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Official Article

5 Coolest Retro Skeleton Action Figures

I think it's safe to say that next to Jack O' Lantern's, Skeleton's are the official mascot of Halloween. Luckily, during the rest of the year they also have a history of being some of the most memorable offerings from many old school toy lines. So let's revisit the 5 Coolest Retro Skeleton Action Figures and get spooky along the way.

Baron Dark, Skeleton Warriors


During my rabid action figure collecting in the early to mid 90's, no figures were more prevalent on store shelves than Skeleton Warriors. Created by Playmates, the same company that brought us the classic TMNT figures, these battlin' bone heads had some pretty great detail with a paint job that made them look authentically war worn. Of all the ghoulish gladiators in the line, the one that always caught my eye was Baron Dark. It's kind of hard to dismiss the majesty of a Pirate hat and flowing cape, don't you agree? Plus he had a killer skull belt buckle, which made it clear that this Baron took no prisoners. Now on to a guy who had a prominent spot in my toy collection growing up.

Bad To The Bone, The Real Ghostbusters


Not only was this tough guy part of the initial wave of ghosts who were destined to be busted by Egon and the crew, Bad To The Bone was also the most interactive. He could distract a hero with his bulging yellow eyes, then use his hollow chest and rib cage to capture Venkman, Spengler, Stantz or Zeddemore. The fact that he didn't have any legs made him extra creepy. Can you imagine this freakazoid hopping after you, bones rattling while jabbering away with a constant "Ay-yi-yi-yi-yi". Why have I proclaimed this to be Bad To The Bones' catch phrase? Couldn't tell ya. But take a good look at this guy and tell me that isn't exactly what you picture him sounding like.

Grim Reaper, Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure


Looking nothing like his big screen counterpart, the Grim Reaper from the Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure toy line is still a most non-heinous action figure. He's total punk rock! Look at that electric blue mohawk and skull-shaped guitar, he is ready to rattle some bones. I do think they missed a big opportunity to make the head of the guitar a scythe, but he still looks cool with shredded pants and vest combo. You know, the more I look at him, I don't think this toy was supposed to be the Grim Reaper at all, it's obviously the desiccated remains of Mr. T as B.A. Barracus from the A-Team. He wasn't meant to hold a guitar, but a machine gun! Wow, Kenner got dark, man.

Scareglow, Masters of the Universe


By now, many of you have been thinking, "Where's the most iconic 80's skeleton of all? Skeletor?!" To this I say, let's look at the facts. Yes, the terror of Eternia has a skull-like face, but his body is full on muscly blue mutant. NOT a skeleton. Scareglow on the other hand is clearly skeletal in nature, or is he? Billed as the "Evil Ghost of Skeletor", there appears to have been some confusion on the part of Mattel's packaging department, but there should be no question in our minds. He's clearly a glowing skeleton on the package art and the figure itself has obvious bone shading all over the place. Maybe in Eternia the dead don't turn into ghosts, they just fleshlessly roam the halls of Castle Grayskull wearing jaunty capes.Either way Scareglow is awesome for one reason above all others, Glow-In-The-Dark ghoul-flesh, 'nuff said.

Skull, Evil Leader, Super Naturals


All of the above figures are great, but when you wanted to pull out all the stops in the world of 80's toys there was one surefire way to do it, Holograms! Super Naturals by Tonka did this by replacing the chest and face with monstrous holographic images, the most effective of which was the Skull, Evil Leader variety. Is this creature not terrifying? Missing an eye and flashing that devilish smile, Skull wants there to be no doubt in your mind, he's going to eat your soul. For some reason he also strapped dozens of Q-Tips to his arms and legs. Apparently evil skeleton warlords have a lot of earwax buildup. 

So what is your favorite skeleton like action figure or toy? Did you own any of these?

Roll them bones on over to Twitter and share your thoughts @hojukoolander

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Poshy2005 Posted on Oct 26, 2015 at 07:10 PM

Very cool. if you are looking for another Baron Dark or Skeleton Warrior figs there is a website called October Toys who are selling remakes of them.

NLogan Posted on Oct 07, 2015 at 04:45 AM

Jeez, I'm out of it for a little while, everyone gets delusions of grandeur! Well I can't ride on the Hojuman's coat tails I'll have to come up with something else on my own.

Hoju Koolander Posted on Oct 07, 2015 at 02:16 AM

@NLogan T-800 and Bone Age almost made an appearance in the list, but it sounds like you have an article yourself to write ;) Great to hear from you again, man!

NLogan Posted on Oct 04, 2015 at 06:36 PM

Like a ninja, move like the wind, blend into shadow, silent like the grave, never be seen that is my motto. Especially when trying to escape a public bathroom I have destroyed after waiting until it is completely vacated before hastily making my exit from the stall before blame can be placed.

Also I just realized my favorite skeleton figures are all made by Mattel Charon from Clash of the Titans, Scareglow and Skeletor from Masters of the Universe.

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 04, 2015 at 05:04 PM

Well all I can say to that is... NLogan!!! Long time no see.

NLogan Posted on Oct 04, 2015 at 10:07 AM



Charon the Boatman of the Clash of the Titans figure line and Scareglow of the Masters of the Universe top my list along with Skeletor. Here are a few more not mentioned: The entire MTC Nightmare Warriors figures line were skeletons from different eras Major Bones WWII Soldier, Spartacus Roman Legionnaire, Geronimo Indian Warrior, Sir Lancelot Knight, Captain Kid Pirate, and Pancho Villa Revolutionary. Ribs and Crossbones of Remco's Pirates of the Galaxseas line, Skullman and Skullface of the Remco Warrior Beasts line, Jewel Thief of the Remco Conan line, Skulkur of the Hasbro Conan line, the Skeletons of Sith and the Lich of LJN's Advanced Dungeons and Dragons PVC figures line, Prime Evil and Scared Stiff of Shaper's Filmation's Ghostbusters figures line, T-800 Endoskeleton of Kenner's Terminator 2 line, D Compose of Hasbro's Inhumanoids line, and all of Kenner's skeletal dinosaurs of the Bone Age figures line.

Rick Ace Rhodes Posted on Oct 03, 2015 at 02:53 AM

I might be the only person on this planet who doesn't like Scare Glow over the original Skeletor.

Vaporman87 Posted on Oct 02, 2015 at 08:08 PM

YES! You included Scare Glow... easily my favorite "baddie" in the entire 80's MOTU line. And I never owned him. Nope. He was one that eluded me, even though I always wanted him. Needless to say I was happy to get multiples of him when the Classics line arrived. And he's still awesome. Glow-in-the-dark, wicked bladed scythe, wrist band and chain with a Castle Grayskull lid and a special key inside... just awesome.


Aside from that, I was thinking Bad-To-The-Bone's catch phrase should instead be that sound that Goofy makes when he falls off a cliff. AHHH hoo hoo wee!

Even in death, Mr. T can kick the butts of fools.

And yes, earwax is an issue all skeletons deal with, but are too embarrassed to bring to the attention of medical professionals.

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