Fresh and Fierce: Action Figures for
Hobby and Play
By Cynthia Boris
With new items for almost every age group, action figures—from superheroes
to cartoon favorites—are always going strong.
Bandai America (ToyDirectory)
has monopolized the action figure dollar for years with its line of Power
Ranger toys. Now celebrating its 25th anniversary, Bandai is
adding two new anime inspired lines.
Clocking in at 1.5 inches, Superior Defenders are "vertically
challenged" robots who have banded together to fight the evil Dark
Axis. With their cartoon debuting in the fall on Cartoon Network, these
funky, brightly colored characters are ready to take on the world. The
Superior Defender Figure Collection comes with five figures
in a pack and retails for $4.99. Also look for SD's big brothers, 5-inch
action figures retailing for $5.99 per figure.
Experience the Power of the Eye!
Bandai combines action figures and game play with their new line of
Jagun Fighters. Mystical and somewhat creepy, these figures
come with a detailed storyline used for game play. Each 6.5-inch figure
has an eerie eyeball in its chest which rolls with the push of a button.
Articulated and packed with an exclusive trading card, each Jagun Fighter
retails for $9.99
Continuing in a similar vein, Jakks Pacific, known for
their line of WWE wrestling figures, is making its move into the Japanese
anime field. Early this year, Jakks bought the licensing rights
to Dragonball Z and Yu Yu Hakusho from
Irwin Toys. Later this year, Jakks expects to be delivering
its own, newly sculpted figures in both of these lines. Yu Yu Hakusho®,
set to run as another new series for Cartoon Network's
Toonami block, is the story of a young man who is killed then comes back
to earth as a spirit detective to help people in need. The 7-inch figure
line retails for $9.99 and although aimed at a 6-11 year-old audience,
it is expected to appeal to collectors as well.
RANKED ON DOLLARS APRIL, 2003
Japanese anime not your thing? Mattel has filled their
action figure line with old standbys from super heroes to spinning devils.
Batman continues to be a hot-seller, and this summer Mattel will release
a Batman Action Figure set that retails for $13.99. Coming
with two figures to a box, the double duos were sculpted by comic artists
The Four Horsemen and are likely to be big with collectors
The Power of Grayskull
If you like a little more muscle on your action figure, look for Mattel
to continue its re-release of the Masters of the Universe.
For $7.99 each, kids can create their own mythic world with these great
retro figures. The Heroic Warriors Assortment includes
6 inch versions of: Teela®, Orko™, He-Man®, and Prince Adam®.
But what's a hero without a villain? The Evil Enemies Assortment
includes Whiplash™, Two Bad ™, Fire Armor™, Skeletor®, and the cartoon-sexy,
When the Looney Tunes go Back in Action in
their own live-action feature film this fall, Mattel will be there with
a new line of action figures.Bugs, Daffy, Marvin the Martian and Taz will
all be there, familiar faces with all-new comic styling. The action figure
assortment, retailing for $7.99 each, features figures with stretching
action. Also watch for Krazy Kombos ($4.99), figures
with interchangeable snap-on parts, which allow kids to create their own