We’ve been raving about the three and three-quarters inch scale Kenner-style action figures from Funko’s ReAction line here at borg.com for a few years now. If style and nostalgia are your jam but not necessarily screen-accurate sculpts, it’s hard to beat the myriad of licenses that Funko has secured. What you may not have seen is that Figures Toy Company has been producing a similar series of figures reflecting the larger, eight-inch Mego action figure line also popular in the 1970s.
Like Funko, Figures Toy Company has secured licenses of brands, movies and TV shows you’d never think would surface again, like Evel Knievel, Dukes of Hazzard, DC Comics, KISS, Shazam, Batman TV series heroes and villains, Super Friends, Scooby Doo, Tarzan, Dallas, The Monkees, The Three Stooges, Gilligan’s Island, and most recently Jonny Quest. Also like Funko, don’t expect Sideshow Toys’ level of detail. The appeal of these lines is pure nostalgia, and packaging is half of the value. The company also didn’t forget accessories and playsets, like a great set of Batman weapons, the Batbus and Batlab, classic style carrying cases, Gotham GCPD bus, professional wrestling accessories, the Teen Titans bus, and the classic Batcave.
Your editor with the original Mego Robin figure, and at right the new Figures Toy Company version.
The toy company has also stepped ahead into more recent licenses, creating a line of Mego-style Harry Potter action figures. Some of Figures Toy Company’s action figure lines are also offered in a 12-inch and 18-inch version. Many lines were released in limited editions and exclusives, and some can only be found on Amazon and eBay, and many are still available with new figures released frequently. Not only do many have the Mego-style retro packaging, others have the Kresge Stores-style packages your parents could pick up in the 1970s as point-of-sale purchases at checkout in local dime stores across the country.
More than fifty years ago Newton Minow, the first FCC commissioner, called television a vast wasteland. The prospect of 500 channels available and nothing to watch was forecast back in the 1970s and today it sometimes seems like it’s a truism more often than not. But if you get tired of new programming–and make no mistake plenty of great television shows are airing this year–a few recently added channels to your local line-up may remind fans of classic TV why they jumped onboard in the first place.
Three channels: MeTV, COZI TV and LAFF, are a destination for those who just want to pop in now and then for a dose of the past. Even pay channel Starz has begun broadcasting classic television series. No doubt much of the programming may not hold up to current audiences. Clothes, hairstyles, and stale, formulaic half-hour and hour plots may not keep your 21st century attention. Yet many shows seem to hold up quite well. As time goes on two of my favorites, Simon & Simon and Magnum, P.I., seem to drift farther and farther away, yet the comedy of Night Court and Cybill remains laugh-out-loud funny.
Classic TV gold, like The Six Million Dollar Man and The Bionic Woman, may be a bit much in big doses. Only a diehard fan would stream these beginning to end. Yet, try popping in once in a while and it’s like visiting an old friend. M*A*S*H and The A-Team hold up quite well. In particular, the formula established by The A-Team, no doubt based on decades of series that came before it, can be found continuing on to this day in series like Leverage and Burn Notice. Even series like Wonder Woman and Charlie’s Angels can be fun, if you don’t take their 1970s approach to TV too seriously. And you may find yourself engrossed in Quantum Leap all over again.
So what’s playing, where, and when?