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Official Article

Action Figure Reclamation Project Phase 5

It’s been a while since I provided an update to my Action Figure Reclamation Project where I've been seeking to re-build my childhood toy collection, but that doesn’t mean I haven’t been scouring thrift stores and garage sales for plastic treasures. So let me show you the latest additions to my toy shelf.

C.O.P.S. N’ Crooks, Hasbro (1988)

I watched a lot of the C.O.P.S. cartoon growing up and enjoyed seeing Bulletproof lead his special police force against the evil gang of Big Boss, Buttons McBoomBoom and the rest. More specifically, I remember my brother-in-law kindly taking a 6 year old me to the local Toys R’ Us with the goal of picking up a few of these figures, which really stood out on the pegs thanks to their large size and awesome box art. Ironically enough I found this trio of Officer Bowser, Sgt. Mace and Hardtop at an antique store while visiting my older sister a few months ago, so it seems the two are forever connected in my heart and mind.

Snap-Up Swamp Thing, Kenner (1991)

In a previous installment I was excited about being reunited with Snare-Arm Swamp Thing, but this variant has an equally awesome action feature. You see, Swamp Thing is made of whatever swamp muck is around him, so this figure allows you to imagine the pieces coming together to form the boggy, soggy hero by pushing a button on his back to make the loose limbs snap into a solid form. Incidentally this year is the 30th anniversary of The Return of Swamp Thing movie which is a ton of fun and worth tracking down.

This Guy, Origin Unknown

So this guys came in a grab bag which contained most of the figures featured in this article and I have no idea what he’s supposed to be. He kind of looks like Super Ninja from Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos, but his head has more of an anime feel, like some goofy reject from Dragonball Z. It seems likely that he is a bootleg of some sort, but he’s a very solid figure with some great articulation, so he’s certainly not cheap. I’m sure NLogan can identify him with a few strokes of the keyboard, but if you can identify him first you’ll earn a virtual high five from yours truly.

Jitsu, Masters of the Universe, 1984

This evil master of martial arts never made his way into my He-Man collection as a kid, but he was a great foe for Eternia's bearded champion, Fisto. The Ying to his Yang, if you will. Though my Jitsu did not come with his complete armor or weapon, there is a silver, er, gold lining. You might recall my 10 year old cousin who I interviewed about his vintage Masters of the Universe collection in this article. Well he happens to have and extra set of Jitsu armor and is sending it my way. It’s all about who you know in the collecting world..

McDonald’s Changeables, (1987-1990)

Man, do these little guys pack a nostalgic punch. Though not a complete set or even from the same series, these transforming McDonald’s food items were Top 5 Happy Meal premiums for me in my younger days. There is an extra bit a excitement now as they represent the long abandoned packaging design for iconic menu items of days gone by, especially the environmentally unfriendly styrofoam of the old Hotcakes and Chicken McNuggets boxes. My kids instantly claimed these when I brought them home (my daughter is playing with them as I write this article), proving that these little guys are a timeless idea that McDonald’s needs to bring back ASAP.

Bend-Ems Green Ranger, Fred Flintstone and Harry (90s)

On a recent garage sale outing I was super psyched by a table covered in VHS tapes, unfortunately upon closer inspection they were all water damaged, which dampened my own mood. Luckily when digging through a random bin of filthy toys I found these relics from the 90s. Bend-Ems were a brand of toys that carried a myriad of licenses from Battletoads to X-Men to Star Wars back in the day and the disparate nature of these characters really shows their reach. 

We begin with Tommy, The Green Ranger next to John Goodman as Fred Flintstone in Executive Outfit from the live action Flintstones movie and rounding out the trio is bigfoot himself, Harry from “and the Hendersons” fame. What would it take to get a crossover film starring these guys? At least 2 of them are Universal Studios films, so never say never.

Well, that’s it for this round of action figure fun. I have more figures on the way courtesy of family and friends with keen eyes for my favorite things, so stay tuned for the next installment. Now tell me, which of these figures hit your nostalgia button the most?

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OldSchool80s Posted on May 18, 2019 at 05:18 PM

The treasure hunt itself might be more fun than some of the finds. Think it is so cool that you are on this expedition. I try to pick some up if I come across them, but not actively scouring for them. Good work! Jitsu is my favorite of this bunch.

jkatz Posted on May 17, 2019 at 09:28 PM

Jitsu looks like an Asian Mr. T.

NLogan Posted on May 16, 2019 at 11:03 PM

Ninja commando action figure generic from China, no name (six styles) is your purple masked black belt ninja. 90s dollar store knock off. One even reuses a Chuck Norris Karate Kommandos Ninja Warrior head. Came in various color schemes.

Mr Magic Posted on May 16, 2019 at 03:48 PM

I remember my Green Ranger figure and talking 6 1/2 inch White Ranger.

Vaporman87 Posted on May 16, 2019 at 03:33 PM

A Harry and The Hendersons toy? What the heck? Talk about something totally out of left field. I had no clue there was ever ANY merchandise from that film aside from maybe a poster. Wow.

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