Review > Monolith Action Figure (Thinkgeek)

ThinkGeek is famous for its awesome April Fool’s pranks, which typically feature awesome but non-existent products. (They’re a geek-oriented novelty product store, so it makes sense.) Often, if the fake product proves popular enough, they’ll actually produce it. The best known is probably the Tauntaun Sleeping Bag, but in April 2010 they had a product page for an “action figure” of the iconic black monolith from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. Given the incredible ease of producing a big block of black plastic, they went ahead and made it anyway.

You can order it off ThinkGeek’s website for $12.99, and it’s also been popping up at pop culture stores like Newbury Comics.

Packaging: I’m not going to open this thing. Once I do, I have a big block of black plastic, so this is the incredibly rare toy that I will keep MOC.Β That said, ThinkGeek–who usually do a pretty good job with this sort of thing–should have thought ahead and made this “collector friendly” packaging, i.e., made it easy to remove and replace the monolith.

But the packaging itself is great. The little blurbs like “It’s full of stars!” are funny, as is the text on the back:

2010 – The year toys make contact.

Deep in the heart of Aisle 7 (the action figure aisle), all throughout the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s, something waited. No one knew it was there, until toy stores began their turn of the century renovations. Then the Monolith Action Figure was discovered. What was it for? Where did it come from? Why wouldn’t its barcode scan? No one knew. And no one knows to this day.

We here at ThinkGeek have some theories, however. We think the Monolith Action Figures were left by some ancient, extra-galactic, action figure intelligence. We believe, based on our tests (including pH, electromagnetic, and taste) these Monolith Action Figures will eventually cause other action figures to evolve. We’re not sure if that means gaining better accessories and articulation, or becoming sentient. Either one is cool in our book. The Monolith Action Figure looks great on your desk, wall, or shelf, and will definitely be the most talked about toy in your collection.

I do love the notion of the block causing your other figures to evolve, possibly becoming sentient or just gaining more accessories or articulation. Those knowing references suggest whoever wrote the packaging copy is a collector herself.

Without the packaging, this thing’s novelty value plummets, because…

Design & Sculpt: …it’s a big black plastic block.

Plastic & Paint: See above.

Articulation: See above.

Accessories: See above.

Quality Control: See above.

Overall: The Monolith Action Figure is a neat gag toy. It seems a bit overpriced, but that’s probably to be expected with a novelty item like this–most of ThinkGeek’s April Fool’s items tend to be expensive.

I’m planning to hang it on the wall.

[And yes, I totally cheated on this review. It got late and I just didn’t feel like putting together a real one.]

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Comments now closed (15)

  • The $12.99 price tag is the only thing stopping me from getting at least one of these, I can't pick between TMA-2 & TMA-0.

  • I heard about some awful QC issues with this, the joints getting stuck, and parts falling off… πŸ˜‰

    As a fan of 2001: A Space Odyssey and Kubrick in general this is a must-have for me. I haven't been to Newbury Comics for a while, but if I can pick it myself thats even more better.

    I don't imagine I'd take it out of the package either, otherwise you're just left with a big black hunk of plastic. I shared a link to this on my Facebook when the gag originally appeared and I was sorta chided by a few friends for considering actually purchasing this! πŸ˜‰

  • I thought the 2001 style was retired? Really, all the hyper anime detail on this toy just doesn't make sense. I think it could stand to be much simpler. πŸ˜‰

    (And despite whether or not you cheated on this review, it was still fun to see. I do believe this is the first time I have seen this product reviewed!)

  • Wish it had an ape with a bone accessory,maybe an SDCC exclusive?… but it might turn into a "Gleek" incident.

  • Why not take it out of the package? Maybe it's what caused Beastman or Gygor to evolve. I'd have fun posing my figures around it.

  • I might get this to display with my Duke Nukem figure, as it did make a cameo appearance in the game.

  • @ Mecha-Shiva: I think the reason it was kept so minimalist was to prevent a lawsuit. Note the complete lack of licensing from anyone associated with 2001.

    @ Dead Man Walking: I just think it loses the humor factor if you open it.

  • @ Barbecue17:

    Didn't you know the 2001 style is making a comeback? Its the Neo-Classic line!

    I had a little plastic baby foetus at one point that I got from some pro-life supporters. I turned it into a magnet and stuck it on my desk. I could display it with this! =)

    While we're kinda on the subject of Kubrick and toys, why oh why have we not had an Alex deLarge figure? Certainly of all Kubrick's films he's the most toyetic character. I'm curious if his wife/estate would not allow for such a license, but I know there does exist a figure, I think its a Hot Toys-esque kind of figure (read: uber expensive). Also when searching recently I found a plaster model of Alex as well.

    Think of the great accessories he could come with… the bowler, cane, a cup of drencrom, his mask, the phallic "rocking machine" sculpture, a mini Beethoven bust!!!

  • Poe wrote:

    @ Dead Man Walking: I just think it loses the humor factor if you open it.

    I guess other people wouldn't get the joke, but I would still find it funny, knowing what it is. I can really imagine the itsalltrue.net guys coming up with some fun pics with it.

    PrfktTear wrote:

    @ Barbecue17:
    While we’re kinda on the subject of Kubrick and toys, why oh why have we not had an Alex deLarge figure?

    Personally, I just can't imagine wanting to own a figure of a rapist–even a fictional one. (Watch, now someone will inform me that the Joker raped Barbara Gordon, or Dr. Octopus raped aunt May, or some other unsavory thing I didn't know about one of my figures.)

  • I really like the reference to good old aisle 7C, realm of magic dreams. Unless your dream was to find a Batman:the Animated Series villain.

    I think the packaging is a nice part of the joke. The "Collect them all!" kills me.

  • Dead Man Walking wrote:

    PrfktTear wrote:

    @ Barbecue17:

    While we’re kinda on the subject of Kubrick and toys, why oh why have we not had an Alex deLarge figure?

    Personally, I just can’t imagine wanting to own a figure of a rapist–even a fictional one. (Watch, now someone will inform me that the Joker raped Barbara Gordon, or Dr. Octopus raped aunt May, or some other unsavory thing I didn’t know about one of my figures.)

    Didn't they make an Identity Crisis Dr. Light figure?

  • That's why I refuse to buy any Aunt May action figures.

    Speaking of Aunt May, did that old bag finally die or what?

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