There are some action figures that seem to divide collectors straight down the middle – you either love them or hate them – and the 5 inch Kenner Beetlejuice action figures from 1989 seem to fall into that group. I personally adore these figures and have no idea why some collectors gripe about them, as they look good, feel good and have some fun interactive extras. The most eagle-eyed readers have probably already spotted the most obvious interactive element with these figures – the heads on the four different figures in this line were actually interchangeable, which means that whilst you might pick up a figure for a few dollars he might not be wearing the “correct” head with which he was originally issued!
My Beetlejuice has a head from the Shish Kebab figure (based on the scene from the movie when he is skewered) sitting on a Showtime figure body (based on the scene from the movie when he transforms into a sinister amusement park). This figure also features an extendible neck – if you take the head off you’ll discover the scary version – a mini snake head!
The figure stands well and is satisfyingly heavy when held in the hand. I love the way his slightly rubbery hands can be posed in that It’s Showtime! classic Beetlejuice stance from the Tim Burton film. The head is also made of a slightly softer rubbery plastic (presumably to facilitate popping it on and off) and has what was a pretty good facial sculpt for the 1980s with a close resemblance to how Michael Keaton looked in the movie, although the purple colouring around the eyes is a detail that comes from the animated cartoon series – his eye make-up is black in the film. If you’re planning to collect them all (you KNOW you want to) the other figures in the line were Spinhead Beetlejuice and Exploding Beetlejuice.
Kenner Beetlejuice 1989, 8, 246, “”