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Saturday, 1 September 2018

10 Classic Toy Lines Based On R-Rated Movies


Toy lines based on movies is a completely regular thing. Any movie with mass appeal will more than likely have action figures modeled after its characters. However, during the '80s and early '90s, toy companies like Kenner took a step away from the traditional fare of children-friendly properties based on all ages films and made figures based on movies for adults.

We're not talking Striptease type of adult movies, but at times, it was pretty close. Whether it's horrific xenomorphs spewing acid into a space marine's face or a robotic cop shooting everyone in Detroit, there was a toy market for it. Hey, if there can be a whole line of action figures based on food, anything is possible.

At times, it seemed anything starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sylvester Stallone, or a movie with terrifying aliens seemed to be fair game. Many of these toy lines actually had an animated series or a video game to accompany them as well. But one thing is for sure, all these toy lines are sourced from the wild waters of movies totally made for adults.

So check out these 10 toy lines based on rated-R movies, and let us know if you have any fond memories of these weird action figures.


Aliens (1992)


Kenner's toy line was based on the 1986 movie of the same name. Four series of Aliens and Space Marines were released before its cancellation in 1995. In total, 30 figures were released, four different vehicles, and one playset. The vast majority of different xenomorphs were created for this line. No where in the Alien franchise will you ever find the Snake or Mantis Alien.

Additionally, Alien Resurrection got a toy line as well from Kenner in 1997.


Predator (1994)


Based on the two Predator movies, Kenner launched this toy line in 1994. After three series, it was cancelled. Much like the Aliens line, the Predator line contained characters not from either of the two movies. 14 different Predators were released in total.

Kenner repackaged this and its Aliens line a few years later as Aliens vs. Predator, where an Alien and Predator figure were packaged together as two packs.


Commando (1986)


Based on no one's favorite Arnold Schwarzenegger movie, the Diamond Toymakers Commando line actually had different waves and styles. Pictured above is the 7-inch John Matrix figure, which looks like a left-over He-Man toy with guns and a giant head slapped on. There was a 16-inch line as well. The main focus was the 4-inch line, which contained eight figures, with Matrix being the only character from the actual film. It was like a poor man's G.I. Joe with Matrix's new team--which was called the C-Team--taking on the horrific team of F.E.A.R., and the leader of the team was Psycho, who was very loosely based on Bennett in the movie.

Image credit: Amazon


Demolition Man (1993)


Based on one of my favorite '90s movies of all time, the Demolition Man toy line came from Mattel, and it was extremely lackluster for a multitude of reasons. First, out of eight figures produced, there were only four represented.

  • John Spartan
  • Simon Phoenix
  • Edgar Friendly
  • Cryo-Technician

There were two different versions of Phoenix and four different Spartan figures. This line really dropped the ball by not having some of the other members of the cast like Lenina Huxley, Dr. Cocteau, Bob, Alfredo Garcia, or Dan Cortese as the Taco Bell entertainer playing piano. Additionally, there were two vehicles as well.


Police Academy (1988)


Police Academy is the first case on this list of a rated-R movie being turned into a cartoon and then into a toy line. Kenner--a company that loves marketing mature movies to kids--ran two series of these figures, and believe it or not, they were a lot of fun. There were plenty of different characters to pick and choose from, and the toy line takes most of the fun and spirit of the movie and markets it towards kids. Maybe it's nostalgia talking, but as someone who owned Numbskull and Zed (the one where his pants fall down), this line could have had more longevity to it. Sadly, the toy line was tied to the animated series, both of which died in 1989.


Rambo (1985)


One year before the animated Rambo series hit airwaves, Coleco produced this pretty expansive line, right around the same time Rambo: First Blood II was released in theaters. This set contained 16 figures, 6 weapon accessories, 4 vehicles, and one giant playset. The coolest part about this set was that there were only two versions of Rambo, as the line focused on other characters, some of which were in the movies and others who would later appear on the cartoon. This line was a lot like G.I. Joe with more firepower.


Robocop (1989)


Once again, Kenner took the reigns of another R-rated movie and marketed it towards kids. The Robocop line lasted for two series and, in total, featured 17 action figures and six vehicles. It came out one year after the debut of the Marvel cartoon, Robocop: The Animated Series. The show expanded on the movies and made it a whole lot less gritty, as Robocop takes on stereotypical villains and no one's head gets shot off. Sadly, the series only lasted 12 episodes.


Starship Troopers (1997)


Coming out the same year as the movie, Galoob--the people that made the Game Genie--produced a scattered toy line consisting of a 5-inch toy line, battle packs consisting of alien bugs and army men-sized humans, a Micro Machines line, and vehicle sets for the army men-sized toys. However, there were no aliens for the 5-inch line to fight nor was there any vehicles for them. This toy line was all over the place.

Image credit: Amazon


Terminator 2 (1991)


Kenner came out swinging in 1991 with a ton of Terminator 2 toys. There were two series for the first two years, then a third series in '97. In total, there were 30 figures produced, 18 of which were Terminator variants. There were additionally a few figures that weren't in the movies, like Cyber-Grip Villain--a dude with a claw arm--and Kromium--a cyborg with devil horns.


Toxic Crusaders (1991)


Playmates had a huge hit on its hands with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which was originally based on a comic book series geared more towards an adult audience, so why shouldn't the company try to do it all over again with another property? The company behind TMNT's TV series took Troma's Toxic Avengers movie series and made it into a cartoon, and Playmates made the toy line. There were 9 figures in the series and 5 vehicles. The series probably would have continued if the TV show wasn't so terrible.




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