PopCult Rudy Panucci on Pop Culture

The 2016 PopCult Gift Guide: Captain Action Card Game

14884551_10210847699171568_5579749299001068931_oThe new card game that celebrates the 50th anniversary of Captain Action is available now. This new card game celebrates the 50th anniversary of the first superhero action figure, Captain Action. The game features all the characters from the Captain Action mythos: Action Boy and his pet black panther, Khem, Lady Action and the diabolical Dr. Evil. You can expect classic art from legendary comics artists such as Murphy Anderson and Carmine Infantino, plus fan-favorite comics artists, including Jerry Ordway, Paul Gulacy and Kerry Callen.

The game offers 3-in-1 gameplay, just like the classic Captain Action card game. with three fun ways to play: Let Justice Be Done! is a casual game is for three or four players. Each player’s goal is to create the highest number of sets of 3 or more matching cards. Cards can form sets with the same background color (3+periwinkle backgrounds) or the same character (3+ Lady Actions). Action Boy is helping Captain Action, so any Action Boys in a set count double at the end.

giftguide-graphic-008Lady Action’s Escape is for three or four players. Each player’s goal is to discard all their cards before the others can do the same thing. The storyline is that the team is trapped in Dr. Evil’s prison! Lady Action has devised a way out, but they’ll have to be sneaky. Each person needs to carefully follow the person in front of them. Lady Action might find a different escape route… you’ll have to follow her if she does!

Find Dr. Evil is a simple game is for young fans of Captain Action.The object is to catch Dr. Evil by ending the game with him in your hand.In the storyline Dr Evil is in disguise! The team must flush him out of hiding! The object of game is to end up with Dr. Evil in your hand.

14992045_10154058671578857_6793925091387755628_nThis is a great way to keep the spirit of Captain Action alive while we wait on the next toyline and the cartoon series, plus it’s a fun way to brainwash young children into wanting Captain Action so that they can play with him, too.

You can order this game, which is an homage to the highly-valuable Captain Action Kool Pops mail-in game from fifty years ago, from the Gamecrafter, where it’ll set you back 26 bucks, which is a bargain compared to what you’d pay for the original Kool Pops card game. I’ve been telling you about Captain Action since the beginning of PopCult, and you have to know that this game is a toy-collector’s dream, perfect for the vintage toy afficianado on your holiday shopping list.

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PopCult at Toy Fair: Captain Action

The PopCult Toybox

ckrtlab-toys-captian-action-50-years-celebrating-vinyl-figuresIn this video, your PopCulteer sits down for a quick chat with Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn of Captain Action Enterprises. 2016 is the 50th anniversary of Captain Action and Ed and Joe show off a couple of cool products to commemorate the good Captain’s golden anniversary.

We talk a little bit about what the future holds for Captain Action, including a special Ultraman costume set. But the big news is that there is still plenty of big news coming. We can expect a huge announcement about Captain Action later this year, hopefully in time for the San Diego Comic Con.

As a totally irrelevant aside, this video clip is the 500th YouTube clip posted by yours truly. You can check out our messy and crowded YouTube page HERE. It’s really cool to share our milestone with Captain Action’s.

Captain Action Turns Fifty!

PT CA 01The PopCult Toybox

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago in the PopCulteer, 2016 marks the fiftieth anniversary for many pop culture icons and notable cool things.  One of my favorite notable cool things is Captain Action, the first fully poseable superhero action figure. I’ve been writing about him since the very first month of PopCult but for those of you coming in late, the good Captain was released in 1966 during the peak of the mid-60’s superhero craze.

Captain Action was a 12″ poseable action figure created by Stan Weston, who came up with the idea for GI Joe, and his gimmick was that instead of dressing in military gear, Captain Action could assume the identities of superheroes like Superman, Batman, Spider-Man, Captain America, The Green Hornet, and others.

PT CA 04Captain Action was out of production by 1970, but the character left such a mark on the collective psyche of children of the 1960’s that he has been revived many times in many different forms. Ed Catto and Joe Ahearn, the current stewards of Captain Action, have a lot planned to mark his fiftieth birthday.

With this being his golden anniversary, you can expect all kinds of really cool Captain Action projects ranging from audiobooks and comic books to trading cards and playing cards and several sizes of action figures.

Amid all of this, there are two terrific Kickstarter projects featuring Captain Action and we’ll tell you about those right now.

