When I was about twelve, in 1990, there was nothing I wanted more than figures from the movies Aliens and Predator. After all, I had Robocop toys, so it wasn’t as if there were no precedent for action figures based on rated-R flicks. Alas, the first toys from Kenner would not arrive for a few more years, by which time I had moved on to other fads.
Now it’s 2008, and we have had more action figures from those movies than I can think of (far more than from Robocop, I might add). We’ve also had, or soon will have, action figures from:
- movies such as A Nightmare on Elm Street, Friday the 13th, Army of Darkness, The Princess Bride, Conan the Barbarian, The Warriors, The Godfather, Scarface, Flash Gordon, Silence of the Lambs, Dawn of the Dead, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, and last but not least, The Big Lebowski;
- TV shows such as Battlestar Galactica, Stargate, Heroes, Lost, Scooby-Doo, Space Ghost, and Miami Vice;
- Almost any popular professional athlete from the last 100 years, from pro wrestlers to hockey players
- Comics such as The Savage Dragon, Madman, Sin City, and Hellblazer
When you get down to things like Miami Vice and The Big Lebowski, you have to admit that there are some pretty unlikely action figures out there. And yet, there’s one cult show that’s just begging for action figures: Mystery Science Theater 3000.
Because my New England suburban cable TV provider didn’t have Comedy Central until the runaway popularity of South Park forced them to, I didn’t start watching MST3K until the so-called SciFi Era when it ran for three years on the SciFi Channel. That means that yes, I prefer Mike to Joel. That’s partially because I’m just used to him, and partially because I preferred Mike’s tendency to skewer movies rather than poke fun at them, as Joel did. Those are my reasons and I have absolutely no interest in getting into a Joel-Mike argument, possibly the most notorious Internet flame war topic after Balrog wings.
What I do want to discuss, though, is the painful lack of MST3K action figures. With the presence of the extremely toyetic robots–Crow, Tom Servo, and Gypsy–and the made-for-playset design of the Satellite of Love, I don’t know why a company like NECA or even McFarlane hasn’t snatched up this license. It’s at least worth a deluxe box set!
There was a $200 model kit a few years back, but that’s as close as Mike (or Joel) and the ‘bots have ever come to toy form.
Here’s what I’d love to see: a deluxe box set, similar to the model kit, of the SoL bridge. The “Commercial Sign” would light up and flicker, and the door behind them would open (revealing a cardboard graphic of the rest of the corridor). There would also be a feature where the entire set would light up and flicker and make the alarm sound from “Movie Sign.”
Crow and Tom could plug into the playset (Crow behind the counter, Tom on top of it). Crow would have articulation at the shoulders, elbows and neck; Tom would have bendy arms and an articulated neck. Gypsy would have an articulated jaw, and would attach to the back of the playset.
A Mike or Joel figure would be icing on the cake. But there may be one big stumbling block to getting the license right off the bat. It seems MST3K producer Jim Mallon owns the right to the robots and their likenesses (which he’s used to create a Flash cartoon) and isn’t on the best terms with the other former cast members and writers, who have started other MST3K-like projects such as Rifftrax, the Film Crew and Cinematic Titanic. So unfortunately, I suspect it’s more likely we could get an SOL playset with just the ‘bots than one with a figure of either host.
Still, I’d happily take that–I can put Batman or He-Man or 339/1 in there with Crow and Tom.