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8 Most Despicable Toys Ever Ordered By Mail

The Disappointments

By Robert T. Trate     June 18, 2010
Source: Mania.com

William The Refrigerator Perry was once a G.I. Joe
© Bob Trate


The joy of getting a toy in the mail is something that many of us know. The anticipation of waiting mixed with the long frustration of checking daily usually ends with a celebration at the mailbox. On the flip side there was also the disappointment. The figure wasn’t all it’s cracked up to be, a year later it is released in stores and to be blunt it was just lame. We love our toys here at Mania but at times we scorn them too. Here is the “8 Most Despicable Toys Ever Ordered By Mail”.
8. Qui-Gon Jinn and Eopie 2010

Mail Order Action Figures

This latest edition to the mail away figures should have marked a turning point, a figure and a creature. Usually you only get one special figure. Hasbro turned it up a notch by giving you two from Star Wars Episode 1. This would have been great if many of us would not have been met with a post card explaining how ill prepared they were. Hasbro put their figure on back order. Yes, you could get your money back for this figure, but not for the figures you bought just to get this one.
7. Spirit of Obi-Wan Kenobi 1997

Mail Order Action Figures

In 1997 Frito-Lay introduced the Spirit of Obi-Wan on their new pizza flavored potato chip bags. For just a couple of UPCs and $1.99 you got Obi-Wan’s ghost. When Obi-Wan did show up he was nothing but a POTF 1995 Obi-Wan mold made in clear blue plastic. His arms and head moved but his legs, body and robes were one solid piece. In short this was a half assed figure to move some pizza flavored chips.
6. Cantina Band Member 1997

Mail Order Action Figures

Here is a figure that should have been in the original Kenner Star Wars line. Hasbro rectified that in 1997 through the Star Wars Insider magazine. The bitch of it was, despite getting all the instruments you got only one figure. That is not a band! So we had to fork over even more money to complete our cantina scene. Years later Hasbro released a full Cantina Band has if to say “Ha Ha” (a la Nelson Muntz) to all the collectors.
5. George Lucas Stormtrooper 2006

Mail Order Action Figures

This is nice tribute and fun for fans of the movie but it had already been done, twice! The first time was in the Micro Machines line and again a figure for Star Wars Celebration II. With all the figures Hasbro and Lucasfilm keep coming up with (George would have another figure made only this time it was as a character from Star Wars Episode 3) why George yet again? If anything I would ask for burnt Uncle Owen and Aunt Beru. You know, characters from the movies.
4.Mummy Mumm-Ra 1985

Mail Order Action Figures

LJN Toys jumped on the mail away band wagon with Mummy Mumm-Ra but had little success with him. If you never got one they are easily found online and at flea markets. The figure is pretty lame. This is the Mumm-Ra on the show that was a weakling. The bad ass Mumm-Ra was the fully transformed one, the one that could take on the Thundercats single handily. It is as if we are being asked to pick between Clark Kent or Superman. The answer is obvious.
3. The Fridge 1986

Mail Order Action Figures

Was it the Super Bowl Shuffle? Perhaps it was his Super Bowl win. I honestly believe it was an act of God because nothing else could better explain why William “The Refrigerator” Perry of the Chicago Bears became a member of G.I. Joe. Hasbro must have been looking for the next Sgt. Slaughter and picked this guy. The idea quickly fizzled out and we were stuck with one lame G.I. Joe.
2. Steel Brigade G.I. Joe1987

Mail Order Action Figures

No unique face, no unique uniform it didn’t even come with the option of picking from an assortment of parts to make you as a G.I. Joe. The big push was your own story on the file card. Wow. This figure did however inspire tons of guys to sculpt their own figures years later. Who knows, without Steel Brigade there might not be the craftsmanship in action figures we have today. 
1. Wun-Dar 1984

Mail Order Action Figures

This is a figure of true legend because there is no real record of his existence. Maybe there are a few pictures here and there but who knows if they were even real. He was offered by Wonder Bread but it was never produced. Hardly an original figure as he had He-Man’s body with different colored hair, boots and loin cloth. To top it all off he had Zodac’s chest protector, painted black. If you had both of these figures you could make him today. MattyCollector released the figure in 2010 so he now actually exists. Just imagine for a moment eating several loaves of Wonder Bread and patiently waiting for a figure that never came.
Boba Fett
Why isn’t the original Boba Fett on the list? It would have made it but as many of you already know the rocket firing Boba Fett is finally being released through Hasbro. In staying true to the tradition you’ll have to mail away for it. See Mania’s Toy Fair 2010: Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back Toys for more information.
Robert his still waiting by the mail box for his Qui-Goin and Eopie. Until that day arrives he’ll continue writing his two weekly columns for Mania: the DVD Shopping Bag and the Toy Maniac. Robert also participates in a pod cast that reviews movies, comics and celebrates all things geek. Check it out at You’ve Got Geek on You.com.


