The PopCult Toybox: Amazing Heroes

August 12, 2014 by rudy panucci

10473419_336611666491342_7744067053891744493a_n59739_346150655537443_5718225460002672084_nI’ve mentioned the Amazing Heroes action figure Kickstarter campaign a couple of times here in PopCult because of their inclusion of Captain Action in the line, but this week we’re going to take a closer look at the entire project.

Fresh Monkey Fiction has come up with a very cool idea–creating 1980’s style action figure of some of the classic, now-public-domain superheroes from the 1940s.  With less than two weeks left in the campaign, they are more than half-way to their goal.

The Amazing Heroes figures are 4.5″ action figures, made in the style of the mid-1980s Marvel Secret Wars line by Mattel. Although this sort of figure is not as popular among customizers as MEGO, 12″ figures or 3 3/4″ figures, there has been some impressive work done in this scale by some very talented customizers.

One of those customizers is Bill Murphy. Here’s what he says about his favorite action figures…

Imagine you’re a kid in the 1980s, surrounded by action figures of every movie, TV, and comic book character you can imagine, all brought to life in molded plastic.

Now imagine you’re the weird kid, like me, who was in to that lost corner of comics, the dusty back issues from the 1940s the other kids never heard of–The original Daredevil. Stardust, the Super-Wizard. The Black Terror. Silver Streak. Then throw in a long-lost toy line like Captain Action.

Let’s just say my homemade figures of these guys got me laughed at on the playground. Lots.

Flash forward thirty years and I’m now a grown man who knows how to make real action figures, one who has found more weird kids like me who love that lost old stuff. You know, the stories where men were men who fought for what was right, heroes who put down dictators and villains bent on subjugation. They weren’t just super heroes, they were AMAZING HEROES.

I have to admit that Murphy’s enthusiasm is infectious. I too have a great love of obscure Golden Age superheroes, and it’s going to be cool to see these figures become a three-dimensional reality. I don’t have the great affection that Murphy does for the Marvel Secret Wars style action figures. First, I was in my twenties and married (on the way to being divorced) when they were released. Second, I’ve always been more of a DC Comics kind of guy.

d6fdbc28313ecf31c007922aeb560850_largeIt took a little convincing for me to come to like this proposed action figure line. The inclusion of Captain Action in a hitherto unseen scale was enough to get me to kick in, but I also like the idea of seeing characters like The Black Terror, the original Daredevil and Stardust, The Super Wizard immortalized in plastic. Check out the video…

10530722_336611479824694_1692300760502912333a_nFolks who grew up with the Marvel Secret Wars action figures are currently of the prime age of nostalgia for toy collectors, and having a fresh new set of characters is certainly a cool treat, especially since many of the heroes are now in the public domain and have been used in comic books by Alan Moore and Eric Larsen. Including Captain Action in this project was a win-win that exposes Captain Action to collectors of a new scale, and attracts fans of the good Captain to a line of figures in a scale and style that came to be after most of our (initial) toy-buying years.

In addition to the four figures I mentioned above, one bad guy, The Blank Slate, one of Daredevil’s foes in also available (he also doubles as a customizable figure with no features). There will also be a limited edition of The Green Turtle, the first Asian-American superhero. There are also some very exclusive figures for the high-dollar donors to this project. If the stretch goals are met, The Silver Streak and the Champion of Mars will be produced, along with some other cool super dudes.

line up

This is a fun project and the Kickstarter page is loaded with lots of cool links to the background of these superheroes and to the creators who have whelped bring this project to life. If you are a child of the 1980s and have a fondness for the lesser-known superheroes, then this Kickstarter Campaign may be right up your alley.

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