As a kid, I was a big fan of both comics and action figures; I probably spent my allowance equally on Uncanny X-Men comics and Star Wars action figures. The day I got my Emperor action figure in the mail was almost as good as the day I found a really cheap copy of Uncanny X-Men #129 at a used book store. Unfortunately, those two passions rarely met. It was a post Mego, pre-action figure boom world that I grew up in, so with the exception of the short-lived Secret Wars and Super Powers figures, there weren't a lot of superheroes to be found on the toy aisle.
Nowadays, though, you can find action figures of just about any comic character on the shelves, from secondary X-Men like Forge and Banshee to independent characters like Madman. But there are still a few out there that the world needs, which is why Chris suggested we list a few characters who we felt needed to be captured in three-dimensional plastic with a kung fu grip.
So here we go ...
1. Firestar (David Gallaher)
In looking over my collection, I thought about a character whose history dates back almost 30 years. Playing the lead role in one of the best Marvel cartoons, she starred in her own limited series, was in a couple of coloring books, was a member of the Avengers, an enemy of the X-Men, a founding member of the New Warriors, and is currently starring in Marvel Divas. Even better still – she was featured in her own Hardees kids meal!
Of course, I’m talking about Angelica Jones. The one and only Firestar! Sure, there has been a Heroclix version of the character, an exclusive 5” inch Toyfare version, a minimate, and a newly-released 3 ¾” inch version of the character. But, the time for a 6” inch version of the character has never been greater! Besides, who else would want to stand beside both Iceman and Spider-Man?
Costume-wise, I think it would be a shame not to have her sporting her classic costume from the cartoon, but having her Avengers-era costume as a variant would be extra awesome. Add some snap-on microwave bursts and a tiny Ms. Lion and she’s ready to do battle with the likes of Magneto, Kraven or Dr. Doom. Or, better yet –- break out Sub-Mariner, Captain America, Shanna, Dr. Strange and the Spider-Friends to re-enact scenes from 7 LITTLE SUPERHEROES!
So, what are you waiting for Hasbro – Go For It!
2. The Ti-Girls (Chris Mautner)
Jaime Hernandez's ongoing story in the pages of the newly revamped Love and Rockets is one of the best superhero tales going these days, so why not spin the characters off into their own line of merchandising? I, for one, would love to own an Alarma action figure, both in her Fenomenons clothes and her old outfit. Angel, Cheeta Torpeta, Espectra, Golden Girl, the Weeper, Penny Century -- man, I'd easily buy the whole set without thinking twice.
3. Guy Gardner (JK Parkin)
I'm a big fan of the Justice League Unlimited action figure line, which was based on the excellent animated series of the same name. Although the show is gone, the action figure line lives on at Target and online, thanks to Mattel's collector's site.
And the Green Lanterns have been well-represented in the line. John Stewart, of course, has had multiple figures, including a Justice Lord variant. Kyle had his own figure. Sinestro has had a couple. Kilowag, Arkkis Chummuck and Katma Tui have been represented. There was even a Hal Jordan Green Lantern figure made in very limited numbers a few Decembers ago, and in San Diego this year, they'll have a Hal Jordan in his flight suit, along with Abin Sur and another Sinestro.
So who are we missing? Well, the self-proclaimed greatest Green Lantern of all time, Guy Gardner. How else can we act out the "one punch" scene with one of the 1,000 Batman variants they've done unless we have Guy? They could even do a leisure suit variant at some point, as pictured to the right ...
4. Atomic Robo (JK Parkin)
Some characters just scream to be made into action figures, based on their cool design alone. One of those is Brian Clevinger and Scott Wegener's Atomic Robo:
I'm picturing something a little more old school than a simple plastic figure (although that would be nice, too) ... something along the lines of the old G.I. Joe dolls, with all sorts of uniforms that could be changed based on the mission and cool accessories -- one of those being the bomb shown in the image above.
5. Snake and Bacon (Chris Mautner)
If Tony Millionaire's alcoholic crow and monkey can be immortalized in plastic, then why not Michael Kupperman's legendary (and rather hilarious) crime fighters. Squeeze the end of Snake's tail to hear him say "Sssss." Push the end of Bacon to hear it tell you "Wipe me with a paper towel to remove excess grease." Have them fight battles against evil criminals, travel back in time or party with their friends, Mark Twain and Albert Einstein (sold separately).
6. Bandit, Tinker and Pirate from We3 (JK Parkin)
So admittedly, I was influenced a bit by all the love the series is getting in the comments section of last weekend's Six by 6. Artist Frank Quitely's images are already practically jumping off the page, so it wouldn't be hard to imagine 3-D representations of the heroic trio from Vertigo's We3. Make the armor removable, and you can recreate every scene from the book -- from creation until the eventual ending. Kleenex not included.