What ever happened to action?

Discussion in 'The Toyark' started by megatronkicksas, Sep 6, 2009.

  1. megatronkicksas

    megatronkicksas Well-Known Member

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    It was the year 1964 and the first line of G.I. Joe: America's Movable Fighting Man was made and sold to boys across the country, and with it came the coining of term "action figure". The line consisted of highly posable and fun to play with toys which would later include to-scale vehicles and the famous "Kung-foo Grip". Thus began the birth of the "action figure".

    Hasbro was the first company to effectively market toys to boys buy reffering to them as "action figures" not "dolls". The highly popular line did have a competitor, Kenner.

    Kenner is toy company famous for toys like the Easy-Bake-Oven. Founded in 1947 the company was then bought out by General Mills in 1967 and then made Play-Doh the highly popular modelling compound originally used for wallpaper removal. And in 1977 came a big deal for Kenner the liscnece of Star Wars and the 90 figures that followed after. From 1977 to 1984 selling 300 million toys. The great success launched Hasbro to reinvent their G.I. Joe line into G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero.

    G.I. Joe: A Real American Hero a highly popular 3.75 inch toy line and a staple of 80's childhood was at the front line of the toy boom of the 80's which followed the story of the Joes, a government group of soldiers who would fight Cobra, a terrorist organization bent on taking over the world. This line was based on a Japanese toy line which also helped create Transformers and blah blah blah we all know that story. On to Super Powers. The DC Super Powers line consisted of toys that had a great sculpt and great playbility, in short if you could not find joy in these toys then you never had one.

    Enter Toy Biz. Toy Biz was the first company to create Marvel toys (I know there were some before) and after the success of their Secret Wars line Marvel exclusively gave the rights to X-men to them top create an X-men base line. The first wave consisted of Wolverine, Storm, Archangel, Night Crawler, Cyclops, Colosus, Juggernaut, Magneto, and Apocalypse. Each one of these figures came with fun gimmicks and fun accesories. The line latter expanded into 6 series of toys based on the comics and the cartoon, some with great sculpting and some not so great but after the 6th series it expanded the line with a Phoenix saga line, an age of apocalypse line and many more. Toy biz has also tackled other lines like Iron man, The Hulk, he Avengers, Spiderman, The fantastic four, and even Ghost rider, along with man more. That is as far as I will go.

    These new age toys well.... have no action. They are just crazy articulated and don't have as much playability. While I am not a Marvel Legends or DCU hatter I'm just saying whatever happend to action? Take the new X-men Origins Wolverine (yellow costume) toy what does it do? Well it's articulated and comes with a sword. Now lets take a Series 2 1992 yellow costume Wolverine and what does that come with? Twisting slash action, Pop out claws, and a gun. Now what to you sounds like more fun?

    I don't hate these new toys, just where's the action? If you think I'm crazy name a current toy and I'll beat it with a better more fun version.
     
  2. kidnicky

    kidnicky Well-Known Member

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    Kenner Super Powers were the best toys ever.
     
  3. megatronkicksas

    megatronkicksas Well-Known Member

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    Totally great.
     
  4. RabidYak

    RabidYak Go Ninja Go Ninja Go

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    It may be cool to hate on 80s MOTU thesedays, but that line was the king of having awesome gimmicks that didn't ruin the basic playability of the figures.
     
  5. kidnicky

    kidnicky Well-Known Member

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    No,no,no. It has NEVER and will NEVER be cool to hate on 80's MOTU. Mechaneck for the win. Also,Man at Arms? That is just a badass looking dude. He's like Conan and Star Wars all at once. The yellow and blue robot dude was kind of a ripoff of Red Tornado,but I didn't know who RT was back then,so it was cool.
     
  6. megatronkicksas

    megatronkicksas Well-Known Member

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    How could you hate MOTU? How many other lines had a toy that was a skunk and smelled bad?
     
  7. Rattrap Primal

    Rattrap Primal Geek Overlord

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    action features where over done in the 90's, I prefer to have articulation over spinning fist action or smash blade whatever
     
  8. SPLIT LIP

    SPLIT LIP Dry built

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    I think they realised that posability was more fun to kids than action features. Most mainline figures do have some accesory that houses the action feature, so it's the best of both worlds.
     
  9. kidnicky

    kidnicky Well-Known Member

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    Poseability and articulation are really just bullshit to impress collectors,though. If anything,it's harder for kids to act out battles and such with today's floppy ass figures. A kid only needs his figures to be able to hold two different poses: holding a weapon,and dead.
     
  10. LigerPrime

    LigerPrime Well-Known Member

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    IMO the trend is on the anthesitics (look) of the toy as some of the gimmicks may affect it. For example, a button or lever behind a figure's back.
     
  11. Dom

    Dom TFA Supporter

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    Firstly great bit of insight :thumb 

    I think "action features" on toys have been phased out from alot of lines down to cost and problems accomodating the improved articulation. Most lines these days have guns that shoot stuff and thats what they count as "action" The only line I can think of with proper old school action features is Ben10.

