Like any competitive business always eyeing the next big thing, the toy industry can be pretty cutthroat. However, there is the occasion for Junkies to rejoice when you come to meet one of the genuine good guys in the toy game that has successfully navigated the waters of the jam-packed world of toys. When I first heard that a company out of California named Beeline Creative was producing 13-inch PULP FICTION action figures with a talking function, I immediately sought them out. Fortunately, the President of Beeline Creative is Brandon Giraldez who is by far one of the nicest, most enthusiastic, approachable & well-informed toy industry execs I have come across. Immediately in our emails and phone conversations, we were able to find a common ground rapport and a mutual love of 80's films. He also had some terrific stories from the trenches of the toy world that he let me in on structuring his true toy tales with the storytelling ability of a bestselling author. Brandon epitomizes what is good about the toy industry, taking away the stigma of the buttoned-up suits who are the brass of the giant mass-market companies only concerned with shifts in their stock options. Beeline Creative is active among the social media scene and Brandon is at the ready to answer any questions from fans & Junkies alike. Here is a guy that went out on his own and started a company and in a very short time along with his loyal team of "busy bees" has acquired A-list licenses like STAR WARS, The X-Files, PULP FICTION, Bob's Burgers, GAME OF THRONES, my beloved PSYCH and a bunch more too numerous to mention. On top of that impressive roster, Brandon and his team were hard at work at Toy Fair '16 to secure even more high-profile licenses that will take Beeline Creative to the next level in their impressive product lines.
Now without any further ado, I finally get to sit down with the brilliant first wave of 13-inch PULP FICTION figures. Simply stated, these are the best figures from the genre-defining film of the '90s. The first wave of three figures consists of hitmen Jules Winnfield & Vincent Vega along with Jules' acquaintance Jimmie Dimmick in Toluca Lake, California who assists the pair in taking care of "The Bonnie Situation" as well as poor, poor Marvin. So lifelike and realistic are the figures that you seriously cannot stop looking at each figure in their cardboard and plastic housing. While a lot of toys out there have the obligatory "TRY ME" button so you can press and hear a sound effect or see a light show of what the toy does, Beeline has turned that old trick on its head. Their PULP FICTION figures have that same button with one caveat, their button says, "TRY ME MOTHER F*CKER!" Classic.
VINCENT VEGA 13-INCH TALKING FIGURE
John Travolta's career was pretty stagnant in the '80s and with the exception of Brian DePalma's underrated Blow Out, his biggest hit was in the cutesy talking baby series Look Who's Talking. It was a dark time for the actor that exploded onto the scene in the late '70s as "Barbarino" on Welcome Back, Kotter and back to back worldwide smash hits Grease & Saturday Night Fever. The upstart director of the breakout hit Reservoir Dogs who is known for his obsession with 70's cinema, was keen on casting Travolta as the heroin-addicted but affable hitman Vincent Vega and restore his A-list status in a very unforgiving Hollywood where only your last hit matters. Tarantino's gamble paid off and the 70's icon that defined disco in a white suit while pointing towards God on the dance floor was once again a very big deal in Hollywood scoring a Best Actor Oscar nomination. Over twenty years later and countless hits later, Travolta has cemented his icon status.
However, if not for Tarantino's casting of Travolta in his magnum opus that took home the top honors at the Cannes Film Festival, the actor may have been relegated to straight to video films for the duration of his acting career. His portrayal of Vincent Vega was explosive in the radically different narrative structure that flipped the classic three-act film with a definitive beginning, middle and ends completely on its head. However as Reservoir Dogs action figures were eventually rolled out, it seemed that Tarantino's masterpiece was in the toy industry equivalent of the Hollywood affliction of "development hell." No one seemed to have a figure or a mold ready to go and certainly not one at a towering 13-inch stature. In a MEGO-style mix of old-school toy-making and brilliant digital likenesses, Beeline Creative ensures that you are bringing home the closest version to John Travolta into your figure collection short of inviting the actor over for a Sunday Italian dinner.
