This is a list of toys from my childhood that just didn't cut the mustard. What makes this bad and worth writing about is that I wasn't the hardest to please kid in the universe. I was the type of kid who'd spend hours rocking on a chair while closing my eyes pretending I was in space and spinning in circles until I got more dizzy than I had time previous. Point being, these were the worst of the worst in my opinion. Most of these I owned or at least knew of, or knew not to want them. But there comes a time when a parent is like..."fuck it, my kid will like this toy or get nothing". And when you're a kid, you'll gladly take a shitty toy vs. no toy at all.
Armegeddon was all over the place in the late 90's. McDonalds had Armegeddon McFlurries, Bruce Willis was married to Demi Moore, Aerosmith finally got a #1 and Deep Impact was going by the way side. So what does a movie company do when it has a potential blockbuster on the way? Make a toy line.
Being a kid when this came out, I can tell you that I was never compelled to ask my parents for Armegeddon toys. True they were space related and all that. But this was like playing with NASA educational toys. The Space ships were about as exciting as something your dad played with in the late 60's and the action figures were glorified Barbies in space suits.
Another large issue with a toy like this is that there are limited storylines you could create with it. I mean, best case scenario you open up the toys and they drill up the asteroid. You won, story over. For funsies, we can do it all over again. No kid wants to play oil driller. Not to mention the action figures (I have to restrain myself from saying dolls), were not size compatible with other action figures. So if G.I Joe decided to help Harry Stamper blow up space rocks, he'd look like a toddler without a carseat.
Jurassic Park (the action figures who didn't look like their character)
Let me start out saying that the DINOSAURS in this toyline were awesome. I had a whole bunch of those and can still remember how the teenage T-rex felt and where the "dino-damage" was. But they really dropped the ball on creating the action figures. As a kid, I honestly had no idea who some of these toys were supposed to be. The guy who wore the really short khaki shorts became known as "khaki shorts guy with a knife" and I honestly had no clue who Dennis Nedry's action figure was. For comparison...
As you can see, quality through and through. However if I were to make a guess, I'd say they made these figures before the movie was even cast. But this line of toys was redeemed by it's awesome jeep and excellent selection of dinosaurs. I still feed kind of jilted I never got the actual Jurassic Park, but it never quite felt to scale...WaterWorld
I almost feel bad for including this. But come on. At least Armegeddon was semi commercially successful. Waterworld is another beast entirely. By using flow charts and excel spread sheets, I could begin to explain how much of a flop this movie was. But that's not what I'm here to talk about. This is the "Trimaran", which sounds like made up nonsensical fairy tale world.
Let's make a check list of things this ship can do:
*be 21" tall (check)
*Shoot harpoons (no, they are molded plastic. Just pretend)
*Float (check...but note, I'm being generous on this one and assuming a boat made for this movie floats)
*Includes figure (no)
*Converts into fast attack combat ship (check? It's normal setting is a slow moving pleasure cruiser)
So really, it's a chunk of plastic that is 21'' tall and can float. Putting it in the same category as...logs or a broken yard stick. The only positive thing I can say about this is that I think they are kind of rare. But ask yourself, do you really want to be the kind of person who sells "Trimarans" on the internet. Sounds like the kind of thing the police make you stay inside on Halloween for.Robin Hood Prince of Thieves
I actually don't have much to say about this one. I had a few Robin Hood toys when I was little, and by a few I mean I had Robin Hood and the Sheriff of Nottingham. I remember Robin Hood having an actual cloth shirt and stuff, so that was cool at the time. But I also got the wooden battering ram thing.
Maybe I was hard to please as a kid, but this thing always seemed useless. It was probably on sale or something and seemed like a good idea to pair it with my other Robin Hood toys, but it always seemed illogical to me. I mean...what's pulling it? What am I trying to batter? And where was this in the movie?
Speaking of the movie, I don't remember it being THAT exciting. Being a small child when this came out, I only liked Robin Hood for a few reasons, and that's shooting goddamned fucking arrows. I could care less about how he was in the crusades with Morgan Freeman and all the other stuff. It always seemed like a boring historical movie that my parents were into. So basically, my whole approach to playing with this toy was that it was lame and I usually bombed with my much cooler GI Joe jets. Yay for technology.
(additional lame factor: losing some of the parts means you were left with a non mobile hulk of a battery ram that was hard to assemble anyway.)
And apparently the toy was just a complete reissue of the Return of the Jedi one. I never knew that until I did my research just now (quick google image search).Willow
Imagine a world of sorcery, swords and small beings that hold incredible power! If you're thinking of Lord of the Rings, you'd be wrong. To be fair, I never really gave Willow much a chance. I remember there being a fair amount of merchandise related to the movie around. Particularly there was this one Willow cereal bowl I used to eat out of.
So you would think a series of fantasy toys based on this movie would at least be passable. Well you would be wrong. Compared to these toys, you'd wish you had a whole collection of Waterworld toys. The toys were small, couldn't articulate and were on these piece of shit bases. Why? Am I playing a board game with these? This is the type of shit you get in a cereal box and give up on when the Price is Right comes on. These toys are about as exciting as action figures based on the Golden Girls. In fact, no those toys would be awesome. Someone please say those exist. No wonder it says "the magic lies within", because you seriously have to use your imagination to have fun with these.
So in closing, toys from Willow were the fucking worst.Batman Returns
If there was one kid into Batman in the early 90's, it was me. Batman on my trapperkeeper, check. Batman on my lunchbox, check. Batman on my clothes, check. I even listened the shit out of the Prince soundtrack. So of fucking course I will like the toys to anything Batman. So you may ask yourself, why include Batman on here?
How about because they thought we were dumb idiots. Like we didn't notice they just painted Batman several different colors and released them as "aero attack Batman" and whatever the white one was. This was a fucking insult to our intelligence. And I think these were released before the movie. So being a small, impressionable young Batman lover, I was thinking..."shit, look at all these suits he's going to wear!". But no, turns out none of these suits were in the movie. They don't even make any sense. What the fuck would Batman gain from being gold? I don't know about you, but I think it is pretty easy to pick someone out in a crowd if they're wearing all gold. This is what I now refer to Bruce Wayne's "Lady Gaga phase". He wore stupid ass, impractical costumes that were just introduced to make more money.
Now to be fair, I kind of remember having fun playing with the Bruce Wayne/Batman action figure. But my biggest problem was that it just didn't look right. There was something...
Something that made him look like he got his costume at Wal-Mart. I mean seriously, this isn't going to impress the Joker, let alone Danny DeVito. When squaring off against Danny DeVito, you need to bring a little more to the table than a badly fitting Batman costume. So I usually didn't worry about the costume and just played with Bruce Wayne. However, looking back at it, I was really playing with Michael Keaton. So in summary, the Batman Returns toy line made me play with Michael Keaton.