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Betenoire 6/18/2010 2:15:53 AM

The mail in Batman and Superman from the Total Justice line with the clear chests were no great shakes either. I wonder how those moved as I wound up getting 2 of each when I only sent in enough PoPs for one of each.

ChadDerdowski 6/18/2010 5:49:18 AM

From what I understand, Hasbro was in negotiations to create a figure based on Rocky Balboa but the deal fell through and they ended up going with The Fridge instead.  Marvel Comics G.I. Joe: Order of Battle actually featured Rocky as a member of the team (boxing instructor?) and Big Boa was his Cobra counterpart... not that it excuses such a lame figure and I'm not sure if Rocky would've been any better.  But at any rate, there's your history lesson for the day.

I remember those Steel Brigade figures well and the dissapointment I felt when the figure arrived.  Hours were spent filling out the little form choosing your primary and secondary military specialties only to receive a toy that was beyond lame and a file card that was printed on a sheet of paper - it didn't even look like a real file card!  Uggh.

On a side note, I still have a couple of unused Steel Brigade forms.  It's funny how all of them basically describe some sort of alternate reality version of Snake Eyes.  I'm proud to say that I've completed my ninja training and have finally become the Joe I always wished I could be.

Rheul_home 6/18/2010 10:08:30 AM

I have the Lucas Stormtrooper. I like him.

themovielord 6/18/2010 2:21:03 PM

not a bad figure Rheul_home... it had just been done before...

ultrazilla2000 6/18/2010 7:59:58 PM

Most of these toys aren't terrible at all!  Robert, I don't know how old you are, when I was a kid, these mail aways were the SH*T!  That Mumm-ra your hate so much was a really cool item...and the only way to get Mumm-Ra in his actual mummy form.  I don't know, maybe you weren't really a big Thundercats fan, but to those of us who were...it was a must have.

Several of these others are just as cool...the ghost Obi Wan in particular.  Clear variations are common for special editions or prizes in Japan, and this one is no different.  At least this one has purpose...as opposed to say...A gold "Lucky Draw" Optimus Prime or the translucent orange Godzilla 2000 theater exclusive I bought while in Japan back in the day!

Check out the mail away Transformer(s) called PowerDasher from the 80's for a real turd...wow that thing was bad.

SONYMANswallows 6/18/2010 9:46:07 PM

What about Sgt Slaughter GI JOE?

Super Powers Steppenwolf or Clark Kent


Transformers had a tripple shanger that was black with yellow legs and a silver drill that pulled out for a head. The back legs folded up as did the arms which could fold along the head or fold back along the legs.

It was kinda like the thing from Total Recall.

Or the Ovaltine decoder from Christmas Story which was available like that in the 1940's.

How come Bobba Fett is considered despicable?

And you didnt include anything from a comic books Captain O for operator pages.

SONYMANswallows 6/18/2010 9:51:48 PM

Isn't Steel Brigade GI Joe a Cobra Rattler Pilot repainted? The FLASH figure had the red pads repainted silver and sold with the jump /jet pack set/ Ans Grunt was issued in tan for the GI Joe hand glider. Yeah I know they are not mail order but this got me thinking.

Wyldstaar 6/18/2010 11:23:13 PM

Anyone who found their mail-away Boba Fett to be despicable as a child is so far beyond my comprehension, I can't even begin to try and understand their point of view.  I loved my Boba Fett figure.  We had enough PoP tokens for both my brother and I to order one.  It was my favorite Star Wars figure for years, and I got countless hours of fun out of it.  As far as the lack of a firing missile goes, that barely phased me.  It was a mild disappointment when the figure first arrived, but that was more than made up for by the superior sculpt and paint job. 

themovielord 6/19/2010 7:23:07 AM

Guys Boba Fett was promised a rocket that fired that was despicable one.  The one we got was great but not the one they promised. Sonyman, Sgt Slaughter and Clark Kent were awesome, which is why they didn't make the list. Unless you are saying they were despicable?

SONYMANswallows 6/19/2010 8:31:56 AM

How is a crappy wrestler as an action figure not as dispicable as a figure of the Fridge?  If he were in A Few Good  Men  they would order a code red for him before he even enlisted.


I will agree on Clark Kent and I forgot that  Bobba Fett was supposed to have a firing missle. Didn't they make some that did fire but then the rest did not because parents were complaining that it was not safe?

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