The Emperor by Kenner

The Emperor – The Dark Side of the Force

It’s a strange thought now, looking back at the original Star Wars trilogy, but Darth Sidious aka Dark Lord of the Sith, the biggest baddie and antagonist of the entire series, didn’t have any live action screen time until Return of the Jedi in 1983 (although a hologram did make a flickering appearance in the earlier The Empire Strikes Back). The archetype for hooded evil, Emperor Palpatine was played by Ian McDiarmid, who has had the very good fortune to reprise his role in all three of the prequels, which chart the character’s devious political career from Senator, to Supreme Chancellor, and eventually Emperor. Back in the 1980s, however, when Kenner still held the keys to the action figure toy chest, he was simply known as The Emperor. [Read More...]

Ernest Borgnine Mego

Ernest Borgnine as Harry Booth – The Black Hole by Mego

One of the most unlikely – but nonetheless wonderful – additions to my vintage action figure collection over the last couple of months must surely be this beautifully detailed 12 inch Mego figure of legendary Hollywood and television character actor Ernest Borgnine. Borgnine died at the grand old age of 95 in 2012 after a … [Read More...]

Sam Cobra by Louis Marx

Sam Cobra – The Renegade Bad Man by Marx!

When toy maker Louis Marx & Co. launched its response to industry rival Hasbro's G. I. Joe (or Action Man, as he was known in the UK ) it was in the form of a 12 inch articulated cowboy “doll for boys” called Johnny West. First appearing in 1965, Johnny West marked the first character in the hugely collectible Best of the West … [Read More...]

Han Solo in Carbonite with Carbonite Block

Han Solo in Carbonite with Carbonite Block!

While my love affair with vintage Kenner Star Wars action figures burns ever strong, I confess to the odd flirtation with newer figures from the Neo-classic era (1990–2000) when they are particularly good. I'm not a huge fan of Hasbro’s 1990s Star Wars revamp (rather unimaginatively named Power of the Force 2 to distinguish it from … [Read More...]

Man-E-Faces

Heroic Human…Robot…Monster? It must be Man-E-Faces!

Masters of the Universe, Mattel’s hugely successful action figure line of the 1980s, has proved enduringly popular. Big sellers back in the day, these figures can still be found loose on flea markets for a fair price, like this classic Man-E-Faces 1983 figure (dated stamped 1982) from the second wave of Heroic Warriors from the … [Read More...]

Mattel Secret Wars