“A long long time ago, in a galaxy far far away, God said: ‘Let there be lips,’ and there were lips and they were red.” Every Saturday at midnight in dozens of movie theatres across the globe this line is shouted at the Rocky Horror Picture Show. The Rocky Horror Picture Show is one of the quintessential cult classic films. It premiered in 1975, but performed poorly in theatres, until 1977 when it began showing as a midnight movie. The hallmark of the Rocky Horror Picture Show is the audience participation. At any given showing, you are bound to see girls & guys in makeup and fishnets doing the Time Warp, throwing rice & toast, and shouting obscenities at the movie screen.
Over the years, the Rocky Horror Picture Show has had all varieties of merchandise such as t-shirts, poster, pins, bobble heads, and finally in 2000 Rocky Horror finally had action figures, er, sort of. Vital Toys began producing a line of Rocky Horror Picture Show figures to coincide with the 25th Anniversary of the film, However, even as the film has lived on another decade and is approaching its 35th Anniversary, their line of Rocky Horror figures went the way of the ex-delivery boy, Eddie, in the deep freezer.
In the first wave of Rocky Horror figures, we got Dr. Frank N Furter himself, along with his handyman, Riff Raff, and his groupie, Columbia. Frank is wearing his outfit from the Sweet Transvestite number, a black sequined corset, black garter belt, fishnets, elbow-length gloves, a rhinestone anklet, and a pearl necklace. Riff Raff is wearing his good suit, well, his only suit. A black tailcoat, low-cut white tuxedo vest, half-finger black leather gloves, black pants, black boots, and a white spat on his left foot. Finally, Columbia is wearing a gold sequined tailcoat, a red sequined bow tie, sequined bustier, black satin shorts with metallic ribbon stripes, and black tap shoes.
Unfortunately, the sculpting is okay at best, the quality is below what we’re used to from Movie Maniacs and Cult Classics. They did manage to get some small details, such as the sculpted fishnets on Frank and the ruffles on Riff’s pant legs. That said, the most important part, the likenesses are just not quite there. Little Nell looks more like Lady Elaine Fairchild from Mr. Rogers Neighborhood, and while Frank vaguely looks like Tim Curry, Riff Raff looks nothing like Richard O’Brien. My biggest issue with these figures, beyond the facial sculpt is that they’re barely able to stand without their display stands. Riff Raff is actually slanted to the side, and Frank leans to the left too. Columbia is the only one who I can manage to get to stand on her own.
The figures also severely lack articulation. It seems like they have slightly more articulation than the Masters of the Universe “stactions”. Frank N Furter has swivel articulation at his head, wrists, forearms, and waist. Columbia has swivel articulation at her head, shoulders, waist, and thighs. Finally, Riff Raff has swivel articulation at his head, shoulders, waist, and wrist.
Paint is where these figures really shine. From Frank’s rose-tinted cheeks, to the dots on Columbia’s tap shoes, and the glitter in her jacket, bow tie and corset, they really put a lot of love into the details. The figures also really lack in accessories, despite the aforementioned display stands, the only other items included are with Frank N Furter, who comes with his Sweet T cape, and Columbia comes with her gold top hat. However, you could argue that since these are part of their costumes they aren’t really even accessories to begin with.
Despite all the shortcomings of these figures, as a big fan of the Rocky Horror Picture Show, I’m still really glad to own them. However as an action figure collector, they are rather disappointing. If a company like say, NECA or SOTA were to announce they were making new Rocky Horror figures, I’d truly jump for joy, and then maybe we could finally get toyetic versions of Brad, Janet, Magenta, and Eddie. However, until that day comes I’ll proudly display these on my shelf with the rest of my Rocky Horror collectibles.