Enter the DRAGON'S LAIR - Mania.com

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From video games to action figures, DIRK's still the man

By Andrew Kardon     April 08, 2002

One of the video game industry's most animated characters is suddenly turning quite plastic. But don't worry, that's a good thing.

New startup toy company AnJon, Inc., will be producing action figures based on the popular DRAGON'S LAIR video game from nearly two decades ago. You know, the game where you'd lead a gallant knight through an animated adventure, deciding his next move through a sort of "choose your own adventure" style of gameplay. Well, now Dirk the Daring, star of the Bluth Group's popular video game and cartoon, will be getting his very first action figure line this August. And that's not all. Seems ol' Dirk and company will also be starring in a brand new video game this summer across all the major gaming platforms.


"After all of this time we were quite surprised to find that no one has ever produced DRAGON'S LAIR action figures," says AnJon, Inc.'s vice president of operations Daniel Dern. "Given the history of Dragon's Lair and the launch of an entirely new game for all of the new gaming platforms late this summer there was no reason in our minds why we shouldn't create and offer these figures to the devoted fans and future fans of the game."

So who made the cut on the first wave of the DRAGON'S LAIR 3D action figures? Well, a hero, a villain, a lovely maiden and a vicious beast.


With that familiar grim-determination on his face, the 6-inch DIRK features some 12 points of articulation, and comes packed with an Eyeball Tentacle Creature, sword, blue key, green key and health bottle. While the sword fits neatly in his sheath, the other items can be stored in DIRK's backpack


The fair princess (who's far hotter than any maiden we've ever seen in any Disney flick), features six points of articulation and is packed with Fire Drake, a golden treasure base and a magic Medallion straight out of the new video game. For true interaction, her medallion fits into DIRK's backpack. We're talking about the toy accessories, you sickoget your mind out of the gutter.



That evil MORDROC sports 12 points of articulation, and yes, actually does move around a bit underneath those bulky robes. He comes with two wacky Ding Bats and a magic staff. (Note: Real magic not included.)


And rounding out the first wave is the monstrous SINGE who's roughly 16 inches long from head to tail! With some eight points of articulation, ol' green scales features two inner armatures for greater movement: one in his neck and another in his tail. He's packed with a golden key around his neck and a jewel treasure base with removable sword.


So just how did a brand-new toy company land such a beloved license? With a little luck, some great timing and a heckuva lot of quarters.

"Some of us here at AnJon, Inc. became involved with DRAGON'S LAIR about nineteen years ago when the arcade game was first introduced," reveals Dern. "The game left a great impression on all of us as well as our pockets. That is to say the number of quarters we sank into the game had to be in the thousands. Eighteen years later we are a startup toy company and decided to propose the idea of creating action figures of DRAGON'S LAIR to the Bluth group. In the process we discovered we had just beaten their announcement of a brand new game and possible feature length movie by only a month. So I guess you could say we got our foot in the door by being first at their door and the Bluth Group decided to give us a chance after seeing the quality of our sculpts."

While Anjon is busy looking into other potential video game properties that may lend themselves to action figure lines, the company has its hands full working on the second wave of DRAGON'S LAIR 3D figures. Expect wave two to include GIDDY GOONS, THORN LORD/GRIM REAPER, LIZARD KING, and DRAGON ESSENCE DIRK.


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