The clothes are instantly recognizable as the official uniform of the PULP FICTION hitmen. The simple black suit and tie seem to be an expansion on the gangsters from Reservoir Dogs a few years earlier. Made with the flair of a red carpet Armani suit with fashionista reporters barking, "Who are you wearing?" at a red carpet awards ceremony, the decision to make the actual suits for these figures with real fabric and cloth was an absolute coup. It looks amazing and it gives the character the relaxed look of a regular guy who just happens to have a very dangerous job. The facial likeness is scarily accurate right down to Travolta's signature chin cleft that made him a movie star. The long hair that Vincent sported in the movie looks fully manageable on the figure and is so lifelike that it actually looks like you can comb it if need be. These are some of the first figures outside of something you have to sign over a mortgage payment for with absolute spitting images of the actors that played these iconic characters. Remember, this the first action figure in HISTORY to ever feature the officially granted likeness rights to John Travolta. And let's not forget the feature that is the absolute cherry on top of the $5 dollar milkshake at Jack Rabbit Slims--this figure talks in an explicit fashion. Here is what Vincent has to say when you press the appropriate function in his mid-section. The figure also comes complete with a removable gun accessory and is recommended for ages 17 and up. The figure requires 4x "LR44" button cell batteries, included. Batteries can be removed. An instruction sheet is included on how to replace batteries.
The PULP FICTION Vincent Vega 13-Inch Talking Action Figure speaks the following 12 explicit phrases:
"Alright. Well, you can walk into a movie theater in Amsterdam and buy a beer. And I don't mean just like in no paper cup, I'm talking about a glass of beer. And in Paris, you can buy a beer at McDonald's. And you know what they call a Quarter Pounder with Cheese in Paris?"
"Nah, man, they got the metric system. They wouldn't know what the f*** a Quarter Pounder is."
"They call it a 'Royale with cheese.'"
"Play with matches, you get burned."
"I ain't saying it's right, but you're saying a foot massage don't mean nothin' and I'm saying it does. Now look, I've given a million ladies million-foot massages and they ALL meant something. Now we act like they don't but they do, that's what's so f***in' cool about it. There's a sensuous thing going on, where even if you don't talk about it, you know, she knows it. F***in' Marcellus knew it and Antwone should have f***in' better known better."
"Chill Jules, this sh** happens."
"Do you wanna continue this theological discussion in the car, or in the jailhouse with the cops?"
"Alright, it was a miracle, can we go now?"
"Aw man! I shot Marvin in the face!"
"Chill out, man! I told you it was an accident! You probably went over a bump."
"I was washing 'em. But this sh**'s hard to get off. Maybe if you had Lava, I coulda have done a better job."
"I got a threshold, Jules. I got a threshold for the abuse that I will take. Now, right now, I'm a f***in' racecar, right, and you got me the red. And I'm just sayin', I'm just sayin' that its f***in' dangerous to have a race car in the f***in' red. That's all. I could blow."
JULES WINNFIELD 13-INCH TALKING FIGURE
Despite actor Samuel L. Jackson is one of the hardest working actors in show business over the past two decades, he toiled away for years at his craft as a virtual unknown. To me, it was his performance as a crack-addicted New Yorker in Spike Lee's Jungle Fever that cemented him in my mind as a seriously talented actor. His performance as the smooth-talking LA hitman Jules Winnfield made him a hot commodity and the Oscar-nominated actor has never looked back. The Jheri Curled gangster and loyal follower of Marcellus Wallace who doesn't dig on swine and is hooked on quoting scripture before rubbing someone out, Jules Winnfield and SLJ became a tremendous addition to the pop culture landscape.
Saying "What" again has never been so fun with this amazingly accurate figure with the spitting image of the Academy Award-nominated actor. Not only do you get the hand-stitched suit and tie, but Jules also comes with a removable gun, the mysterious numbered briefcase that I am still speculating on what it's contents are (The disembodied soul of Marcellus Wallace? The jewels from Reservoir Dogs? I NEED TO KNOW!), a gold bracelet and his iconic wallet that says "Bad Mother F***er" on it. I love these little additions that make the figure that much more authentic and winning. It is a proud nod from Beeline to the collector saying that they full well understand what Junkies want in a figure and are all about originality & authenticity. This will look amazing on your shelf as it does on mine. With the right lighting and funky surf music going in the background, it feels like you own a slice of cinematic Americana in action figure form. I love it. Ages 17 and up. Requires 4x "LR44" button cell batteries, included. Batteries can be removed. The instruction sheet is included on how to replace batteries.
The PULP FICTION Jules Winnfield 13-Inch Talking Action Figure speaks the following explicit phrases:
"Touching his wife's feet and sticking your tongue in the holiest of holes ain't the same f***ing ballpark. It ain't the same league, it ain't even the same f***in' sport. Foot massages don't mean sh**."
