby began spring up targeting the collectors market.
Some of the
earlier star wars figures can now fetch hundreds or even thousands of
$$'s at auction.
market is now massive with most movies, TV programmes, cartoons, sports
and even pop stars having a line of action figures produced based on its
One of the more
popular of these companies over the past decade has been Mc Farlane's
Toys, a company founded by Todd McFarlane the creator of the Spawn
character and comic book.
gained a reputation for excellent quality sculpting and meticulous
attention to detail setting the benchmark by which many other figure
companies are now judged.
The range of
figures available now is limitless with anything from Lord of the Rings
figures to WWE Wrestling figures being produced. In fact in Hollywood
you're not considered to be famous or a "superstar" unless you
Halo 3 The Biggest Entertainment Event In History
It's official, Microsoft have announced that the release of the long anticipated
release of the Halo 3 game for the Xbox console was the biggest day ever in
entertainment history with...
Within the first 24 hours of its' official release an estimated $17O million has
been taken making it the biggest ever day in entertainment history dwarfing even
such events as Star Wars, Harry Potter and Spiderman.
Upto approx 10,000 stores hosted a Midnight Madness event as many fans queued up
outside games store eagerly awaiting the midnight deadline for its release.
Scenes reminiscent of major movie premiers were seen in New York's Times Square
with major sport and TV celebrities joining in the celebrations.
Halo 3 is the third in a trilogy of releases developed by Bungie Studios
exclusively for Microsoft's Xbox 360 games console. Halo 3 doesn't immediately
pick up where Halo 2 left off but the comic book mini series Halo: Uprising will
bridge the gap.
Halo 3 also continues to deliver innovative
experiences and interactive
experience via Xbox Live, the online gaming network on TV. Shane Kim, corporate
vice-president of Bungie studios stated that more than a million members went
online on September 25th to play Halo 3 making it the most active day ever in
Xbox Live history.
Retailers across the country have reported
phenomenal demand for the game and
Bob McKenzie, Senior Vice President for GameStop Corp said that," The initial
demand we've seen for Halo 3 is astounding, and the game is on track to being
the number one gaming title of all time."
More than 1.7 million copies of Halo 3 had already been sold in the US alone
before a single shop door had opened at midnight on Sept 25th making it the
fastest pre-selling game in history setting pre-sales records.
McFarlane To Exhibit At Chiller Theatre
At this years
Chiller Theatre Toy and Film Expo to be held in the Hotel Parsippany in
New Jersey from Oct 5-7, McFarlane Toys will be display a variety of
their best toys.
The booth should be easy to spot as McFarlane have an
exclusive room that will be packed to the brink with fans favourites as
well a new lines such as Beowulf, Halo 3 Series 1, Dragons Series 7, The
Godfather and many more.
Are you an artist or sculptor?
Would you like to get into the toy business?
Then this could be
your opportunity to be part of one of the world's largest and most
popular toy companies. Of the course of the exhibit McFarlane Toys will
be conducting informal portfolio reviews for aspiring artists and
sculptors, so bring along your portfolio and one of their members of
staff will be happy to speak to you.
There will also be many giveaways
featuring some of their newest lines throughout the weekend.
will also be a host of TV and film celebrities signing and posing for
photos over the weekend.
McFarlane's and Oz- A Match From Heaven....
After all the recent speculation
and rumours about the upcoming Oz movie to be directed by Todd
McFarlane, IGN Comics spoke to the man himself.
So here is an extract from that
interview that gives a little bit more information on the whole concept
and what we can hope to expect.
Being a big fan of the Twisted
Land of Oz figures I am eagerly awaiting this one and the more I hear
about it the more I like that sound of hit.
Hopefully with the likes of Todd
and Josh Olsen working on the project we will see a whole new take on
this classic L Frank Baun’s novel rather than a remake.
I’ve often wondered whether this
figures were based on a specific story line at the time but according to
Limited Edition Grinch Figures
McFarlanes have announced that there will be a surprise Limited Edition figure
as well as the regular figures in the "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" release
which is only available from...
