By Jon of Doubledumbassonyou
As a small child I watched three movies on a constant loop: Transformers: The Movie, Flash Gordon, & Big Trouble in Little China. They were my trifecta of ’80s cinematic awesomeness. While my friends wanted to be Indiana Jones, all I wanted in my young life was to be a truck driver that fought ancient Chinese sorcerers on his weekends off. I was just about the only kid in first grade rattling off Jack Burton-isms, much to the chagrin of my teachers. To this day it remains among my favorite films, and I throw it in the DVD player at least once a week.
Flash-forward to the fall of 2002, when I walked into my local Suncoast Video and imagine my surprise when I see Jack Burton staring back at me from the action figure section. Purchasing without hesitation, I rushed home to spool up my 56k modem to find out more about this line of action figures from the greatest John Carpenter film ever.
What I discovered was that the line was produced by the now-defunct N2 Toys (which eventually became Mirage Toys), the BTiLC 7” line consisted of Jack Burton, Lo Pan, Wang Chi, Egg Shen, Lightning, and the Chinese Wildman. Prototypes of a 12” Jack Burton was on display at SDCC that year, but before it could be produced the company disappeared with only one assortment hitting the shelves. I eventually got a Wang Chi as so that he could partner up with Jack to take on the Wing Kong and the Lords of Death.
What I love most about this figure is the sculpt. It is the exact pose from Drew Struzan’s one-sheet for the movie … which is just phenomenal. With five points of articulation, Jack is locked into his hero pose with the appropriate submachine gun and CB Radio mic. The likeness to Kurt Russell is pretty good, and while it is not 100% dead-on, you certainly have to appreciate the detail considering this figure was made seven years ago. As far as Kurt Russell figures go, I would only rank the Movie Maniacs Snake Plissken ahead of this one.
Given the short run on this line, there are very few still there on the secondary market. I once saw a loose Jack Burton go for upwards of $200 on eBay. I’ve been offered sums more than that, but I would never give this figure up. It’s just too awesome.