There has been made quite a handful great Conan statues, but a year ago, we finally got a great Conan action figure - all though in a slightly different format that we had expected.
Read on for more!
Back in the 70s, people were getting a bit tired of superheroes.
Marvel answered by publishing comics based on classic novels like Dracula and Tarzan, and pulp heroes like Doc Savage and John Carter (which is getting a movie this year, I think).
And Conan the Barbarian was part of this selection of "non-super" heroes.
The 1982 movie is also very much a cult favorite, as was the intention when it was made. It barely has dialogue, and when there are spoken lines, it's mostly a monologue directed towards the silent, gloom barbarian. Easily Arnold Schwarzenegger's best role, he fit both physically and emotionally. He was the barbarian. There are many good moments in the first Conan movie, but the two things I like the best is the general mood and the music. They managed to capture the adventurous, "almost-earth" feeling from the comic, and the music is just epic.
|Conan the Barbarian 1982 was played by the Terminator.|
|Conan 2011 was played by this guy. Here he is in his best role.|
But this was about toys, wasn't it? You're reading Toys and Bacon after all, and now that I have shown you the "bacon", it's time for the toys.
Like I said, we have gotten our share of Conan stactions and statues. But never a proper action figure.
Mattel wanted to produce Conan figures back in the 80s, but weren't allowed to. So they simply made their own. They called him Vikor of the North. This was the proposed design of how he would look like.
And here is how Conan the Barbarian looked like in the 70s comics:
A legal battle started between the family of Robert E. Howard, Marvel and Mattel, which as far as I know Mattel ended up winning. But as you can see, there's really nothing to discuss here. Legally, they could make the toys of Vikor if they wanted to. Morally, not so much.
Luckily, Mattel tweaked the idea, and added sci-fi to the sword and sorcery theme. Masters of the Universe toys arrived late 1981, accompanied by a comic and a cartoon.
You know how He-Man looks like. It's easy to agree that it's a different thing, and Masters of the Universe was a huge success, still is. Today, of course, we are getting the updated versions of old MOTU characters through the Masters of the Universe Classics toy line. Fantastic toys I've talked about on many occasions. A cool thing about MOTUC is that they don't limit themselves to only the vintage MOTU toys. We're getting toys based on anything from She-Ra to New Adventures characters. Anything from the 200x line, anything from the old mini-comics.
In that context, a toy based on the prototype of the main hero makes sense. But to me, it's not a prototype of He-Man.