"Don't be telling me about foot massages, I'm the foot-f***ing master!"
"Mmmmmmm! This is a tasty burger!"
"Oh, I'm sorry... Did I break your concentration?"
"English, mother f***er, do you speak it?"
"Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you mother f***er, say 'what' one more Goddamn time!" "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger and those who attempt to poison and destroy my brothers and you will know my name is the lord when I lay my vengeance upon thee."
"God came down from heaven, and stopped these mother f***ing bullets."
"We should be f***in' dead now, my friend! What happened here was a miracle, and I want you to f***ing acknowledge it!"
"I used the same f***in' soap you did and when I got finished, the towel didn't look like no goddamn Maxi-Pad!"
"Well, I'm a mushroom-cloud-layin' mother f***er, mother f***er! Every time my fingers touch brain, I'm Superfly T.N.T., I'm the Guns of the Navarone! IN FACT, WHAT THE F*** AM I DOIN' IN THE BACK? YOU'RE THE MOTHER F***ER WHO SHOULD BE ON BRAIN DETAIL!"
Sometimes the old "director as actor" trick fails miserably but Tarantino managed to pull off his random role as a friend of Jules that can help him out in a very delicate and literally sticky situation perfectly. You gotta love that QT has plastered his mug all over his brand over the past twenty-plus years so it was only natural that a figure be made of the Jimmie Dimmick character who happens to be in the right place at the right time when two bloody gangsters seriously need a pit-stop to clean up, not only themselves but their car that has bloody remnants of an accidentally exploded cranium all over the back seat. On top of that, there is "The Bonnie Situation" to consider. Jimmie's briefly seen wife that could literally walk in at any given moment. You have to hand it to Quentin, he has some real zingers in his brief scenes with the screen legends and later on with Mr. Winston Wolf himself who assures him that all will be well even if Jimmie has to get rid of Aunt Ginny's comforter.
The just woke up Jimmie figure in his orange robe and white "Del Boca Vista" style slippers are absolutely perfect. The facial sculpt is absolutely dead on and Brandon and his crew even managed to coif the famous director's "just woke up" hair from the scene when the character of Jimmie is introduced. Jimmie is the perfect compliment character to round out the first wave of Pulp Fiction figures that Beeline has produced because despite his short tenure on screen, he is an incredibly important character in the mythos in the unorthodox narrative that still to this day continues to wow me because of its incredible ingenuity and out of order editing that fulfills the entire story in the most original story structure I have ever seen at the movies. Often copied and attempted to be paid homage in countless films since Pulp Fiction premiered, it is a Tarantino hallmark that he and he only has been able to flawlessly pull off.
To say that these three figures are incredible is an absolute understatement because they are serious transcendental works of art. Not only are they conversation starters for anyone viewing your collection, but each of the iconic characters also speaks the actual lines in all of their R-Rated explicit glory. Having the figures talk may sound to some like an old gimmick to move mass-market figures but here they remind you of sitting in the theater and witnessing history on celluloid. To see the culmination of this project in action figure form is nothing short of astonishing. There are lines of dialogue that the figures say which have permeated all of cinema and established an entirely new breed of cinematic screenwriting. So these are must-have additions to those die-hard fans of Tarantino but of the movie that altered the direction of modern-day independent film making. Here are the details of what Jimmie has to say along with some further details on the final figure in the first wave.
Ages 17 and up. Requires 4x "LR44" button cell batteries, included. Batteries can be removed. The instruction sheet is included on how to replace batteries.
"Knock it off, Julie."
"I don't need you to tell me how f***ing good my coffee is, okay? I'm the one who buys it. I know how good it is. When Bonnie goes shopping she buys SH**. I buy the gourmet expensive stuff because when I drink it I want to taste it. But you know what's on my mind right now? It AIN'T the coffee in my kitchen.
"Don't you f***ing realize man that if Bonnie comes home and finds a dead body in her house I'm gonna get divorced. No marriage counselling, no trial separation, I'm gonna get f***in' divorced."
"Don't f***ing Jimmie me, Jules!"
"You gotta make some phone calls, you gotta call some people, well then do it, and then get the f*** out of my house before she gets here!"
"You don't want to f*** my sh** up, your f***ing my sh** up right now. You're gonna f*** my shit up big time if Bonnie comes home.
"Dorks. They look like a couple of dorks."