McFarlane's have announced that to coincide with the release of their "How the
Grinch Stole Christmas" line of figures due to be release in Nov, 2007 Time and
Space Toys will be selling an exclusive online 3-inch figure.
The exclusive 3-inch "All I Need Is A Reindeer" features the Grinch with his
hapless dog Max to re-create one of the most unforgettable moments from this Dr
Seuss classic. Mc Farlanes regular sized figures are due to be released
nationally in November with the 3-inch figures to follow next fall but this
figure will only be available from Time and Space.
Due Nov, 2007
McFarlane's Phlebiac Brothers Exclusive
McFarlane's Spawn 32 introduces the Phlebiac Brothers and continues the new fresh
look and story line started in the popular exclusive online comic The Adventures
of Spawn. This...
Introducing the Phlebiac Brothers and continuing the new fresh look and
storyline started in the successful exclusive online comic book, The Adventures
of Spawn, and the equally successful action figures this second line of figures
looks to likely be equally successful.
Spawn 32: The Adventures of Spawn 2 introduces fans to The Phlebiac Brothers
with this exclusive Collectors Edition box set.
The Phlebiac Brothers were once the loyal servants of Darkness under the evil
directions of Raven Spawn until they were betrayed and trapped within the prison
realm of Limbo
But now these five little pests, who are best described as a cross between a
gremlin and a munchkin, their have regained their freedom to once more reek
mayhem and mischief across the universe.
This special Collectors Edition box set is a 5 piece set that is only available
from McFarlanes online Collectors Club shop and Tempe & Glendale Stores.
Due Nov 12, 2007
McFarlane 3-inch Military Series 1
McFarlane's range of three each figures has become increasingly popular amongst
fans and collectors so they have announced that they will be launching a mini
military series that...
McFarlanes range of three inch figures has become increasingly popular so they
have announced the release of a mini military series of three inch military
The initial release will feature:
- Marine Coros Recon Sniper
- Navy Seal Commando
- Army Ranger
- Army Paratrooper
- Army Infantry At-4
- Air Force Special Ops
- Air Force Special Ops CCT
These will of course have the same hyper attention to detail that has become
synopsis with McFarlane's figures.
Due Jan, 2008
Dragons Series 8 "Can Dragon-kind survive?"
With the rise of Man will dragon-kind sink into the oblivion to become
nothing more than legends and myth. McFarlane's Dragons series 8 begin the last
chapter in this...
With the introduction of man into the Dragons kingdom can or will they survive?
Events in the kingdom are escalating as the rise of man in their kingdom marks
the time between their rule and their decline into nothing more than myth. And
so the stage is set for an all new adventure with McFarlane's Dragons series 8.
- Hunter Dragon Clan 2
- Eternal Dragon Clan 6
- Water Dragon Clan 7
- Berserker Dragon Clan 6
Due Jan, 2008
The Adventures of Spawn Continues
McFarlanes Adventures of Spawn is set to continue with a new edition of the
successful online comic and a new series of figures. The Adventures of Spawn 2
will continue with the new look and feel introduced in the first series as well
as introducing some new and old characters in this all new series.
The Adventures of Spawn draws it's inspiration from Saturday morning matinees of
a bygone age and the Japanese anime style characters to give the Spawn universe
and characters a fresh and original new look that has proved to be popular with
This series brings you some of Spawn's old enemies from classic McFarlane story
lines including three new versions
of the classic fan favourite Commando Spawn, Spawn X and Raven Spawn figures.
I am also looking forward to seeing what they've done with the biker chick
figure in this series as McFarlanes have the unique gift of making inanimate
female cartoon figures look sexy.
The full series will include:
- Commando Spawn
- Raven Spawn
- The Creech
- Biker Chick
- Spawn x
- Omega Squadron
As well as the characters in regular release there is to be a special
Collectors Edition Exclusive boxed set.
Due Oct, 2007