There isn’t a science fiction, horror or fantasy film today made without an action figure to accompany it. They come in all shapes, sizes, and prices. Each tries to get your dollar or the hard-earned allowance of the kids that the action figures are actually made for. There is just one thing that usually sways the consumer, how good the movie is. There are plenty of bombs at the box office which usually signifies the death of a movie toy line. Yet there comes a time when one has to look past the movie and admire the artistry of the action figure. Yes, the movie was awful but there was this awesome action figure. Here is AFJ’s “10 Awesome Action Figures from 10 Awful Movies”. #AFJ4LIFE
10. PLANET OF THE APES (2001)
Tim Burton and the Planet of the Apes seemed like a natural fit. It wasn’t. It has come out that Burton was brought onto the film right before filming began. This does explain how this film, which so many of us had high expectations for, was just plain awful (I still love that ending though). The toys, on the other hand, were a mixed bag of highly detailed ape figures and Marky Mark. The one jewel in this collection is Thade. Proudly riding on his horse Thade invokes that brilliant moment from the original 1968 film when we saw who was riding those horses.
9. DAREDEVIL (2003)
There have been many Daredevil figures over the years. It is a true shame that not nearly as many movies have been made about the man without fear. What wasn’t surprising was that the Daredevil movie toy line consisted of one action figure, a special 12 inch Daredevil in Ben Affleck’s likeness. True there have been better Daredevil figures made but in relation to how awful this movie is this figure is pretty freakin’ sweet.
8. INDEPENDENCE DAY (1996)
I’m sorry, but for all of you that still thrive off of that original hype you’re living in a dream world. Independence Day or ID4 is the first of Roland Emmerich’s destructo-porn movies. It’s big, bloated, packed full of clichés, one-liners, and impractical feats. Even they believed that Russell Casse’s (Randy Quaid) biplane blowing up the alien ship was an awful idea (see the Blu-ray’s Special Features). The toys again were your typical mixed bag of scary aliens, the Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and Seth Brundle. The only completely badass toy in the entire set was the Alien Exoskeleton. If you were lucky you didn’t see this bad boy until after the movie. If you saw him beforehand one part of the film was ruined. Well, it was all pretty much ruined anyway when that dog leaped safely away from that fireball.
7. MASTERS OF THE UNIVERSE (1987)
Imagine if this film would have actually had a budget. It looks like it did but it just was all spent on the beginning and end of the film. The film really didn’t have any help from its star either. Sure, Dolph Lundgren looked the part but he couldn’t act. Didn’t the role of Ivan Drago in Rocky 4 prove that? The only figure in this entire debacle worth picking up is Blade.
6. WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE (2009)
If only the movie would have been as good as that trailer. I am willing to accept the fact that maybe this is a film for kids. However, I certainly wouldn’t want my kids to imitate Max and his monsters. The book is timeless and thankfully the movie did bring new action figures to the market. These vinyl dolls by Medicom Toys are a true treat. Despite how awful the movie was (to someone of my age) at least our children can act out the book with their own Wild Things action figures.
5. THE WOLFMAN (2010)
This figure, by Mezco Toyz, is a true cinematic wonder. If only the craftsmanship that went into this figure would have found its way into the film, the original cut. I actually like the director’s cut a lot. It should be the easy figure to find on secondary markets since the film has bombed at the box office.
4. DEATH PROOF (2007)
I loved Planet Terror. With its gore, humor and cheesy one-liners, it is a perfect grindhouse movie. Death Proof, on the other hand, is a lot talking between bitches complaining, scheming and out for a good time. I don’t want Kurt Russell’s Stuntman Mike to be the bad guy and even then a crying bitch too. I want him to be that badass we saw in the trailer. NECA toys did turn out a few action figures, though no car for some odd reason, and there was a breathtaking sculpt of Russell as Stuntman Mike. To this day it is one of the best action figures I have ever seen.
3. STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE (1999)
I know that I am opening a can of worms with this one but you know it’s true. For those you that still haven’t seen the light just watch The Clone Wars TV show, that is the prequel we hoped to see back in 1999. The Phantom Menace doesn’t really get better with age and neither do the toys, save one. The Electronic Talking Darth Maul is the true gem in the Episode One collection. It is one of the best 12-inch figures to come out of that line and it buries its 12-inch predecessor. This Darth Maul is as good as a 12-inch figure can get without being a Sideshow Collectible.
2. TERMINATOR SALVATION (2009)
It would be easy to list a Sideshow Collectible for practically every movie on this list. I’ve decided to list John Connor here as the only Sideshow Collectible for two of reasons. The first being that none of the Playmates action figures even had his likeness. There were John Connor figures made but their faces were all covered. Second, just look at this damn thing, it practically breathes. It is as if they cloned Christian Bale and made tiny versions of him to sell.
1. AVP: ALIEN VS. PREDATOR (2004)
There isn’t a movie on this list that doesn’t have a gap in quality as wide as the Alien Vs Predator films and its toys. The films are nothing more than studio boards and focus groups hammering out some tired ideas. The figures, on the other hand, are pure genius. The people behind NECA toys should really be in charge of the Alien Vs Predator franchise. It seems as if they are the only ones that really have any reverence for the properties since Aliens (1986) debuted.