PT CA 02First up, Zica Toys hopes to launch a new line of 4″ action figures under the banner “The Adventure People.”  This project grew out of Zica’s plans to re-create the original Captain Action line in a smaller scale, but it has grown beyond that and has become an impressive stew of toy collector’s nostalgia.

The Adventure People name was originally used by Fisher-Price for a fondly remembered line of neat little action figures and accessories, roughly in the same scale as this new iteration.  For this project, Zica is reviving the Remco Toys brand name too.  Remco was a major player in the toy industry in the 1960’s and 70’s before fizzling out in the 80’s.  That’s not all the nostalgia packed into this Kickstarter project.

Offered up in this line of The Adventure People will be Captain Action, a new evil counterpart to the good Captain, Captain Evil, two color variants of Captain Action, a Henchman for Captain Evil, and more.

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Ten Years of PopCult

Today is the tenth anniversary of The PopCult Blog, written by Rudy Panucci. Every hour, on the hour(sort of), we’re going to bring you one of our favorite posts from the preceding decade. Some are significant “firsts,” while others are deeply touching or overwhelmingly goofy. We’ll leave it to you to figure out which is which.

Okay, for this post I’m cheating. I’m cramming four posts into one. From eariler this year I’m giving you the post with the headline you see above. As a bonus, below that you’ll get one post from each of those legendary action figures, taken from various points in PopCult’s history.

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Photo by Mykol Blackwell

The PopCult Toybox

This week in the PopCult Toybox we’re going to catch up with three titans of the 1960s 12-inch action figure scene, GI Joe, Johnny West and Captain Action.

We will learn why GI Joe no-showed his fiftieth anniversary last year, the cool NEW Johnny West figure set that commemorates his fiftieth anniversary, and the very busy Captain Action Enterprises crew as they gear up for the Good Captain’s golden year in 2016.

Derryl DePriest (photo by Mark Otnes)
Derryl DePriest (photo by Mark Otnes)

First up, with GI Joe, we have a very good interview with Hasbro’s Derryl DePriest. Mark Otnes of The Joe Report and Patches of Pride caught up with Derryl at the 2015 JoeCon a couple of weeks ago, and heard firsthand why Hasbro is focusing on other action figure lines.

It’s a little sad reading the logic behind Hasbro’s moves, but it’s not hard to understand why Hasbro sees the future of GI Joe in other scales than 1/6. Collectors of 12″ GI Joe, after being a bit spoiled in the late 1990s, simply did not support collector-centric product like 2004’s Fortieth Anniversary line, and more recent attempts to revive interest in the scale failed to perform at retail. DePriest does point out that Hasbro’s “Titan” 12-inch figures with limited articulation (I panned them when they were first released) are among the best-selling action figures on the market right now. While that’s sort of depressing, it does give one hope that we will see a revival of quality 12″ action figures at mass-market retail in a few years, once the children of the 1990s are feeling the pangs of nostalgia.

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Captain Action’s Kool Card Game Returns

42b549cb97c0f4efb0e1c513167525abThe PopCult Toybox

One of the most rare Captain Action collectible items from the vintage era of 1966-69 was the Captain Action Card Game, which was a mail-in premium, available only to kids who devoured Kool-Pops frozen treats.

The Captain Action card game AND the Kool-Pops package--a holy grail among collectors
The Captain Action card game AND the Kool-Pops package–a holy grail among collectors

Complete sets of this card game go for over a hundred bucks easily–way more than that if they’re in mint condition. The original Kool-Pops packages go for even more and are considered one of the hardest-to-find collectibles of the 1960s superhero boom.

A couple of days ago, Captain Action Enterprises, LLC  (CAE), in cooperation with veteran game designers and developers Harold Sipe and Meg Stivison, announced a new card game based on the beloved Captain Action properties. The team will bring Captain Action, Dr. Evil, Lady Action and the entire mythology to gamers and action figure fans in 2016 as part of Captain Action’s 50th Anniversary.

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Photo by Mykol Blackwell

The PopCult Toybox

This week in the PopCult Toybox we’re going to catch up with three titans of the 1960s 12-inch action figure scene, GI Joe, Johnny West and Captain Action.

We will learn why GI Joe no-showed his fiftieth anniversary last year, the cool NEW Johnny West figure set that commemorates his fiftieth anniversary, and the very busy Captain Action Enterprises crew as they gear up for the Good Captain’s golden year in 2016.

Derryl DePriest (photo by Mark Otnes)
Derryl DePriest (photo by Mark Otnes)

First up, with GI Joe, we have a very good interview with Hasbro’s Derryl DePriest. Mark Otnes of The Joe Report and Patches of Pride caught up with Derryl at the 2015 JoeCon a couple of weeks ago, and heard firsthand why Hasbro is focusing on other action figure lines.

