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10 - Tremors box set, SOTA
SOTA was one of my favorite companies back in the day, producing some great horror figures in their Now Playing series. They used this series to do single figures as well as deluxe boxed sets, like MacReady and the Kennel from The Thing. One of the planned boxed sets was based on the classic film Tremors, a terrific homage to the goofy monster movies of the 50's. The set had Burt blasting one of the Graboids. While the set was never produced, but we did get to see the prototype. BTW, it looks like the Tremors franchise might get a reboot on Amazon, although it's still pre-production at this point. Remember, this is a franchise with 5 movies and a tv show already under it's belt!
9 - Shredder, NECA
NECA has done a lot of great stuff, but regular readers know I really love their take on the comic based Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Way back in 2008 they did the four turtles, and they had plans to add to the line. Shredder was seen at multiple shows, including SDCC. But before he was ever produced, Playmates retook complete control of the license and put an end to that.
Yes, I know that they eventually released a version of him as part of a super limited NYCC exclusive boxed set, which came and went so fast you missed it if you blinked, but he's still on my list.
Photo courtesy of Toy Ark, who have a great article on a variety of unproduced NECA figures.
8 - Captain Kirk/Gene Roddenberry, Palisades
Out of my top ten in this list, Palisades is responsible for three. The first is this terrific box set of Captain Kirk, in his cool captain's chair, accompanied by Gene Roddenberry. This was a wonderful love note to the fans of the original series, and to Roddenberry himself, but along with a ton of other cool concepts from Palisades, it never saw the light of day.
And I wish I had that chair to go with my Mezco Kirk.
Photo courtesy of Piece of the Action, where you can find a terrific article on this set, with lots of additional photos.
7 - Terminator, Palisades
Palisades was responsible for some of my favorite action figure lines: Muppets, Ren and Stimpy, Invader Zim, etc. Their demise left a lot of lines hanging, and just before things went south they announced a number of new licenses for their 4" scale design. They had already done several waves of Army of Darkness figures, and were expanding to Terminator and Aliens. I don't think we ever saw any of the Alien prototypes, but we did see at least two waves of potential Terminator 2 figures at SDCC. Ah, what could have been.
6 - Princess Slug-for-a-butt, EarthWorm Jim, Playmates
I have a special love for animated action figure lines, and Playmates has done a ton over the years. I bought all of their Earthworm Jim toys, a cartoon that never failed to make me laugh. They had a very cool wave planned that included the hysterical Princess Slug-For-A-Butt (as well as Professor Monkey-for-a-head), a character that had to be the influence for the Slurm concept on Futurama. The series made it to the prototype stage, and was even listed in their catalog, but never saw production.
Check out this article on Fistful of Suck for details
on the other figures in this cancelled wave.
5 - Zorro, Flatt World Figures
Once upon a time, I was part owner of an actual action figure company. Yep, we actually made toys. Well, one anyway - Bela Lugosi as Dracula. The company was Flatt World Figures, and one of these days I promise a historical article all about it. But when the company went belly up, we had a number of prototypes produced that I was really looking forward to, including Rocky Horror Picture Show. But my all time favorite was easily Zorro, a character I've loved since watching the Mark of Zorro with Tyrone Power for the very first time on a rainy Saturday afternoon. I grew up on Guy Williams and the Disney show, and even as a youngster, the parallels between this character and Batman were pretty obvious.
We had plans to produce several versions, including Guy Williams (I got to meet with his son to discuss it at one point, which was a great honor), but the first version was to be Antonio Banderas' Mask of Zorro character. The movie was fairly recent at the time. Unfortunately, we didn't get that far, and nothing was produced past the prototype. *sigh*
4 - Ripping Friends, Playmates
In 1991, John Kricfalusi broke ground with his cartoon Ren & Stimpy, and continued to do so later in the 90's when he started the first 'online only' cartoons. Not known for being the easiest to work with, he parted ways with Nickelodeon and the show in 1992, and his next big project was The Ripping Friends, about four superhero brothers. I thought the show was hilarious, but it only lasted 13 episodes. Before the first one ever aired, Playmates Toys picked up the license for characters, and showed prototypes at Toy Fair. However, the show didn't take off, and the line was killed.
3 - Django Unchained, Enterbay
There aren't a lot of sixth scale figures that get announced, get prototyped, get canceled, and I'm saddened. It happens occasionally, but it seems to be far less common than with smaller action figures.
But there was one that broke my heart. As a huge fan of both Tarantino and the film Django Unchained, I was thrilled when Enterbay announced they had the license. NECA was doing a set of 8" figures as well, and I almost pre-ordered them...but the Enterbay announcement killed my interest in anything else. A movie I loved? A western theme? All in sixth scale? That's the perfect trifecta.
Sadly, it was not to be. NECA got their figures out first, but before many of them even hit retailers the complaints from those concerned about the themes of slavery and how 'toys' might be inappropriate started rolling in. The license was pulled, and the few NECA figures that made it out now command big bucks. The true beauties from Enterbay were dead in the water.
Of course, that means I'm *really* excited about the Hateful Eight figures from Asmus now...
2 - Sesame Street, Palisades
One of the other lines left hanging by the end of Palisades was Sesame Street. After the amazing job they did with the Muppets - one of the greatest action figure lines of all time - fans were truly excited to see what they'd do with the Sesame Street brand. We did get a Super Grover, one of their show exclusives who came out before the first regular series. But that was it, and other issues at the company prevented them from ever moving forward with the planned line.
Photo courtesy of Figures.com.
1 - Rabbi Krustofsky, World of Springfield, Playmates
You knew I'd have something from the World of Springfield on this line, if you know anything about me at all. There was plenty to choose from of course, from several different play sets to the most requested fan favorite, Maude Flanders. But I went with Krusty's dad because we had him...almost. They prototyped him, showed him off at Toy Fair, and then...nothing. He was to be part of the second 'celebrity' series figures for WoS, and unlike the NECA Celebrity Series, these were characters voiced by celebrities, not playing themselves. This wave was supposed to have three figures - Lionel Hutz, Brad Goodman, and Rabbi Krustofsky. Rumors at the time said Jackie Mason had an issue with the accessories being disrespectful to his religion, although doing the character on the show didn't seem to bother him. More likely it was merely an issue of money. In any event, the figure was cancelled, and I was deeply disappointed.
Conclusions:I'm not really surprised that Palisades figures so predominately on the list. There have been a lot of companies to come and go, but few have produced both the kind of quality and the sort of licenses that we saw from them. Their end, while not exactly abrupt, did leave a lot of dangling desires out there, and I bet you have a few more not on my list.
If you're enjoying this top ten concept of Captain Toy Picks or have a suggestion for a future list, drop me a line and let me know! I've added a section below with links to all the past Captain Toy Picks... features:
Captain Toy Picks...The People's Paicks for Best of 2016!
Captain Toy Picks...Best/Worst of 2016!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Poppies Winners of the Past Ten Years!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten DC Universe Classics Action Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Christmas Action Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Joker Action Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Superman Action Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Animated Action Figure Series!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Toy Things I'm Thankful For!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Premium Format Statues!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Horror Sixth Scale Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Horror Action Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Sixth Scale Disappointments Over $100!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Sixth Scale Disappointments Under $100!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Palisades Muppets!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Wanted Licenses in Sixth Scale!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Batman Black and White Statues!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Masters of the Universe Classics Action Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Female Action Figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Prop Replicas!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Simpsons World of Springfield action figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Batman action figures!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Sixth Scale Grails!
Captain Toy Picks...Top Ten Sixth Scale Figures!
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