Babylon 5 Action Figures Wave 1 (1998)

Babylon 5 action figuresIn 1998, Exclusive Premiere, the makers of numerous nostalgic pop culture figures and dolls, finally put in a bid to make Babylon 5 action figures. Though the cerebral nature of the series didn’t lend itself to a huge, exciting, Star Wars-scale line of toys – after all, how much action can an action figure of Ambassador Kosh really have? – it was nice to have, at long last, some fun little reminders of the B5 universe. In one of his Usenet postings, even series creator J. Michael Straczynski admitted to being a fan of the toys. Read More

Q*Bert

Q*Bert figures - photo copyright 2000 Earl Green / theLogBook.comThe year was 1983. The Star Wars franchise was winding down, and the Pac-Man craze had mostly subsided. What was a toy company like Kenner to do? The next best thing to Pac-Man at this point was to hop onto a multicolored flying disc with Q*Bert.

The D. Gottlieb Co. video game was an almost instant hit because of its unique game play and an extremely marketable cast of characters. CBS rushed a Q*Bert cartoon onto the air, and Q*Bert merchandise began to hit the store shelves. Read More

Star Trek III: The Search For Spock Action Figures (1984)

Star Trek III action figures - photo copyright 2007 Earl Green / theLogBook.comAfter the smash success of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, Ertl stepped up to the plate to grab the toy license for Star Trek III – which, of course, was a much less action-oriented movie. Ertl produced only four characters, as well as small die-cast metal replicas of the Enterprise (not as good as the earlier version released by another manufacturer for Star Trek: The Motion Picture) and the Klingon Bird of Prey. Read More

Star Trek: Deep Space Nine Wave Two (1995)

Star Trek: Deep Space NineWhere the first wave of Playmates’ newly-launched Deep Space Nine range of Star Trek action figures was a resounding success hailed by collectors, the second wave had many people – ranging from serious Trek collectors to casual fans – scratching their heads in confusion. The second wave was the wave of Stupid Uniform Tricks, a cheap practice made possible by the fact that Next Generation and Deep Space Nine occasionally shared uniforms. Read More

Tron Action Figures (1982)

Tron action figures - photo copyright 2006 
Earl Green / theLogBook.comHow do you merchandise a movie with such abstract imagery as Disney’s 1982 computerphile favorite Tron? It’s not easy, but Tomy figured it out. Rather than the traditional paint job, Tomy opted to mold the Tron figures in translucent plastic, painting on only the “circuitry” details of each character’s computer-world uniform. No characters from the movie’s real-world scenes were ever made. Read More

Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace Wave 5 (1999)

Star WarsIt’s hard to write a page on the fifth wave of Episode I action figures when they proved very hard to obtain in some areas. I don’t even have photos for all of them. This wave didn’t arrive until September and October 1999 in most markets, and it’s a good thing too – this wave’s version of Anakin is a huge story spoiler for the movie, if one understands the significance of his new haircut. Read More

Star Trek: Voyager Action Figures (1995-97)

Star Trek: VoyagerPlaymates learned one valuable lesson from the first wave of Deep Space Nine figures: get the figures on the shelves within a year of the show’s premiere. The Deep Space Nine toys took a year to hit the stores, and though their quality was arguably worth the wait, the buzz surrounding the launch of that series had died down by the time the figures appeared. Not so with the Voyager figures – these arrived in store within six months of the series premiere on UPN. Read More