Monday, February 11, 2008

1989-1990 Toy Biz Aquaman

There are so many reasons this figure is wrong so I'll just start with the positive! It's Aquaman in his classic outfit! I'm really not sure if Pirate Aquaman had made an appearance yet, so maybe that's the reason we got a classic version from Toy Biz. Few people remember that before Toy Biz became the house of Marvel action figures, they held the DC Comics license for a very short period. It all started with the 1989 Batman film when Toy Biz cranked out three barrel chested figures, Batman (which had three face variations), The Joker, and Bob the Goon (probably one of the craziest choices for a figure, but made sense at the time). So where was Toy Biz to go from there? The other villains and heroes of the DC Universe. Okay, I remember the day I found the Superman figure. There was a whole aisle jam packed full of kids and their parents, just looking for Batman to put under the Christmas tree, I already secured a set for my son, and was now looking to complete my set when right under a Bob the Goon was Superman, the only one in the store. So knowing at the time that this was something new I grabbed him so my son could have the man of steel on Christmas morning. I know, I know we're not here to talk about Superman.

It was a few months after Christmas when my son and I were making our regular trip to Toys R Us that we found Aquaman. They had just restocked after the Christmas holiday and there on the pegs was the largest selection of DC goodness I had seen in a long time. Aquaman was the first character I saw, and was actually happy to see. I had been around long enough to know that Bats and Sups usually got all the toys, so I grabbed a few of the Sea King and some of his other friends from the Hall of Justice and made like a bandit to the register. Thinking the whole time "my boy is going to have Aquaman!" Who wouldn't want their son or daughter to have a mini version of the Sea King? He's got that snappy bright costume and that trident to poke villain with. I can tell you He's pretty much the only hero he took in the bath and who regularly kicked Robin out of the Batmobile. So seeing this figure really brings back those memories of playing super heroes for hours on Saturdays, on the floor with my son.

That wasn't the end for the Toy Biz Aquaman. When my son "grew" out of his super hero stage, he cleaned house and decided to get rid of some of his toys, with his mother's help. I stopped by the room and saw Aquaman's head on the chopping block and offered to give him a home. Okay yes I had one, and probably one in the package, so I was thinking this guy would occupy my desk space at work. Aquaman went from job to job with me for many years, and it was one of my latest that caught me the most flack. Not because of it being Aquaman, but because he was a toy and he had rusted parts. that's right, from all those bath time adventures years ago. No matter how many times I tried to explain it was my sons, I got the "Sure, taking your toys in the bath again" line. It was all in good fun, and I started to see more people put toys on their desk.

This Aquaman may be chunky, have one of the strangest faces I've seen on an action figure, and a sea horse that he can't possible ride without crushing, but he does hold a lot of memories and is one of my favorite figures of the character. Talking strictly about the figure. His articulation is limited, but as always Toy Biz tried to pack in an action feature with the lever on his back that makes his legs kick for authentic swimming action and he can hold his trident rather securely. I always believed that Toy Biz got a hold of the old Kenner Super powers figures and just made a mold off parts of an actual toy, but never really was sure. Having missed the Super powers line I'll have to pick one up on E-bay sometime to compare.

The thing that is really hard to believe is that this figure is closing in on being twenty years old. I know in terms of say a Mego figure, it's still a young buck, but twenty years and still holding up. I have items I've purchased two years ago and are starting to break down, so I don't know what Toy Biz did at the time, but these figures were really made with a child in mind and made to last.


rob! said...

that's a great story and i'm happy the figure has come to mean so much to you.

that said, jeez, is this is a lousy figure--John Goodman as Aquaman. and his hairline is reminiscient of a caveman.

and what was with Toy Biz figures and they're legs? they kind of rattle around and don't stand straight. ugh.

oh, and have you seen the TB Aquaman with all-green arms?

sorry for all the negative talk. :)

chunky B said...

I've seen pics of the all green arm Aquaman, but haven't seen one in person.

I also agree that the sculpt on this guy is crap, and standing a Toy Biz figure from this time is hit or miss, try getting him to sit down, I don't think his legs can even achieve a squat.

I could have written for days on the negative, but like I said he's a solid hunk of crap!