Kenner’s legendary series of 3 ¾ inch action figures released as Adventures of Indiana Jones in Raiders of the Lost Ark in 1982 are high at the top of must-have items in many a vintage action figure collection. Less lovable, perhaps, but equally sought-after, are the figures in the short-lived 6 inch action figure line by LJN released in 1984 as a tie-in to Raiders prequel Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom. The action figures that time forgot, however, are surely the 1987 Indiana Jones action figures made by Spanish manufacturer Star Toys. These 6 ½ inch Indiana Jones figures are pretty hard to find nowadays, so I was thrilled to pick this one up at a reasonable price recently.
Released between the Temple of Doom and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade this series was simply titled “Indiana Jones” with no specific reference to any particular film, and with the figures packaged on a card and blister with a Mapa Mundi 1939 background illustration. Only Indy appeared in this series, but he was issued in numerous ways. Alongside his fedora hat, a sub-machine gun, a gun belt (the only accessory my loose figure still has), a whip, and a satchel, he was also packaged with a variety of our hero’s pet hates – a giant snake, and some rats, referencing classic scenes from Raiders, as well as a giant crocodile, presumably as a reference to the Temple of Doom rope bridge scene where the action takes place over crocodile infested waters!
Indiana Jones was completely bare-chested for almost all the versions, except for a dressed figure when he was issued with a brown jacket and a large compass for kids to play with, and a further figure with a light fabric jacket. One of the bare-chested figures was even packaged with a digital watch!
There are very few points of articulation – only the neck and shoulders allow for full 360° turns, whilst movement at the waist and hips is very limited – and the figure is undoubtedly rather crude in its modelling, looking and feeling more like a bootleg knock-off figure than an officially licensed product, yet Lucas Film is clearly marked across his back. The figure is chunky, with the legs and hands made of a slightly rubbery plastic, and his skin tone is way too orange, rather like a cheaply made wrestling figure. He does at least stand well and poses easily, and most importantly, the facial sculpt of the lightly bearded Harrison Ford is really rather a good likeness!
This figure may have its faults but it is nevertheless a must-have vintage Indiana Jones action figure for any fans of the film franchise!