    I am happy with the snap on stuff now, it allows accurate portrayls without comprmising for the sake of a gimmick. I love the 80`s stuff and the features were cool, but I think it was Batman that was the begining of the end. That line was at the forefront of snap on weapons.
     
  12. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    G.I. Joe, one of the biggest toylines in the world, relied on no other "Action" other then being able to hold their guns in cool poses. It was true in 1964, it was true in 1984 and it's true in 2009.

    Transformers, who started out having no other gimmick then transforming robots...who weren't even all that articulate...is currently one of (if not the) biggest toylines on the market today. And for the most part, their biggest gimmick is being transforming robots. In fact, the few lines who had massive play gimmicks are widely seen as being some of the worst in the franchise history.

    Of course, this is ignoring anything that's not mainline, stuff like FABs and such, or larger figures/vehicles with lights and sounds and spring loaded weapons. Hell, even some of those X-Men Origin toys you mentioned have toys that come with giant action features. For every line of figures you can point out who's only "feature" is articulation, I can point out three toy lines loaded with gimmicks. They're just not toy lines the average collector pays attention to...because they're loaded with gimmicks.

    Also, I dunno about any of you, but I know that personally as a kid, I *loved* highly articulated action figures. Give me a toy that can pose in all sorts of ways and I'd have fun for hours. Give me a toy that spins when you push a button on his ass and I'd prolly snap the gears and get him to stop spinning.
     
  13. Radioactive Ravage

    Radioactive Ravage Ancient

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    Um... I'd rather have a well-articulated toy than something with a giant disk that shoots out of his ass.

    See, the problem with "action" is that it takes away the majority of "action" that could be implemented with articulation. And while I believe the Wolverine Origins line is total crap, that's just about the only thing I can agree with about your post. I don't want my action figures to have two poses (standing wide enough to sit on a horse or sitting down with their legs out) just so he can possess a spinning waist gimmick.

    The people who implement gimmicks and articulation have it made. What I'm saying is, I'd sacrifice a gimmick for articulation, but never vice versa. However, I don't think that's the point of this topic.

    You want gimmick and articulation? There are these great toys called Transformers...
     
  14. swampflight

    swampflight Banned

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    Totally Disagree on this one....

    Are you forgetting Micronauts figures?These came out in the 70's and had more articulation than most figures on the U.S. market other than G.I.Joe and were a lot more fun than a toy that could only hold a gun.
     
  15. GogDog

    GogDog Logic's wayward son Veteran

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    Personally, I think I grew out of action gimmicks. From a kids perspective, I guess some of them were neat, but as an older fan, most of them are silly, and take away from the sculpt and articulation. I like where toys are going in this regard, and I'm glad the silly stuff like "super spinning hyper waste with laser disk launcher" is disappearing.
     
  16. MnemonicSyntax

    MnemonicSyntax Rooks Gang Leader

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    Centurions FTW. Bring back larger scale mainstream figures like that!
     
  17. kidnicky

    kidnicky Well-Known Member

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    It's true in 2009? Are there still currently produced mainline Joes without huge projectile firing guns?

    Yeah,I'm really happy toys are more appealing to an older fan instead of having "silly stuff" for kids. :rolleyes: 

    I think that would be too expenisve these days.
     
  18. Ziero

    Ziero TFW2005 Supporter

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    You mean the giant wastes of plastic that don't even fit in the figures hands half the time and are thrown in "just because"? The core figure, the real reason to buy current Joe toys is because you have a great, articulated little soldier with lots of guns, and future figures seem to be designed to come with other accessories to replace the big guns.

    And again, gimmicks in toys aren't going anywhere. Batman, X-Men, Ironman and Spiderman all have newer cartoons on the air right now, and they each came with toylines loaded with gimmicks. Hell, even Transformers all come with gimmicks these days, in addition to transforming. Look at Animated, every figure had something, smaller ones came with flip out weapons while bigger ones came with launchers and spring loaded gimmicks. All Leaders and Ultras have lights, sounds and spring loaded weapons, these are all gimmicks.

    When you look at collector based lines like He-Man's new toys or Marvel Legends and Universe, you get toys made for collectors, relatively gimmick free and great for posing and displaying. But when you look at kid's toys, like Wolverine and the X-men's toyline, you see all those twisting waists and spring loaded arm gimmicks.
     
  19. Rewind

    Rewind Be Kind TFW2005 Supporter

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    Meh, I didn't really care for action gimmicks when I was a kid growing up in the 80s and I don't really care for them now.
     
  20. kidnicky

    kidnicky Well-Known Member

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    Eh,even if I give you that,there have still been plenty of times throughout the 3 3/4 Joe line where the "core figure" relied on gimmicy colorchange features or spring loaded attacks.
     

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