Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Cancelled Action Figure Cavalcade: Indiana Jones

Next month several of the more anticipated films of the year will be released in theatres including X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Terminator Salvation and Star Trek. The toylines for these movies are already on the shelves. It remains to be seen which, if any, of these will be a hit.

Walking around a toy store you can still find plenty of merchandise for last year's major films. There doessn't seem to be any major connection between a film's box office success and how much merchandise is sold. Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull was the second highest grossing film of last year but it's 3.75" figure line was being clearanced for as little as a dollar each in some places. The line didn't meet expectations and there are a few items that were never released and probably more that were still in the planning stages.

One of the contributing factors of the toyline's low sales was the underwhelming quality of some of the earliest offerings. Still the figures improved as the line continued but the later, better figures were never all that widely available. There was one assortment that was shown but never released. It's a Raiders of the Lost Ark wave with Indy in German uniform, Marion in her white dress, the German Mechanic, Toht and Alfred Molina. Those are some classic characters and they look like they would have been the best figures in the line. Who wouldn't love a melting head feature?

The 12" line didn't fare any better. The first few that saw wide distribution are probably still available at your local retailer. Some of the later ones are popping up at discount shops in low quantities. There's at least one figure that doesn't seem to have been released at all and that's this Indy from Temple of Doom. The figure is pretty much the same as the Whip Cracking Indy figure that was released. All they changed was his shirt and they replaced the whip with a machete. It's a clever reuse though and I think it looks better than the first version.

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