It’s a little sad reading the logic behind Hasbro’s moves, but it’s not hard to understand why Hasbro sees the future of GI Joe in other scales than 1/6. Collectors of 12″ GI Joe, after being a bit spoiled in the late 1990s, simply did not support collector-centric product like 2004’s Fortieth Anniversary line, and more recent attempts to revive interest in the scale failed to perform at retail. DePriest does point out that Hasbro’s “Titan” 12-inch figures with limited articulation (I panned them when they were first released) are among the best-selling action figures on the market right now. While that’s sort of depressing, it does give one hope that we will see a revival of quality 12″ action figures at mass-market retail in a few years, once the children of the 1990s are feeling the pangs of nostalgia.

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Scooby Doo, Captain Action and JoeLanta

The PopCult Toybox

scooby-dooThis week the PopCult Toybox brings you some short items along with updated graphics. The International Toy Fair in New York City is less than three weeks away, and lots of companies are jumping the gun with new toy announcements.

Scooby Doo Hits The Bricks

Scooby-Doo, Shaggy, Fred, Velma and Daphne will drive The Mystery Machine straight into the world of construction toys with a series of new Lego sets headed to toy stores, thanks to an extension of the partnership between the Lego Group and Warner Bros.

The new Lego sets include Mummy Museum Mystery, Mystery Plane Adventures, the Haunted Lighthouse and the big-ticket set, The Mystery Mansion (seen below). They’ll range in price from $15 to $90.

scooby-doo-lego

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The PopCult Toybox: Captain Action News

cap 01It’s time for another update on Captain Action, which longtime PopCult readers may know as one of my favorite toys from my childhood. I first wrote about Captain Action and his nemesis, Dr. Evil, way back in the first month of this blog, almost nine years ago, and since then we’ve seen him revived as a MEGO-sized figure, a model kit, a comic book, a pulp novel series and as a full-blown 12″ action figure with outfits that allowed him to become famous Marvel Superheroes, just as the original figure could.

There were revelations at San Diego Comic Con last week that prove that these are indeed interesting times for the good Captain. Resistance from mass-market retailers means a major delay, and possible cancellation of the planned DC Comics sets featuring outfits to turn Captain Action into Superman and Batman. That’s a pretty huge blow, but it’s not the end of the line for Captain Action.

Detail from the next Overstreet Price Guide
Detail from the next Overstreet Price Guide

Captain Action Enterprises has expanded the scope of the Captain Action concept beyond simply selling 12″ figures in the mass market. Captain Action will be featured on the cover of the next Overstreet Guide to Comics, which remains the industry standard price guide for comics. An annual publication, this means that Captain Action will be highly visible for the next year.

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The PopCult Toybox: Catching up with Captain Action

The 4.5" Captain, from Fresh Monkey Fiction
The 4.5″ Captain, from Fresh Monkey Fiction

While we’ve been wallowing in the wonderfulness of JoeLanta and GI Joe for more than the last month, there have been significant developments in the world of PopCult’s other most-favored action figure, Captain Action.

Work is progressing on their next four costume sets. Superman, Batman, Brainiac and The Joker are tentatively scheduled for December of this year. Meanwhile the folks at Captain Action Enterprises and Round 2 Corp. are keeping their Marvel Comics plans close to their vests. The animated Captain Action pilot is still in production, and Ed and Joe are sure to be pitching it to prospective broadcast outlets all year.

While all that is happening, the Captain Action brand is invading three new scales of collectible figures, and we have a new pulp-style novel and a cool comic book crossover with our buddy, Art Baltazar.

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Img_9342bWe are happy this week to bring you a detailed advance look at the two new Captain Action uniform sets featuring Iron Man and Wolverine, plus the now-complete “build-a-costume” Hawkeye set. Iron Man and Wolverine will be available in about two weeks in comic book stores and hobby shops, and can be pre-ordered online.

Img_9334If you haven’t been reading PopCult regularly since 2005, you’ll need to know that Captain Action is a 12″ action figure, originally sold in 1966, who can change into other superheroes through the use of rubber masks and outfits. Originally the good Captain could change into a variety of Marvel and DC characters, along with a handful of comic strip heroes and the like. The line last three or four years during the superhero boom of the 60s, and was revived in 1999, with a faithful reproduction of the figure. With no access to Marvel or DC characters, the revival quickly went South.

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