Kids toys and action figures have always been big business. Sometimes they are massive franchises that spawn billion dollar movies and decades of merchandise and enjoyment for kids and adults alike. Other times... well, they completely miss the mark. Ranker Comics has visited this island of misfit figures and collected a list of bizarre, obscure and ridiculous action figures from our youth.
Sure, there were the big money makers: He-Man, Transformers, G.I. Joe, Power Rangers. Then there are the imitators to the throne: M.A.S.K., VR Troopers, CORPS, Thundercats. These doppelgangers only lasted for a brief time and many found homes stowed away in the collections of the the bigger brands. We should dust these little plastic warriors off and celebrate their weirdness! Then there was the big comics of the 1990s where any and every comic book title was optioned for a toy line and cartoon combo. Some of these titles and characters no longer exist but their molded plastic forms remain, like an ancient trophy to a once powerful reign. Of course, the real money was in the tsunami of action and science fiction films, that were immortalized with brief action figure toy lines - even if the film is questionable in its marketing towards kids.
So stand proud, Biker Mice from Mars, Toxic Crusaders and Beetleborgs! Although you might have ended up in the neighborhood garage sale years ago, alongside some of the most dangerous '90s toys parents couldn't wait to get rid of, Ranker Comics has not forgotten your epic playtime battles! Noble readers, enjoy this meticulous collection of collectibles that are sure to stir a few memories and may make you want to revisit that dusty box in the attic!
- Although Small Soldiers struggled to find an audience, you just know they had to make a toy line to go with it. Although these figures didn't come to life and attempt to kill you like in the kids movie it's based on, the toys did utilize newer technology and didn't rely on previous toy line gimmicks.2,4062,468Did you have these?
- As part of a popular ad campaign surrounding car safety and seatbelts, the Crash Test Dummies became household names. To capitalize on this success, a TV show and toy line was created. The toys were actually very cool - the Dummies were given a legion of junkyard-themed villains and each Dummy would explode with a special button on their chest was pressed. They even got a Crash Test Car at would become absolutely totaled when slammed into a wall!2,3182,377Did you have these?
- Captain Planet at least appeared to have noble intentions outside of its creation, rather than to just sell chunks of molded plastic to kids. The environmental-centric show churned out water saving tips and a slew of Captain Planet variants, the Planeteers and the pollute and plunder villains. Hey! Those Planeteers even came with rings like from the show!2,4272,522Did you have these?
- MASK is the perfect example of a cartoon being developed to sell a toy line. The common vehicles would transform into more armored versions of vehicles, which made it only 50% as cool as a Transfomer. Also, the guy driving the vehicle? You guessed it - he wore a mask.2,2472,366Did you have these?