It’s been a while since the first Action Figure Appreciation post, so let’s shine a light on a few more fine specimens from the vast world of figures.
Jitsu, from Masters of the Universe (1984)
Oh, how I wish I still had all of my original MOTU figures. One of the great crimes I’ve committed in my life is letting all the toys from my childhood go by the wayside in various ways. But I’m slowly working to rectify that situation, and am tracking them all down again. This Jitsu figure is an example of this, as this is not my original figure, but one I got from eBay.
I had more than my fair share of MOTU figures back in the day, and I’d put Jitsu in my top ten at least. He may actually be high on the list, but I’d have to sit and think about what order they would actually go in. That may have to be a post sometime in the future. But anyway, what I liked about this figure was the big golden judo chop hand he had. That thing was just so cool, and in my world, that hand could destroy just about anything with two exceptions. It could hurt He-Man, but not put him out, and it couldn’t destroy the iron fist that Fisto had. As a matter of fact, when Jitsu’s hand met Fistos fist, it was like what happened in The Avengers when Thor’s hammer struck Captain America’s shield. Yeah, they waged some hellacious battles in my bedroom through the years.
In my playtime, Jitsu was right up there in the ranks of Skeletor’s favored minions alongside Beast Man, Trap-Jaw, and Tri-Klops. He was there to take out any weapons that the Masters had on the field. Just get him close enough, and that golden judo chop could take out anything. Probably every time Skeletor was able to breach Castle Grayskull in my world, it was because Jitsu chopped the door down with ease, and not even the magic of Grayskull was strong enough to stop him.
Race Car Driver from The Construction Company (1985)
The Construction Company line of toys may not be one you’re entirely familiar with, but it was around in the mid-late ’80s and was a building block system that hoped to rival LEGO and Construx. While I was willing to give it a chance, it just didn’t overtake them as far as I was concerned. It had a cool gimmick though as when you put the building blocks together, they had these little locking mechanisms built into them that you had to use a plastic screwdriver to lock the pieces together. This meant that your creations wouldn’t just fly apart if you dropped them or rammed them into something. That cool feature was also a bug in my eyes when it came time to undo your creation so you could start another one. You had to unlock all those same pieces.
One of the sets I had was a race car, and this figure was the driver of said car. As you can see in the picture, the figure wasn’t well articulated, as his arms could move up and down, and his legs could move forwards and backward. That didn’t leave much for you to do with the figure other than putting him behind the wheel of the car or having him standing next to it. But after all the work it took to put the car together, it wouldn’t have felt complete without a driver, so I’m glad he was included anyway.
Rick Steiner WCW Wrestling figure from Galoob (1990)
By 1990, my wrestling fandom was really deep. And growing up in the south, NWA/WCW was my wrestling. I always preferred it over the WWF/WWE. And in 1990, The Steiner Brothers were the most bad-ass tag team on the planet. When Galoob released their first wave of WCW Wrestling figures, I was excited. But when I got my hands on them, I was deflated much the same way I was when playing with the WWF LJN Superstars of Wrestling figures. The total lack of articulation really took the joy out of trying to play with them the way you would think was intended. Without articulation, you couldn’t do many moves or holds when playing.
But as show pieces, these figures were pretty damn cool. You can put these up on a shelf and have pretty nice collector’s pieces. But back in 1990, I didn’t care about putting them on a shelf, I wanted to play with the damn things. As far as wrestling action figure lines go, this was one of my least favorites. I had several, and all they ended up being good for was to have standing around. These days, that’s just fine with me, as I have several figures from the line on display. But if you want fun wrestling action from old figures, stick with G.I. Joe. They’re way better for putting on actual matches.
That’s all for this edition. Maybe next time I’ll include some figures with more articulation or something.