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Those '80s Toys

We're living in the toy past, and loving every minute of it

By Andrew Kardon     June 27, 2002


My smurfberries are fine, thank you very much.
© 2002 Peyo

I'm an '80s freak. There, I admit it. I pitied the fool right along with Mr. T, smurfed the smurf smurfs when the smurfs had to smurf the smurf, and I sure as hell didn't take it anymore with Twisted Sister. Yeah, I grew up in the '80s, and maybe that's why I'm in such a great mood these days. In case you haven't heard, the "Bubble Gum Decade" is making a big comeback. And that holds true for the world of action figures too.


For starters, this year's showcasing the revival of some awesome classic toy lines like MICRONAUTS, HE-MAN and G.I. JOE: A REAL AMERICAN HERO. But even cooler are some classic cartoons and shows that are finally getting the toy treatment. Playing Mantis is bringing us some amazing PEANUTS figures. Toynami's on the brink of giving us the mighty HERCULOIDS, with more Hanna-Barbera greats like BIRDMAN and THUNDARR THE BARBARIAN waiting in the wings. Palisades has given Jim Hensen's mighty hand-filled MUPPETS the perfect figures they've deserved for so long. Heck, it's a virtual '80s utopia, man!


But what I really want to know is... what's next? There are soooo many other great shows just waiting to be made into little plastic action figures for obsessive collectors like us. A DIFF'RENT STROKES line with SIMPSONS-like voice-chips would rule. Heck, lets give the FACTS OF LIFE girls the sexy McFarlane finish. And even though they've done a few PVC figures in the past, who wouldn't snatch up SCHOOL HOUSE ROCK action figures?


I guess what I'm trying to say is that we're already seeing so many awesome blasts from the past popping up in the toy aisles, we're just bound to see tons more. Call me impatient, but I'd even settle for a GROWING PAINS line at this point. Okay, okay. Maybe it's a good thing I'm only allowed to write about toys, not make them.



TOY TIDBITS


The PUNISHER gets selective.

Legomaniacs will be pleased to hear that not only will those crazy mask-wearing BIONICLE folk get their own DC Comics comic book this September, but they'll also be evolving into a whole new line of figures. Prepare for the TOA NUVA! Emerging from the depths of Mata Nui, these guys have all new body armor elements, tools and Kanohi Nuva masks to protect the peaceful ways of their world.


Ever wish Toy Biz made some serious Marvel action figures for the true comic collector? (Not that Toy Biz's regular figures don't kick ass themselves!) Well, Diamond Select has teamed up with the Toy Biz gang to do just that. Starting in September, the company will be releasing a new Marvel-based figure directly targeted to specialty shops. With an eye towards detail, each figure will come with a whole swag o' accessories and a base. Keep your eyes (and wallet) peeled for ULTIMATE SPIDER-MAN, ELEKTRA and PUNISHER.

No, it's not a mutant Smurf. It's just SHE-VA.



EXCLUSIVELY YOURS


Your prayers have been answered! Now your collection of bobble-heads can rest easy, thanks to the SHE-VA WACKY WOBBLER available exclusively at Tower Records stores. She's mystical and enchanting and pretty damn blue. Personally, I don't get this whole "bobble head craze" that's going around, although I laugh myself silly every time I see that Mr. T head wobble back and forth.



ON THE SHELVES


So that's how superheroes get around so quickly.


Race to your local toy store and check out some of the hottest die-cast miniature cars this side of the Captain Americar! Johnny Lightning and Marvel Comics have teamed up to bring some really cool vehicles to the shelves. Some classic Marvel covers merge with some really classic cars like the '98 VW BEETLE SPIDER-MAN #1 or the '69 CHEVY CAMARO RS/SS GIANT SIZE X-MEN #1.


Go Figure is our weekly Toys and Action Figure column.

Questions? Comments? Let us know what you think at feedback@cinescape.com.

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