Cancelled Lines: NECA Django Unchained


This one wasn’t cancelled so much as “aborted”, produced for the release of the 2012 Quentin Tarantino film of the same name, it is rumoured that QT himself wanted a 70s Mego Style toy produced for the film, as it was an homage to the “spaghetti western” of the era.

The toys invited controversy due to the film’s subject matter being slavery and groups used the film’s PR effectively to get their point across. The new editor at Topless Robot (who admittedly greatly dislikes the Mego style) conjectured that this wouldn’t have happened if the toys were 6 inch Marvel Legends style figures and not “dolls”.

In light of the “Dexter” and recent “Breaking Bad” outrage at Toys R Us,  it’s safe to say that this theory is about as plausible as the “Ram Man” slash fiction they often enjoy.

I’m not going to debate the veracity of the outrage, this is neither the venue for that, nor am I enlightened on the subject to add an opinion of any  value.

Regardless that the toys said “ages 17 and up”, cost $30 a pop and that the film’s (R RATED) message condemns slavery (and pretty much promotes violence against anyone involved in the trade) some people will never get out of the mindset that toys = children exclusively.

Toy collecting is a weird fringe, we feel normal among our own but we always will be thought of as creepy “Sheldon” types by some percentage of the population. When these people become aware of R-rated toys, they say “those shouldn’t exist” and then comes the swift hammer of majority.

The bad PR had the Weinstein Company salt the earth, the dolls were yanked and destroyed,  everybody tried to pretend it never happened.

Flash forward two years later and NECA has smartly used that 8″ tooling to create some of the coolest 8″ horror characters ever made. I’m not denouncing these in any way, I love the line and i hope they make tons more but I’m not the only one who sees the irony here, right?

Django figures are banned on Ebay (seriously) but you can pay a King’s ransom for them on Amazon if you’re so inclined.

I’d really like a Schultz and Django, loose is fine, I’ll pay $50 a piece. Email me at kid70s *<at>* if you done got a pair for sale.

Cancelled Lines: DST Knight Rider


Not even the combined forces of nostalgic 80s kids and the population of Germany could save this one. DST offered an 8″ Michael Knight for pre-order using their newly acquired tooling from ZICA toys because, well, why not? It’s a high profile property and a nice looking figure.

Sadly, a Michael Knight doll without a car or promise of a car is kind of well, not as sexy as it sounded. I’m conjecturing here but i’m guessing that the pre-orders were humbling and the doll was pulled off the table. (feel free to correct me, I am pulling this theory out of you-know-where)

Hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Keep taking your shots DST, I salute you!
PS Make more 8″ Universal Monsters…

A little more about Flatt World Zorro

Zorro Draws 2-21-1

So I got a nice letter from Calvin, former head honcho at Flatt World last night correcting a couple of points from my piece and sending me a much better photo of the Zorro prototype that I have featured above.

The most interesting new insight I gained was that it was planned to have the Flatt World Zorro figure be in the Sony DVD menu of “The Mask of Zorro”. This would have been a ground breaking promotion for the time.

Calvin also went on to add that this was the figure he was most sad not to see go into production. He also believed the character’s international popularity would have seen this be their biggest hit. The only way to win that argument is likely to join his side.

This photo reinforces how nice the figure would have been.

Cancelled Lines: Flattworld Zorro


Flatt World was one of the first companies to jump into the “ReMego” fold but it would utilize a hyper realistic format and produce 8″ lovingly detailed figures. Their first release of Bela Lugosi had a retail of $59.95 and while a critical hit,  the company struggled with retail distribution.

Zorro, based on the then hot Anthony Banderas film were just one of the many cool licenses in the pipeline. In the days of people spending car payments on Hot Toy figures and kickstarter campaigns, this seems like a no brainer but sadly, 1999 was a different world and FW’s legacy began and ended with Dracula.

Cancelled Lines: Playing Mantis Action Jackson Wave 3


I swear that I was the only guy who liked this line when it was available and I still stand by how fun it was. The Playing Mantis reboot of Action Jackson proposed third wave of figures would have included an Animal Wrangler (complete with rubber snakes), a parachutist (that worked) and a WW2 soldier and FRIGGING JEEP!

Sadly, it was all for naught, PM closed it’s doors not long after. The wonderful woman who ran their message boards gave me the AJ catalog for all of this but it’s lost to bottomless pit that is my filing cabinet….

Weep with me!