As kids we never thought action figures could be anything but the high flying, butt kicking, kung fu grip having, toys we saw in after school commercials. Things like G.I. Joe, Batman, or the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles littered our rooms. As we matured we learned of a whole new world of toys which included the world of novelty action figures. Popularized by mail order catalogs like Archie McPhee in the late 1970s, novelty figures thrived on producing toys and figurines that turned the average figure on its head. Today, thanks to the internet, you can find practically any action figure you could possibly dream of. We spared you some time and dug through the internet to find our favorites.
The bard of Avon is one of the most studied and revered people of the last 500 years. Read by nearly every school kid, it’s no surprise to see Shakespeare get the plastic treatment. I have a feeling this figure is on more english teacher desks than any other action figure ever produced. Also, it wouldn’t be a true action figure if Shakespeare didn’t come with a few accessories and what else would he carry but a quill and book.
Statue of David
It’s been called the greatest piece of art of all time. It’s toured the world. It’s been seen by millions. It’s been… turned into plastic? Yes even this half naked marble statue sculpted over 500 years ago isn’t immune to being shrunken and shrink-wrapped. Personally I think the action figure is way cooler than the statue. I mean can you even pose the original statue? How am I supposed to have him fight Spider-Man?
According to Catholics the Pope is God’s right hand man. A daunting job sure but it’s not without a few perks. Things like world travel, being worshipped by millions, a sweet house (hello Vatican), but most importantly, an action figure. Now to be clear this isn’t an official perk that the Vatican commissions once a new pope is elected. They don’t ring up Mattel and ask for a new Pope action figure be made up, but being one of the most famous people on earth means it’s only a matter of time before SOMEONE produces a figure. Since the early 60’s when action figures were popularized every Pope has had a figure made from Pope John Paul II to the current Pope Francis. As long as the Pope is one of the most famous and influential people on earth you can bet they’ll be an action figure made of them.
Whether you call him Snoop, Snoop Dogg, Snoop Doggy Dogg, or Snoop Lion, hip hop’s favorite stoner is basically American royalty at this point. It should come as no surprise that someone as OG as Snoop has been transformed into a toy once or twice throughout his long career. Not only does Snoop have multiple full 12 inch action figure likenesses (complete with different outfits and accessories) but he’s also been immortalized as a KidRobot vinyl figure. His long career is far from over so be sure to leave room in your collection just in case he changes his name again and they need to make a new version.
It’s not often people from the world of comedy get to see themselves as action figures, it’s especially abnormal to have them be two fake news anchors but that’s exactly what Bif Bang Pow has done with this amazing set. Measuring in at 3.5 inches these figures capture the likenesses of the first two female Co-Anchors in Weekend Update’s long history, Tina Fey and Amy Poehler. Though not the first action figures to come out of Saturday Night Live, these are the only Weekend Update anchors figures ever produced. Here’s hoping they make a lot more.
Crazy Cat Lady
Most neighborhoods have a house or two that is known by the local kids as the home of the “Crazy Cat Lady”. A mythical figure that rarely ventures beyond the threshold of her porch. Her home somehow becomes a beacon for all the stray and feral cats to gather and feed. This figure is scarily accurate from the slippers and bathrobe to the inclusion of 6 cats. It’s so accurate, you would swear you could smell the cat pee before you even opened packaging.
Rocky Meat Slab
Perhaps the greatest non-action action figure of the bunch is this unusual movie tie-in. This “action figure”, if you can call it that since it has no articulation, is a tribute to one of the more iconic scenes in movie history. An eager Rocky Balboa wants to be the heavyweight champion of the world but lacking money, he can’t afford the fancy gyms his opponents train in. He turns to the next best thing; the meat packing plant. I do have to give the makers of this toy credit because even as only a casual fan of the movies, this is so unusual and unique I have to have it for my collection. If you’re tired of having a collection full of capes and cowls why not venture into the weird and wonderful world of Novelty Action Figures. You never know what you’ll end up finding.