These days, we collectors have a lot to be thankful for – the shift in quality of action figures over the past two decades has turned once-small, barely recognizable, barely moveable plastic playthings into fully articulated, awesomely detailed, instantly identifiable works of art that we’re glad to have displayed in our kitchen, to be briefly admired by last night’s mistake before we kick her out of the apartment. Yes, toys have come a long way, and with the expansion of the market has come a bigger range of great properties picked up and plasticized for our collecting pleasure.
If you’re anything like me, and I know I am, you can look in front of you right now and see an amazing range of amazing toys including Bender from Futurama, the Heath Ledger Joker from The Dark Knight, several Daleks, the amazing Masterpiece Grimlock, WALL-E, at least a dozen different Skeletors, Big Daddy holding a Little Sister’s hand, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Cobra Commander, an entire shelf of friggin’ Muppets, and Richard Nixon’s head. That is range, my friends. The sheer mass of different characters that have been made into great toys is amazing and wonderful – and yet, there are still plenty of favourites that are yet to be immortalised in plastic. These are
Today I’m going to talk about several of my MOST WANTED toys – some of which have never seen plastic in any shape or form, and some of which just haven’t been seen in an age (or done very well). Let’s start with:
(Resident Evil series)
NECA is responsible for some of the best toys in recent years, including a variety of great video game action figures, like the aforementioned BioShock toys, and the excellent Resident Evil figures that have become part of their Player Select specialty. But there’s one popular RE character they’re yet to tackle – the series’ very own super-antagonist-cum-wizard Albert Wesker. There are few video games series so convoluted and yet so in love with their own retarded fiction, and there’s an important rule that underlies every event in every Resident Evil – a wizard did it. Specifically, Albert Wesker did it. It doesn’t matter what happens in the Resident Evil games – it’s all a part of Wesker’s evil plan. I mean, for dog’s sake, he was decapitated in the first game, yet he’s still the final boss in the fifth. That takes some serious planning. We’ve seen a Wesker before, by the late great Palisades, but he wasn’t up to scratch (no trenchcoat?!) and still goes for the price of a kidney on eBay – NECA could do better! NECA can do better!!
We have seen so many great Aliens figures over the year that it’s a wonder that series protagonist Ripley has not seen a single great figure – at least, not in the 1/12″ scale. There are a couple of very iconic images of Ripley that we should have seen in action figure form by now – one is the above Power Loader, from the amazing finale of one of the best films ever made, and the image that became the unforgettable movie poster.
I’m not sure if we need a Newt figure, but no denying that would make for a pretty sweet diorama with a bunch of eggs around it. They mostly come at night. Mostly. This doesn’t in any way lead into my most wanted action figures of all time (for now)…
SILENT HILL EVERYTHING
(Silent Hill series)
It’s a crime that after so many groundbreaking games and Christophe Gan’s gorgeous but impenetrable film that we still haven’t seen any action figures based on the messed-up world of Silent Hill. There are so many amazing creatures and characters that demand action figures – starting with the two most well-known icons of the series, the deeply disturbing Nurses (with their sexy model-like bodies and faceless, tumor-ridden heads) and, of course, Pyramid Head (with his spear and giant knife, naturally).
But that’s only scratching the surface – there’s also the freakish Grey Children, the twisted Mannequins, the bottomless Lurkers, and the godawful nightmare-inducing Mary (no picture can convey the feelings that Silent Hill 2 makes you feel by the end) – and that’s just the monsters. The human characters would be just as interesting action figures as well – who wouldn’t want a Harry Mason to run around yelling “What’s going on here?” There’s actually few properties I can think of so rich with interesting action-figure-worthy characters and images, making it all the more heinous that we’re yet to see ANY toys from it at all. C’mon, let’s make it happen!
INDIANA JONES and RAMBO
There are few characters in the world that are so freaking iconic that they are INSTANTLY recognizable the world over, but both Dr. Henry Walton “Indiana” Jones, Jr. Ph.D. and John Rambo go beyond their mere film characters. So why the heck are there no decent action figures of them? Both have been tackled horribly in the 6″ scale before, and with both having been seen in theatres again of late (one of which was the worst in the series, the other the best in the series) why, oh why, are there no toys?
The horrible 3 3/4″ Indy figures don’t count, even if I did grab a couple on clearance. No. And that Disney Store exclusive, give me a break!! We need both of these properly rendered with their iconic accessories (hat, whip, bow and arrow, uzi submachine gun, gallons of blood) as soon as possible!!
And finally, from me, a dark horse…
I know the picture above is technically Samara from the US remake The Ring, but they’re essentially the same: the menacing, horrifying spirit from the fantastic horror films would make a great action figure. And it seems this was actually recognised, by NECA no less, who had a promo shot and some nifty mock ups on paper that showed a special set with a well that Samara/Sadako could crawl out of, and a TV. It makes it especially frustrating as this was a great set already realised – but it just never saw the light of day. Sad!!
What about you, friends – what are some of your MOST WANTED toys?