Greatest Skeleton Action Figures of All Time (Part 1 of TBD)
I have a bad habit of waiting too long to flip the pages on my calendar. I missed almost all of June this year. I blame my habitual calendar tardiness mostly on apathy; I don't actually use the calendar as a calendar; I just like the big pictures. But maybe, just maybe, there is a small part of me who is desperately trying to slow the proverbial sands of time from falling through the hourglass.
I can already feel Halloween slipping away. Soon I will be lamenting that I waited too long to put together a costume and I never found anywhere to go to wear said costume. From the corner of my eye, I can see Christmas lights and tinsel encroaching on the ghosts and goblins. Hold your reindeer, Santa, you can have all of November and December to be fat and merry. Let Halloween have its time in the spotlight.
I won't set any limits on this countdown. It could theoretically continue until next Halloween. Unlike Frankenstein and the Mummy, skeletons are universally accepted all year round, so why limit what will undoubtedly be the greatest countdown in the history of countdowns?
That would be a bone-headed thing to do! (Yeaaaaaaaaaah!)
Bad-to-the-Bone Ghost (The Real Ghostbusters)
When Columbia Pictures released Ghostbusters in 1984, they were sued by Filmation, the company responsible for The Ghost Busters, a paranormal detective comedy series produced in 1975. The lawsuit was settled out of court and Columbia agreed to amend the name of its animated Ghostbuters adaptation to resolve any confusion between it and Filmation's Ghost Busters. Hence The Real Ghostbusters.
Unlike Mattel's current line of movie-based Ghostbusters, Kenner wasn't afraid of no ghosts. The Real Ghostbusters line included an entire sub-set of ghosts for the heroes to tangle with. Bad-to-the-Bone Ghost, H2Ghost and Bug-Eye Ghost joined the already established Stay Puft Marhsmellow Man and Slimer in the first series of ghouls. Bad-to-the-Bone Ghost was one of my favorite figures despite the obvious handicap of not being a ghost. He was larger than the human figures, so kids could trap the Ghostbusters inside his ribcage while the tortured figure's head stuck up through Bone Ghost's skull.
The origins of the specters in the Ghostbuster universe have always remained a mystery to me. Some were clearly the remnants of the dearly departed, but others appeared as if they were never human. From the waist up, you could assume Bone Ghost was the skeletal remains of an abnormally large human, but instead of legs, Bone Ghost stood on a crescent appendage resembling a fish tale. Was Bad-to-the-Bone Ghost a mermaid or did Hasbro's design team run out of steam before they could sculpt a proper set of legs?
Crystal Skull Alien (Indiana Jones)
Spielberg loves aliens. He puts them in all of his movies, even when they're supposed to be robots. If a fourth Jurassic Park ever happens, I will be shocked if the dinosaurs aren't revealed to be aliens.
The only good thing that came from Indiana Jones: Kingdom of the Crystal Skull were the crispy pepermint M&M's sold at Target in conjunction with the release of the film. Those perfect crunchy orbs were well worth desecrating the Indy franchise. As much as the movie sucked, the toys were even worse. Walmart eventually got so sick of seeing Mutt figures clutter their shelves that they clearanced out the entire series for a buck a piece.
There was an additional series featuring characters from the third movie, but the retailers were so gorged with the initial droopy-eyed releases that they didn't dare order more. Like most toys you want in hindsight, the third series was dumped overseas. They were initially hot commodities on ebay, but there eventually proved to be enough to go around. Even the lure of an exclusive mystery mail-away figure couldn't entice collectors into buying the original figures.
The mail-away turned out to be one of the aliens from the climax of the movie, complete with its golden thrown. The aliens were much larger than humans, so the figure seems out of scale with the toys until you realize it's supposed to be humongous. There doesn't seem to be many of the aliens on eBay and those that are have starting prices around $50. That seems pretty pricey for a figure from a line that nobody liked, but maybe not a lot of people bothered ordering and Hasbro burned the remaining stock.
Skull Jack (Xevoz)
Xevoz (pronounced Zee-Voz) were a fan favorite that never quite caught on with the general public. Xevoz were the next evolution of Stikfas, a line of snap-together figures with interchangeable parts that you could combine in any number of ways to creature unique characters. Xevoz raised the stakes by introducing a back story, varying characters races and more detailed sculpts. Hasbro also tried to tap into the card game craze by injecting gaming element to the line. As it turned out, nobody gave a damn about the game and its presence only served to confuse and enrage perspective buyers.
Skull Jack, the original Xevoz skeleton, was great because you could tear him apart and have piles of bones strewn at the feet of your more carnivorous toys. You could also swap out Skull Jack's parts with limbs of the other figures to make your Xevoz appear as if they were wasting away. It was fun for the whole family.
Unfortunately the proposed comic never made it past the free copies passed out at comic con and without any form of media to support the series, the toys eventually started to pile up at Toys R Us and KB stores before being clearanced away for pennies on the dollar.