Action Figures

By Michael J. Legeros

Hydra Slaying Hercules?  Battle Gear Bruce Wayne??  Ian Malcolm -
Chaos Expert?!?  Yup, it's that time of year again, when blockbust-
ers beget blister-packs and the stores are alive with the sound of
whining.  Over the weekend, I scanned the racks of a local discount
house, trying to take in all that is accessorized about HERCULES,
THE LOST WORLD, and BATMAN AND ROBIN.  No, I didn't spy anything
quite as a daft as a Kevin Costner WATERWORLD doll.  Nor did I get
a woody from a plastic Batgirl.  But, by the thirtieth or so super-
hero, I'd seen enough trademarked toy names to make a Superlative
Slinging Movie Critic's spring-loaded head spin.

For the wee ones, not yet testosterone poisoned, they're these from
HERCULES:  Tribow Hercules, Hydra Slaying Hercules, Sword Fighting
Hercules, Muscle Grow Hercules (available soon!), Fireball Shooting
Hades (is there any other kind?), Lightning Bolt Zeus (an asterisk
notes that the figure is "inspired" by the film, so I guess that
the big guy doesn't throw the old bolts around in the movie), and,
my favorite, Terrifying Hydra, which, regrettably, won't be avail-
able until "Fall, 1997."

Kids who like their toys with a little more bite-- so they can re-
create the more graphic sequences of their favorite movies-- will
undoubtedly enjoy THE LOST WORLD collection, which includes Eddie
Carr - Master Mechanic, Ian Malcolm - Chaos Expert, Dieter Stark -
Weapons Analyst, Nick Van Owen - Video Expert (also armed with a
Paralyzing Spray Blaster), Eddie Carr with Dino-Snare Dirtbike,
Pachycephalosaurus (code name "Ram Head"), Velociraptor, Electronic
Chasmasaurus, Electronic Spinosaurus, Giant Pteranodon (also known
by its dangerous code name "Steel Beak") and, not to be missed,
Glider Pack with Ian Malcolm.  Funny, I must've missed the scene
with Jeff Goldblum riding a rocket-launching hang-glider.

The real kick-ass collection-- playthings that promise the greatest
number of hours of gratuitous plastic-on-plastic violence-- is from
BATMAN AND ROBIN.  Here's what $70 can buy:  Hover Attack Batman,
Blast Wing Batman, Heat Scan Batman (with Opti Scope Launcher and
Laser Ray Emitters), Battle Gear Bruce Wayne, Iceboard Robin, Night
Hunter Robin (packaged with Evil Entrapment Poison Ivy, who doesn't
look a thing like Uma Thurman), Razor Skate Robin, Glacier Battle
Robin, and a modestly endowed Batgirl, with a nasty-looking Strike
Scythe, for use against supervillians or when the Boy Wonder gets

Of course, Batfans have it best.  In addition to the new movie, I
counted *four* other Bat collections.  Included among the BATMAN
ADVENTURES OF BATMAN AND ROBIN series are Spline Cape Batman, As-
sault Gauntlet Batman, Neural Claw Batman (Neural Claw?), Silver
Knight Batman, Flight Pack Batman, Desert Knight Batman, Dark War-
rior Batman, Power Guardian Batman, Buccaneer Batman (Holy Jolly
Roger!), Ultra Armor Batman, Knightsend Batman, Viking Batman, Tur-
bo Surge Batman, Vector Wing Batman, Power Beacon Batman, Long Bow
Batman (but does it outsell Kevin Costner's ROBIN HOOD doll?), Son-
ar Sensor Batman, Night Hunter Batman, Blast Cape Batman, Fireguard
Batman, Attack Wing Batman, and, yes, Samurai Batman.  Obviously,
the latter bearing no relation to the rejected skit from "Saturday
Night Live."  Rest in peace Mr. Belushi.

Copyright 1997 Michael J. Legeros


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